Lineal Monopoly

2014, Paper and Calligraphy Ink, 2.5m x 2.5m

2014, Paper and Calligraphy Ink, 2.5m x 2.5m

Whilst the final product was installed , and remains its own entity, photographic documentation of the site specific performance content was collected. This piece later exhibited on tour around China, starting at TAFA Gallery. 


Influenced by in the stains that marked the streets throughout China, particularly the organic markings that appear beneath the countless air-conditioning ducts that speckle the streets and laneways of Tianjin. This work involves site-specific performance, where Darmody travelled throughout the streets of China staining delicate sheets of paper using the streets water systems and interesting drainage arrangements. This piece grew from a humble method of allegorical documentation, tracing the stains Darmody passed in her travels, with the intention of taking a piece of their humble beauty home as a souvenir, into a large-scale body of work. Photographic documentation captures the spectacle Darmody’s performance created, as people in the streets stop to watch her pay tribute to the undignified aspects of what makes China’s streets the dynamic spaces they are. The unique marks which would spill out onto the sheets of paper formed the basis of a meditative Calligraphy practice, which Darmody then developed with the assistance of a Master in Calligraphy at Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts. Using line work, Darmody analogously mapped her emotional and physical journey and her sense of displacement in the foreign country, upon the sheets of paper that had momentarily become another aspect of China’s vibrant street life. The work then communicates notions of this transferal of cultures, sites, skills, experiences, dialects, behaviours and beliefs. In Darmody’s line work, she has referenced the city of Tianjin and its strong connection to the river, in conjunction with the various population densities throughout the city. The mass population of China was of significant influence in Darmody’s work, struggling with the comprehension of functionality, space and dignity. Part of the line work represents the various population densities in China and where boundaries of privacy and personal-space are endlessly interwoven.

While having travelled many parts of Asia before, Darmody found this trip to continually challenge her sense of self and cultural awareness. Since returning, she notes feeling that her artistic practice has transformed dramatically and intends to developing this practice further.


Kate Darmody