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?
Here are a few shots which were taken on a potato (read: mobile phone) – they’re a bit rough…
I love this shot of the brushstrokes laid out, ready to be chosen and included in the work. They are ripe with potential and are about to become closely acquainted with one another. It felt like a very different installing experience; suddenly I was compiling a painting on the wall with pre-existing brushstrokes. It is half working intuitively directly onto the wall and half making the work outside the space, as I would have when working on canvas.
I tested my decisions by tacking the brushstrokes to the wall with a little tape, before removing the backing paper and committing to their position. There’s a pretty big difference in what the first orange brushstroke looks like when it is tacked up with tape, to where it is completely stuck down. When it’s tacked on, it sits up on the surface of the wall, but once stuck down it becomes part of the wall and the wall becomes a floaty space, with the distance to viewer unclear. I like that.
There’s a combination of paint on clear, white and coloured vinyl. As I move forward with this technique, I am seeing how different backing vinyl can be used to introduce other colours to a work. There’s an interesting play between the colour of the paint, the footprint or silhouette of the brushstroke; its movement and inherent action, and the backing colour. The backing colour is smooth, so glossy, but it ends where the brushstroke does and could be an entry-point to another layer.
I ended up using the smaller brushstrokes only sparingly. I didn’t want to overdo it, and felt that these main large pieces were most important, painting a trail across actual and theoretical space.