Working on the cyanotypes today, trying things out and making tests, enjoying a bit of sun on the face.
working on these gilded photos again…
I’m now running out of space in my studio for my body – every surface is heaped, including the floor, the chairs, the tables, the shelves, the drawers…
The picture shows the pile on my desk which is touching my left elbow as I write.
It is a few of the things I am putting together in my mind today: I had very many photos printed, glossy ones with twilight views of the mountain, and I want to try and find a way to integrate them into an artists’ book form with my drawings and writing.
So far so good – although really speaking, this is basically a slightly formalised pile. So at this thought there was doubt, and a light despair, and then a good friend of mine suggested that I look at the work of an artist called Helen Carnac, and I found that she has said the following wonderful and enlightening thing in an interview with ‘Norwegian Crafts’, about the work of moving things around, putting things next to one another:
‘I’m interested in combining things, showing how they move or change in relation to each other. In reality, this is a staging of the relations between things. To move things around has almost become a mantra in my artistic practice. This movement also includes me, whenever I leave the studio to participate in various projects.’
Today, I’m thinking and writing again about hope and contemporary art.
The thought which I want to follow up just a little today is that an art which is hopeful must address trauma also. It must look at the past and it must look at violence, and it must seek to be with the pain of it, to do something with that pain.
In 2019, the Prix Pictet photography prize took as its theme ‘hope’. One of the nominated photographers, the Côte d’Ivoire artist, Joanna Choumali, exhibited a series of photographs taken within several weeks of terrorist attacks at the beach resort of Grand-Bassom, Côte d’Ivoire in 2016. Choumali had taken the photographs on her i-phone, had printed them in small format on canvas, and then had embroidered on top of the canvases with bright threads. The embroidered series of photographs ‘ca va aller’ are shown on her website:
I saw the exhibition of these photographs in the V&A Museum in London in 2019. Choumali’s photographs are small in scale but very powerful. You must come close to see them, and the scale gives an intimacy, a direct connection to the artist working on the photographs, purposefully going towards the pain and trauma of what has been left behind after the violent attacks.
Choumali comments about her process that:
” Each stitch was a way to recover, to lie down the emotions, the loneliness, and mixed feelings I felt. As an automatic scripture, the act of adding colorful stitches on the pictures has had a soothing effect on me, like a meditation. Embroidery was an act of hope, as well.”
A short video, still working with the watercolour scroll forms.
I heard a palliative care doctor talking once, she said that there are four things that people very often need to say before departing.
I do appreciate that you are reading and following my blog!
I’ve updated the page on my website ‘about‘. I wanted to be able to offer clarity – about what I do, what I am offering to you here.
I am happy to announce that I have built new pages here on my website, for my small joys project.
I have today made some project pages for my website, to share some of my work.
I am really happy to say that they are not perfect or complete or sophisticated pages.
And to note that some pages is much better than none at all.
I invite you to see them and I hope you will find at least one thing to enjoy: