week two / processing place

This week I have suffered a bout of illness and ended up spending far less time in the studio than I had originally planned. Instead, I've been busy making headway with my dissertation. I have, however been making the most of the time I have spent in the studio and 'finished' my first piece of work as well as trialling some newer works on paper and toyed with the idea of venturing into 3D... 


Earlier in the week I was working on finishing the first piece in my new collection of paintings. I have been stitching shapes of hand-processed pigment onto canvas using various techniques of stitching and hand-embroidery. One new technique I have been trying my hand at is the 'conch' stitch. It gives the surface of the work more texture and seems to give the piece overall more 'depth'.

These traditional 'Women's Work' techniques act to re-define meticulous 'crafts', elevating them to a Fine Art status via the act of painting/using painting as structure. By using more of these traditional crafts in my work I am further linking my studio practice to my dissertation project, which is helpful in terms of developing a more established research based practice.

This week I have also been working on processing my range of pigments collected from Durgan. This is a lengthy procedure, so getting it done in between completing other studio tasks is the best way to fit it in. Otherwise, I could easily spend an entire day making colours...

When I spoke to Lucy about my pigments in my tutorial on Tuesday, she mentioned that by taking the rocks out of their place of origin and into the studio to work with, I'm almost 'processing place', not just pigment.

After my tutorial with Lucy I have been re-inspired to work in 3D.  In my tutorial Lucy and I talked about my place as an artist within the landscape and the making of my work. 2D work has a big place within my practice but almost doesn’t allow me to shine a light on the all-imortant physical aspects of my field work. I still need to think about ways I'd like to work in 3D, but there is definitely a lot of scope for it.

After dabbling with collage in first year I've always wanted to spend more time with it - especially now I can use the medium with my hand-processed pigments. The collage works are small thus far and replicate the circular, stone-like motifs found in my larger canvas paintings.

Next week, I want to focus on taking my collage work bigger and also experiment with photographing them in the studio, pinned to my studio wall, before they are applied to canvas or paper.

This will be my first small step towards working with the three-dimensional - using shapes pinned over the wall space, focusing in on the dualities of colours and shapes, working with the naturally occurring light and shadow falling within the frame.

These photographs of un-finished collages will in turn allude to the overwhelming temporality of place - particularly a place like Durgan beach where the materials underfoot are changing as the tide does in turn.

The works are representing landscape as a three dimensional collage; a myriad of colour, texture, shapes and surfaces.

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