I didn't expect to draw inspiration from the idyllic view out of this studio window but I have spent a significant amount of time at the window playing with different muds on the window, watching it dry, seeing how the view changes, creating peepholes, observing the patterns that the mud creates ... I am daily photographing the scenes and have selected 6 images (out of hundreds clogging up iPhoto) to turn into Dirty Postcards all of which can be bought here http://dirtworks.bigcartel.com/products
I've recently been running some workshops for young people that have involved using mud. The preparation of the space (not by me) has been reminiscent of an alien autopsy lab ..... the floors and tables covered with thick plastic sheeting to 'protect' the room. At the end of each session I've bagged up the slightly soiled plastic sheeting with thoughts of sculptural pieces. Having brought them into the studio I've added dirt to them and began working with it on a large scale, something I don't often have the opportunity to do.
The view from the studio that has inspired so many artists is other-wordly - It's almost unreal. Every time I look up I am taken aback by the picture perfect postcard view of St Ives, every minute a photo opportunity, but is it really the reality of St Ives? I've decided to muddy the view, to cloud the perspective, to dirty up what appears to be so perfect. Echoing a project I did recently with artist Jonty Lees ( https://circuit.tate.org.uk/2015/04/popping-up-in-penzance/) where on the first few days of taking over an empty shop we played with windowlene on the windows, making patterns, doodling with our fingers in the white wash, viewing the street from a hidden perspective I've decided to do the same but with dirt. I feel a set of alternative Dirty Postcards coming on .....
I've had nearly 12 weeks away from my studio practice, concentrating on an exciting studio project with young people which, when I have time will write up. It was time to get back into the studio to prepare works for the Soil Culture exhibition in Peninsula Arts, Plymouth https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/whats-on/soil-culture-exhibitions exhibitions. Having packed away my studio in Marazion I was fortunate enough to be able to book a temporary space at the wonderful CAST building in Helston http://c-a-s-t.org.uk It felt energising to be in a new space - I had been in the studios in Marazion for probably about 7 years and change felt good.
Some pieces going to Peninsula Arts were some of my early works in mud and just needed a little attention before packing up but I had also been asked to send my Dirty Pictures, shown in my last post. I like them - they're works in progress, I knew I had to work on them, live with them a little more before being ready to send them out to a gallery.
So on day 2 of me trying to talk about my work I realise I need to start dismantling everything due to moving out of my studio in Marazion. I've been aware of this for quite a while now, just been in a state of denial, not so much sad to be leaving this space, but more what the hell am I going to do with everything whilst I seek a new studio?!
This studio is damp and cold (whose isn't?) but with that the outside seeps in. Ivy and brambles crawl through the walls and doors and I often walk in to find swallows up in the rafters, or sadly more often then not, dead ones tucked behind all my junk.
I think this studio environment has inspired my work over the years. I'm fascinated with mould growth and the intertwining forms connecting living and dead matter, where ivy grows through a building wall, where dug up roots begin to re-shoot and where fallen trees quickly become covered with crawling plant life.
I have recently been using a combination of synthetic and natural materials to construct hybrid sculptures, this has also involved melting some plastics (not good I know), mainly scraps I've found around the studio, both inside and out. Toxic environments are intriguing, out of decay and destruction life form usually finds a way. I wanted to continue 'growing' this work so it sprawled and hung and took over my studio.
For now at least it has to be all packed away.
I always love a peek into fellow artists studios, seeing work in progress and ideas being played with.