Thoughts about projects and last day of term fun.

by maggie

By the time I actually manage to write these blog posts sometimes the thoughts therein have gone round and round and round and I hardly know where anything is, but I’m trying to make sense of what I want to do with my work and the opportunities I have at the studio.
This post will be a place marker for some serious considerations of projects I’ve been fighting with over time and their likely next step. Hop to the next post to look at pictures, both past and present, if you want to skip all my blathering.

Years ago I did some printing at City Lit, and have stuck some of the results up here at various times, I thought it best then to have an idea or theme to work with when i started class. I settled on pebbles, having spent sometime at the beach that summer. On one level they are roundish, relatively geometric, simple: on another level they can represent geological time and human intervention, and all the things in between that catch ones fancy.

Between City Lit and Morley’s classes I worked a lot with collage and assumed (if I thought about it at all) i would be easy to pick up the subject where I left off printing.

Not So.

I found lots of new shiny things to be interested in at Morley and managed to confuse myself heartily. But recently what with the warmer weather and the Shed more inviting I’ve been thinking thoughts about all kinds of stuff.

Going into Summer term I’ll have two projects to keep me busy. Two projects seems a little bit greedy, it they are interrelated and open ended. They are not new projects by any means. I’m not junking everything and starting afresh. Far from it, I’ve just put somethings together in my head and refined stuff that was niggling away. There are of course other plates I’d like to finish like “Above Lyn Padarn” and “Bears in Window” but they are gonna have to fit in around big stuff.

Near the end of my time at City Lit (I didn’t keep such good notes then) I produced 16 monoprints which I thought of as ‘River Pebbles’. When I came to Morley I wanted to recreate some of the effects from these prints in a more permanent form, so I could make more Pebbles and maybe even editions. I’ve pieced bits and pieces of the solution together while working on other things but now I want to focus on the Pebbles.

The format will remain the same as the original 2007 prints, a 6 inch square image constructed with a number of ‘plates’, masks and stencils, to create the effect of looking down into a small part of a fast flowing stream. Over time I imagine I’ll build up a library of plates etc. to subtly alter the composition, but at the start I’ll only need one or two. I’ve also been looking for just the right kind of brown ink. In the original images i used a black ink sometimes overprinted with a golden yellow which then ‘turned’ green. Now I want to create the effect of a peat filled water course. See if I’ve achieved that here.

The second project is – Star Charts, maps of hyperspace, Journeys in Eleven Dimensions, call it what you will. Hey all mean something different, but I’m not sure exactly what yet.

I wanted to make a map of somewhere you can’t map, or perhaps somehow that the mapping changes things out of all recognition. At first I thought these were alien maps, but now I’ve decided they are maps we haven’t learned to read yet. Of course the idea of compressing eleven dimensions into a two dimensional static paper page is laughable, that’s part of the point. Another part of the project is acknowledging humanity’s dealings with cartography and putting to the side. At one point in my wool gathering with this project I was resentful that there were no cartographers out there to present me with the contents of my maps, but really that’s the important part of the project – deciding what does, or what could hyperspace look like?

Answers on a post card, please.

Especially if it’s been delivered from round the back of dimension 7 1/2.

I have decided that there will be 64 maps in the series, don’t worry I don’t plan to have them all squared away before July, and an index sheet. And although all of them will have the same format as discussed in previous posts, they will all be different because they’re mapping different parts of all those dimensions – somehow. I maybe plan to have the Index and perhaps one sheet finished by the end of term and banking on the world staying sane enough to work though the rest.
Once these grand decisions had been reached I looked though some (not all) of the bits of paper and tests I had accumulated over the last 18 months. I wanted to see what would make good elements for the two projects. Preferably using collagraph or dry point for a cost effectiveness. Elements of the final image on either project could be preprinted and incorporated as chine collé.

But I needed to know what could be achieved. I took advantage of the last day of term for a bit of experimentation in light of all these thinky thoughts I’d been having.