Notes on Practice

These are short notes of thoughts that occur while working. Trying to document the lightbulb moments while they're still hot.....


The first large scale batik, stretched on to the back of an aluminium fly-screen frame which remains visible, is rich in colour and texture, but remains an image, a flatness, a picture of something rather than a something.  I take it off its stretcher, a few tears here and there, but nothing so dramatic as happened during the process of its waxing and dyeing.  The back is laced with repairs, holding together the edges of rips that came apart softly but unavoidably at any attempt to move work when it is wet
It is better away from it’s stretcher, it has its own presence now. It has its own edges, they show the layers of colour in a way that reveals the process more than the composition does. They remind me of the edges of registration in colour prints; a little cyan peeks through here, some yellow has bled out there. The magenta struggles to rein them in. But it is still flat. Still and flat.
Around the corner, the discarded wire mesh from the fly-screens original purpose stands. When I pulled it off the frame I enjoyed its ability to hold itself up; I curled it into a cylinder but gradually pushed it out of the making part of the room.  Now I pull it back in, lay it down, flat-ish on the floor.  I pull the paper batik over it; their sizes match; they have come from the same boundaries. Suddenly, the paper is a thing. The edges curl up where the wire mesh resists gravity.  There are ripples in the surface now, not from the layers of wax and the tears, the repairs, but from an invisible support underneath. The wire gives the paper form and strength. Its surface is still vulnerable, but behind that surface is a matrix that will allow it to stand on its own, take itself into a space rather than hugging the periphery.