My art practice is interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary in nature and enagaged with a dedicated interest in the intersection of the theories and histories of Art with the practices of Art. I am specifically interested in time, place and space, including the simulations and illusions of place. In my work I engage with the idea of an ‘Other’ space: Simulated, embodied, dynamic and different to the experienced, physical real. Central to my work is the matrix as a space or a place, connected to illusion and construction, and as fictional. On one hand, matrixial space could be virtual space that we inhabit as human cyborgs; on the other hand it could be any other kind of ‘world’, dream or condition; or it could even be utopian space.
Underpinning these interests is the investigation of how a world or a place becomes constituted through perception, ideology, sentiment or emotion. My theoretical and practical research is mostly engaged with the family construct of utopia, dystopia and heterotopia, to include nuances such as good place; bad place; non-place; cocooning; displacement; and virtual space. Most people nurture personal ideas about a ‘good’ place or a personal paradise. Places filled with bad memories or experiences become dystopian, and perceptions of place are often liquid and dynamic, changing continually. In this body of work I am looking at variant or mirrored space.
My rhetorical methodology of applying metaphor departs from the word as the unit of reference and I search for resemblance; but in my process of transmutation the dance with word and image knows no boundaries. My current works follow on my previous explorations of time and place in utopian worlds, but in these works they acquire an alchemical character of a melting of past and present, and become connected to a search for wisdom. I have chosen to follow an alchemical aesthetic here since it echoes the latent mingling of ideas embedded in metaphor and their distillation into a flow of meaning between word and image. The alchemical underpinning in concept, media and processes refers to transmutation, fermentation, refinement and conjunction of ideas and materials. Physical media intermingle with digital media and they supplement and erase each other.
Elfriede Dreyer, Anthropocene 3, 2023. Ink on aluminium