I have been having great fun printing images of iconic current and historic personages on metal that is very nearly mirror like so that you see your own image imposed on them and can compare yourself to the person if you so wish. On the way I have encountered almost every technical hitch and glitch possible both in software and hardware and made numerous mistakes which have served to make me more considered in producing a correctly sized and texted image appropriately sized without defects. A steep learning curve!. Still working on my resin pieces and need to frame my screenprints.
At the beginning there is drawing. The scratching of pencil on paper and the stroking of a watery brush. The drawing is continuous. The drawing is essential. Without the paper the drawing does not stop but continues in reflections and day-dreams and driftings off.
The drawings are familiar. There are limbs and curves and mutterings of toes or a nose or a belly button. There is the slow rise and fall. There is the continual rhythm. The quiet throbbing. The pulsing that is almost silent but always there.
There is the less familiar. The strange. The obscuring. The restricting. But the colour is soft and the texture is warm. There is a desire to touch. To feel. To stroke. To really look and look closely. With fingers.
The figure is still and the person is calm. They are content. They are quiet. But they are a little uncomfortable and the need for a scratch starts to discomfort. There is an increasing ache and a niggle.
There is the time and there is the space. The space it inhabits and the space hidden within. Not much space within. Not much at all. But enough. Enough for the breathing. Enough for the itching to grow.
And throughout there are the words. Groupings of words. They come in and they go out. They follow each other and join together and rhyme or relate or frolic on the page. They tell the story. Not the whole story. But enough of the story. And the ending of the performance.
Plans afoot for the end of residency exhibition. Decisions to be made on what to show- large paper pieces both as yet unfinished, frame up some of the earlier drawings, how to use the laser cut glass pieces?
Check out the space...plenty of it!!!...and glass top box tables like shallow vitrines....interesting.
No info apparent around the dept re my talk next wednesday...what does that mean? Nobody will be there I irritatedly suspect...
I get to my large paper on the wall...it brings a smile to my face..imagine it 10 times bigger..it would be wonderful to work on a trully vast scale...but for now...
A luscious, thick, agitated band of raw umber and a wetter looser one of the same across the bottom.
The wonderous joy of applying paint to paper; watching the marks form and dissolve in the veils and layers of colour. Tones emerge and jossle the surface back and forth. Miniature landscapes escape across the surface...fractals of the landscape which is their origin.
I go to find the framer in Unit 10 Flowers Industrial Estate...he is a delightful, interesting man who allows me an absolute age to discuss,question and deliberate the possibilities for which and how to frame pieces.
Danielle in the office assures me that all will be well for Wednesday and she kindly emails Hannah to ask for confirmation...no word yet!!!
It has been a good day...will come again on Monday to meet with Abi to discussplans for exhibition and to paint....can't wait.
Well, its been a very busy past couple of weeks! Apologies for not blogging more often! Our year have put on a half way exhibition and fundraising auction over the past couple of weeks to publicise our degree show and raise funds for our catalogue. Annette Pugh very kindly donated works to sell at our auction to raise money, which were extremely well received and going for a great sum to add to the total! Thank you very much Annette!
So now another mile stone is over in my final year, its onwards through to the degree show! Very scary but exciting! :-)
Time : Date: Longitude : Latitude
Every piece of data entered, on any social network, anywhere, has a time-stamp. It is added by default.
These drawings are all time stamped, added by me, by default.
Dangerous patterns are emerging, in our technological utopia, humans are losing something...
I can’t here define exactly what, but I have an instinct that there are some vital pieces of the human experience disappearing, as we evolve, as technology becomes more ubiquitous, and a generation of kids are now growing up with the internet as the ‘norm’..
I think art can help balance our obsession with this very recent, very seductive, addiction...
With these self-portraits I am simply stopping, savoring a moment in time, being still, and responding, to the time of day/ night, the location, the paper, the ash* from the fire, the charcoal, my fingers; losing myself in the interplay of light and shadow dancing across a 42 year old face that has seen some stuff, taken some knocks, loved, lost, got some wrinkles and grey hair...
‘..commodification of human relationships through social media..’
My eye is constantly re-focusing, re-calibrating, having an intensely rich, vibrant conversation with my brain and the muscles, nerves, sinews in my fingers, arms, body - my eyes aren’t stuck in a fixed focal length in front of a screen, and fingers, shoulders, neck stuck in fixed position over the keyboard...
It is a real , sculptural, dynamic, tactile human experience..
And also, it’s really, really good fun..
*Assipatle and the Stoorworm - Scottish Folk story about a boy who sleeps in the ashes
Amidst the sporadic sunlight mixed with snow showers I dashed to mix the Inkodye, feeling adventurous I opted to mix the orange and blue to create a sepia tone this time. The dye coated the wood much easier than it had previously on material.
I put it outside for half an hour, for the sun came and went many times adding to the exposure time, and nothing… I left it out longer and only a very faint print appeared.
Not one to give up easily I had another go, just with the blue dye this time, just in case trying to print a sepia tone on a somewhat beige piece of wood was anything near the problem. My second attempt was equally catastrophic.
Whilst trial and error was ever my closest shadow yesterday as I messed about, little did I know I was wasting my time but on in the background to accompany my flawed attempts was Mumford & Sons and that is never time wasted.
As you can see there are no pictures to show off my artistic creations, needless to say there doesn’t seem much point, imagine a damp, blank piece of plywood and that pretty much sums up my day. I can only conclude it needs warmth to activate the dye as it was bitter cold even when the sun was out.
And so, trial and error take two, coming soon.
Our exhibition of works in progress during the AA2A Residency opens this evening but it certainly doesn't feel like an ending; much more like a mid-point. The slow start and delays to access were part of the reason for that but also familiarising myself with the place and people takes time.
Myself and the other artists at Plymouth Uni are just starting to understand each other's work a little more and it feels as though in just the last month the ideas and work have developed so much. The next couple of months could be very productive indeed.
How we find our voice is critical to how we express our creativity. And how we perceive our arts practice is part of that. Is teaching creativity NOT creative? Is helping relationships develop and unfold NOT creative? Is the ephemeral NOT creative?
The last few months have required some extreme plate spinning for me as I have found myself lurching from one disaster to another which explains my 103 day absence from the blogosphere! At times it has felt as if the world has slipped on its axis and I have had to exchange a light touch and gentle persuasion for brute force and dogged determination to keep all of my plates in the air. An unexpected illness, unexpected Home Ed experience and unexpected school move for my daughter have all nestled uneasily against the demands of my freelance work and consequently my AA2A project has at times been pushed out into the cold for a while.
I have motivated myself to ‘keep calm and carry’ on through this strange time by indulging in a few simple pleasures (consuming my body weight in biscuits, watching the musical Annie and buying unnecessary stationary) and slowly I am bringing the balance of my life, work and project back into a state of equilibrium. I think it’s safe to slam the door on doom now and to banish it to the bottom of the garden!
My project hasn’t actually been devoid of attention, it’s switched between ‘pottering’ and full on ‘warp’ mode to fit in with whatever is going on around it. I’m very pleased with the progress that I’ve made; the pinhole cameras are no longer driving me insane (see previous post), I’ve had my first experience of using a Hassleblad and developing a 120 roll film, I’ve set up a studio shoot and produced a series of bespoke invitations for my project participants.
As the project’s exhibition now looms on the horizon I am going to attempt a blog-a-thon over the coming weeks to catch up on the task of documenting my journey so far. Although it’s frustrating to be blogging retrospectively I have come to the conclusion that blogging in real time could actually act as a ‘spoiler’ for my project participants.
During the next two months I will invite each of these nine people to take part in three identical interventions. I like the idea of these interventions evolving as secret missions shrouded in mystery; a digital footprint could blow my cover and potentially steer the project down a predictable path. So thank you doom, your unexpected presence has helped curiosity and intrigue to flourish and increased the opportunities for serendipitous exchanges!