Possessed by My Own Shadow
First up is a piece of work I made earlier this year for a local exhibition organised by the Fenland Visual Arts Collective and the Fenland Arts Association.
I'm a journaler, well, nowadays I'm more of an art journaler, but I've kept journals in various guises for most of my adult life. I kept written journals for years and never throw them out. I've burnt them, altered them, added to them and worked over them but never got rid of them. I rarely look at them, my purpose in writing was, and still is, to release feelings, to get stuff out of my head to free up space, to purge, to rant, to ramble. Recently while pottering about the studio waiting for inspiration to swoop in and slap me into action I came across a stack of old journals in the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet. I flicked through a few of them, they were from a time when I was in an intense, stressful situation that was very much out of my control. It was a difficult and distressing time for me and the words are very uncomfortable to read even now. Shadows from that time still fall across me periodically, the experience shaped a part of who I am now.
An on the spot decision to use my old journals in a piece of work found me tearing pages from the A5 books in a manner bordering on frenzied! ;oD It was oddly satisfying to deconstruct and repurpose my journals into this piece of work. I wanted them to be tighly held in a vessel, open but inaccessible, visible but indiscernible words. The box is vintage, it was used by my former neighbour to house things he used for fretwork. I love knowing it's provenance, knowing the lovely gentlemen it belonged to and, in my mind's eye, I can see him at work with it sat beside his tools and materials on the workbench.
The cord tied around the box is stretched video tape. My work over the last year has featured alot of video tape and I continue to be excited and surprised by my experiments with it. I have been exploring the properties of stretched video tape and have another piece under construction at the moment using it.
I've exhibited the piece a couple of times since I made it and it has elicited some varied responses ranging from outright puzzlement to complete connection. Job done. ;o)
The Internal Lexicon
My second piece I made specifically to submit to the RA Summer Exhibition.
This is one of those pieces that started off in my mind as something completely disparate to the eventual finished piece! ;o) I love the evolution of my work. Contrary to what some people might think, it doesn't bother me when a piece becomes so utterly different from how I had initially planned, quite the opposite to be honest, it feels right, it feels like my mojo is home to roost, it feels like I'm doing what I was put on this earth to do. ;o)
My mind is usually fit to burst with words and phrases and, added to that, I am of the ilk that when I lay my head on the pillow of a night time my brain instantly clicks into overdrive and off I go on a jaunt through every whole and half formed thought, phrase and word lurking in the darkest corners of my mind! I wanted to construct a piece which reflected this in some way. All the words were written on the spur of the moment, just a stream of consciousness with no rhyme or reason.
I read a book recently which mentioned the phrase "internal lexicon" and it seemed to fit this piece perfectly.
The piece is constructed from a pliable metal mesh and roughly 150 food bag ties.
All I have to do now is wait...
All images courtesy of Rob Morris.