Sunday, 13 February 2011

Marking The Marks

This posting is detailing some of the marks and drawing I made, some whilst on my travels and some made based on the photographs I took whilst on as detailed in previous postings. 


Fair Island Morning

Fair Island Rain

Untitled - Detail
Distance Surface - Detail
Distant Surface
Marks on the Landscape.
Land Meeting
Fair Isle IV - Detail
Part of my research was spent in Lerwick, Shetland with a fair proportion of my time spent in the new Museum ( going through there archives. I was as I suspect are many people drawn to their rich and varied archive of knit wear, especially the Fair Isle pieces and samples.
I was drawn to the repetition of pattern and the rich colour, many of which were taken from natural materials within the environs of Shetland itself. Many of the islands have a history of using what ever was around them to product a varied palette of colour which was in turn used to dye fleece, to make into clothing and fabrics to keep out the cold.

This juxtaposition of ideas, images and layers excited me and my craft based visual thinking and research. I set about looking at ways I could combine and fuse these knitted marks with the landscape of the islands from hence they came. The layers of meaning and thinking motivated me greatly.

I initially explored the landscape using marks and images I happened upon within the confines of Shetland Museum. While the energy of the mark making was deeply satisfying the notion of using the found imagery was not. This was a real stumbling point as while there was focus and discovery in my own personal mark making, I did not want to regurgitate images and symbols that had been used for, sometimes, centuries. Rather I wanted to invent my own. Symbols that flowed and meant something to me and my personal journey as a creative crafts person.   

Fair Isle I - Detail
This was a relatively taxing and frustrating time. I found my response to this conundrum equally fascinating as an anxiety "to get it right" hampered rather than empowered this development. The images I developed mixing the physical with the meta physical proved very contrived, while I enjoyed the idea of the mix I was still striving forward with combining these two elements, I was convinced they would meld but at this stage I just hadn't discovered the how.

Fair Isle I
Collage I
Collage II
View From Burra - Detail
View From Burra
Burra I



             At this stage there was a visceral and tactile joy in the physical marks I was making which I found deeply satisfying. I hope this comes across in the images I have selected for this blog entry.

These selected images were going to take me in new and diverse directions with the help of a contemporary technology which I don't believe had been used in a craft research context before ... certainly not by me.  

Grimsay I
Grimsay Light
Grimsay IV
This last image, below, is a detail from a wall tile at Glasgow School of Art, which I took after the previous images were made. I have enclosed it as I enjoyed the visual link between what Charles Rennie MacIntosh was doing with his detailing and what I was doing in my image making and mark making through colour and surface making. I enjoyed the commonality of the visual, not that I am any where in the same league as MacIntosh!

Glasgow School of Art - Wall Tile Detail.


Ceri E. S. White said...

Actually these are really lovely, James! Very much my kind of thing...I have mark-making envy! xxx

PickOne said...

Thanks Ceri ... I appreciate the feed back. I really enjoyed the pyhsical process of making these marks and constructing the drawings. It was also fab to get my hands dirty, since weaving can be such a "clean" activity.

Hope all is well and keep sharing this blog with any interested parties.