Sunday, April 11, 2010
Seeing Stars Again...
graphite & putty eraser, with watercolour, on newsprint collage/30x20cm
It transpires that today is in fact the anniversary of the very beginning of the ‘roadkill’ diptych series of drawings, a year to the day pencil was first laid upon paper in the processing of such, initially as a sub-theme of the then recently-begun drawings based upon photographs of the local road surfaces with their distinctive ‘double black lines’ markings, the supplementary presence of a roadkill can amongst which had been an occasional feature, one seized upon as an additional & particular point of interest in the selecting of images from which to draw. Curious it is how a body of work might develop, from largely unintentional beginnings, with - because of a combination of circumstances that have relegated the proposed road surface drawings to a position on the back-burner, still being kept in reserve for bigger plans &/or more expansive opportunities - the roadkill diptychs taking precedence for what has become such a substantial period of time. Not entirely sure if there might not have been something of an inevitability about such an occurrence, however subconscious, given one’s general long-standing tendency towards the still life (as an area of artistic practice & interest, & as an overarching philosophy, it might be said!), but it’s something of a brief pause for thought to realise that one has spent the greater part of a year’s drawing practice & a considerable amount of one’s time engaged in the close, obsessive study & representation – celebration (?) - of such disregarded ephemera, of ‘looking at the overlooked’ over quite such a concentrated span of time.
Regarding the present drawing, the recently-found object as represented – featuring as it does, centrally, the fragment of a star shape amongst its visible branded livery - came to attention rather serendipitously when considered in the context of the recent post incidentally but nonetheless significantly featuring mention of Jasper Johns’ ‘Flag’ & related objectified representations of (the) stars & stripes. Consequently, such coincidence inspired the opportunity to explore a certain referential twist on a technical addition to the drawing process as has featured on occasion in the past. Having previously constructed grounds of collaged torn paper fragments for a few of the ‘roadkill’ diptychs, the influence of numerous examples of Johns’ early work, including ‘Flag’ specifically (& many a Cubist collage & drawing too, of course), suggested doing so with newsprint on this particular occasion, with the result of adding a further two layers to the creative process in the tearing of the paper & then gluing it to the support: it might be noticed that both of these were done in a manner intended to relate to the form & arrangement of the habitual hatch-marked graphite grounds, with which the newsprint was subsequently overlaid. The original intention was not to choose text of any particular significance, but then the process of sorting-through the over-abundantly available stack of newspapers & deciding upon the most appropriate-looking material unearthed the physical copy of this Guardian article of Germaine Greer’s on the subject of textiles (in response to the exhibition ‘Quilts: 1700 – 2010’ at the V&A) – of which flags such as the Stars & Stripes are manifestations, of course - & such examples of visually-echoing star-rated music reviews as those pertaining to Laura Marling’s, Jesca Hoop’s & the recent reissue of Galaxie 500’s albums, which just seemed, once again, too serendipitous not to press into service. Hence the text-based ground features a number of (self-)references & interesting little words & phrases, ‘clues’, relating broadly & specifically to the context of the drawing(s), processes of making, the naming of an artist (who, by way of something of an uncanny coincidence, featured as the protagonist of the post-script to the plaster cast-themed blog entry referred to during the course of that recent aforementioned post, as informing the making of the drawing leading this one, conflating the same subject matter as decorated by 'Stars & Stripes' with Johns' 'Flag') &, of course, oft-featured elements of the ‘soundtracks’ as habitually documented: my own particular favourite, mentioned in the course & context of the Galaxie 500 review, is the occurrence of the word ‘shoegazers’, with the personal tendency towards & practice of shoegazing relating to &, indeed, underpinning the finding of ‘roadkill’ objects at the roadside.
After & on the very subject of which, here's another image interlude, featuring an example of fresh 'roadkill', as found upon a section of the double black lines this very morning.
Galaxie 500 'Today' & 'On Fire'
Jesca Hoop 'Hunting My Dress'
Love 'Forever Changes'
Lambchop 'Is a Woman'
& (regularly, via The Times stream) Laura Marling 'I Speak Because I Can': sublime