Making this piece was a way of testing out that a work of this scale could be completed with a similar result. I had hoped to make more spheres, but felt the charcoal sticks and larger sphere would make a slight difference from the previous work. It is clearly a process full of uncertainties (see lessons learned below), and time heavy, but with interesting results.
Obviously works of this nature are very fragile to store- a danger of disturbing the surface by rolling and quite large to store or transport flat. I have used a fixative on them and rolled them due to limited storage space. I have spoken with M. about the idea of making work such as this in the gallery where it could be hung after the making and so maintain the integrity of the surface. We spoke about Dieter Roth who would include elements of the making into his exhibitions. He created mixed media installations where assistants would create casts of Roth’s famous chocolate and sugar self- portrait busts. As I still have to work towards the Professional Practice element and do not yet have a venue for exhibition it does add to the difficulty of making decisions about how and what I can do.
I started to look back at some of the earlier trace drawings I have made as I consider how it might best shared in a gallery (or other chosen venue).
In many ways these were the first few ‘accidents’ that set me on this path of recording and capturing something of the end of the process of the making of charcoal. These were made on A2 sized paper, and made me think about using larger sheets for future batches of charcoal.
These were both made on A1, and still capture the energy of that moment. Even these smaller pieces have an equally delicate surface to the larger works which would make them difficult to transport- clearly an issue for assessment, but also for showing.
Seeing the documentation of Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Connecting across country with a line’ at Doug Aitkin’s ‘Station to Station- a 30 day happening’ in London recently did make me think about the possibilities of showing a number of smaller works, along with a film of the process. This may be a suitable way to show the work for assessment, but then for exhibition a studio space could be set up to show the various stages of the process – the making of the spheres, the packing of tins and willow forms with sand, etc. This aspect would clearly depend on the space acquired for exhibition, and negotiation with that space.
Last night I managed to fire some more charcoal tins. I have a few more prepared ready to go and am starting to wonder if I should use these to make a number of smaller works that might be submitted (with care!) for assessment, and hope they travel well, or make another larger work so that I have made 3 works 150 x 150 cms, but submit photographic documentation of these. I am finding this quite a hard decision to make. I will dwell on this as I prepare some more charcoal, and think a little more about how a ‘studio’ scenario might unfold as part of the exhibition.