I recently returned from another trip to Hole Editions in Newcastle to continue the monotypes series that I’ve been making as part of my exploration of mark making and investigation into drawing. The 45 monotypes (or unique prints), which I made quickly over 2 days, form the essence of a new body of work, some of which will be used as the basis of future collages. Others are pairings of works where I printed an initial image, then removed a large amount of ink with solvent in order to destroy part of the image. From this surface I then printed the remains. As “process” is of vital importance to my work, so the narrative of the creation and destruction of the image was a happy result of the collaboration with Lee at Hole Editions.
Last week I took the opportunity to spend a day working with Lee Turner at Hole Editions in Newcastle. I’ve done this a couple of times previously as I find it’s a useful way to think about the work in relation to one process, in my case in printing monotypes. The nature of conforming to a process means that a series of events have to occur in order to create the print. I had to constantly make and revise decisions about the finished image in collaboration with Lee’s technical knowledge and master printmaking skills. The task was to create prints which will then be part of a series of drawings, so exploring mark making, colour and application of the ink were key.
The pieces that I currently feel worked well (as they are still unfinished) were those where I can see a the next stage of the drawing indicated by what is currently there. At this point, the work is telling me what the next mark will be. I’ll update on the blog as the works develop and change.
Lately I’ve been revisiting ideas that I had started to explore whilst on my MA at Chelsea including some of the more endurance based physical drawings. The latest one Apologies to Eva, refers in part to the sculptural drawings of Eva Hesse. As with my recent collages, I am investigating my practice with a tongue in cheek reference to that of another artist of the 20th century. They were on display in my recent Open Studios and I hope to exhibit them again soon.
Apologies to Eva
Pen on A1 graph paper
Apologies to Eva (detail)
Pen on graph paper
Joan not Joni
A4 Collage with watercolour
This week my hand has been aching as I’ve put the finishing touches on a drawing for this week’s Open Studios. I’ve had the studio for a month now, and although I work a lot of hours outside of my studio practice, it’s been great to find time to fit in my art work, so that it becomes a priority again. I say that sentence with a sad heart as the work should always be at the top of the list, but the reality of the current financial and political climate, and of living in London means it is increasingly difficult to work as an artist. As someone who thought long and hard about the repercussions to my “other” career as an arts educator and coordinator (sometimes it’s separate, sometimes unified) as well as my career as practitioner when I left my job in the north east to move to London 3 years ago, I now wonder about how younger artists deal with the consequences of taking risks, especially those from similar working class backgrounds to mine. There are difficulties without privilege.
I have however been inspired this week by listening (not for the first time) to Steve McQueen’s episode of Desert Island Discs. When questioned about how he will continue to thrive with his work while existing in an industry ruled by studio execs, his reply was, “Easy, because I don’t need money, and when you don’t need money you do what you want to do. All they can offer you is money, if you don’t need it and don’t want it, there’s nothing there”. Whilst I imagine that Steve McQueen isn’t struggling for cash, the lesson here is that even if he didn’t have the money, he’d find the motivation to make his work (as he will have done in the past). There should always be a way of making the work.
So listen to the podcast and come to the Open Studios at the weekend!
I’d love to see you.
(oh and buy some work, because I really do need money!)