Forming corners and angles seemed like a really purposeful task. Considering how much of my work is flat, I feel that I approached it with some gusto.
Remembering woodwork from school, I began by cutting what approximates a dovetail join in some watercolour paper. This reminded me of some of the samples I produced for the Cutting Flaps exercise from Part 1 (2.5)
I recycled a piece of watercolour card that I used for colour testing as I mixed colours for a representation of the sheer organza sample (in 1.4). The join I made has abstracted the blobs of colour, forcing them to interact in a different configuration. I found this distortion and the oppositional angles that the tabs create attractive but difficult to draw. This caused me to observe the chevron pattern along the centre line.
I played with other ideas of joining card at 90 degree angles to a base. Some were like pleats which seemed rather similar to what I had already done. But some began to utilise a sort of ‘guy rope’ system like a tent.
The thin, fragile threads, place in the lower third of the upright, make the foam core look almost monolithic in proportion. I can see why textile artists have chosen to make thread sculptures. As well as exaggerating the delicate nature of the thread, these sculpture play with the idea of deconstruction of a fabric- exploring a warp without out a weft?
This link, lists and provides brief overviews of artists using ‘string’ in this manner. It begins with some historical context including: Eva Hesse and Lenore Tawney (who interests me through links to Agnes Martin). It is worth tapping ‘next’ to view more pages which cover contemporaries such as:
- Akiko Ikeuchi : Wonderfully delicate silk threads which reveal geometric shapes in the negative space in a similar way to Andy Goldsworthy’s organic sculptures.
- Ernesto Neto: An extremely exciting use of crochet and macramé to build strange interactive landscapes reminiscent of children’s playgrounds.
- Janet Echelman: In her own words: “idiosyncratic, delicate, ephemeral and voluptuous”. ¹ In mine: living, breathing, floating organisms.
- Gabriel Dawe: Lengths of thread dynamically suspended in screens that allow the prismatic colours to overlapping and mix in the air.
On a couple of occasions during this project I tried to work with some bark that I had collected after being so inspired by trees over the Christmas period. My stitching was thwarted by the fragility of pine chippings every time!
In Overlapping (1.4) I also explored joining birch bark, initially to a sheer, then to a tweedy woven fabric that shared many characteristics: colour and linear marks.
Having abandoned this idea, I now returned to it, changing the intended orientation of the bark. This allowed me to experiment with the ‘guy-rope’ style joining method:
I have been sitting with this sample pinned up in front of me for a few days and I’m still not entirely convinced by it. I quite like the subtle colouring, although there could probably be more contrast, the bark and fabric are very similar (but that was the idea of combining them). I like the perpendicular nature of the join which reminds me of fungus:
Perhaps it makes more sense then if the three dimensional factor contrasted like a fungus, rather than matched the bark? I would have to give this more thought.
I felt that recording this sample provided a bit of a breakthrough for me. Having never had much success with collage in the past and having many concerns about my ability to take on board the ‘mixed media’ nature of this course, I approached this ‘drawing’ with a sense of abandonment. (If that is the right word? What I mean is, that I just sort of flew at it headlong with no thought or consideration of what was going to happen- liberation from my hang-ups?)
It came together ok, its not a masterpiece but what is important to me is that I can see elements of my learning contained within it:
- Pattern and repetition- 3 horizontals and 3 verticals, incorporation of patterned envelope.
- Rhythm and repetition- curvy linear shapes, bark and wire.
- Repetition and movement- The Louise Bourgeois confident gestural, short hand style.
- Colour theory- vertical, receding blue. horizontal, complimentary orange, pulling three dimensional aspects forward.
- Experimentation- no obsessive measuring. Instead: tearing and snipping. Combinations of materials: papers, foil, paint.
¹ KETTLE & MCKEATING, Handstitch Perspectives (2012) BLOOMSBURY P.43