Wednesday, November 17, 2010

fake show

there you are, in conversation, and get asked a question about something you mentioned. You begin to talk about this and try to create a complete concept, adding in some important information that will function as a backdrop to the main details. You tell of the bigger picture and try to recreate the atmosphere and situation, your mind tries to focus on the vital details that will bring it into sharpest focus, allowing the listener to grasp the full story.
In my memory the story is clear, but what have I recreated for the listener? Have I become a side show busker trying to sell my story?
The work revolves around these aspects and the notion of fakery and deception.... inadvertent deception. By emphasis I may have made the story more colourful or different.
The camera is a metaphor for recreating reality, albeit in a different medium and only containing certain visual information.
The pigeon holes are parts of stories, like treasured family photos, shared between two people.
I have been having fun with this piece... especially the camera. I made it from cardboard and glue and used a metal based paint to let it rust realistically. Also a small tip of the hat to Miroslav Tichy and his marvelous photos and fantastic cameras.
Its snowing and the sky is gray. Hoarknockle will be doing the barbeque tonight. A fine pinot noir from Oregon should warm the cockles tonight.

Monday, November 15, 2010

voy who?

making small talk and someone is talking about an occurrence, are we voyeurs in some small way? Are we intruding or peeping into an event that we had no part in? Why are we interested in what is being told? Many reasons....
To what extent do we beguile and seduce in the telling of a story? Do we colour and embellish to gain the attention of the listeners? Do we facilitate their voyeurism?
What kind of thrill do we provide by the recounting of a story? Is it like finding a fresh motor car accident along the highway of catching a glimpse of exposed skin in a crowd?
Do we play this game intentionally or is it a subconscious reaction to hold the listeners attention?
Imagine opening a box of possessions and lifting out objects one by one...things you know nothing about...they enthrall you and there is a frisson of discovery... Why? What is it we get excited about?
In the work I am doing right now, I am playing off different images and trying to confront the viewer with images that may trigger predictable reactions and then contrasting the imagery with something unexpected.
Here are two views of two different pieces. The upper is a glimpse of a figure through a small window and the lower image is ons of the "magic" boxes with the various sliding panels and dead end storage spaces. They are both only aspects of the entire work and are still in process.

Friday, November 5, 2010


subtlety, a hint... a whisper, they all conjure something mysterious and secretive. In the collection of work I am making for the exhibition, I have a few boxes which were purpose made for me and have various sliding panels which protrude from the sides and a hinged lid which opens to a very shallow depth. The idea is similar to the old Russian doll concept of magical unexpected opening parts, my version of the "Transformer" toys children play with.
The boxes are made in such a way that you cannot see all of the pictures at any time. You have to choose by opening or sliding some out which in turn obscure others behind it. These boxes require a number of individual works and a lot of time... making it a collection of pieces in one. I hope buyers will understand why I will ask a fair chunk for them....
These boxes allude to the way we tell stories and relate events about ourselves. Some stories change narrative order and might obscure other information through emphasis or even omission. The boxes will each have a loose thematic concept.
The one I am working on right now, will explore the idea of voyeuristic eavesdropping. Thus some nudes and some suggestive imagery. Hoarknockle will have to be chained up while I work on this one. Or blindfolded (I cant be expected to get my own tea can I now?)
The image up here is a suggestion. I have long had a fascination with drapery and the way cloth folds and wrinkles. This rumpled cloth with be used inside the shallow box with a figure in the lid, seeming to look down at it when the lid is lifted.
There is work to be done.
Lady Sandra is occupied all weekend and I shall be working too.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


oddly enough this comes just after Halloween... although this was not my intention. Happenstance.
In my piece titled "Mimesis" its a large panel with a rhino-horned self portrait which hinges apart in the center to reveal the dark inner section of the door panels and these small unsettling images of insects and skulls. A reference to the 17thC "vanitas" concept. I like the idea of having creepy scurrying things lurking in the crack, unseen whilst the main image is dominant.
I have drawn some of the images in silverpoint. Its an interesting change of feeling to graphite, the metal point has a different feeling...less creamy and slick than pencil, but it has a directness which is refreshing. It either seems to make a mark or not, unlike the wide range of tonal value graphite gives. I also thought the notion of drawing insects in silver was an interesting notion.
I have prepared some more small panels for silverpoint by applying a ground which accepts the metal. Most other surfaces dont make marks when using silver, although some house paints seem to have whichever the ingredient is that makes the silver leave marks.
Once drawn, the silver tarnishes a bit and loses its dark intensity and becomes a warm gray tone. I prefer to keep the darker tonality and use an acrylic varnish to prevent the tarnishing, by painting it on right after I finish. This seals it but also precludes any further work as the silver does not take on the varnish.
The silverpoint itself is an annealed silver wire, slightly softer than regular silver and clamped in a clutch pen. It wears fairly slowly.
I have sent Hoarknockle off to collect various different pieces from our collection of sterling silver flatware and I shall be trying these out to see what kind of effect they give. I shall have to try and see if they make marks on a starched table cloth...