09 June 2012

A compendium of scrolls

My "book" output contains, on review, several scrolls - or potential scrolls. The  pieced-paper one is currently on hold. Last year's "sky birds" piece contains a scroll -
This acrylic example resurfaced recently; it's part of my "research" on "line as text" -
This screenprinted scroll of chinese paper could turn into "something", some day -

Which takes us to Chinese scrolls...
The scroll David Hockney is looking at is not "A day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor"!
Years ago the film of David Hockney looking at a Chinese scroll (subtitle: Surface is illusion but so is depth) made a deep impression, and recently a stunning work by by Tang Mingxiu seems to have brought scrolls into my subconscious. 

New kid on the block
The latest is based on colour catchers (ie, it's been through the wash!) which I've doused with ink. Strips of daily newspaper, and the weekend Review section, are attached with running stitch. Once the little pointy edges, where the paper strips turn back on themselves, suddenly revealed themselves, I was good to go with this project. Using the fixed size of the colour catchers was the other decisive factor. In an hour I can stitch about 5cm, and before it can meet the world it needs to be at least 3m long (=60 hours!) - currently I'm listening to radio quite a lot -
 Its working title is "The Journey to the Studio"; below is a possible idea for display (if used at all) -
Yesyes, it looks like one of those woven rag rugs. The thinking behind it is multi-faceted [ie, not yet too clear to me!] -
(1) The various materials it uses each have a history, just as we carry our own histories with us as we travel through life. The prewashed fabric, the pre-read newspapers, even the threads, which  once belonged to someone who had learned calligraphy from Edward Johnston -

(2) As it grows, the journey becomes longer, but the path gets easier. 
(3) Front and back - recto and verso - are the same, but individual. 
(4) The folded newspaper is hiding much more than it reveals - quite apart from it being taken out out context [this relates to my "journey of memory" thread]. 
(5) ? 
(6) ??
Chicane points - where the "road" turns back on itself
The starting point for this piece was a discussion of how difficult it is to actually get into the studio, especially if "the studio" is a room in your home. There's always laundry or something that you "should" be doing. I think of this piece as being something I can use to "settle myself" into being in the studio - leave it out the night before, or have it in a box ready to pull out and work on while thinking about the other things to be working on later. Having a nice cup of coffee and jotting notes or writing a list, in little breaks from stitching, for that first hour. Getting into a mindset. Well, that's the fantasy...!

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