Spin is a site specific temporary drawing made out of mirror tiles. I wanted to play with the flashing flecks of light reflected from the water nearby and to create something that related to the rotational work I was making in the studio. Spin was subtle and became apparent if you were almost on top of it making it a very personal and intimate outdoor experience.
I had been thinking of doing something like this for ages but suddenly the moment came and I had to do it, I find this happens a lot and as long as its possible to make the work its best to go with the moment as part of the ongoing process. If this process gets halted for any reason it can be confusing or stifling. Its best to get going and not think too far ahead.
Where I am working there was a conference due to be held around a creative theme onsite and so it became a natural response to leave Spin out for this and for me to leave an installation in the studio space where I work so that people could go and visit it and take part in it. So I left Trace, a selection of natural materials in piles with big outdoor brushes for visitors to sweep into circular forms an idea stemming from Ash with brush which I had made a year earlier.
Ash with Brush, 2014
I invited people to play with the materials and to use the moment to leave their own trace for the next person to develop. I went along during the weekend and was delighted to find a couple of people doing just this.
A visitor making work beyond Trace ie inspired to take it a step further by weaving paper on the wall...
When I leave work out like this I always get excited in the preparation but then am left with that awful sinking feeling that it might just be ridiculous, so when I came across real people interacting with Trace I felt a connection which gave me confidence to have faith in my instincts.
In April this year The Artists Information Company awarded me a bursary to develop myself as an artist and my practise - you can read about the experience here throughout the next few months while I am also in residence on the Ashburnham Place estate, East Sussex and with Sotto Voce Arts in July
In January this year I was invited to go for a walk. This was not just an ordinary walk - it was a section of a much bigger walk initiated by Clare Whistler and Charlotte Still as part of their residency at Herstmonceux Castle called underwater edge. On the walk were several other fascinating creative people and we had all been invited to accompany Clare and Charlotte as they walked the ancient tide line of the sea across the Pevensey Levels. For me it was the first day back of school term, the first time I had the opportunity to work after the Christmas holidays and the first time I had met all these interesting people. It triggered a whole body of work, extending ideas and parallels with the work I had been doing previously. I had been looking at landscape searching for line and curve within it and eroding layers to create complex surfaces using Charcoal and gesso on board. The walk threw up so many ideas it was almost too difficult to keep track of them and after trying a few out I realised the effect of the walk was going to be more fundamental than just a new idea for a piece of work. So I left them all in the sketch book and just carried on working... this allowed the work to evolve informed by this very tangible experience ...and this was just from one walk! Clare and Charlotte created Water Week 2 in order to embrace all the input and connections they had made during the residency and also to provide a space for any artists to contribute work which had been inspired or made influenced by the walks. (they did several with other artists). I was delighted to be able to contribute 4 boards and to offer Water line, an action drawing, on the Saturday afternoon at the Castle. It was amazing to see my work placed in the location of the Castle imbued with time, history and purpose. It made me even more aware of how important location and context is to art work.
Water line is a departure from In line, a drawing made by skating through pigment, charcoal and ash.
In line (detail)
Water line uses the location and nothing more, the sun dries the water and drawings can be made repeatedly. My 3 children joined in with Water line and it kept them occupied for 2 hours, skating and scooting delighted with the marks and lines they were creating and building up together.
Touch was both the first and the last of the 5 senses workshops with the Naked Eye drawing group and produced some really lovely work. (I ran a Touch workshop last year as a space filler for Jo Kori with her Naked Eye drawing group who meet every fortnight at the The Beacon, Hastings. We handled various objects brought in and described them to each other to practice articulating the feel and sensation of what we were holding without looking at the objects. This was later translated into marks, so for example surfaces described as furrows, edges, thin lines, rough patches, heaviness, holes and indentations were then created by mark with materials including plaster on board and charcoal. Another exercise was pure contour drawing and drawing from touching the profile of the face without looking. I've been really grateful for the opportunity to run these workshops in experimental mark making using the 5 senses as a point of departure. It's been a learning curve for me to test them out. My thanks go to the very committed Naked Eye drawing group for asking me in the first place and throwing themselves into them!
Colin Pink is an experienced play write and poet. He also works as a coach and curates. Colin’s workshop ran for 3 hours and was an intensive experience looking at examples of statements good and bad. This helped us to think about what comes across in the subtext of our statements and in what context our statements are read and understood.
A detailed visualisation created a place from which to start writing along with some simple rules that improve form and style and we had to actually sit and write… After a bit of a panic I got down to it and incredibly made a huge cognitive shift in my own understanding of my practice. Up to now I had been drawing in the landscape in black and white and had always stated that upfront, here I realised that my work is becoming more about depth, this enabled me to imply what my work was about without stating the obvious. This has given me and my statement much better impact and clarity.
It is still a work in progress but I feel now I can say confidently
‘My work is about depth. Creating pieces inspired by landscape I build up surface repeatedly covering and exposing ideas.
Patches flood with black pigment and charcoal lines over gesso ground, defining boundaries both real and metaphorical.
I feel connection during the making process, this energy underpins the strength and powerful nature of vulnerability. ‘
The workshop is being repeated in October at Jerwood Gallery Hastings. I really recommend the investment.
Waterweek2015 I contributed 4 boards, Boundary, Deposit, Seam 1 and 2 and an afternoon of experimental action drawing using moat water, accessible to anyone willing to jump on a scooter or a skateboard...