Radius and Extension finally opened last night. Thanks for coming, all who could make it, and if you couldn’t, I hope you’ll pop in to C3 at the Abbotsford Convent and have a look before it closes on August 10.
Planning for this show has been going on for a few months now, which has made it feel like an eternity in the making. I could create very little of it prior to the days of install, shortly before it opened, so the planning involved drawings and colour charts and writing, lots of writing.
Above is a model I made of the gallery space to help me get a feel for the amount of space I would be working in. I don’t usually make models like this, but I think it might just feature in the future. Size ratio 1metre:1inch. Metric to imperial for some reason, yes – don’t judge me. It allowed me to get a feel for just how much vinyl I’d need, to know how large I should make the actual painting. Estimating the correct amount of materials is vital when you make the work only when it’s time to install the gallery. I’m not saying I could take up architecture model making, but I thought it was pretty useful maquette and I was particularly fond of the tiny scribbled fireplace.
Hours and hours were spent on install day 1, just laying vinyl. Rolling it out, cutting it to brush stroke silhouettes, as was my want, then applying it.
If I had any doubt when I arrived in the empty gallery, that feeling left as soon as I rolled out my first length of vinyl diagonally across the gallery floor. As soon as I stood back from it, I had the immediate urge to skate all over it in paint.
The concept for Radius and Extension was to map out the marks created with extension of my reach and radius of my wrists, elbows and shoulders. So most of the marks were made from my knees, reaching as far as I could before moving my knees a little further and reaching once again, paying as little attention as possible to what the paint is doing until after I stand up. Before brushing I pour the paint in order to distribute it evenly, as the brush I’m working with was made for sweeping floors, not being loaded with paint.
In previous works where I have painted in the studio and then applied the vinyl to a site has been a strange combination of painting on the floor, but then sticking it on the wall. In this work I wanted to keep it on the floor and perhaps hold on to some of the action of painting.