reflection on part five

Exploring the space we occupy either side of the ubiquitous ‘screen’ within a narrative whose ambiguity may have us question our own outlook on life.  My approach is led by an investigationinto an idea in my sketchbook generated during part four.

To put this more explicitly:

  • the space we occupy today – this side of the screen or the other – where do we exist (for example for our friends and family) if our contact is all conducted on the other side?
  • the idea of touch and its interpretation as threat or comfort (danger of safety)
  • one of my weaknesses is to form the final image in my head which nearly always leads to disappointment when I try to put it, fully formed, on to paper. My Part Five challenge is to change the way I’ve worked on past assignments.

I worked in an A3 sketchbook for the entire project, wanting to avoid the trap of ‘the drawing’ while pushing the idea of an investigation all the way. Despite this I was still expecting the investigation to lead me naturally towards a final drawing, and yet that never happened. I’m not overly frustrated at the lack of a grand finale. There are some happy discoveries and the last three drawings I did are the ones that interest me most and I cannot ask for more – proof that I have learned something along the way:

fullsizeoutput_1221My rather scrappy addition to Felix Gonzales-Torres’s image throws up so many thoughts for me. The roots of this project are in the sense of my mother’s touch in the days after her death. Here is the hand of Gonzales-Torres’s friend (who had recently died) in a work that explores the space we occupy and the traces we leave. I leave my own trace, reaching out to touch. My own marks invade that space, cross the screen and enter the narrative.

IMG_4228Pen turned out to be the only thing that could hold its own against the photocopy. I think the contrast gives it strength.

Here more than one hand gives the sensation of a bit of a scrap to connect with the ‘other side’. There is a certain movement which chimes with how our fingers scrabble across a screen. When I drew this my own hand was wrapped up in bandage (burnt in a burger-flipping incident) but I am OK with the awkwardness of the ink sketch set against the ethereal copy.

fullsizeoutput_1219Heavy-handed but I am happy that it has a sense of hands coming through from another dimension. I am relatively new to watercolour but enjoy its unpredictability which I think works here.

On a practical note – Ironically one of the main frustrations of this project was the irregularity of the photocopier. It is unhappy with anything other than A4 photocopier paper and undetectable changes in the position of my hand/the light are magnified – it is very hard to control the results. It would be interesting having a high quality large format copier to hand.

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