Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Paper Workshop

The opportunity to attend a workshop run by Alison Harper: A Textile artist who focuses on remaking the discarded and regularly overlooked into new objects was really exciting.
A chance to gain new techniques, inspiration and approaches….

Using a combination of papers including cardboard, paper napkins and tissue papers alongside discarded objects such as polystyrene, old lego and lidtops we focused on using these objects to create new forms of an aesthetic opposed to conceptual nature through folding, printing, painting, layering, curling, dipping and structuring techniques. Given the freedom to just play! Having enjoyed the workshop so much I continued my experimentation

A collection of paper forms

By choosing to work in Monochrome I was able to concentrate on form, structure and surface. The simplicity of monochrome corresponding with the simplicity of my materials. 

 Demonstrating layering, structure, line and form these three samples co-ordinate well as a collection

Close up detail/Explanation of Techniques

Scrap rice paper printed with polystyrene to create bubbled monochrome texture before overlaying with  corrugated and torn cardboard scraps pressed into acrylic paint adding surface dimension 

Corrugated cardboard pleated in places to create a three dimensional appearance in places, Enhanced further through free machine embroidery where zig, zag lines and curves give another dimension

 Various papers were printed and painted upon before being deconstructed and reassembled into a new composition. The design is quite bold owing to the circular lines in black. 

Series Two 


As-well as encompassing the techniques above these samples focused on structure, form and shape: 
where two dimensional surface were developed into three dimensional forms..

Printed/painted tissue papers developed into three dimensional structures through scrunching, pleating and folding processes.  Aspects of black and white thread holding the first structure in place. 

Printed paper was left to dry before layering tissue paper in place behind, this was then dipped in wax and moulded into a new form as above through folding/pleating/pinning which has now stiffened. 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

New Drypoint series

Having done the drawings which I actually feel work very well in themselves I wanted to translate them into prints to eventually form three of my gifts for Kick-starter, Owing to time restrictions before the Easter holidays I decided to do dry points again  scaling the drawings down to A5. Likewise employing the Carborundum technique was not possible taking a couple of days to set on the plate.

Print series one:

Translated into prints the drawings have quite a different feel; subtle, softer, lighter, airy. Initially I wasn't sure if the prints were that successful mainly because of the reduction in tone and  line definition.  However I now appreciate these qualities, viewing the prints as separate works in themselves. 

Embossed Series

 I experimented with creating a fully inked (as above) and embossed version for each: layering the plate with various textures prior to printing which then formed my rewards for kick-starter. 

As a result these prints contain a greater variation in texture, tone and form, I felt they were visually stronger than the first set. If I had more time I would definitely create another set for myself but unfortunately I don't so they are now in envelops ready to be sent off! 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Returning to Drawing

Owing to lots of other things going on primarily a group exhibition at Walcot Chapel it has been a while since I  been in the studio and I felt an urge to get back to drawing. As part of this exhibition we have raised money on Kick-starter and I am making a couple of rewards to send out to people who donated. It seemed appropriate to tie in my 2D project with making some of these rewards given the time of year (Spring & Easter approaching!) and a good opportunity to actually get some of my prints out in the real world!

As it has been a while I started by reviewing my most successful work-My Black and white prints being my strongest work so far. Picking out photographs with interesting forms/shapes & structures along with organic objects in front I translating various elements to make three different drawings.

Returning to Source Inspiration

Black & White Drawings:

These drawings are notably abstract reflecting a looser & more experimental approach to drawing which cane be traced to the influence of the drawing workshop, the translation source material is interesting suggesting biological and plant matter in places.


Out of the three this is the most objective clearly connecting with the nest 

Embryonic and cell like this focused on translating shapes, forms and structures and can clearly be aligned with photographs two, four and five in terms of the form and line. 

 This cannot be traced to any sources in particularly containing elements of them all; however it is interesting to consider the similarities with images of featus's, embryo's, cells, the womb.  

Friday, 28 March 2014

Perception, Site specific Installation, Walcot Chapel, Bath

As part of our professional Practice module we recently put on a group exhibition at Walcot Chapel; 'Home Is where the Heart Is'; a diverse exhibition with each artwork having been created in response to this title. 


Aspiring to raise awareness of homelessness within Bath and create work in response to this over a specific period I met and had conversations with a number of homeless individuals living in Bath. Archived in a notebook and typed later that day it became imperative to share these conversations with others, to reveal the rarely heard voices of these individuals in a public space leading to the concept of an installation in Walcot Chapel. 

Following extensive thinking, testing, planning and preparation the idea for Perception came to a fruition. Formed from wood, mirrors and printed quotes Perception; a site specfic Installation was constructed and installed around and directly underneath the skirting boards of Walcot Chapel, exhibited for four days in total. 

Displaying the voices through mirrors stemmed from the idea of these conversations forming a bridge between two groups of people- socially categorized into ‘homeless’ and ‘non homeless’; scarcely interacting.

Illegible on the walls the text can only be ‘read’ through the mirror, illustrating division and that with a little effort the two groups can communicate. Its position deliberately reflecting where homeless people often sit: at the side, close to the ground, clearly visible yet excluded, overlooked and avoided. Living at the edge of society. In order to read the words one had to consciously look or bend down forcing one to stop, look, engage and reflect

Different fonts evoked vocal variations in pitch, tone and emotion. Issues of prejudgment, perception and misconception embodied through the mirror, whose reflective properties serve as a reminder that anyone can become homeless. The nature of the installation was quite difficult to capture through photography.  

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Carborundum printing

The drawing workshop left me eager to return to drawing again adopting some of the techniques and approaches gained. Aspiring to expand the scale of my work and approach to mark making, I decided to construct a still life composition in the studio from my available source material consisting of an abandoned nest, different feathers, egg shells and other debris. Similarly to the beginning of the workshop I started by making a series of little drawings from different angles of my composition which then developed into a A2 sized drawing, previously my drawings have been A5 so this was a new challenge! 

Nest Composition set up

Mixed Media drawing from nest composition:

Mediums: Ink, charcoal, paint, layered paper, chalk, PVA - Inspired by the workshop I hardly used my hand to make this drawing at-all creating line/texture variations through materials such as twigs, feathers, scrunched up tissue etc

Drawing translated onto metal plate with etching tools & Carborundum powder 

Showing this drawing in a group crit  it was suggested I use it as the basis for a A3 drypoint employing a new printing method: The Carborundum technique.  This involved mixing carborundum powder (which is grit) with acrylic and glue in  a pot and applying this to areas of the plate where I wanted dark tones/textures (as shown above) , rather than applying in a solid block I scraped back through creating further texture. The plate was then left to dry for a couple of days before printing. 

Carborundum Prints

The plate took a lot longer to ink up than I had envisaged owing to the size of the plate and level of ink held by the Carborundum surface, however once inked up I actually managed to print a series of four A3 prints from the one plate, . I was really intrigued with the depth of tone/texture created by the Carborundum surface and variations between them all  from printing from the one inked plate. 

Print one

This print is the most dramatic in terms of  black and white tonal contrast owing to a high level of ink being held by the Carborundum powder; when it would have been at its strongest. 

Print Two

The lines created by scraping into the carborundum powder when on the plate started to come through more on the second print when the ink was not as heavy: The lines bottom right for instance. 

Print Three

Significantly lighter than the one above I also applied bits of gauze to the plate before printing which have stayed held in place, I brought tone back into this by applying charcoal in various places 

Print Four

The lightest out of the four  my final one showed a a significant reduction in tone and texture, however consequently its line and form  qualities appeared to show more, I worked back into some of these lines with black ink and added some charcoal in places defining line and tone qualities

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Drawing Workshop.... Drawing to music

Brendan Burns Drawing Workshop

Attending an optional drawing workshop led by Brendan Burns was a really inspiring day, as-well as being a break from my own project and chance to learn from an established Artist it initiated new approaches to drawing I may well return too. It was particularly relevant to me owing to the primarily abstract approach and incorporation of different materials to draw with. Activities included exploring mediums through mark making, listening and responding to music through drawing and drawing without seeing, I was particularly enlightened by the mark making task as shown below:

Mark making with different materials/mediums:

Listening to music we responded to this through mark-making in various ways to create a series of drawings that work as a collection suggesting a narrative. A timed activity we only had a couple of minutes to make each drawing and each one had to introduce a different medium. This created spontaneity leading to a diversity of textures. Mediums included ink, paint, pva, charcoal, graphite and even shoe polish alongside materials such as gauze, netting and tissue paper. There is a strong sense of fluidity and gesture reflecting the rythmn of the music to which I responded too. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Salt, Bleach and Ink Experiments

In returning back to my photos for inspiration I was drawn to those directly focusing on the eggs, Inspired by my patination experiments and through artists research I focused on translating elements of these qualities  into mixed media collages focusing on texture & surface opposed to line, integrating a range of materials including ink, pastel, paint  bleach and salt with various papers.

Returning to Photos, picking out certain qualities:

 Cracking, delicate, ridged bubbled, delicate  blue hues

 Transparent, water like, floating, suspended

Breaking apart, crackled, lines, marks, contours created

 Mixed Media Collages 

Watering down the ink to add fluidity 

Integrating eggshell pieces and scattering salt over the top whilst still wet, 
This adds further dimension and was directly inspired by the blue areas in my photos, the layered white areas connect with the eggs tissue. I feel this evokes the eggs qualities most successfully so far. 

Ink, different papers, salt and bleach. Applying bleach over the top combined with the blue ink to  create a purple tone as-well as leaving a negative impression in places

Further Ink, salt and bleach experimentation: The salt adds a sense of fragility

 With this one I applied a bit of acetate on top of the collage adding a sense of translucency

I enjoyed the process of layering different papers with different mediums to achieve different textures  but feel the colour tones are a bit artificial and do not translate the blue hues that successfully, I found it difficult to create the same sort of translucenct fluidity that is captured in the photographs