The making of Sequel II.

DSC_2496This piece was inspired by a work called Sequel 1967-8, made in latex by Eva Hesse. I saw the work when I was reading about Hesse and the image caught my eye as I had just managed to successfully make a charcoal sphere. I wanted to make a piece that would expand on the scale of work, whilst negotiating the limitations of making work of this nature on a domestic scale.

DSC_2052Its difficult to count exactly how many spheres Hesse made, but I made  a rough count from the image of about 80. Her spheres were 6.7cm in diameter, and the sheet they lay on 76.2 x 81.3 cms. As I am still trying out the idea I didn’t want to make that many spheres yet, so decided to make 8, a reflection of the number of my willow sculptures, and tried out how they might look on an artist board measuring 60 x 60 cms. I felt this could produce a visually interesting result.

The next phase involved transforming the sphere into charcoal, so as with previous works, I placed them in tins, surrounding them with sand, and put them in the log burner over night. So I had to prepare 2 boxes in this way.

preparing paper for work.

preparing paper for work.

With the spheres ready I needed to prepare the paper. I wanted to achieve a defined square, on the ground, that would be impermanent in nature. To achieve this I decided I would need to make a stencil. I cut 2 large square from a roll of paper -150 x 150 cms. In one of these I cut a square aperture measuring 60 x60 cms. I found that because the paper had come from a roll it was tending to lift up. This would interfere with getting a defined line, so I made a wooden frame of the same dimensions that could be weighed down with additional weights.

With everything prepared the next thing, which is something I hadn’t fully anticipated, was waiting for reasonable weather to enable this to happen as I wanted to do it outside. Wind and rain ensued. I eventually decided to go ahead anyway despite still being quite windy. I image this is a piece of work that might be put into a gallery where

The time came and, with the assistance of my husband and son, we recorded on video the work unfold. I found it quite exciting because there is this very potent sense of really not knowing will happen. My intention is that it should be an impermanent floor based work, but I can see that this sort of work could be performative in nature.

The other thing I was keen to try out was the making of a trace drawing from the piece on this scale, again we videoed the process. We achieved an interesting, but very fragile work. I have tried to protect the surface with 3 coats of fixative, but am not sure how well this will work. I have also documented the work photographically.  I can see that a work like this will be difficult to store and to maintain the delicate surface, but I can also see that it is a work that could be made in-situ, again perhaps as a performative part to showing the work. It could then be hung directly on the wall, with out having to interfere with the surface.

Sequel II Charcoal. Charcoal dust and sand. Floor based work. 60 x60 cms

Sequel II
Charcoal. Charcoal dust and sand.
Floor based work.
60 x60 cms

Trace drawing made from Sequel II Charcoal dust on paper 150 x150 cms (detail)

Trace drawing made from Sequel II
Charcoal dust on paper
150 x150 cms

I enjoyed the process in the making of these works, and quite pleased with the out comes. I will think about how I could build on this- perhaps making more spheres, or perhaps going for larger spheres, perhaps repeating the process with the intention of leaving it outside and letting the weather work with it- recording it over time.

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