Saturday, September 06, 2008

6/9/08 to 5/1/09

This entry actually covers the period from:
Saturday, September 06, 2008 to Monday, January 05, 2009.

During the above period much has happened, particularly within my painting (I've been doing lots of it), that I haven't been able to document in this blog. The recent demands of my job (including an exhausting, but ultimately productive, 'periodic review') and periods of illness have taken me away from self-reflective writing. Concurrently, the possibilities for documentation of my paintings have grown so much that I feel a separate web presence, possibly within my site, is called for, this having the added advantage of freeing up space here to mention painting as just one activity I'm engaged in and perhaps returning the focus of this blog primarily to discussions of music and Chameleon Lectra.

The following then is a summary of activity and interests that have arisen from my visual explorations:

I began painting again as a means of creative relaxation - away from the computer but not away from my muse. My first pieces revisited the territory I had explored after my degree, with the added advantage that I generally had (have) more money, time and space with which to pursue them.

One of the biggest differences was that I chose to work mainly on canvas, both as a signifier of 'painting' and a convenient means of mounting work on walls. Previously I had used hardboard, MDF, paper or reworked existing prints/paintings.

I use, primarily, square canvasses and the motifs of square and circle appeared in my early, recent work, further emphasized by my occasional incorporation of records.

Some interesting references:
Anthocyanins (pigment in fruits such as strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, cranberry, cherry etc.)

above: 'Fleurs des Sels' (September - December 2008)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Strawberry September

I've always had a thing about strawberries. One of my earliest memories is looking for wild strawberries with my father in Swanscombe woods (the wild ones have a beautiful concentrated flavour).

I was shocked when a girl in my infants' class said she disliked them. I think this was the moment when I began to understand that people are not the same, that we are separate entities with diverse tastes. However, this really upset me when I was six - how could anyone not like strawberries?

In my early twenties I worked for the Post Office as a counter clerk (mainly to raise funds for my music projects). As experiences go it was rather a dull one but I do remember being struck, one day, by an issue of stamps based on William Morris's 'Strawberry Thief'. I took this inspiration home with me and ended up writing a piece for Four Point Paint with the eponymous title. We performed this piece, along with three others, at a small gig in Southampton and for each piece we also created a visual image which we suspended above us. I did a reinvented Strawberry Thief illustration in gouache, incorporating some biographical elements.

I've been painting with strawberries as a continuation with my work with fruit (see previous entry 'Brush') and it has been a very interesting challenge. Unlike raspberries, the colour tends to remain uniform - vermillion when wet and a darker red (crimson) when dry. The flatness of the colour heightens the role of texture in a monochrome painting. The use of strawberries, following on from the raspberries, (see entry below) has also made me reflect on the symbolic and metaphoric potential of this activity with fruit and accordingly has opened up several areas for exploration (including narrative, provenance and chemistry).

above: 'Strawberry Echoes' September 2008

Consemble: End of First Year

The deadline of 31st August 2008 being duly reached, the music licences for Consembles A, B, C and D have now 'expired' (although the music never ends ;-)

A very successful first year conclusion to an expansive project. Over 30 people took part, with the spread of backgrounds I was looking for: sound artists, mail artists, amateurs, children, dilettantes, experts.

My next task is to write some mini-essays on the experience and then redesign and re-launch the Consemble pages. I'll blog when this is achieved.

There will also be three new open licences for 2008/9: Consembles E and F, and a second 'idea of voice' (as this was a popular choice) Consemble C2. Deadline 31st August 2009.

Consemble: construct, assemble, compose, ensemble
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