At the end of July, I was fortunate enough to be included in Luminescence, a group exhibition at the Hotel Windsor, with a $10,000 prize for the winner, to celebrate the 130th year of the hotel.
Here are a few photographs of my play with a few ideas beforehand. I was painting into photographs and imagining the lobby of the hotel with my broad strokes swathing across its ornate vaulted ceilings and walls.
With very late notice, I was included in the VCA Honours show and I had to put together something very quickly. I have been experimenting with using two different colours as vinyl backing, sticking them to each other before painting on them and then cutting them out and applying them. This has proven a very tricky process. Sticking vinyl onto vinyl which hasn’t yet been adhered to a hard flat surface is incredibly difficult, but I got there (after a fair amount of wasted vinyl). Purple and green backing, with yellow and fluro pink ‘swept’ over the top.
While installing my latest work last week, I had one of those lovely moments where a work starts to take on its own life. It’s no longer just something I am making, it’s a thing that exists by its own volition. Yes, I admit that I am personifying the artwork, but what’s a little personification between friends?
Sometimes posting unfinished work or work in progress online is daunting. Exposing ideas and work that aren’t complete or even work that isn’t quite sure where it’s going. It is perhaps part of the reason why I haven’t posted much lately. It’s cool though, I’m big and brave – here is some of that work.
Using actual signwriter’s vinyl instead of book covering contact makes a huge difference to the possibilities of the work. With contact, the vinyl paint doesn’t adhere very well and ends up peeling off – unwanted paint skins. It’s also a bit rubbish at adhering to walls and floors. It was good for testing ideas early on though. Now I have been able to stretch out in my studio, rolling out metres of vinyl, pouring great globs of paint and then brushing it around with a broom. Yes. A broom. I found one with lovely long bristles and I can push the paint around from a standing position with it’s long-enough handle. Painting onto the floor arose out of need, to avoid runs and drips in my brushstrokes. This way, the paint stays where I put it.
“Painting onto vinyl. Yes, that’s what I’m doing.” She utters inwardly, in relief!
Something about the middle of the year sends me for a bit of a tailspin in my practice. I’m not sure if it’s just a coincidence or something else. But at the middle or briefly after the middle of the year, I am in struggle town – that’s the way it has been for the past few years. This year, I think it’s because I have been deconstructing what I do, peeling back layers and layers and questioning everything, reducing reducing… That’s all reportedly what you do in an Honours year. Huzzah. I am having a great time learning so much here, but I am also rebuilding. Perhaps only just days ago turning the corner and starting to build instead of continuing the deconstruction of my ideas and marks and ways of working. So many metaphors. So so many metaphors. Perhaps with a dash of ‘hang in there kitty’.
In this work from a few weeks ago, I placed myself into the corner of the room and gestured around corners. Down wall and onto the floor in one movement, that was the plan. I was also attempting to open up my marks and start to use vary the thickness of the brush and begin to layer. I have still used some straight-edged shapes/lines in an effort to stay connected to my previous ideas, however slowly they are receding – they appear less and less and take a less dominant role.
The colours were very flat, except for the little suggestions of aqua, which were transparent and painterly. At first that was not my plan, but I liked the effect when I first applied the paint and it didn’t have the same coverage as the other colours.