Archives for the month of: October, 2009

I spent some of the half term painting a large map on the wall of the Cut gallery and arts centre in Halesworth as part of the Culture of the Countryside exhibition which is on at the moment.

Veronica wanted a map of the locale on the wall and as I live in Halesworth and have cycled up to all of the local landmarks I volunteered to do it. I took some screen shots off Google maps and pasted them together in Photoshop and downloaded shots of the landmarks. I printed off the images onto acetate at NUCA and then used an overhead projector to project the image and traced it onto the wall with acrylic paints.

The hooks and bits of card have messages on from people about what the countryside means to them. A number have picked up on the lack of the A12 and other main roads. The Godric cycle club have been over to see it too.

During the summer we had Craig Kao come in for a week as our visiting artist as part of the SCVA Culture of the Countryside project. The exhibition of the project is on at the Cut in Halesworth from Saturday 31st October to 28th November, Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Video on Vimeo of the Culture of the Countryside at GMS.

Culture of the Countryside at GMS from Paul Cope on Vimeo.

I have bought eight copper plates at 10 inches by 8 inches at 4 UKP each. This is half price as slightly battered seconds. This suits me. The whole issue of value and price and the expense or preciousness of things can be a factor in these things. I am rich enough to use the best paper without worrying too much these days and everything I have done has been printed on top dollar paper over the past couple of years. It isn’t as if I am doing a lot of it so why not use the best stuff I can afford? I still have art materials mouldering which I have bought and then felt that they were too intimidatingly expensive to use. Which is absurd and has to do with worth and what my work is worth and so on. Runs deep that sort of thing. Or it does with me. Of course a lot of my work is done with barely useable materials at school. I have become adept at getting the best out of cheapish poster. We do use a better class of poster these days and that makes a difference it must be said.

Anyway, as I badly resin up two plates and one left over from last year, I formulate some sort of plan to make a suite of eight prints before Christmas. A sort of etching diary and use it to try to think out what I think about this. Work it out with a pin, as it were. The etching has forced me back towards a more classic idea of drawing in a way. It has made me draw things with a pen or a sharp pencil as that its what translates into an etching more than my more usual soft lead. And it has made me do more observational drawings and has pushed me away from my previous ‘hedonistic mark making’.

This week we have mostly been doing montages in Paint Shop Pro 7 and Chuck Close with those groups where I couldn’t book the computer rooms. I should be able to rotate things round so that everyone has a go on the computers at some point.

The montages are based on showing the children how to do layers with PSP7. I took snaps of everyone and we pasted them in as a new layer and then pasted in photos off our Facebook, Bebo, memory sticks and the web. They seemed to enjoy it and the results were alright. It could do with a bit of refinement and we ran into some dpi issues.


I talked about the project briefly at NUCA on Thursday as an example of what I mean by an integrated practice. I tactfully passed over the fact that it was about Francesco Clemente as I am sure he is as fashionable as spats at the moment. I was asked what I would do differently to achieve the same effects by just using the work of the artist and I said that I would be much more careful over the selection of the work of the artist. I would chose a set of work that more narrowly reflected one aspect of the artist’s work that would make the point.

The disadvantage of this is that it would only show the pupils one aspect of the artist’s work whereas my method this week showed them an over view, of sorts. My filleting of that then produced the educational point of the lesson. The other way would be to fillet it by careful selection of the artworks before we got that far and cut myself out of the loop as it were.

My interjection into the process does seem to have served other purposes too. Making it feasible, doable. If I can do it then anyone can, as I put it.

This was just a one-off lesson as part of a series of work on Identity so it was there to serve a purpose at the expressive end of a project about Identity which we are fumbling around with at the moment. It produced a set of images to go down a wall to impress the visitors from the LEA none of whom mentioned the displays at all.