I’ve been continue to work on my calligraphic drawings, building on the ideas around expression through handwriting and gesture that I was exploring last year. I am enjoying working with a range of different inks and papers, looking for what combinations give the quality of line I want. I started with some busy sketchbook work which combined my different key elements – the calligraphic gesture, fluid movements, strong lines and layering – with different types of asemic writing and background colour.
The first sketches had some very interesting textures but were a little busy and overloaded in places. I worked with different types of cartridge paper and watercolour paper and although the watercolour paper gave a nicer colour range (left below), the rough texture of the paper detracts from the precision lines I was aiming for.
I took the key textures I liked and started to pair down and tighten up the drawing, focussing on getting a stronger expression of movement but keeping just a small colour palette for each one.
I have been continuing to explore this series of gestures over the last week, with different open-ness or opacity to the drawings. I like the vibrancy and the movement which they capture, and this series doesn’t need the specific visible ‘writing’ of my earlier sketches – it is all about the gestures. I have also found both new brands of paper and ink which are giving very pleasing results – working towards a finished series of pieces which I can look to get properly mounted.
So far, this is my favourite finished piece:
Mulling in the post-Christmas haze this week, and having found some quiet time at my drawing table I decided to do some more experiments with ink and water and my stream of consciousness poetry.
I am still looking to my MA project inspiration for the backdrop for the work (in context if not yet in process/material), so ideas around questioning identity and place, a sense of anachronism, loss and isolation. Overlaying different versions of ourselves again and again as each moment creates a new sense of self – infinitesimal changes which mean we are never the same again.
I have made a start on my final assessment piece for my City & guilds work which I am endeavouring to get finished before the second term at Camberwell starts. This is going to be my Big Exhibition Quilt, ready for FOQ 2015. The piece is titled broken memories and I am seeking to capture something of the pain of memory loss through old age, dementia or Alzheimer’s. My design is to make three panels, showing a increasingly fragmented and pained mind. This was the original sample; I have a few more ideas on how to improve from this.
Well, the first steps are now done, with completion of the three painted panels (acrylic ink in limited colour palette on white cotton lawn – when wet almost see through) which will be ripped and patchworked onto a cotton background. I’m using inks for this as it keeps the softness of the fabric intact in a way fabric paints don’t. I am still waiting for an order of oakshott cotton to turn up before I can get the full panel pieced and ready for quilting.
One of the things I noticed since my last assessment piece, is that my approach is now different from before I started the MA course. I am thinking more about the materials and what they say in the piece. Not just the surface design speaks, but the surface itself. I also see how important preparation, intent and planning is, even when the physical act of making (or in this case painting), is improvisational. This isn’t something I though before – improv was only just sitting down and seeing what happened.
More to do, but good progress so far.