A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I was preparing drawings for a publication. The publication is now live and is available as an e-book. This collaboration brings together poetry by Nigel Morgan (if you have my book Tide Marks you will have come across his beautiful poems already) with my illustrations taken from various sketchbooks. Many of these drawings were done en plain air, attempting to capture something of the experience of these places, although they weren’t done in the knowledge that they would later be publicly viewed – this kind of sketchbook is a very personal record of place.
These images and words blend together as evidence of such visits in each other’s company, and occasionally alone. Some of what you see or read has come into being in situ, others as dream memories. Together they form a record of time spent unconfined, in the opened air and the pressing wind, sighting distance, or observing the close confusion of what lies at the feet, or near at hand.
Having had the very rewarding experience of publishing a small number of books so far, initially with help and then as my own publisher, the concept of the e-book is one I am very interested in. It has to be the ultimate in sustainable publications – no actual materials being used etc. But, being a hands-on craft-orientated artist, the fact that I can’t hold this thing in my hands, turn the pages and feel the surface of the paper is something I have to put aside and accept: this is a different experience. Collaboration pushes you in directions that you might not have taken on your own, provides new possibilities and opportunities to learn as a result.
I’ve been sorting through drawings for a forthcoming collaborative publication. It has been lovely to re-visit sketchbooks from the last few years and to pick out drawings that are right for the context. Here are a few contenders:
Fabric of the Building gets another airing from this Saturday. It is showing at The Beetroot Tree, Draycott, Derbyshire as part of Industrial Abstract. I’m really please to be showing this work again. It was my final degree project and most of it has been tucked away at home since I graduated. It includes works on thick industrial felt, paper and digital projection. There are elements of print, embossing, manipulation, natural dye, and hand stitch. I’m looking forward to installing it in a different space and getting those animated stitches covering a wall in the gallery.
The exhibition is on from 20th April to 8th June and there will be a ‘meet the artist’ event at the gallery on Saturday 4th May.
I’m revisiting some of the work I did in semester one last year at college. This work was all based around beachcombing trips and the different types of items I collected. It involved classifying and grouping the different objects and making assemblages with them in different ways. The interplay of natural and man-made was a key theme.
I’ve taken some of the prints and embossing that I did using found objects and have scanned them to make digital versions. I’m now cleaning them up in photoshop to make layers that can be played about with.
I’m going to be doing a collagraph printmaking workshop this weekend. I’m really excited about it. I’ve dabbled with this sort of printmaking at various times over the last 5 years. It all started when I went on a printmaking holiday in Cornwall and I’ve wanted to bring it more into my practice ever since. At college I had some access to the printmaking department (different to textile print) and most of my college projects included something derived from either collagraph or embossing using a printing press. Often this was some element of texture that led to a print, which I then incorporated into my work in different ways. The paper based element of my final year work, which was paper embossed with stitch marks and then stitched into further, is something I’m really keen to develop. I’m hoping to get my own small printing press soon and this weekend should give me the boost I need to develop this area of my work.