A stressful week battling with materials.

The progression of an artwork –  starts with the ephemeral conception of an idea but as that idea grows all the nitty gritty of how this will be realised comes into play. It is a messy time. I don’t like relying on other people for things but so often you have to – to get things cut to size, printed etc

I bought basic plywood for ‘Incidence’ as it was lighter than MDF but the surface took a lot of work to get it smooth & it is pretty warped so I have had to screw batons along the back to keep it straight for printing hopefully the frame that Pete is going to make will sort this problem. Oh to be able to ring John Jones and request a prepared surface.

Hamar Acrylic denied all knowledge of having cut a piece of perspex to size for me before from a drawing and now demanded vector line files.  I thought I had impressed myself on Monday – downloading the free software Inkscape and creating some .svg files which were duly despatched but I received a perfunctory email on Tuesday saying they were unable to use these files.  So a big Thank You to the guy at Ochre who gave me some tips on creating files in Illustrator which I hadn’t used before.  A new set of files were despatched on Wednesday & these were approved thank god – had already been reduced to waking at 4am thrashing about from a nightmare involving giant translucent spider-crabs. Felt sick with worry the perspex pieces were going to be the wrong size, shape, colour, thickness and £42 each. When I had ordered one piece it was £25 yet for 5 I had been quoted £42 – no explanation & I did query it but I collected them on Friday & they are fine. Not brave enough to check at the desk it wasn’t until I was on the tube back home I dared to get them out and measure up. Guess I paid for someone to convert the file to vector for me last time – & I just thought the perspex was v.expensive. Feel so at the mercy.

Getting paper stencils printed is also very stressful as only one guy at the print shop can get it right & until I see he is there it is very tense. I still have to go through the process of explaining to the other guy what I want who says I can’t have that until the guy who can print them to size takes over eventually. Anyway today I asked the guy who can if he is there every day because I worry if he isn’t & he said he would train the other guy to do it. We shall see.

First two background layers are now printed & I have the Perspex shards

I popped into A.P. Fitzpatrick on Friday & treated myself to some pearlescent mica and magic effect pigment & light interference pigment – some materials are pure indulgence..

The plan is to try them on the silhouettes of children amongst the forest in ‘Incidence’ but it may be too much. I want the shadows to be very subtle – hardly there.

‘Incidence’ – work reflecting on the loss of childhood is influenced by the discovery that the first burial recorded at the Crypt of St. Pancras was of a 12 year old girl in 1822. This was the same year that Charles Lamb, wistful for what might have been, wrote his essay ‘Dream Children’ which later inspired Elgar to write a musical work nostalgic for the lost wonder of youth.

Kevin seemed upset to hear that during the Robert Glaspar experiment at the Barbican Monday evening I had come up with some ideas for the imagery for ‘Syndrome’. He thought I couldn’t have been paying attention but I think it was the sort of music that lets your mind relax & open up. I’ve been rushing about so much dealing with practicalities that it’s hard to let ideas bubble up to the surface. So this was a good opportunity & I did like the band especially Robert himself.

I was thinking about the whole doppelgänger idea and phobia of mirrors. I could photograph myself in ordinary situations. at the supermarket, getting my hair cut, sleeping etc and there at my side is the supernatural sort of zombie me – fear constantly at my shoulder. Anyway it is an idea to think about some more. Mirrors seem to be a theme this week. The walk into the park on Wednesday for the event Babel had lots of mirrors placed amongst the trees. I liked this part – little tableau & the anticipation of something about to happen. It was an ambitious project. A lot of scaffolding.

Then the re-title email this week seemed apposite about “BLACK MIRROR” Dominic Shepherd & John Stark at AMBACHER CONTEMPORARY.

In Chinese mythology another world exists on the far side of the mirror – here the ‘Fauna of Mirrors’ live. All colours, shapes and forms are not as of this side of the reflection. There they wait, searching for the opening that will let them through.The black mirror is a traditional scrying tool, akin to the crystal ball or basin of water; it is an object for seeing into the spirit world. But like the ‘fauna’ these spirits are locked in their simulacra world. – Dominic Shepherd
Glad I was able to make it along to Utrophia.

Lizzie Cannon being interviewed about her amazing pavement drawing with embroidery on Friday at the Private View of Topographic Translation: Iteration 2′.

The show is of four artists whose works emanate from the translation and interpretation of their physical environments. Poppy Pitt’s wonderful topographic cast bodyscapes can be seen on the right.

Saturday was spent on a basic woodwork course.  Learnt some good tips – just simple stuff but really useful & I also now  have a whole set of handtools that are sharp. I also learnt how feeble my muscles are,

and I have a shopping list of power tools I MUST have.