Thursday, 20 January 2011

I must confess ...

I've always struggled to make work for other people and at Christmas when I had a (not so) genius idea to make people pieces of work for gifts, I had a few too many epiphanies about the state of painting in attempting to do so. And, I must confess ... I don't think I can paint anymore! There, I said it. "Oh, but you can, your work isn't that bad!", I hear you say. But really, I can't and it's okay. It's actually quite a relief!

When I got back in the studio after Christmas I realised that I haven't actually been 'painting' for quite a while. So, when I tried to paint canvases in a conventional sense, it just didn't work. Instead I've been making paintings and making 'things' (and unmaking them as well) that reference paint and question the status of painting such as book-paintings, textstallations and paintsculptstallations rather than painting paintings ... if that makes sense. And instead, my work is all about deconstructing and re-thinking painting in new ways such as through drawing, stitching, collaging and challenging the boundaries of what painting is and phallocentric structures embedded within painting. Its also about exploring alternative spatialities about and with paint in some sort of in-between space or outside of painting ... but not actually painting in the sense I though I was or what people consider painting actually is!!! Phew!

When I got back into the studio, I had a right old paint/make-o-rama and worked on a massive piece of Fabriano paper about 2m x 1.5m which I've been creating in dialogue with a large mind-map the same size on the opposite wall and also created a framed piece (which I did actually give as a gift). Already it feels much easier; knowing that I am using paint to draw and make marks in a deconstructive and performative approach and I feel much more confident being experimental.
I guess this is just the beginning in a new stage of makingness so the only thing that can happen now is to develop and hopefully in some interesting and surprising ways. So, just watch this space. And that's a warning!

I've been working this week on something called The Sketchbook Project which is a fab project where you get sent a Moleskin sketchbook, fill it how you like and then send it back off where it goes on a super duper tour around the US. After all its travels, it then lives at the Brooklyn Art library where you can become a member and loan out the sketchbooks just as if they were library books. Genius! I started to fill mine in after Christmas and it looked pretty crap, so ... I decided to unbind it and take all the pages out and then add in pages made from canvas, newspapers from different languages and pages of different books. I've had to work quite quickly to make the deadline, but sometimes you get surprising results from working quickly and with a little pressure. I'm actually quite pleased with the little blighter ...

Anyway, it's been an absolute age since I last wrote a blog post. Not because I had nothing to share, but because I had too much!! I don't want to go back and share it all now, after all the moment has passed and it would be extremely boring. However there are some things I'd still like to share. The first are images of some fantastic work at Festive Flair which was a contemporary craft fair held at the Light House in Wolverhampton before Christmas.
Above is the beautiful work by fellow blogger Hen's Teeth and below are images of lovely work by She Thought Beautiful Things ... who are made up of the equally lovely Katy Magor and Jo Davis.

Secondly, as some of you may know I am currently betrothed and with forthcoming nuptials, I asked six of my creative friends to make my wedding invites. They could do whatever they wanted and they could all be different as well. My lacklustre photos don't do them justice but here they are ... in all their wonderful eclectic sexy creative glory! Jazzy!
Pieces of Aberdeenshire by Georgina Barney

Pretty, pretty, pretty invites by my sister Corinne

Drawn and sent all the way from Vietnam from my brother Laurence

Beautiful printed and embroidered pieces by Katy Magor

Super sexy collages by Georgie Macbeth

Hand-made conceptually embedded paper by Rachel Marsden

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