Ogamu Series

Over the last months I have been working quietly away at a series of prints derived from a worship dance video that I found on youtube. I discovered that the beautiful and athletic dancer, Tashara Gavin-Moorehead, was living in California. I messaged her to ask permission to use stills from the video in my work. She generously agreed.

In the video, she is dancing to a song sung by Whitney Houston, I love the lord. The music is soulful and full of emotion, as is the dance. I selected stills which drew out and highlighted this emotional intensity. I emailed her the stills I had chosen to use, to get her approval before going ahead with my plate making.

I spent hours on my computer, capturing particular moments, then isolating the figure by converting the background into amorphous shapes and shadows. I decided to work on steel to take advantage of and play up the grainy imagery. I developed four images first, printed bit maps on drafting film, then booked sessions at london print studio to turn the images into photo etching plates. I finished etching the plates at my own studio. Once the plates were trimmed up I experimented with various ways of inking them up, finally settling on a very loose and painterly method giving the appearance of a water colour wash. I printed them on heavy somerset velvet paper (400 gsm warm white, satin)

and tore the edges down for each print to the plate edge.

I then chose four further images and gradually made the photo etching plates for these works, and resolved the final prints at the printing stage. Each work is titled with a Japanese word expressing emotion.

Ogamu        (worship)

Naku          (cry, sing)

Kaisai         (exultation)

Kushin         (diligence, pain)

Joi              (joy)

Junan                   (anguish)

Kunó                   (agony)

Nayami       (worry)

 

Capturing Movement

Visited Studio 3 at the School of Art, University of Kent, Canterbury Campus today for Capturing Movement an exhibition which transforms contemporary dance into still art forms. I am showing my prints and artist’s book alongside Belinda Whiting’s atmospheric photographs, Blek le Rat’s graffiti style screen prints, Helen Dryden’s visceral paintings, Mary Fletcher’s sublime drawings and collages, Rachelle Allen-Sherwood’s exciting responses to live dance performances in ink, John Brown’s dynamic bronzes and Martha Todd’s delicate wax sculptures. With thanks to the MA Curators at the University of Kent.

Towards the Light

My artist’s book, Towards the Light, is now complete. I have made two of the 7 editions, and also constructed an archival box and a slip case to house the books when not being displayed. I’ve found the whole process enjoyable and engrossing and quite a change from my usual work. I’m pleased to have learned new skills and processes which could lead to some other book related or maybe some installation projects. Who knows?

Work in progress

I’ve reached an exciting stage of constructing my artist’s book from the printed pages. It’s  a process which requires dexterity and patience – assembling the pages with delicate hinges made from japanese paper and starch paste. No I’m not ironing the book – I’m using the iron as a weight.

Artist’s Book ‘In the Beginning’

I am working on an Artist’s Book for an upcoming exhibition, Capturing Movement: Art and Contemporary Dance, to be held at the University of Kent in September.  I have been invited to take part in the exhibition by curator, Camilla H.Eriksen. The book has a narrative based on a passage from the gospel of John. The model signed the passage and the pages will be in correct sequential order.

Finished Prints

Here are the first two finished photo etchings, each an edition of 20.  One is titled  Palm  to Palm, Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, Act One, Scene One. The other one is called The Bewildered World, Titania, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act Two, Scene One. They will be part of a collaborative  exhibition with the Globe Theatre and the RE and RWS, Shakespeare: A Celebration at the Bankside Gallery from the 30th June until the 10th July.

Nadia performs Titania

Yesterday, I had a wonderful time photographing and filming Shakespearean actor, Nadia Nadarajah with Zoe Hackett interpreting again. Nadia performed some of  Titania, from a Midsummer’s Night Dream, which she has played with the theatre company Definitely Theatre at the Globe in 2012 and 2014. She explained that Shakespeare is ideally suited to the Deaf language because of the visual metaphors he uses

More Shakespeare

Had a very rewarding photo shoot a couple of weeks ago with the talented deaf actress Zoe McWhinney assisted by BSL interpreter Zoe Hackett. We convened at the Siobhan Davies Dance studios in Southwark, on a beautiful sunlit morning.McWhinney performed three Shakespearean extracts from the roles of Juliet, Cordelia and Miranda. I’m taking time to sift through all the photos before deciding which ones to work on with photo montage to take through into photo etching.