These are the continuous landscape cards I used in my recent workshop for children at Bristol Central Library. They're small here, but I'll blog the whole set at higher resolutions over the coming days. They depict some recognisable Bristol landmarks and events as well as made up stuff.
The idea is that basically the kids make up a blank accordion fold book and use these like a 'sticker album' - ie as tip-ins to fill up the pages. Of course, being an accordion, they can match up different edges of the book and create different juxtapositions of images.
The scans here are slightly rougher than I want them to be for my handout resources on the website - so that version will take a little longer, and will be accompanied by the full instructions for making up the blank book, too.
Meanwhile, I hope you'll enjoy these.
Working on the 'various disquisitions' book with Linda.This rubber stamp has been a process of simplification and one of those times where the medium teaches you a little bit about its own language.
I'd had different plans for this involving trying to do some ring-shading on the bark of the tree but it seems to be best the way it is. I've yet to see this print in context in the book, and it remains to be seen whether we'll use the print or a photo of the block.
This image comes from some work I did yesterday at the community orchard in Pill. I've been thinking about a 'book distributed in space'- one that happens as a real space (either as an installation, or, as here, only at the point of recording). This has obvious similarities with the way that our experience of the environment works on a semiotic level. We read a city's signs much as we would a multi-authored text. some of what we see is in fact signification of the most classic sort: signs, writings. Others include behaviour and historical traces left on the environment.
With this idea I'm trying to work on a form of 'book-making' that tilts my point of view out of the reverie of the page, and into real life. As you can see, it's obviously still at an experimental stage, but I'm finding things out about the different rhetorical effects that the combination of space, word and camera achieve- to say nothing of the aspects of the installation that briefly exists. In this image I've come a little further along the road to clarity with the large bold words (my first experiment was illegible because it was just handwritten on paper), and elements like the path have been used to reinforce the spatial aspect. There's an argument between flat and deep readings here, because the simple left to right flat reading doesn't work. It has to be read as a space in order to be construed. When finally presented in book form, on flat pages, this technique will, I think, become even stranger than it is now. It also suggests a commentary on or echo of our 'reading tactics' in/of the world. Are we reading surfaces or structures? Straight lines or spaces? Is there an element of time to our perception, or is it more-or-less instant, arriving at the speed of perception (usually light)?
I also want this work to fit into my series on Whistling Copse, though here, the commodity and land are public, in contrast to Whistling Copse, which was emphatically and tragically not.
In this picture I'm starting to learn more about how I might use the contours of different objects to play with the space more: the grass obscures the feet of some of the stands- why not play with this? A sign could peer out from behind a bush.
I'm aware of the fact that the signs would present an even more unsettling, flat appearance if they were more carefully placed facing the camera, ie not at slight angles, but I'm entertaining the idea that I want to retain lots of evidence of the artifice (hence also the unashamed use of masking tape, which was nonetheless very necessary in the breeze).
As it happened I didn't have enough juice in my batteries to finish this shoot, which I initially cursed as it would be next to impossible to set up the shoot again, but I have enough of a sequence here to study the effect, and I will continue the experiment, with the added experiment of a caesura into a different spatial arrangement, most probably an entirely different space.
I'd like to continue in an urban setting, where the signs would become softer edged by comparison with the more similar environment, but I can't afford to leave a half dozen music stands in the street to get pinched! I need a half dozen assistants to hold onto them!
From a group of pictures I worked on back in summer 2005. This has come back to me now because it seems to touch on the whole Hidden Fortress and shows how I could be using text differently from how I do now, at least in disparate pictures.
This also made me think of the old Atari adventure game (which i was thinking of when made the picture. This was a computer game with the most basic of plots revolving around solving puzzles and threading mazes and killing the odd dragon in order to unite keys with castles, releasing dragons to slay and eventually getting hold of the chalice. I got pretty good at it. I found the instructions here. The simplicity of the thing holds up and seems to strike a chord in this more numinous quest.
An evil magician has stolen the Enchanted Chalice and has hidden it
somewhere in the Kingdom.The object of the game is to rescue the
Enchanted Chalice and place it inside the Golden Castle where it belongs...
There are three castles in the Kingdom; the White Castle, the Black
Castle, and the Golden Castle.Each castle has a Gate over the
entrance.The Gate can be opened with the corresponding colored Key.
Inside each Castle are rooms(or dungeons, depending at which Skill Level
you are playing).
I loved that game! I wonder how I can thread this into the work?
Also today, I had a fantasy about using the graduate project space to work on this project: big screen grab printouts from Kurosawa, a model forest with strings leading off to pictures stuck on the walls, me at the centre playing Adventure. With or without a suit of armour? What's the meaning of the mystery? What's it about?
Finally, there was a peacock butterfly sitting on my wheelie bin when I got home:
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Turndust is finished.
It will be on sale at the Bristol Artists Book Event on 21st April for around £40.00 in a limited edition.
Of course, these are just lo-res versions of the images themselves, which I'm currently printing and binding. I'm pretty happy with the general feel of it. The various transitions it's been through, from a made-for-print set of drawings, becoming the basis of a digitally-oriented design, and the final transfer to the paper print of that design has been a opportunity to watch my own deliberations about the developing form of the book. It's also a chance to watch my work habits more closely. This was a sporadically-worked piece, but intensely-worked nonetheless. I think it's to its benefit that I had to come back to it more than once to make it work. I'll be showing the finished printed version at the Bristol Artists' Book event in April. So much for the process involved. There was also a process of evolving content which was intrinsically linked to the choices of physical production, but which has its own story to tell of the book's development of its metaphor and iconography. It felt like I was finding out what it was about by working with it. There was a certain sense of discovery. But also a definite sense that I had to activate the enquiry with an initial text, and a clear pathway that I could follow into the work. There was this initial guide, perhaps equating to a preunderstanding applied to the work. But not quite. I didn't really know the shape I was discovering; I was making it up. Nonetheless, as I went through it, certain directions seemed to be 'right' or 'wrong'. The sense of discovery is really one of a sense of creation. The thing which was discovered was actually invented. One activates enquiry with a hypothesis. Could the original draft materials that formulate the initial structure of a project equate to an hypothesis of the work's eventual structure? Hidden Fortress isn't at that state yet. There are few candidate hypotheses around, in the shape of a rough storyboard that features some but not enough of the component parts, and a notion that I will employ said component parts. But they do not yet have a formulation that will form a template for my interaction. That will, in a sense, be a hypothesis for the work. Note to self: a mindmap on materials, hypotheses and experiment and how they transliterate to art materials, the intention/structure that initiates the work, and the work as praxis and reflection (as experiment that moves the understanding of the material on) Technorati Tags: Turndust, BookArt, experiment
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Thinking more about the "Hidden Fortress" notion. I started out exploring a few things to try to make contact with it. started out with some 'castle' doodles. Crennelations, castle shapes, woodlands. Then keys, for some reason: an access to another 'room'? Then maps, literalising the relationship between places into an iconography, finally a sleepwalker, and a hooded figure: Virgil. A guide, psychopomp. Where is this going? What can I know about Whistling Copse from such a guide?
Technorati Tags: art, sketch, drawing, Virgil, Hidden Fortress
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I'm an artist using digital and print media to make artists books and related pieces.