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I found it a bit hard to concentrate on work the last few days; I think I felt a bit of an overload on art after the weekend in London! Because of that my installation work came to a stand still this week and it was mostly just print work I did. Below are some images of the printing process:
And then, back to John Street:
I managed to tear myself away from printing for a while to do some reading and research and came across a few interesting essays and quotes. One of these essays was on the ‘Symbolism of Place’ (http://www.symbolism.org/writing/books/sp/home.html) . It talked about how ,for the ‘ancient man’ all the natural places of the world were filled with symbolism. For example the junlgle having a primitive symbolic aspect because our first ancestors, the hunters and gatherers, would have seeked sheltered in the jungles and forests. The forest is also one of the greatest symbols of place change and a threshold symbol.
I did a lot of printing this week which felt good. On Thursday I had my first day in Blackstack Print workshop. It’s a brilliant workshop, getting off to a great start. I’d a bit of hassle moving all my printing materials down there (steel plates are heavy!) but once I was set up it was well worth it! I mostly experimented with printing different colours and layers to get ideas for the next plates to make. Below are some of the trial proofs I made.
Day 6, Wed 20 June: I had a chat with Mary this morning about where I’m going with my work and what I hope to achieve at the end of the residency. I feel that I’ve gone off in too many different tangents and that I’m starting to confuse myself (and any visitors to the space!). I’d like to focus in on one thing and develop that. At the end of the next 5 weeks I want to come out with something finished and resolved or something more concrete that I can take away with me to develop over the next year. I want to determine the materials that I will work with, the methods I will use and the imagery.
However, by trying to focus in on something I ended up completely over thinking everything and really confusing myself! So far I’ve come up with the temporary dwellings, the traveller/pilgrim/ the explorer/inverstigator and traces of the human presence found in the landscape. I’m also interested in combining print and the object.
After a lot of writing and drawing I realised my work is not just about the dwelling, it’s about the journey and a way of living. It’s about the ups and downs and struggles to survive life’s obstacles. Big and small and how these basic needs and wants haven’t changed that much from the prehistoric man to today. Our lovely anthropologist Julie brought in a brilliant (and huge) book on the artist Anselm Kiefer and I feel refreshed and inspired now!! Ready to make loads and stop worrying about it! I’m going to focus on my print works and let the installation work develop from there. I started cutting images out of mount board to use for relief print. I think this works better for me than woodcuts.
I also made a start on a ‘tipi village’: