Following the seed work and poem These words start from the ground where it is dark and quiet, this work has been made from clay that I dug from my allotment. I have soaked, sieved and crushed the clay to make pigment to paint with. As well as painting I have been exploring objects both found and personal. I have used my old diaries and twigs from a tree on my road which fell when Amey attempted to cut it… I’m happy to say the tree is still standing now. I have bound the objects with hessian, jute, wax and string inserting words and smaller found objects in layers along the way reminiscent of Egyptian mummification. I feel like I am imitating artifacts, but I love the ancient feel.
Other paintings include residue from floor sweepings, twigs, sandpaper and string with beeswax. All have been immersed in clay.
‘Four moons’ shows a cycle of moons waxing and waning. Painting these was a kind of rite of passage for me. The dictionary definition for rite of passage says: A ritual or event marking a stage of a person’s advance in life. Socially we celebrate birthdays every year weddings and births, but there are few events that marks a change in women’s lives. In particular the female body goes through transitions from childhood, adolescence, motherhood, menopause and old age.
The body, for me reminds me that I am part of nature and (tide to the earth). Like the sea we ebb and flow in cycles with the moon.
These paintings show light and dark in its simplest form. I want to show the lightness in lightness and the darkness in darkness and the balance between them which illuminates the other. The paintings are mixed media on paper using ink, paint, and wax. I like seeing them all together; however each one presents a meditation on light and dark. ‘Love shows itself more in adversity than in prosperity; as light does, which shines most where the place is darkest.’ Leonardo Di Vinci
I found these beautiful objects in a skip at Portland Works, which is where my studio is based. They were thrown away by the silver plating company at Portland Works. After clearing a space they found them in 3 inches of water; the steel rusted and the old EPNS has started to get the green patination. One persons rubbish is another persons treasure. They are like museum pieces, time and the elements have taken its toll on them, creating something other than cutlery alone; I could photograph these objects over and over, the texture and detail in the rust and verdi gris is sumptuous and the shape of each piece is so delicate and unique.
I feel I want to do more with these objects, but they seem to stand just as they are, works of art in their own right. In one of the photographs I have laid the cutlery out like the rusty dinner setting, all on slate roof tiles, it reminds me of Judy Chicago’s dinner party. Let’s see where I go from here…….. Here are some of the photographs I have taken:
I’m enjoying working a bit differently in the studio. I’ve developed a process which is without a recipe or system for remembering how it was done. A kind of anti art. The term anti-art, a precursor to Dada aimed to challenge the accepted definitions of art.
I saw a programme recently about how artists were inspired by the decay of posters on walls and billboards, where posters had been worn away to reveal what’s underneath. Layers of wallpaper and paint in a dilapidated house that reveal patterns from the past in the same way that archaeology reveals layers of time.
So, drawing and painting what you see is all very well, but why, when you can already see it?
I am working with what I don’t understand or see and within that, trying to make sense of the world.
I’m using paint, collage, ink, wax, sewing, burning, rubbing, printing, tearing, stencilling and anything else I can think to do. both creative and destructive.
Portland Works is hosting the Irish Connections Exhibitions as part of the Sheffield Irish Association celebrations. It is a group exhibition of work from people with Irish connections. The launch and private view was on Saturday and it was great to meet new people and celebrate with everyone. The exhibition is on until 18th March.
Since the great hunger in 1845 the Irish people have been leaving Ireland to take up employment and residence all over the world. The Irish Diaspora in Sheffield is descended from people who walked over the Pennines from Liverpool and Manchester to seek employment in the cutlery and tool making industry
The Portland Works complex is a fitting venue for this exhibition and demonstrates the connection and continuity of the Irish people in Sheffield.
You can see my work ‘seed’ an installation of poetry, earth and print installed into the space along with work from other artists.
In doing so I’ve been thinking about how images and words rise. The ideas that are the most meaningful for me as an artist are usually the ones that come when I’m relaxed, immersed or bathing in something… a warm bath or sleep.
I like the idea of holding the first thought, this is what the yogi’s call the seed thought. It’s the primal thought that rises from the unconscious (or where ever it comes from!) Before the intellect gets to work, fragments it and chews it up into pieces.