‘It has come to this…’

I’m pleased that I have been able to get some more charcoal made so that I could make another large trace drawing. It has occurred to me that if I can document the process of making through to hanging the drawing, it will illustrate the viability of my idea that the making and showing could have potential as a performative element of exhibiting my work. The previous testing out of hanging possibilities have been crucial in deciding to go forward with this.

‘It has come to this…’ Charcoal, Charcoal dust and sand. Floor Based work 60 x 60 cms

‘It has come to this…’
Charcoal, Charcoal dust and sand.
Floor Based work
60 x 60 cms

Trace Drawing made from ‘It has come to this…’ Charcoal Dust on Paper. 150 x 150 cms (detail)

Trace Drawing made from ‘It has come to this…’
Charcoal Dust on Paper.
150 x 150 cms

I was really pleased with how this went. I think it does illustrate that it has potential as a performative piece, providing a suitable venue could be found for exhibiton- it’s possible ‘dust’ might be a problem. The other thing I found pleasing was that some of the charcoal spheres had come out in a more robust form and holding their shape much better. Was that just a fluke? Or have I intuitively been adjusting my making? It certainly gives me the confidence to continue, and maybe be more adventurous in my making.

Ideas are starting to gel in terms of presenting this work for assessment. Now that I have made 3 large trace drawings I could present the video as documentation of the process with photographic documentation of the 3 trace drawings and associated floor works. Along with these I will present a written description of how the making of such a piece could be presented as a performative part of exhibiting.

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2 Responses to ‘It has come to this…’

  1. gesa says:

    hi Sue. I now had another look through your site and also found the background/ statement to your work on the willows. I enjoyed reading through your approach, considerations and refinement.
    – I can see the amount of work that has gone into arriving at the trace drawings… that is quite exciting and I like how I imagine this willow wood, the process of tending to it, of making charcoal and then using the charcoal. That is a nice environmental art loop and it works well for me as a performative practice. I can also see it being exciting to realise that you have been working with this process for such a length of time already and that it by its duration/focus relates to a whole body of work/ concerns of other artists within a conceptual/ minimalist/environmental context. I did look quite a bit at Arte Povera when I last was working with paper and media other than photography, and while I found photography and digital/mediated processes really useful (also in their ability to relate to contemporary experience), I feel the urge to have something more tactile again. Thanks for pointing me to your work and all the best for the final stages, Gesa

  2. smgilmore says:

    Thank you Gesa for taking the time to read and comment on my work. It is work that has been made on the edge of uncertainty, but that does feel right to me, and so gratifying to receive your positive comments. You talk of working with something ‘more tactile again, I think that is what I’ve found working with the willow- working with natural materials can be grounding and fulfills perhaps, something in us, but it doesn’t have to limit your practice.

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