Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Back to Work
I like holidays, in theory. In practice, like most people, I fret, after a while, for my own routine and some space to get on with creating art, mess or mayhem, whichever comes first. So, Robin is back to work, and the house is mine again. Yet I found myself procrastinating, this morning...talking on the phone, poddling about in the kitchen... and then, I thought, Enough. So upstairs goeth I (my workrooms/studios are in the attic space). I had hoped that tidying up the space would be a good incentive to actually get down to work, but other than admire the carpet, it didn't help much. What did help, were the two pieces on the design wall left over from last year, which meant that I had something to work with, a flow to go with, if you like.
I've been working with lutradur and other man made cloth recently. 'Urban Tattoo', the picture on the right, was made for a challenge on a list I belong to. It is intended to reflect the impact we have, as humans, on our surroundings, whether natural or manmade. Intentionally or not, we leave our marks on the things around us...from a scrawl on a bench, to the darkening and changing of bricks and stones because of the pollution our industries create. Some of the cloth in this is polycotton, which has been discharged, then overdyed, there's some batik (memo to self, batik tomorrow?), and some overwriting and drawing, too. I like working with polycotton, dyeing it first with Procion dyes; the uneven uptake of the dye through the cloth is reminiscent of memory, somehow. Then I'll add depth of colour and detail with transfer dyes. Or whatever else comes to hand. I refuse to be precious about colouring cloth. I'm careful, yes; for example, I don't use oil paints on cloth without properly preparing the cloth. I have no desire for my work to eat itself (as it were)! But I do use what's to hand, without worrying about water fastness and the like. It's not an issue for me.
Whilst the left hand piece, Spring, is an experiment in using lutradur. Because it is semi transparent, marks on the cloth below the lutradur can be seen as if they were on the surface. Enhanced by stitch, they intruigue the eye. Or at least, I hope they do. Can you tell which marks lie on the surface, and which below?