I had decided at the beginning of this week that I wasn’t going to go off on loads of different tangents, experimenting with all sorts of things and ending up with nothing finished.  Instead I was going to focus on a couple of the things I’d started last week.  At some stage over the next three days that went awry!

I wanted to develop the idea of the cut-outs of huts on stilts.  A woman called in during the week and said they reminded her of Japanese structures.  There is something very oriental looking about them and I am exploring the unknown and the exotic through my work so I decided to push this further, creating a new world, a jungle with these places of sanctuary that also make you feel quite uneasy so you’re not sure where you stand with them.

I made a few drawings to start with, which came out very strange, not typical of my work at all.  

Day 7: sketchbook drawing

Day 7: sketchbook drawing

Day 7-9: This is the first big drawing I’ve done in a long time! I started it not knowing what I was doing and wasn’t happy with it from the start. I guess I had to start somehwere!

I also started doing some woodcuts. I used to avoid them in college, concentrating on etching and lithography but I think the work I’m doing now would translate well into relief print.  Also considering that relief is one of the oldest forms of printmaking when you look at the famous hand prints found in prehistoric caves it ties in well with my concept.

‘Panel of Hands’, El Castillo Cave in Spain, showing red disks and hand stencils made by blowing or spitting paint onto the wall.

Day 7-9: Starting point for woodcut

On Thursday I went back to using old books to create something.  There’s something about the idea of books resembling tents when turned on their side that I like. I just haven’t figured out what to do with this idea yet; I’m not sure how to turn it into an installation or piece of art.  I love the simplicity of it but it’s not enough on it’s own.  The link between the book and the ‘homemade tent’ brings me back to childhood, creating an imaginary world or a hideaway from reality.

Day 8: Little sanctuaries

Close-up of ‘book tents’

One of my aims for this residency is to concentrate on the use of paper and really exploit it.  I’ve been looking at ways of building 3D structures out of it, using glue and wax to stiffen and strengthen the paper.  My starting point with this did not go very well so I kind of abandoned it. 

Week 2: starting point for paper structures, exploring the qualities of paper.

I came back to the idea again this week and built a structure out of tissue paper and glue which, when lit up, created a really nice effect.

Day 9: finished building tissue paper and glue structure today.

Again I’m not sure how I’m going to develop this, I’m thinking of printing on to Japanese papers and then building sculptures from them. And keep layering more images and paper to create depth.