Saturday, 25 March 2017

the sun always shines

I am in Vancouver.

It rains a lot here, so I have resorted to making work from above the clouds where the sun always shines.

So much more colourful than grey.

People here compensate for the weather by doing lots and lots of yoga, dressed in very colourful, fancy fitness gear.

If  you can't beat them, join them.

I was wearing some very old M&S leggings and T-shirt in black and navy. And my water bottle was PLASTIC. OMG. I hardly dared use it. No one would know that I refill it with tap water.

I have experienced chalk and cheese in my two exercise classes. One was a boot camp that nearly killed me, and was run by a guy who fancied himself as a drill sergeant. He made us chant about our pelvic floors and pretend we weren't going to poop on an imaginary small dog whilst doing about one thousand arm exercises.

Suffice to say that he and I did not hit it off. He threatened to write my name down in his little black book. I really didn't care whether he did or not. I never learned his name.

The other was a warm and friendly Hatha yoga class, with cushions for my sore knees, and some relaxing music. Rachel said 'hello' to everyone and had a beautiful smile.

I know which one I will return to when the sun is still not shining.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Playing with time and motion


I am starting work on my cover to cover project. For this project I have to draw the viewers' attention to the act of viewing.

The book 'Cover to Cover' by Michael Snow was to be a reference point to start from.

First I made a lot of images around my home.
Thinking about how to convey the idea of 'looking' within the images.
I was thinking about animals and plants within the home that are not real.
About how I fill my home with bright colours. Bringing nature indoors.

I think this will become a book in due course, but I got drawn away from it by the work of Nobuhiro Nakanishi and his 'layer drawings'

Nobuhiro Nakanishi layer drawing

Nobuhiro says of his layer drawings;

About Layer Drawings

This series portrays changes that take place in everyday life, like the sun rising or ice cream melting. These ordinary events were photographed at regular intervals, printed on transparent film and assembled in sequence. Capturing the accumulation of time as a sculpture allows the viewer to experience the ephemerality of time.
We are all subject to the passing of time, yet each of us feels and perceives it in our own way. Time itself has no shape or boundary and cannot be fixed or grasped. When we look at the photographs in these sculptures, we attempt to fill in the gaps between the individual images. We draw from our physical experiences to fill in missing time and space, both ephemeral and vague. In this series, I attempt to depict time and space as sensations shared by both viewer and artist.

I felt that these works related to my recent images of time passing on a train journey, with reflections and layers within the image.
I was keen to try printing onto a transparent surface.
I felt that his work must be on acrylic, and to do this is very expensive. I talked to a print technician who recommended screen print; but then he advised that the inks would not hold, and that special ink would be needed. my images are light and not entirely suitable for conversion to screen print. 
I decided to try acetates first and see how that looked.Acetate is very flexible, and has a rough printed side that has no sheen. I could not envisage making a book with acetate, or a sculpture, as it is too flimsy.
But thinking about Cover to Cover I decided to play with my scanner and see what happened if I further distorted the images.
I had already played with the book "Almost Cover to Cover' by moving the book as the scanner worked. Trying to draw attention to the act of looking.

I enjoy the randomness of this process, and the movement involved as an act while the scanner does its job.
So I scanned and layered, moved things and then printed the scan and re-scanned. I used the acetate and then prints on paper.
I placed my hand on the scanner to draw attention to the process.

I loved the scans of scans, and the distortion of a simple electricity pylon. I was creating new lines and journeys across the page.
I played with colour images and then monochrome and tints.
All of which I enjoy for their feeling of movement.

I played with layering acetates either tidily or loosely to show the layers.

I feel I am beginning to get some ideas for the project.

The hard part is how to show this process in a book. What to conceal and what to reveal.

I have made a first mock-up in Indesign and printed a dummy.

But most of all I got really excited when I placed the two images below on one page and created a new  image.

This one ( below) feels like something really worthwhile that has come from this process of experimentation. 

About journeys and lines on a page.

And it all came about because I wanted to emulate another artist.

The source image is this one. Taken out of the window on the train from London to Edinburgh.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Looking for my sense of humour and some art at peckham Rye station

My MA in book art is draining my sense of humour.

I got so tied up in knots with it all that I asked for some remedial help.

Thank goodness for Academic Support.

I recived an email arranging a meeting. I wondered who I would get....

I sent a message advising X to look for an old person with dark hair and a gold coloured jumper.

X relied that he was probably older than me, and wearing a dark jacket.

It was going well so far....

Like a blind date.

X was about the same age as me, which immediately made me feel more comfortable, and of course he had heard it all before. Stuck student struggling with juggling balls, feeling inadequate, not wanting to appear stroppy, yet feeling very stroppy.

Not feeling able to toe the line.

And certainly not sure that she wants to step into the shoes that say 'book artist'.

So much anger to express, and not wanting to make angry work....

Whoah. What happened?

Where did my sense of humour go?

It got tied up over the way book artists express the word 'craft' as a derogatory term. About not allowing anything to be 'pretty'. About everything having hidden meanings and not just for its own sake. About everthing being so serious.

Seeming to me as though they feel that there is something superior about what they do.

Along came X and he listened.

And advised me to follow my nose..... and stop setting myself homework. He gave me permission to browse rather than trying to wade my way through books.

After which I felt a lot better, and followed my nose to Peckham Rye station for the journey home. I missed the train by a mere 5 seconds.

And therefore had 29 minutes to spend at the station.

So I used my new positive attitude to take pictures of the station, with the question 'is this art?' in my mind.

You can decide.

A lady with pink hair kept following me around, wondering what I was up to. I ignored her and carried on behaving very much as though I was in need of some form of therapy.

I wished I had had the courage to photograph her too.