Neo:Artists – Artist in Residence: Days 55 through 72

Days 55 – 74, 4th – 21st May, 2017:

Wow, so 18 days has actually flown past! And I only have 3 to go!

I’ve been so busy that I have completely forgotten about posting on the blog! Oops. I’m not even sure that I will be able to remember everything that I have been up to. I know for a fact that I have created many prints and I have finished crafting all the Perspex geometric shapes – ready for installing the installation two weeks prior to the solo show in November.

This task alone was extremely challenging! I had 3 sheets of 2m x 1.5m perspex delivered to the studios and I had no idea really how big these things were going to be! So they arrived and I was like… Woah, holy jhees. I had no idea about how I was going to be able to craft these massive sheets into a range of different shapes. I left the shapes there in the studio for a couple of days while I planned on how I would cut them up. The machine that I had used for the previous geometric shapes was far too small to cut the size shapes that I desired. Also, to note, if you use a small saw piece for a jigsaw it can cause the perspex to melt and snap the blades so I didn’t know how to get the sizes down. Anyway,  there were many obstacles that I needed to face.  What did I do?

I spoke to the guys over at Bolton Uni and they allowed me to come and work in their woodwork shop for the week, well, I actually took just over due to implications on my part! What does this mean? This meant that I had to get these massive sheets over to the Uni!

Jason lent me his Jigsaw and we used the thickest blade possible (it caused many chips in the perspex) and I cut each 2 x 1.5m sheets in half.  I then had to walk the sheets over to the Uni which was about a mile and half away. It was sunny, it was all good. Anyway, while I was there I used many different pieces of machinery in order to create my geometric shapes; a circular saw, band saw, sanding bench, circular sander, drills – things like that! Here are some snaps – these images will give you an idea about what I got up to! (better than words!!)





























Anyway, so after this I had a few days of what I like to call – ‘The artists’ abyss’ – I had no idea what to do and I had no direction. I had been so hyped on the geometric shapes and the concept of building the structure that I had nothing planned for after.  In my eyes creating the geometric shapes was going to take weeks. So, I guess it’s good to mention here that I won’t be creating the structure during my residency.  I’ll be constructing it 2 weeks prior to the opening of the show as I aim to work with the space in the gallery rather than in a single 3 x 3m cube.

So I was lost… I didn’t really have much inspiration. I took some photos of some mini paper sculptures that I had made using graph paper.

The aim with these sculptures was to possibly inform some solar plates etchings – taking close ups of the lines created by the bending paper and it’s stuck to architectural forms. However, I became interested in the actual forms as I felt when hung they gave an element of movement. It’s seemed like these architectural forms had suddenly been given life and they were floating (similarly to the geometric perspex shapes) in space, flowing with a sense of life. So I just took some photos with a harsh light projected onto them to further illustrate the movement from this 3-dimensiaon architectural form.
















Anyway, this fascination didn’t last very long, I think it was perhaps one evening that I was emersed into this idea and taking photos of my sculptures. I still had no clue of what I was going to do for a bigger, more longer project. I wasn’t going to take photo’s of the sculptures and take them into solar plate etching. I was lacking something, didn’t know what, but my inspiration levels were down and I didn’t know where I was going.  This lasted for 4 days… it was painstakingly odd for me and I felt like everything I did wasn’t working or good enough. I even had a go with mono-printing as a way to inspire some ideas – Here’s what I came up with. There are some interesting things that were going on, but overall I feel that this is something that I shall use to get some tonal qualities into my etchings as a later stage development.













It’s fun experimenting but it’s very hard to critique it – due to it being so subjective and unusual in experimenting, anything could be the right way to go, you have to constantly experiment. I find it more soothing working to an idea and the process leading towards experiments rather than literally jumping into experimentation! ‘Different kinds for different minds’ – Rowan Siddons, 2017, hahaha. However, there’s always method behind the madness, aye.

Anyway, so I was still struggling, trying to pull something out of the magic hat, but there were no rabbits keen on making an appearance – all a little too shy and unsure. So I decided that I would have a wander around Bolton and actually take some snaps of interesting architecture. Similar to the images I had taken for the psychogeography video – I  few blog posts back! However, this time I was going to take images of certain types of architecture. Architecture with interesting perspectives, almost turning the images into something geometric. 

Here are some of the flicks I took:





















 BOOM – I finally get an idea…







I finally get an idea! I would create a range of different etching plates and begin experimenting with composition, searching for interesting use of space with reference to architectural perspective drawings designed from the photos of Bolton and inspired by my trip to the museum and seeing the architectural drawings with Mr. Matthew Watson. I also then knew that I was going to further test out mono-printing and Chine-Colle to see how architectural forms would interact within the space of the print and the line drawings! I was sooooooooo hyped!
Here’s how I got on…





























I am really happy with these prints! I really feel that they illustrate some of my key conceptual and aesthetic concerns. I feel that within these works it shows a true sense of movement, illustrated by the shifting perspective lines, and also a good sense of depth, amplified by the tonal areas and chine-collé. In fairness, I am very content with their overall style! I have so so much more work and development to continue with these prints. It’s definitely a great starting point for big experimentation works, something exciting!

Anyways, I must crack on. 3 days left…
Over and Out. 

Ro x