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I presented this painted black gloss shape on black matte wall at a recent studio critique. It was accompanied by this sound piece, played through a powerful stereo:

It was sufficiently loud that it caused objects within the room to vibrate.

The group discussion read the combination of sound and visuals as being oppressive and ominous, combining to create an atmosphere suggestive of religious cult rituals or sinister political gatherings.

It was felt that the work presented in this crit represents a departure from previous work. The black gloss symbol has nothing of the organic, gentle feel of the pencil drawings. It is extremely assertive and dogmatic; very oppositional and uncompromising in every way, to the point of feeling threatening. It suggests none of the time based creative process of the pencil drawing.

I am gradually assessing where I go from here. The shape is just an arrangement of painted lines, although I can understand why it was interpreted in these ways. I do feel that playing with sound and visuals with a certain charge and potency has potential, though I want to find ways to puncture the pomposity these signifiers carry, to promote recognition of their ultimate absurdity.

Studio Space

2d2m

Drawing I

cog

Drawing II

cog2

These wall drawings were rendered with pencil. It operates in a more subtle, elusive register than chalk. The viewer is forced to look closer and from different angles to discern the complete shape of the work.

I experiment with the inclusion of resonant objects in keeping with drawing. For example, in a recent studio critique I included two small pieces of metal, one a triangle and one a parallelogram placed on the floor. Their forms informed these drawings. I interrogate chosen objects and their exact placement in their environment.

Drawings are ephemeral, planned to be made, rigorously documented and painted over. I do not want to overly prescribe how the works should or should not be read. The work is richer if it invites multiple interpretations. Subtle clues can be given but I find strength through ‘undecidability.’

The photograph below shows two recent wall drawings, created in the weeks leading up to culture night Belfast on the 18th of September. A dark blue bass drum has been placed in front of them.

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Drawing I

triangle drawing

Drawing II

circle drawing

I also made a sound performance piece with Michael O’Halloran that evening, he using guitar and a loop station, and I playing bass drum, hi-hat and snare drum. The rules that governed this were as follows:

‘Loop station Performance’

  • The guitar will be playing within a loop that will repeat after a predetermined amount of time.
  • The tempo and the key will be fixed, and notes will be improvised within a recurring pattern.
  • The pattern will be manipulated with digital effects, but always manipulated as a whole.
  • The drums will follow the pattern established by the guitar.
  • The performance will last ten minutes.

The performance was intended to augment/activate the drawings in a thoughtful way. Just as they were produced by a process of repetition and layering of individual component shapes, the idea was to layer and repeat notes to eventually achieve a complex build up of sound.

 

2 drawings and drum

After culture night I decided to leave the bass drum in front of the drawings. The drum’s form is sculptural, the circular shape echoes the shape of the drawing. It is a resonant object both sonically and symbolically.

angular form

This is another summer drawing, created with a pre determined set of rules. White chalk on black wall continues the mathematical, scientific blackboard aesthetic of recent work. The form is composed of sharp angled triangles repeated to form a curved whole. Evidence of mistakes and revisions contribute to a sense of the organic, the working out of ideas.

Angular form 2

Spiral From 2

A recreation of an earlier work using black chalk on a white wall at Framewerk gallery in Belfast. This drawing was the basis of a ten minute sound piece exploring order and chaos which Ben Behzadafshar and I performed in the gallery. He played guitar and I drummed. It was part of the month long BASS sound art season in the gallery in June of this year.

The drawing obeyed the same governing rules as the original but the results are subtly different.

Spiral From 2 close

When I was working towards the end of year show at the end of May, I created the drawing below. After some thought, It was painted over and started again. It didn’t feel quite right, it was not in keeping with the other drawings in the show, documented in earlier blog posts. It reaches beyond the black space, it feels too psychedelic, it looks disjointed where it goes over the pipe.

feckery2 three

I’m back in my space in Cathedral Studios and I’ve been trying to maintain some kind of creative momentum over the Summer holidays from Art School. Here is one wall drawing at 3 stages of development:

summer drawing 1

summertime drawing 2

summer drawing 3

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