Day Sixteen – 30th March, 2017:
Today has been pretty straight forward. I have begun the etching process with 3 A3 zinc plates. 3 plates take an incredibly long time to process, firstly having to use Brasso to polish them, then using the french chalk and Cillit bang to degrease. This is then followed by applying the hard ground (resists the acid). That’s pretty much as far as I got with regards to the process. Believe it or not, that took 7 hours. Polishing the plates alone took 2 and a half and they weren’t even as shiny as I had wanted (my arms were dead). It’s pretty interesting learning how to work in a new studio environment, learning the different techniques and methods which differ from where you have previously been making work. It’s enjoyable but sometimes frustrating, I had to apply the hard ground to one of my plates 3 times because I couldn’t understand how to work the roller (sounds ridiculous, but the roller was so different). It was a certain pressure that applied a nice even layer of ground (it’s still a little on the thick side, but it will do).
I was so happy once I had managed to ground my plates (7 hours) that I actually took a photo:
I also spent 4 hours trying to create the designs for the plates using 90gsm tracing paper, wondering why I couldn’t see my images well enough. I forgot to use a lightbox. Silly move. Looking forward to getting the designs done and onto the real work!
‘In 1953 Robert Rauschenberg produced a work entitled “Erased de Kooning Drawing”. This was made by using rubber erasers to literally rub-out a drawing that he had persuaded de Kooning to give him specifically for that purpose. The work apparently took a month and about forty erasers to erase/make (Rauschenberg, 1976, p.75)’ – Exert from Richard Galpin‘s dissertation, ‘Erasure in Art: Destruction, Deconstruction, and Palimpsest’. Erasure came into my practice during the same time as the notions of deconstruction, reconstruction and construction. In essence, erasure as a concept could be explained as a deconstructive construction process that removes in order to create. Erasure brought around many new different possibilities for me and the way that I could express my interests. I enjoyed erasing, breaking down, deconstructing elements in my work and it was already happening in the creative process, in a sense, erasure enabled me to have some form of contextual voice during the beginning of my BA. It allowed me to express my interests in creating abstracted architectural forms which had been removed or erased from its origins.
Erasure was the catalyst for where I am today. It has allowed me to fully grasp my practice and give me a baseline for contextual understanding, allowing for an expression of fragmented architectural forms with understanding. I feel and understand erasure to be a way of thinking, a way of removing all the things you no longer want, leaving you with the purest thought or vision that perfectly suits what you want to see or understand. When I look at buildings I am able to erase all the elements I find uninteresting or boring (in the creative process). However, erasure has destructive connotations, it is seen to be a process that removes what can never be returned. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Now, I feel that unless you have the potential to cause harm during the process of erasure then it shouldn’t be called destructive. I feel that the term destructive is too negative. Erasure is more constructive than destructive, or rather, erasure is deconstructive. Galpin explains this in his essay. Galpin also explains that the word ‘purge’ would be better suited than ‘destructive, ‘The word ‘purge ‘ however suggests a cleaning and purifying process, rather than a violent destruction’. I fully agree with Richard Galpin. Erasure as a concept is a constructive tool, cleaning and purifying the work, unless used violently.
Give his essay a read here: http://www.richardgalpin.co.uk/archive/erasure.htm
Anyway, yet again it’s super late. I’m off! Peace x