I feel so privileged to be mentioned in Volume 4 of ‘North’ as part of Jo Garrett’s wonderful interview on the darkroom.
I love the way that Jo talks about the magic of the darkroom, the physical interactions between chemistry and light, it is alchemy and I adore it. I think it is so easy to disassociate the physicality of making work from the final outcome which often ends up, framed and pristine, on a white wall.
When I’m working in the darkroom with Jo, I can relax. We often discuss the crossovers and co-dependencies of printmaking and photography. How each process informs, shapes and directs the evolution of the other, while still remaining very separate artforms.
August is the best month to have artistic explorations as the campus is quieter and my main focus is readying the studios for the coming academic year.
Strangely, I find the cleaning and sorting is good for my work ethic and working on in the studios themselves help focus my artistic experimentation.
Heaven is in the making Remains unfinished A possibility If there’s a glimpse of it In the little dance of tongues
Einsturzende Neubauten – Heaven Is Of Honey
The links to music and philosophy may not be immediately obvious within my work, but I am as much influenced by rhythm in language and dissonant chords as I am influenced by visual artists. The gently clanged rhythms and gorgeous singing of Blixa Bargeld is the perfect soundtrack to grow artwork within.
There is also something so incredibly exciting about work in progress. It isn’t finished or complete and I don’t empirically ‘know’ at this point how it will turn out. There are small glimpses of it and endless possibilities. It’s very exciting.
Darkroom photography has always held a fascination for me. There is something magical about taking a photograph in one place and then summoning its appearance in another. I think it’s the closest to alchemy that I’m likely to get – but what is more exciting than following the rules of the darkroom – is breaking the rules. I met Joanna Garrett, a specialist in ‘experimental darkroom’ in 2017 and she has had me hooked ever since.
The experimental darkroom differs from the traditional darkroom in a number of ways – mainly that it there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way of utilizing it, the aim is to find a methodology and aesthetic that work ‘for you’. Through trial, error and lots of research, we are working collaboratively as well as individually in order to develop new bodies of work.
This way of working fits with my printmaking and installation practice and the thrill of finding something that works, as well as subverting a traditional method really excites me. To read more about my experiments with softground etching click here and to see how I have worked with sensors, animation and sound click here.
Alternatively, browse of some experimental projects in this gallery.
Art Zoo took place on the 26th May 2018 and was a success. The aim of Art Zoo was to break down the barriers between artist and audience and give a unique insight into the world of the practicing artist. Take a look at some of the beautiful images taken by Garry Cook below.
See Real Artists at Work in the Art Zoo! Art Zoo breaks down the barriers between artists and audiences.
Art Zoo is part performance, part installation, and part living sculpture. It is an absurdist event that will give visitors to the Harris a glimpse into the exciting and vibrant world of the artist and see how they work.
Art Zoo took place at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery on the 26th May 2018 and was a great success. Tours of the Harris were lead by the fantastic Stephanie Cottle as the Art Zoo, Zoo Keeper. Some of the specimens that she introduced the visitors to are featured below.