Sunday 20 February 2022

Samples for new work

With Algalrhythms returned from Warwick and awaiting installation in Gympie Regional Art Gallery, my attention has turned to beginning new work in earnest. I did ask myself what I had been doing for the last few months, but then remembered I had been very much involved in printmaking and the hand-colouring of a number of them before the opening at Warwick. 

Once all the work had gone out to Warwick, I spent several weeks messing around in Photoshop with new images taken on my October 2021 trip to King Island. I took inspiration from my most recent works, the lino-cut designs, with their more abstract approach - simplifying imagery into line, shape, and design. Focusing only on the main object itself, I replicated it, mirrored it, changed the size etc., arranging all pieces into dynamic shapes with a sense of energy and movement to them. 

After printing many of them out and pinning them on my corkboard wall for consideration as a whole, quite a few were retired or re-worked. I am finding this wall idea great when working on a body of pieces as it allows me to see relationships between works, their similarities and disparities. After a few print-outs and tear-downs, I have around twenty pieces to start work on. I deliberated a great deal about the backgrounds of these pieces – whether to sew onto unframed organza to hang, or simply create the shapes with wire armature – with the latter winning in the end. 
My plans are for most of these pieces to be quite large, to really take over a gallery space. As usual, a lot of colour, texture and detail is involved, although my palette has been recently influenced by an exhibition I saw at Redcliffe Art Gallery (which sadly, last week rejected my application for a showing of Algalrhythms there). The exhibition I saw was Being, by John A. Robinson, and the muted tones with highlights of steel/slate blues and murky greens were particularly appealing and evocative.
Last week I had some spare time and trawled some op-shops, where my eyes and heart were taken by a few pieces that spoke to me – for the purpose of cutting up and using in my work. I bought a couple of formal dresses – one with this lovely cutwork embroidery, and another with fabulously graduated dyed silk. The cutwork reminded me of one of my own designs based on the crayfish shell texture, and I will make pieces based on it in a similar style – both will be used in two hanging works I have designed.

This weekend has seen some fun in the studio, including heat distorting plastic bottles, tyvek, satin, nail gun strips, and rouleau lace, to pin stitching pleats in organza, and continuing work on my paper sculpture for paperoffskin.

Now that I am sure of the success of these processes in creating what I want, I am happy to start work on the supporting armatures, which will keep me indoors in the cool whilst it is still pretty warm here, and of course, with our precious cats, who received lion cuts last week, and require constant love and attention.