Aidon Westcott’s small densely layered and beautifully crafted mixed media works can be viewed on two levels. The first is a purely aesthetic response to stunning objects. The second, which requires some time spent viewing the work leaves one in almost a meditative state. Westcott’s layers of ephemera evoke so many pasts and multiverses and the fish symbol floats serenely through them all linking them and us to a collective consciousness.- Trent Read
A sheet of newsprint or the pasted-together pages of old journals, documents and hand written letters gives Aidon Westcott both the physical base and conceptual starting point for his evocative mixed media artworks.
The collages are filled with symbolic imagery aimed at awaking stifled memories out of the echo chambers of one’s subconscious mind. These selected images contain emotional content and insight into the human condition tapping into the timeless tragedies of our predicament, mortality and differences as we navigate our own path through trial and error of existence.
The imagery is build up in layers of antique packaging and selected ephemera from yesteryear. The term Ephemera covers a wide range of transitory written or printed documents including leaflets, handbills, tickets, trade cards, programs, playbills, printed tins, packaging, adverts, posters, postcards photographs and newspapers These found objects carry a reality of their own which owe their presence to human action and purpose. They are the remains of a past, broken-down system or culture. These materials are deeply rooted in human consciousness. The fragments of text that remain are transformed by their inclusion in the densely layered imagery which helps decode and at the same time enhance the mood and atmosphere of work. Comic strip bubbles, handwritten letters, newsprint and children’s stories all reveal an undertone of the collective consciousness felt during those times.
The fish symbolize the subconscious element and the unknown .The mixed media represents the conscious world which relies on remembrance. The fish as symbols themselves are products of the emotions (sea) and intuition (freshwater), so fish can be symbolic of the world of symbols, in contrast with the purely materialistic earthbound approach to life. Fish are the treasures of the waters, which in general symbolise the psyche in contrast with the body: the unconscious rather than the ordinary conscious. They act as reminders allowing one to look beneath the surface of one’s emotions to discover what truly motivates one’s feelings and interests and by lifting the veil to the subconscious allowing one to examine and understand hidden truths within. The fish symbol therefore becomes productive of the human predicament depicting patterns in the psyche in the cycle of life and in a forever changing world.
Westcott’s work explores fragments of a former culture through the use of these found objects and simultaneously invests new and continually shifting meaning and interpretations for each individual. The artworks viewed in their full context explore the psychological realm through which one perceives the exterior world and neglect one’s true inner self. The artworks act as a portal to the past, connected through memory one is transported to the innocents, fantasy and misadventure experienced as a child yet reminded of the headwind of emotions and reality of adult life.