Friday, 31 July 2009

The Shadowed Artist

When I started blogging I promised myself at least 2 postings per month. Sometimes that gets hard, but when it happens and it’s and out there for all to see life becomes a little more satisfying. So, before July closes in six hours or so, here is my second post for this month.

I was always a little nerdy as a teen. I didn’t dare to have my ears pierced or to dye my hair though I secretly envied those who did so. More recently it has been tattoos. I love unique tattoos that tell stories or have a history. A friend, ‘M’, has endless tattoos running up his arms and onto his shoulders. Each of them has a story to tell. Then there is Charles, whose work involves images of crows and dragons. He’s taken it one step further and tattooed his characters onto his arm. I am envious of this life long commitment to art and skin. Another artist who interests me is Rice Freeman-Zachery whose amazing art focuses on journal writing. Not journal writing in the conventional sense but journals woven and stitched onto clothing and quilts and I’m sure her tattoos are part of her life’s journal too.

And there is me. Even as a performance artist in the early to mid 1980’s I was too cowardly to get tattooed, dye my hair or get a piercing. I still am, so what is there left for me to do with my body..?


Here are pictures of me hiding behind some recent silk paper cuts (Cloud). It looks as if I really am Lost in Forest Wild! (which is another recently finished work) The covering of temporary shadows has given me a brief glimpse of what it’d be like to be covered in tattoos. It looks exotic enough right now, but the problem with tattoos is if they can keep their meaning in the future. Luckily for me I can just turn the light off and my shadowed body disappears instantly!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Butterfly Cloud silk paper cutting

Recently I've been thinking of my silk paper art work and my relationship with it. It all started with an interview published on Who Hub (You can read the interview here). Then I bought some spotlights and started seriously exploring shadows and translucency in my work. By hanging the silk paper cuts in space and lighting them in various ways it really opened up a new dimension to what is normally seen as a 2D artform. Now I have discovered a whole new direction within my silk paper cutting work.
As an example here's a new piece I've been working on for some time. Called Butterfly Cloud it is approx 65cm diameter and cut in four colours. Clouds are light as are butterflies. They seem to hang effortlessly in space and yet they are constantly moving and evolving as if possessed by a life giving energy.
The first picture shows the blue version hanging and lit from the front which throws a shadow on the wall behind.
Here's the same one but lit from the back creating a very dark yet graphic image. There are two butterflies enjoying the cloud.

There's a butterfly fluttering in a gap in the clouds. It is almost like a cave with tree roots spreading through the open space.

For these two pictures I layered two colours together slightly off centre and backlit the work. The result is always unexpected and revealing. I like the translucence and the way the colours play off one another.