Joomchi is a Korean technique that is hundreds of years old. It involves layering Korean paper and working it with your hands and water to create a thick and strong paper that can be used in craft and art applications. I’ve ordered the book ‘Joomchi and Beyond’ by Jiyoung Chung.
When we were passing through Mildura we went to ‘The Art Vault’. They have a residency program and the current residency exhibition was one by Tom Civil. My internet research shows that he does quite a few types of art, but is a printmaker, as evidenced by the above prints that were on display at the exhibition.
I have chosen these prints to include as they are plant based images for the current exercise. I am attracted to the unusual circular presentation that gives me a sense of looking through a hole to a glimpse of another world, or looking down a microscope. The linear nature of the images looks like drawing but with a greater variation in quality of line that is possible with a print. I’m not sure but I would think these are etchings.
My initial response to the first assignment was that it was going to constitute a lot of drawing. I have done some drawing at Uni but I found that it can take me ages and I am very often not happy with the result. But looking at the examples given in the course handbook and the suggestions of other artists to look at relaxed me a little, and I realised I didn’t have to produce a huge folio of photo realistic drawing. Instead the exercises took me through a range of different possibilities for drawing and I was reasonably happy with the results. I didn’t feel lost as to where to start as the exercise notes were enough of a push for the ideas to start flowing. Placing limitations on me in terms of colour and trying to represent only a specific feature about the textile gave me the freedom to experiment and I thoroughly enjoyed all the exercises.
Selection of the textile works was an adventure in itself, and I enjoyed examining each piece closely and imagining the stitcher and the wearer, and what their story may have been. I experimented with a range of drawing techniques using only ink or watercolour, on a variety of papers. I was especially drawn to the line exercise and was amazed at what I could portray using line alone. I was excited by this but ran out of time at this stage to experiment further.
Moving on to Project Three I decided to use watercolour and ink again. I didn’t feel like I had fully explored its potential and wanted to play with the wet media seeping into soft paper. I have mostly used recycled paper and my works are nearly all the same size. I haven’t been too adventurous with composition but I have tried to think about using the whole sheet in some of the works. I love colour and was pleased to be finally using colour. I had a limited palette of watercolours and I attempted to mix the shades of green I saw, but was less successful at this than I would have liked.
I think I have definitely broadened my drawing skills through these exercises. I tried to think laterally about how I could create work and found that I was never stuck about where to start. In fact the opposite: I had lots of ideas and not enough time to execute them.
From now on I’m thinking that a lot of my textile work will start with drawing. Taking a source material through a range of manipulations that I subsequently work from, seems like a fun and effective way to develop and test ideas before committing to a final piece. It also serves to provide additional secondary sources of inspiration that would result in a more complex and less representational work. I am looking forward to transferring line into stitch now that my eyes have been opened to the potential of line in drawing.
http://www.davidhockney.co/works/drawings/arrival-of-spring-2013. Viewed 25 August 2017
This is one of a series of 25 drawings using charcoal on paper. It shows five drawings each of five roads at the beginning of spring 2013. The simple media of charcoal has managed to capture a big variety of moods of the roads using a range of different marks.
This is one of a series of similar drawings but this time done on the iPad. The mood is different in these drawings. Obviously colour adds another dimension but the quality of the mark is also different. The drawings have a sort of surreal quality, perhaps to do with the slightly unnatural nature of the colours, but also I think to do with the smoothness of the mark. Despite the range of marks available they all lack the tactile nature of a physical media on substrate. That’s not to say I don’t like this. I love the potential of the iPad for drawing, removing without a trace, adding without any fear of contamination. But that same lack of contamination does also mean that it would be very hard to make an organic looking image and loses the dimensions of trace and serendipity that also attracts me.
https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/david-hockney/#exhi-tab-key-works Viewed 25 August 2017
I am interested in this painting because it shows the potential to create a really large painting by using multiple smaller canvases. This could be applied to quilts or other textile works, where it is difficult to work very large. I also enjoy the intimacy of holding something smaller in my hand, but then the excitement of joining it together into a much larger work with sometimes unexpected results.
I had already come across the concept of wabi sabi in the past and feel a strong affinity with it. After I saw this reference in the course material I also purchased Leonard Koren’s two little books and have read them both. I have previously been interested in the idea of entropy – the movement of all matter from order to disorder. I have made art works exploring this and looking for beauty in the complexity that develops on the way to degradation and disorder. Part of the wabi sabi concept includes acceptance of the ephemeral and transient nature of the world, finding the beauty in this transition from order to degradation. Embracing the organic aesthetic that evolves from this process. It is part of the reason I have come to textiles in preference to paper or paint. There is a certain resilience in textiles not found in some other mediums, but this is combined with an ability to manipulate the surface, or let time and nature manipulate the surface, so that trace and serendipitous marks can also be more fully explored.
Wabi sabi is certainly in evidence in my textile collection – especially in regard to the futon cover, which is a heavily repaired piece of cloth, that is both stained and degraded. It was originally a working textile, providing warmth in a hostile environment, but has subsequently been sold as a collectors work of art. It highlights the boro technique of combining and repairing textiles, that was originally a practical technique, but is now more purposely used to create art textiles.
After reading Koren’s book I thought that rather than being just a narrow aesthetic, wabi sabi felt more like a way of seeing and a way of living. Not dissimilar to practising mindfulness, where you really see what is in front of you, rather than living too much in your head. Wabi sabi aesthetic also often hints at the passage of time, and brings with it that feeling of pleasurable melancholy that I associate with that.
We were lucky enough to be in Melbourne when an exhibition by Mumu Mike Williams and Robert Fielding was on. These are aboriginal men who currently live and work in the area of Central Australia that we will soon be working in. The works are political works, which is not my preferred option, but the juxtaposition of the mail bag warnings and aboriginal and white history was so appropriate and ironic that it drew me to the works anyway.
Robert Fielding has burnt through the thick paper he has used from the bag, creating a wonderful textural surface with a secondary design that is highlighted when it is lit fro the side. I have spoken to Robert in the past and he mentions the layers of meaning, some hidden, that he creates in his work.
http://www.roannawells.co.uk/interpersonal-spatial-arrangements Viewed 27 July 2017
http://www.roannawells.co.uk/spaces-between Viewed 27 July 2017
Roanna Wells’ works use repetition of a single mark, whether stitched or painted. The layout of the individual stitches are guided, in the first work above, by the position of individuals in a crowd. In the second work the paint marks are used to document the passage of time with each mark representing a minute and each colour a day.
Building up a drawing from a single repetitive mark attracts me and I’m going to try this for my next linear drawing.