Sunday, August 7, 2011

Through A Glass Lightly

This summer has been a full on one in terms of making art. As well as project managing the Kiss Me Quick show for Margate, and making a significant new piece of work for it, as well as doing a residency at the Burlington Fine Arts Club, Manchester, I was also invited to be in an exciting show, due to take place at the GoCart Gallery in Visby, Sweden later this month.
I was invited by Harrington Mill Studios, who as well as representing some of their studio artists, have invited some of the artists that they have worked with over the past few years. I did a two month residency in the studios back in the summer of 2008 (SEE THE WLTM BLOG HERE) - so I was delighted to have been asked.
The show title 'Through A Glass Lightly' references the Ingmar Bergman film 'Through A Glass Darkly' which tells the story of a young woman struggling with schizophrenia, and her relationships with the 3 men in her life. The film is a dark tale of confusion, and sexual tension and was my first point of call for researching an approach to the show.
Artist David Manley who is curating the show together gave this advice when considering new works for the show: " To give you a flavour of the concept think introspection, doubt, drawing, as possible themes."
I finished my residency at the Burlington at the same time as I was thinking about making the work for this show - and in my conversations with Tracey Eastham (my co-residency artist) one sentence had stuck out for me - and had become a page for the zine we made.In our conversations we talked about the doubts which accompany us at the beginning of a residency - and I think in all aspects of our artistic endeavours. The amount that an artist invests in their work - and the difficulty in separating emotion from artistic activity mean that we can feel very exposed and vulnerable. I was glad to be able to explore these ideas further by making two new text drawings from the same phrase. These A1 text drawings, made with graphite powder, take around 12 hours to complete each, and therefore offer a period of reflection while working. Something which I am coming to enjoy, as much of my work is public, quick, responsive and involves conversation with others. Finding a new thread which involves solitary time in the studio is proving to be very rewarding, and I am really pleased with the results. Although I like the computer generated white text on black background texts - which I have been making for over 4 years now - I think the handwritten nature of these new text drawings is very different to the graphic ones. I enjoyed making a pair of works - and felt that the change in nuance of the two texts refelcts the theme of the show well - I imagined the idea of looking into a mirror, where everything is almost exactly the same - but also opposite.
The GoCart show will be on from 23rd August until 6th September. I am not able to attend - but will look forward to seeing the documentation.

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