Visit the Visual Eclectica blog and you can read the post Ive just added where I mentioned the slideshow presentation I gave last night in Brisbane to a wonderful community group which I'd like to write up about at my Homage blog as they're involved in critical local conservation work.
There were images also of home interior painting I did over the holidays... and mention of the fact I'm setting off on a trip tomorrow that will keep me away almost two weeks.
If you noticed the new header its part of the series Ive just added to flickr which you can view at the moment by clicking on the image at the top of the right sidebar or, more permanently, find here.
Some of those images also at flickr, I'll add here.
Well ... this is another way for you to view them.... click on one and it should open.
You'd be right in thinking I was completely absorbed in this process... begun at the Millennium Seedbank on residency back in October last. The concertina book I had dragged around for ages I took to the UK and decided to get out one day when taking break from concentrated, representational drawing of seeds and pods. This format got me playing around, not needing to have a fixed idea.
Over the next few months I picked it up here and there, painted over some of it, added and subtracted some more until the enthusiasm for the possibilities really lit up and transported me to try another book and another. I'd bought a wonderful long narrow concertina book in Paris, two Moleskin concertina books on special in London, and then in Seoul, Korea found another compact one intended for calligraphy.... so with five concertina books to work on and a few smallish journals thrown in, Ive been cultivating fresh ideas as I continued... observing what was working and what perhaps wasn't.
This concentration on paper, pages, in journals and such, is a way of working that I particularly relish at the start of each year. Some of my most intense journal work over years has come about when starting the new year ... it seems to be when I sow seeds or happen on something through informal but dogged process work which later proves to be rich fodder for more considered exploration.
Last year I posted images at this blog from a concertina book I produced in 2000... a time when my art practice was suddenly disrupted late one night, midyear, in a house fire that left me homeless and needing to relocate. 6 weeks later I was settling into a new life in another state and it was quite some time before I was able to pick up where i'd left off. Last year I poured over this concertina book from 2000, considering the ways it might offer an interesting point of departure for current visual explorations.
The night I was returning to Australia via Seoul last November after the 7 week stint in the UK, I started writing in a small journal with an ink pen. Overtired but not able to sleep I rambled through pages in a small journal in ink... writing up aspects of the trip. Recently I took another look at it and decided the text not to be worth saving... and that I would work directly onto those pages, leaving text somewhat visible, which immediately brought back the strongest of feelings... this extraordinary trip coming to an end... my anticipation of being home and desire to have my own space again, and of all the various experiences from my time away... how poignant and unrepeatable much of it was.
The particular way I photographed these pages is not random...books have this way of inviting you between the pages to discover a world ...and this text intrigues me, as I try to remember what I was writing. Somehow the idea of books is amplified... the pages of an E-book will never work like this... I'm reminded the immediacy of the actual opened book which you can touch and peer into is something special.
I'm fascinated how this blog, commenced almost 3 years ago, so tentative for ages, now serves a most useful purpose as a space to muse on things that affect and shape my art practice. Only a few months back I switched on comments for the first time... before that it was little visited site, by myself or others.
That quite well known text from Ecclesiastes ... 'to everything there is a season' suddenly comes to mind when thinking about this blog. Sometimes one's art practice tips one way and then it shifts and turns to pursue another line of thought... to explore another aspect of art-making. The focus can shift from materials and processes to composition and direction, to philosophical questions and subsequent development of visual ideas.
Sometimes one rattles around all those rooms at once more or less ... and at other times something emerges as the dominant idea for a time and everything else is put into the service of that one thing.
2011 was concentrated on thinking and reflecting, taking my project, which had slowly formed in 2009, further on the thinking plane. The focus on the residency and research in the UK drove that as I was stepping more seriously into the realm of science in pursuing this UK experience. In 2010 during my year-long residency at the Botanic Gardens in Brisbane I'd exhibited 3 times and during each phase leading up to a show had produced some new ideas, some significant which needed brooding on amidst other less interesting. Its now, in 2012, that I am feeling really motivated to pick up and work more with visual ideas from 2010. Its as if they've had enough time to be what they are... to make their presence felt or not.
I very much like this element of processing things over time ... the way something can slowly show itself to be lightweight or alternatively of certain resonance or worth. Years ago I was naturally less concerned to discriminate in quite this way as I searched for a visual language of resonance, for that which I might begin to define as approaching something authentic.
And so 2012 has afforded me this more expansive sense of the visual once more...for the moment anyway... as if all the politics and science of seeds has settled somewhere in my psyche for the moment, its noise not dominating the call of the muses... the poetic fro now has space to live and the alchemy of time and stimulus, limitation and necessity, freedom and openness makes its curious way through this inner landscape of ideas and images.
And so, to bed!