This 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.
Its 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.
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.
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.