September 27 – 30  2001


Philipa Veitch, Sniper, coloured pencil, gouache, felt pen, ink on paper, installation view, 2001


Philipa Veitch, Dawn was about to break, gouache, felt pen, ink on paper, 1500mm x 1300mm, 2001


Philipa Veitch, Hell had come calling, coloured pencil on paper, 1200mm x 1500mm, 2001


A covert operation, the works of ‘sniper’ effortlessly engage the viewer in a conflict of representation. Veitch destabilses pictorial narratives at the point of resolution – we are framed accomplices to this counter-intelligence as we are enlisted to decode landscapes fraught with exposed internal dilemmas, and ever-present dangers.

In one of Veitch’s large drawings, we accompany a lone soldier transgressing the horrid oppression of a nuclear landscape. A hostile, alien topography lunges forward in obsessive render, striations of coloured pencil unloading a hail of technicolour upon our eyes. This hallucinatory vision assaults the ‘fields’ upon which we lie, waiting to ambush the conjure of representation. We hover within a spectacular scene, without secure foothold or fixed point of negotiation, baring witness to the instability of the visual spectrum, and the transmutation of anthropomorphic form. Elsewhere within the space, the washes and strokes of pen and brush provide loose details of our conflict, tracing our reaction whilst apprehending its ultimate source. Above this scenario floats a text, a hastily written description of calamitous events, the unfolding of which gratifies our need for ‘true stories’. Recollections are mingled with the inevitable flaws in our powers of representation. Like the sniper, we focus our attention upon our target, yet it is a target too volatile to neutralise.

Team Block, 2001