…so I want to work with light and shadow, freely available every day and night but how can a material highlight certain qualities of it and which once do I want to highlight? When using graphite I noticed that even though the marks are dark, the silvery metallic shine can dominate, confuse (first image)…covered with tracing paper subtleness moves in (second image). Once this drawing was complete I realised I mixed many things together (reflection, projection, light, shadow) separating the different aspects out to clarify is the way to go…perhaps…
Convergence & Space is still having an impact on my work…the shadows we discovered in the Goods Shed, their movement and the way they layer up…intensifying the experience of their existence. I tried to gather information about shadows and was surprised to discover how much negative feelings are associated with them…a few years ago I took the photo of the shadow below, cast/ projected into a small pitch-black space through a rusty door that had some letters cut into it. The shadows were animated by sunlight outside and the movement of trees bursting with summer foliage. How can I capture movement in shadow, animate the layers…?
I am spending my weekend teaching stone carving, a lot of the students are new to the material and or the idea of carving a form. Enthusiasm for it seems easily passed on as I am talking away and bombarding everybody with my ideas on the subject matter, hoping not to leave students bewildered. Not only does it light up new enthusiasm in myself, I also want to pass on the techniques that have become of value to me. So I sat here last night drawing up ideas for the little piece I started myself whilst teaching. It is good for me, without the pressure of feeling that to much of the material has been removed whilst still not knowing where I am going, to draw and be playful with ideas, reminding myself it is not about shaping a concrete form but more the idea of a form and here are my ideas for today.
Spend a few days at “The Sheds” in Whiltshire, friends of mine have created a amazing home for their family, a oasis of creativity, whenever I had the opportunity to stay with them, surrounded by original artwork and their deep passion for art, encouraging and supporting artists…I return with the belief that what I am doing has a place, is important for me to persude. I was teaching a stone carving course there and it could not have been different to the weekend in March when we had some snow at the Rococo Garden. We were carving in blazing heat all weekend long, with the luxury of a dip into the pool at the end of the day. I met the artist Andrew Vass during his residency, the conversations I had with him sparked many thoughts about the process of working, decisions during mark making and seeing drawings in a completely different light to creating representations. I do have hang ups about my drawing, because I still have that expectation that a drawing needs to be recognisable, NO IT DOESN’T! Making marks can be a different world, a line can have a massive story to tell, a mark can be changed, has it’s own history and time scale, a shadow of it’s own existence, can disappear leaving nothing but a memory. The conversations with Andrew inspire me to explore drawing in a totally fresh way, it also brought me closer to the work of my colleague and friend Emily Joy. Thank you to Aubrey and Kay Newman for hosting a deluxe stone carving weekend as well as putting up my drawing “Ceasura” this weekend, good to see that one in a new light too. Watch the space!
..I remember vividly the first history talk I had to give in secondary school about “Pompeii”, I was touched by the story, ever since wanted to visit Pompeii but have not managed it yet. I had to go and visit the current exhibition at the British Museum. Walking through the rooms that explained in depth life in Pompeii my heart sunk, I was not very much interested in all of that and wondered why that was? Was I hanging on to some sentimental memory, having high expectations of what I would come across? Then I walked into a room with the cast of a woman in resin and BANG that was it!!
…the posture, the expression on her face, so vulnerable, death from one second to the other, I knew then that was why I wanted to come here to be able to observe how humans deal with instant horror, to quick to think, to quick to respond…pure instinct so tangible.