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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’:
Jane and Joanna arrived this week! Wooooooh! Not that Niamh isn’t fantastic company! Speaking of Niamh, she treated us to a lovely trip out of the studio to KCAT. It was a great reminder of the beauty of art and what it can do for people.
Back at the studio I looked around at this camp area I’ve set up which is surrounded by different things and I wrote down a few quick thoughts on what my work is supposed to be saying. In a way it is about the life of the nomad and its pros and cons. Is the nomad running away from life or emmersing themselves in it. I also thought that the simple things work better so I should stop trying to over complicate it.
I added a few more books to the book installlation and looking at it again there really is something about it I like.
I also started making some collograph plates.
Day 15: Half way point!! Disocvered the power of an open door today- we had a lot more visitors than usual. It was reallly encouraging and enjoyable talking to people who were just passing-by. I wanted to try something a bit different day and just have fun with it so i filled one of the walls with a drawing cut out of newsprint and inserted bits of text to fill in the gaps in a way.
I struggled a bit with my work this week because I wasn’t too sure what I had achieved so far or what direction I was going to go in. I started out the week by moving work around the space to change things a bit. I wanted to look at everything I had done so far and re-evaluate my goals for the residency. I decided to keep making and drawing and printing and layering these pieces on top of eachother on the wall and then drawing on top of these again so that certain things become hidden from the viewer and in the hopes that certain ideas would jump out.
When this didn’t work I stood back from the ‘making’ and did some reading and research for a while. I had a look at the work of Lynne Allen ( http://www.lynneallen.com/gallery.html ), who makes these beautiful objects out of works on paper. I thought some more about turning my printed works into 3D structures or objects such as archaeological artefacts or the tools the nomad would have travelled with.
This brought me back to thinking about my installation work and how I would like to develop The Tent. I’ve though about putting a fan or a pump inside it so it bellows in and out. The movement bringing it to life and evoking its lost memories. I also thought about building a giant sand box and having the tent in the middle making it a bit more fun and playful as well as linking it with the archaeological concepts.
Day 12: I changed my again today! After looking at my work I decided ‘ the tipi’ was coming out the strongest so that’s what I’m going to focus on and develop. I’ll start off making a few prints from woodcuts and collographs prints and go from there! Better luck next week!