|At 16 - I went to the Animal Fair, Battisford, England, 2017|
Later in the year one of my mail art friends, Nichola Orlick is hosting an exhibition at a gallery in Kobe, Japan. It is called Half Hundred Swing and is an homage to Joseph Cornell. We have been asked to make box collages. I have been thinking about it for some time and I earmarked this weekend to complete it. I read a book about Cornell Vision of Spiritual Order by Lindsay Blair that I found in a charity shop four or five years ago. Before I began working on the collage, I browsed throught the book and wrote down these words: 'childhood, swan, owl, bunny, body, self, repetition, arrangement, demarcation, compartmentalisation, colour, coding, tangential relationships, people, outside, set rules, ritual, alternative worlds.'
I had been saving a box that I found around Christmas and what I had been thinking about was how I could divide up the space to create depth using fused plastic. I thought I could use some mount board in some way. I got out my big bin of plastic and started pulling pieces out looking for inspiration. I'm not sure you can see but each of the rectangles is a different height. It was fun and I think it may lead to something else later on. Arranging the rectangles was tricky. I think in the future playing more with colour, light and height could be interesting. This time I wanted to use some of the motifs Cornell was interested in.
At the end of last week, I began painting my six 40 x 30 canvases. I decided to attach them together to begin with and so far I haven't taken them apart. I think I will. Such a long canvas is unwieldy and it is difficult to see things, also the idea is six canvases, in the way Hockney did that. It's still early days and my goal is to make each of the rectangles work in itself. The bouquet in the middle looks nothing like it did when I began, all the flowers were in different places and I was struggling with that. That panel is the weakest one so far. Having spent so long drawing a version of the arrangement has meant that I have solved some of the problems and am able to focus on the colour and the shapes in a different way. I nearly changed the red because I've used a lot of red lately, but now that I am working on it I am loving the red.