Our first seminar on Tuesday by Rebecca Harris, a former MA graduate, has inspired me to take up the 66 day drawing challenge (66 days is needed for a task to become habitual apparently). She gave a really great talk about her practice since leaving the MA course.
I have done several quick large drawings about walking in the stormy weather we have been experiencing lately. It’s got me thinking about possibly including them with my ‘prints-on-the-go’.
After the Hamish Fulton weekend it took a little while to settle my thoughts and reflect on the experience back in the studio. Some of the images below indicate what I have been doing, drawing, reviewing previously collected material from September walks and most recently making handmade paper.
Found material, matted hair – here and in the image below I am thinking about documenting a walk back in the studio by drawing a found object that seemed significant of the walk
Found tree bark, drawing
Found material, chestnut pods
Found materials – pine needles
Pine needle cairn – here I was thinking about the small masses of stones etc that you come across while walking that ‘mark the way’
Handmade paper from found path material and paper pulp
Not sure where any of this is taking me at the moment but I am enjoying ‘making’ again. I’m also reading several related books to support my practice. I gave a presentation to my MA peer group a couple of weeks ago based on this years module proposal following on from work I made on walking last year. Last week I had a tutorial which gave me the opportunity to further discuss the direction to take this year. Talking to Karen, my tutor made me realise how crucial the walking weekend with HF had been to my own walking practice. How much my walking is about ‘being in the world’ and finding a poetic way of engaging with the landscape. In view of this, Karen has suggested looking at the writings of Jane Rendell, professor at the Bartlett School of Architecture. I feel there are 2 distinctive paths to my practice, the making of structures that relate to the walk (use and limitations of materials) and the documentation (including making artist books). It has left me wondering about how much of my work is about walking and how much is about ‘bsing’ in the world, a sensory engagement – being present? Is it really about the walking? If it is about walking then where are the walks going to be and how does that matter? What are the logistics? Is it about duration?
A recent highlight has been visiting the Whitechapel Gallery and not only seeing but touching the Guiseppe Penone installation ‘Spazio de luce’. I was completely knocked out by the exquisiteness of it! One of the attendants explained how it had been made which only added to it’s wonder. I was allowed to touch the outside (not the inside – the gold leaf is extemely fragile). It was a whole new ‘tree hugging’ (more, a gentle embrace) experience! There is a video of him in his studio in Italy talking about the work HERE. Well worth a listen.
My next post will be about my paper making.
A lovely sunny walk on Dartmoor last Sunday, a quick drawing because it was too cold to remain without gloves for more than a few minutes, and a rubbing which I am using to create a solar plate print
The walks on Dartmoor are a collaboration with a painter friend, Judy Cockram. We have discovered so far that we look at very different things when we’re walking – it will stretch us both – the legs and the art! We are planning a book of our responses at the end of April.
I have had a nasty virus for the last month and have been unable to do any long walks or related artwork – I’ve felt pretty awful, very low and unmotivated and consequently I am way behind with my MA work and have missed my group crit. I’m gently easing my way back by doing a large drawing 30 ins square based on my ‘not walking’ frustrations and it seems to have been influenced by the circular theme that emerged a few weeks ago, when I last posted……
Circular walk detail
most of my walks are circular walks so it kind of makes sense. I have 2 walks planned for this week so I hope to progress the work further.
This is where the large drawing has got to but I am going to work into it further
on not walking
During the drawing I took some prints – body movement traces