Archives for category: Art exhibition
Lazarus Strategy

Acrylic, stickers, lacquer and collage on paper patchwork. 50cm x 50 cm

Reverse view

A new work in the continuing sequence. Making three or four a week now. Two more on Monday and Tuesday before #abstractadvent again. The shapes Chris has chosen don’t seem to be quite as festive as last year. Perhaps that is just how everyone feels now. Christmas seems a fairly abstract prospect from this perspective. Will we be able to see anyone? Has Omicron got other plans for us?

Mixed media on collaged paper patchwork. Approx 47cm x 47cm.

Stay Sweet

Mixed media on collaged paper patchwork.

Mixed media on collaged paper patchwork. 43cm x 43cm

Playing with water soluble oil paints. The colour mixing down the side is an art room thing they won’t be doing for a while in school, I think. But homage to what I used to do. Layering, messing up the marks. There are relief print marks, monoprint, and fingerprints in these, at least.

Collage and mixed media

Collaged mixed media

Mixed media on collaged paper patchwork

Mixed media on collaged paper patchwork

The Halesworth Gallery has an open show every autumn and I usually contribute something. I am on the committee and have been for the past ten year or so. This is a legacy from when I used to organise art shows in fields and marshes with a friend. In the end I got asked to be on the committees of a couple of art galleries in the town and this has been part of my being active in the local art community. Halesworth Gallery has been there since 1966 in an old alms house in the town. We show from May to September and put on about seven shows a year with a couple of shows of children’s work at the start and the end of the season. And we always have the Open Show.

This year I put in two square pieces which were supposed to be channelling Lily Van Der Stokker . Unfortunately I didn’t get down to Tate St Ives to see the show and they have been tardy in sending me the book but I read about it in magazines and online. I was intrigued by the idea that her work can be seen as being aggressive in its prettiness. I really like it. It appeals to me as it is clearly quite annoying whilst being very ‘nice’.

So I made one piece with water colour on the canvas using a frilly manner of calligraphy. It reads ‘A Painting to Cheer Everyone Up’. The other piece was made with thin acrylic over a layer of clay based house paint. It reads ‘How to Paint and Draw’. This is the title of one of the case studies and it was supposed to sit in the middle of the wall of varied open show type work and be a half question about the work around it. A low key intervention in the show really.

I was asked to make another temporary wall painting for the Culture of the Countryside project, this time for the show at Wingfield Barns. Yesterday I spent the day in the barn with my Mac, a projector and Jo Wylie at Glastonbury on the radio. It took from 9.30 to 5.30 to do, with a twenty minute break for lunch. I used umber, white, black and cerulean blue acrylic paint to restrict the palette. I had been asked to mention the field names and the villages of the schools that had taken part in the show which gave the initial map the range. I had been supplied with a scan of a Victorian OS type map and a detail of the Wingfield college site. I had taken a photo of a fold out map in a book of the Wingfield College estate with the field names on. There was no way the scale of these maps would marry up at all. I did mention the notion of a palimpsest during the planning stage.

Final map painting at 5.30pm on Saturday.

The previous map painting I made using an overhead projector and I arranged the digital files and printed them out onto transparent sheet. This time I decided to use a digital projector as I thought I would be able to control the light and darkness in the room more easily. It also meant that I didn’t have to prep the image in the same way. I used Google maps to make a basic map of the whole region which is what I did for the Halesworth one. Then I found appropriate digital images and put them in a folder. On my way to the site I stopped a took a photo of St Andrew’s church from the top of the hill and used that as well.

This meant that I could be a bit looser about the image construction. I started with the google map and then started layering the Wingfield detail and then the field map and the Victorian OS map, more or less centred over Wingfield.

The manner of the images came about because I had discussed the practicalities of the piece with the art centre manager who was worried about the expensive tiled floor. I had reassured her that I wouldn’t drip paint at all as I hadn’t done at all for the Halesworth one. “You’re not doing a Rolf Harris then?” she said. When I got there in the morning I was given a very fine heavy weight dust sheet which it seemed a shame not to make full use of. I also thought, as the morning wore on, that thin paint would be quicker to use and would help with the palimpsest effect that I was after, it would allow the layers to show through. There was a time limit to the work and I thought it would probably be more fun to use thin paint and be a bit looser about it. And I was right; it was more fun and quicker. I was doing the images in about twenty minutes each with a bit of Photoshopping on the images before projection, specifically gray scaling and increasing the contract and brightness. So the look of the piece evolved during the day and was a mixture of preparation, having a fairly clear outline idea in my head and improvising on the day. The outline in my head was vague in detail but I had a conception of what it would look like. Quite what that idea in my head looks like is difficult to explain as it is purposely vague and I did no prep drawing or sketch.

I realise, once I’d done it that I could have been much more orderly about it. I could have measured out the wall and designed the whole thing in Photoshop before I got there and then just traced it on. I could have arranged all the overlaps and so on and made all the decisions before I got near the wall. Why didn’t I? The fact that I didn’t and did it the way I did seems interesting and the process that I have used seems to have lead to the image looking in a certain way. There is an interaction between the circumstances, the time allowed, the materials, the brief and with the manager. Interesting. Is there any meaning in that? Is this creativity?