AURA (use is preservation)

I have been making a series of works under the collective title of Aura (use is preservation). Some of these works are posted here and I intend to update this from time to time. 

You will see from these images my works in this series have often failed in the sense of being counterfeits of the real thing. This was brought into focus when I visited the archive of Walter Benjamin’s work at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.  

Walter Benjamin’s handwritten note on the concept of aura is held in the archive. His initial conception of aura is written on a sheet of paper imprinted with an advert for San Pellegrino mineral water.  Here the idea of the aura of objects is elaborated in a way that exemplifies the point that Benjamin was himself exploring.

I have written about this project here.


I visited the collection the Walter Benjamin Archive at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin in 2019. I made this small collection of replicas of Walter Benjamin’s  scraps and fragments from material held in the archive during 2019/21. Benjamin gathered all kinds of ‘rag-pickings’ from everyday life, assortments of images, texts and signs, themselves representing experiences and ideas. My own experience of encountering his texts as they were written on discarded ephemera was profound and wanted to reproduce something of that intimacy in a way that could be shared. I made a series of painted originals that are also produced as a limited edition print series. 

More here