Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Art Degree final show - Hanging day - Prints and Paupers

The space was finally ready to hang everyone's work. Floors scrubbed, walls painted.
Only six of us to hang work in this beautiful clean space (and a sculpture in the middle of the floor).

It has been a difficult couple of days, maybe it has felt easier for those of us with just wall hanging work, several pieces all the same size, the worst decision being which ones to hang. With my work, all different shapes and sizes of pieces, some 2- dimensional and some 3-dimensional, I have been really stressed. Not knowing whether to hang all the prints or maybe only have one book and at each thought having to rearrange the lot. The only bit that has remained in the same place throughout the process are the back to back long ones.

Decided in the end to hang all three 180cms prints, the before (black pure lead print), the process (grey/white monoprint with pellet holes) and the after (black with white spots) which was the print taken from the same plate after it was shot through. I wasn't sure about hanging the pale one in the middle as it had a sandwich effect but I think it has worked out well in the end. I prefer to hang a block of three rather than two prints together. I have rolled the lead and set that underneath.

We had difficulty hanging the two 3.5 metre long prints back to back, just getting the height was tricky, they are held together at the top over a piece of dowel with strong magnets. This works with the magnets used to hang the three above.

I am really pleased with these prints, they have stayed pristine through the making and the hanging, I'm still amazed I could make them at all, I love these and I'm keen to do more continuous printing. I have put the books on plinths as planned but have decided not to show the bullet hole enamel book. The books add some interesting shape to the show and reflect the big prints across the space.

Just get a tiny hint of what my work looks like in the space with the edges of other peoples (don't want to give their games away). I'm really pleased with how the show has hung, I have had so much help - thank goodness - it would have really difficult to do on my own.

I have also put into the show my artist statement in English, Welsh and in Braille, each was a page long except the braille with took over four and a half A4 pages. It seemed only right to supply this in Braille as it has been the major inspiration for this whole project.

I have set up the Braille writer on a table with instructions and a Braille alphabet so that the public can have a go at writing in Braille, there is a pile of paper to try it on and a box with photos of people using the machine that they can add theirs to if they want, or take them home.

I think everyone's show looks amazing and that our work compliments and contrasts really well together, several of high saturated colour and a couple of us working in large scale black and white.

Opening night 7pm Friday 26th May 2017, Carmarthen School of Art.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Artist's Books exhibiting in Kunsthuis Gallery, Yorkshire.

I am very pleased to say that two of my artist books have been accepted and are going this month to be exhibited in the RA inspired Summer Exhibition at the Kunsthuis Gallery in Yorkshire. This is a contemporary abstract gallery.

The two pieces that are going are;

Reflect, Refract, Encode

 The Crow

I'm hoping to make the opening night, fingers crossed.

Degree show set up, the final choices - Opening night 26th May Carmarthen School of Art.

I've got quite a lot of work that could be exhibited at the final degree show, mostly quite large pieces. To figure out how I might get them in the space I made a scale model of the space and all of the work. The space I have is 4 boards of wall space, 8ft by 4ft boards, 16ft by 8ft altogether and lots of floor space.

It made all the work look very cramped as I had not anticipated how much floor space there would be. 

The painters working spaces were taken down to reveal the beautiful space for the show, lots of wall painting and floor cleaning but we got it all done ahead of schedule.

Yesterday we made a mock of how my work will hang in the space, using lining paper so as to keep the proper work sparkly clean for the show.

Next plinths made and ready to bring in. The large low plinth is 90cms by 90cms by 60cms tall for the large book that opens right out and the slimmer taller one is 45cms by 45cms by 90cms tall. All my work is based on 30cm units, not sure why it just turned out this way. It seemed important as the show has a look of computer code that there be a unifying measurement particularly in something as fluid as art work.

Just a stack of prints to sort out, magnets for hanging, business card holders and artist statement to translate into Welsh. I'm sure I'll find another thousand things to do before the opening.

Remarkably nerve racking hanging even the mock yesterday, suddenly my work will be out there in a big way, lots of it together rather than just the odd bit at an exhibition.

Opening night 6pm, Friday 26th May, Carmarthen School of Art, Coleg Sir Gar, Jobswell Campus, Carmarthen.


Wednesday, 26 April 2017

New lead monoprints and an air rifle

I've made another lead plate, with a braille version of a Heidegger quote 'Tell me how you read and I will tell you who you are'

Initially I inked the smooth lead and placed paper over it with the braille mock up on top. I shot through into the lead again with lead shot in the air rifle. The lead is 150cms long by 24cms wide.

 Some of the shots actually went right through the lead and dented the wooden floor.
The top sheets came off and left the monoprint, some with the pellets still stuck in the holes in the paper. I think this one particularly shows the whole conceal and reveal philosophy of Heidegger.

The second print form this roll, I inked and hand printed. The first one was the most enjoyable print I have made so far, and nearly the most stressful, the layers of texture from just a simple monoprint are great. I had no idea what these prints would come out like, but they will fit really well with the rest of the prints and books for the show.

The lead also looked amazing so I took some photographs while the ink was wet and then when the lead was cleaned.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Nearing show completion - another lead book

I decided to make another book with the lead covers that turned out to be too small for the first book. This time not a pull out concertina, just a folded book. I wanted to bring back some of the excitement I had using original braille paper in my initial research experiments so I glued braille paper (the lovely buff coloured stuff) to the sheets I was to print on and re ran the original 'Point Blank Pages' extended print but singularly.

Unfortunately the pages cockled  and no amount of flattening, ironing or being cross uncockled them.

Printing on them helped but sadly they are not perfect, the braille paper does however give another dimension to both the colour / shade and also to the texture.

These are the front and back of the book, indented with lead pellets from the front and raised on the back.

This book will be fully opened for the first time at the show, I think if I open and close the pages too often they will eventually break. This and the last book will stand as much as a piece of sculpture as of a book. The lead covers will make it difficult to handle and dangerous to handle without gloves.
Health and Safety procedures and health risks in journal.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Lead book with concertina pages - Artist's Books

I reprinted the full second set of collagraph plates on individual pieces of paper (as printing them on one long roll took hours and had a big chance of major disaster half way through) and attached them all together with paper tabs including tabs on the first and last page to attach them into the book- I googled how to do this as I had never made a concertina this big before.

 This concertina now measures 3.5 metres like the long prints.

What I didn't realise was that the second set of collagraphs are slightly bigger than the first set and therefore when I folded them ready for the covers the concertina was too big and I would have had to catch every page in the binding and not be able to pull out the concertina from the covers.

As you can see the covers only overlap the book block by about 0.5cm.

New covers please!!!

Next problem was that I only had one piece of lead left the right size to make a cover for the book block so I had to improvise with grey board, graphite and varnish. Remake both covers, the front one much simpler.

The covers are connected by brass pillars through back board, front and back tabs, 2 sheets of glassine to protect the print from the lead and a graphited wood block to provide support.

I haven't opened the book yet, it's virgin opening will be at the show. In Heidegger's phenomenological context, the visual language (originating in braille) discloses concealed meaning, and the opening of the book discloses or 'un-conceals' where the narrative meaning is held in concealment. Un-concealment reveals 'presenced' truth of Being (alethia).

Monday, 3 April 2017

further......lead book covers and lots of ink

I finally finished the second set of collagraph plates and the second 3.5metre print.

This piece is the braille version of a Martin Heidegger quote 'Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man.'

Again I'm very pleased with the result!

I also made the lead covers today for the book and took prints from them too.

I shot two lead plates together with the air rifle this is the back plate, the front has the pellets embedded in it.
Inked up they were quite stunning!

....and the front cover hand printed

I love the rich gloopy nature of the ink with the delicate print of the pellet edges. Shot and printed leaves me with little control over how it comes out and I think this work is better for it, otherwise I would have contrived this to be neater, smoother and much more controlled.

I love print!