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Contemporary Artspace
London 1997-2000

Common Ground

Maslen & Mehra continue their experimental work with medium format photography in their series, Common Ground. Figures from different historical periods and cultures are juxtaposed in compositions, which have been painstakingly created using hand-made mirrored sculptures and drawing. Temporary interventions are created with mirrored figures, which are set up in a collection of landscapes and captured on film. Hand drawn pencil borders are then layered onto the compositions. The finished works comprise large-scale fabric wall hangings, reminiscent of the detailed tapestries, which were status symbols amongst the aristocracy in the Middle Ages.

Ghost-like figures appear like spectres from the past, only visible through the light reflected on their mirrored surfaces. What do these figures have in common, the viewer wonders? Perhaps parallels can be found in the groupings of the figures themselves? However, the greatest connection lies between the figures and the environment in which they stand. The very act of making figures with a reflective surface and placing them in different settings results in a visual merging of the landscape and the sculptures. The diversity of different cultures throughout the ages is distilled down to one common thread: our relationship with, and reliance upon, our environment.

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