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“Kush Amdeed”: translated into English, the suspended signs read ‘Welcome’.  I know this because Mark Sadler has told me so.  But I cannot decipher the script.  To my ignorant eye these arabesque flourishes signal only a general sense of otherness, of mystery, of the alien and the unknowable.  I am being welcomed, but this is lost on me.  A welcome for someone else is an exclusion for me. It is not that the signs mean nothing to me: they signal my otherness in a forceful manner.  I have, regardless, already accepted another invitation to enter into these strangers’ space.  Without having to think about it, I automatically know how to read the signs of the particular kind of pictorial space displayed here.  They act as my welcome. The carefully constructed linear perspective has drawn me, effortlessly, into the heart of the scene.  The scene, in fact, appears as if presented for my benefit alone.  I am, as you might say, its sovereign surveyor.  The four figures on horseback that I see are totally immersed in their strange activity, apparently unaware of my presence; but their real purpose, I sense, is to perform a display for me, their unobserved viewer.   I feel, nevertheless, a slight unease.  I realise that I am subtly displaced from the centre of the scene, viewing it from a slight angle.  The displacement is small, almost imperceptible, but sufficient to introduce an element of self-consciousness into my experience.  I am not, as I first thought, at the dead centre, the hub.  I am not quite, as I first felt, the absolutely pivotal presence.  An element of contingency is effectively undermining my unchallenged authority over this scene.  There is a viewing position, slightly to my left, which, if it were possible for me to occupy, would enable me to cancel these nagging doubts.  Knowing this makes me uncomfortable, dissatisfied.  Perhaps, I start to imagine, someone already occupies this position of complete privilege, and, from this perfect vantage point, can see me.  Excluded from the centre, that point where everything within this spatial system converges, I am revealed as peripheral, incidental, relative.  “I” have become a “you”.

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