Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Further experimentation - working with ghosts and traces

Traces or the ghosts of what was and what will be are around us most of the time - time is a concept that we find hard to understand.

I am fast becoming a ghost of myself - and perhaps this is why we tend to keep the idea of the author genius alive - we shout out to the temporal  - we are here now !

Letterpress print of poster idea

Temporal truth has potent - and unlike concrete or spatial truth it is difficult to capture in image form.

I have been looking to capture something of the fleeting. Using my phone camera and printing the images on film - then using sunlight to project the images on to paper and re photographing them.

The results look a bit like early experiments in photography 

I've also been looking for temporal traces of the seasons, and found the wind had been writing with dried grasses.

The written word contains traces of thought - that elusive chemical thing that happens in the human brain - another reason why authorship remains potent to me.

I have combined traces of words and ghost image - I may take this idea further.

All the various elements of the MA seem to be dovetailing.


Friday, 15 March 2019

Trying to make sense of deconstruction

I am struggling with the idea of deconstruction, of hegemonic thinking and post production in art.

In the meantime I am working towards a collaborative exhibition in September where myself and are thinking about sacred spaces, about water, about flow.

I have started to experiment a little with words and images but still using the familiar (to me) materials of found objects and plaster of paris.

I have become increasingly interested in the idea of trace - of ghosts - of voices from the past

On reflection - the ideas of collaboration and authorship, of identity and fluidity, and yes even deconstruction - have helped me to start (and it is only a start) pushing at the boundaries of materials and representation again - which is what I hoped the MA would do.

I still believe we all have a unique voice, we all see the world in similar ways but our expressions of it can be different but complimentary.


Sunday, 27 January 2019

Every day I search for answers

I just do not understand myself.
I look for answers in the time lines
I try and work out whether I am a monster by looking at the sins of others

Art sometimes just says to me "you are empty"
This wet cold street that you walk accommodates your footfall knowing you will not be here for ever.

Then I look at 'religion' and find that I am a sinner saved by grace and the earth awaits my bones.

I look at trees felled by the storm winds
Wrenched by the roots
The soil turned at right angles to the sky

There are no answers except those I hear in my own mind
There is no voice that speaks softly anymore - harsh words abound.
Remember you touched the headstone in that Cornish churchyard in 1994 and watched the sunset turn the tower pink.

The wind stirs up roof tiles, twigs and plastic bags
It disturbs
It puts me ill at ease
I so want to rest without the conflict of all the words we throw at each other

My head is just a head- a hairy crown with a soup of thoughts within
Then a sparrow chirps a song and I remember the cacophony of my youth
The abundance of singing

Not one falls from the sky without a sorrow borne
And we fell many.

Do you remember my song ?

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Creativity slump with part 2

To break the holiday sloth - I found beauty in the mists shrouding the hills and have started a new painting.

I don't want a carbon copy - I see pyramids in Craig -Y- Nos - I see muted colour and a sense of the place.

When I suddenly see pyramids in the trees, or patterns and unexpected rhythms or silver trails drawn on the still pond by ducks
These are the things that heal me
There is a painful innocence - a life in the natural world beyond our human selfishness
A pure life motive
I feel the sacrifice in it
Death to death and pain forever
A definite stillness.


Monday, 10 December 2018

Almost there

Friday 14th December is the day that I present the thought experiment. I have gathered many strands of thought and placed some of them on a canvas.

These are just platforms for further experimentation.

The presentation itself will involve the creation of a triangle of routes for a volunteer ant to follow wearing the restricted vision mask. The triangle will represent the 'Ants Hierarchy of Needs' (With thanks to Maslow)

I propose that ants have a fulfilled and 'happy' life, and by restricting our vision we too can live a fulfilled life.

The mask idea came from the exhibition at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery last month called 'A Spacewoman Dreams' The collaborative installation followed themes of loss, emptiness and dislocation. I propose the antidote to this is that we all become ants with limited vision - no access to social media - and only able to see the task ahead.

This will constitute a new religion - and will involve following the Ant Manifesto. Adherents will get a medallion, a mask, and will only be responsible for attending the queen, finding food for her and her offspring and maintaining the nest !

The presentation itself may produce further springboards. My lines of interest are currently the idea of taking a line for a walk - ( Our collaborative piece which is the next project I'm involved with also links in with this experiment) the idea of 'soul' and what makes us different from the rest of our fellow creatures - why are we self destructive ? And what part does phenomenology and the idea of 'other' have to play in a world that we only see from our own perspective.

Meanwhile over in the Glynn Vivian One of my poems about my sense of displacement is currently on show in the Swansea Open Exhibition - which was opened by Sir Peter Blake on Saturday and runs until 2nd February. Peter Blake's illustrations for Under Milk Wood are well worth a few visits.


It falls away
This land cut by river and ice
Wild evasive impassive
I could fall or sink into the earth's mouth here
Tumble over an edge

This pale fleshed human
Unfit to live in this landscape of cold wind and hard rain

How did I get here with my soft skin and barely a hair ?
How did I become so separated from the soil that gave me birth ?

I am an alien here
Unlike the buzzard hunting in vain
Too wet today
No rabbits browsing the shorter grass
They have soft hair in layers
Or like the buzzard - feathered oiled and scaled to repel the weather

I pull on layers
Undergarments, over garments, artificial skins
I should not be here today

Perhaps we were meant to store the summer sun and keep it in our dens till spring.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Knowing the way should help ?

Insula Dulcamara Paul Klee 1938

We have started a collaborative piece of work for the next stage of the MA. There has been constant overlapping of ideas and threads from the Pecha Kucha thought experiment and the essay questions, all of which feed into the collaboration.

The group has called itself 'Nowhaus' ( we have set the bar high !) after that collaborative school of art, design and architecture the Bauhaus.

Having looked at the contributors and teachers at the Bauhaus - I rediscovered an old influence on my early art journey - Paul Klee. I particularly like the way he taught drawing and the concept of 'Taking a line for a walk'. I haven't yet presented my ant religion to the world - but that also involves lines - walking and the psychology of spaces and boundaries and the effect on our thoughts and emotions. I also recognise the influence Klee's work had on my own mark making.

There is nothing new under the sun, but at the same time there is a newness in ways of seeing that Klee and other artists open us up to - and that brings with it a sense of awe at what is in the world and how we live and breathe and have our being in it. Is that the sublime ?