In thinking about how to take my work forward in line with thinking about the idea of ‘absence’ I was sat looking at a previous work that I had done, and actually feeling quite despondent. Its like my journey through much of this course has been filled with uncertainties of one sort or another, which I think it is just reflective of what it is to live in the aftermath of a tragic loss, but still I keep making and doing. So as I looked at this work, I thought there’s something wrong, I thought about my plan to make a piece about each of the willow sculptures- initial ideas about bringing different elements into each work hadn’t really worked, I thought about the collage of photos I had made- shadows, traces, absences, my mind turned to all the photos of shadows of the 8 willows- an idea started forming.
There was something about this that made me think I need to embrace the ‘wrongness’. How can you make something seem right, when nothing feels right?
So I thought about the 8 willows, along with the other 3 older willow sculptures. In my mind I will add to the 2 paintings I have already completed, to create a series of 11. In my current thinking I would if possible hang them in a grid of 3 x 4, with one obvious gap. Each painting would be a fragment of the overall shadow from each willow. My intention would be that they do not match or ‘properly’ fit together, and perhaps that they could be hung in a different configuration each time. The grid as a reference to order has been broken. They will each be made with charcoal that I have made from willow. The production of charcoal brought about through heating in the absence of oxygen.
With this idea I set about exploring the possibilities. Unable to relinquish total control I went through my library of photos making small drawings trying to work out those that might be more suitable.
I then progressed onto working with them in photoshop, moving them around, magnifying them, and cropping them once I found what seemed like it might be a suitable image. I then used the ‘stamp’ filter with each to get a black and white image – this was to give me an idea of the sort of image I might get with charcoal.
This gives the impression of the sort of work I am aiming towards. Although the photoshop images give a good impression of what I hope to achieve, my intention is to work from the photos I have of the shadow as they have more nuance to them. The selection I have made here is not the final selection. I have a number of potential images for each tree- it is likely I will work on several pieces and then make the final selection later.