Over the past week, I’ve been wondering about how to pull together all the elements of my new work in order to show the public what on earth I’ve been doing in Studio 2 at the Fire Station Arts Centre for the past three months, when the studio doors open one final time next Friday, 29 November. With little spare time to just do nothing and think about things, I’ve often started on a course of action only to sleep on it and come back the next day and change direction. So it was today.
The charcoal bird drawings have dominated by attention for several weeks now, each one stuck to the wall as it’s completed, joining a growing flock. They’ve become a striking feature within the studio and I’ve been reluctant to take them on the next stage of their creative journey while I’m enjoying their attention. However, the time is coming when their purpose within the greater work will be revealed.
The sculptural elements of the work, my cardboard box ‘rocks’ are a different story all together. I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with them – happy with them one day and despairing of them the next. This morning I woke early knowing I had to paint them glossy black. The jarring colour from the deconstructed urban landscape photos I’ve pasted to them meant something to me conceptually, but aesthetically, I felt it wasn’t working. Yet, on their own, as photographs in their own right, these particular images are fine. I’m thinking they’re now a separate body of work. I think the birds eventually demanded something different…which in itself is an interesting idea…
The final element of the new installation piece is to introduce those magic ingredients I’m hoping will make this work sing (excuse the pun)…light, sound and movement. Playing around with some LEDs this morning, I think this will work well when the ambient light in the space is under control. The beautiful natural light by which I work in the studio isn’t so conducive to creating atmosphere! Then, there’s the movement I want in the ‘forest’ of banners…Playing around with fans this morning is giving me an idea this might just work. That just leaves the sound. You’ll hear the birdsong of the grey thrush-shrike in the video. I find this birdsong magical and I have special plans for it that might just take a bit longer to develop.