Legal Tagging and the Body Signature

Recently, I discovered a local ‘Urban Art Supplier’, a phrase I had never actually contemplated.  How very closed minded of me.  Yet, it is true.  The establishment, with a secure entrance (they have to buzz you in), feels like a dungeon, but of the delightful kind if it’s possible.  Every wall is floor to ceiling colours of spray paint, in brands I have largely never seen before, and colours of many different shades.  It’s not just pink – oh no – it’s baby pink, light pink, dark pink, fluoro pink, pearlescent pink, metallic pink, plus those options in every other colour too.  I do love that about art stores in general.

In addition, there were paint pens/textas in many colours and thicknesses.  Some really thick, diabolically thick actually, ink pens.  I had often seen tagging around and wondered what they’d used.  I then discovered a new tool.  A mop.

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Christening My Newish Studio with an Experiment

I want to share with you some play from my first few weeks in this, my new studio (now more newish than new).  It’s a good space, reasonable light, quite a decent size, compared to what I’ve had before and after a short period of being stuck on paper, I let fly at the wall.

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Linked Internal Space I (C) 2013 Naomi Nicholls

Linked Internal Space I

Here is some my official documentation from the two sites for Art in Public Places.  You can see more on my installation page.

When photographing work, it’s a good time to evaluate what I’ve done and to think through the content of the work.  Some say that artwork isn’t complete until ‘the viewer’ looks at it…

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Art in Public Places

I’m currently in the thick of installing work for the Hobsons Bay City Council initiative, Art in Public Places.

Three sites and I have two days left(!).

The first site, is at Mason St Newport.  And outdoor site, brick wall and asphalt footpath.  Once the previous artwork was removed from the wall, it revealed what I had to work with; a painted brick wall, with some damage.  I painted it a pale grey all over for the base coat.

Working outdoors has presented some challenges I’m not used to.  For starters, it gets dark of an evening – earlier and earlier now that we are headed to shorter days.  So I have needed to work around  my other commitments and daylight.  But not only that, the weather has been hits and misses since the weekend, with intermittent showers.

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Structure into Pink and Blue is complete

Installations are hard to photograph.  I always find it tough.  Straight lines warp through the camera, light is hard to capture (for the novice photographer), and you can’t shoot around corners or capture two elements of the installation that talk to each other in the same frame.  I usually find solace in the fact that I take as many photos as I can from as many angles as I can, trying to focus on the sweet spots for reading the installation, or at least where I think the sweet spots are.  It was suggested to me a while ago to start filming my installations, as a way of capturing the spatial experience of moving through the work.  It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely something.  I have been doing this on and off for a while.
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Upscaling Didn’t Quite Work

Sometimes things just don’t work.  Many times I have painting things in small scale and then tried them on a large scale and it just flopped.  That happened again recently.

It was the first time I attempted those random and deliberate brush marks in a large scale.  I had plans of linking the shape together and unfolding an installation across the room, in a similar way to these works on plywood, but the upscaling did nothing for the shape.  To me it just looked like the beginnings of a graffiti mural, which is not the content I want to bring to my work at this point (if ever).  As with before, it seems the problem was the size of my brush in relation to the size of the shape.  It may have worked if the shape had been half the size.  Or if it was filled in, which I have since started to do.

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