And so I’ve 50 up in the black box series…A Confusion Of Clouds. In fact 50 seems the right number to fit tidily into the chosen receptacle. And there’s only one more box so a 100 will be it – in due course…and who knows how long it will be before that happens? In any event enjoy numbers 39 through 50 here below.
with the Wonky Geo‘s…numbers 147 through 151. By my reckoning 29 to make up the arbitrary 180 in the series (each box holds 45 comfortably and I’ve only four boxes of the required size).
Be glad to get these done and dusted now…
It’s the series that keeps on giving…but I am bringing it to an end. It was always going to be tough figuring it out. But the fact of fitting 45 into each box (and only being four such) suggests 180 is it. The pile of potential pieces keeps going so now some thought will have to go into what to do with the seventy or more pieces that will be ‘remaindered’!
Though I think I ought to write something about current practice presently I keep recalling this quote from Proust…”Authentic art has no need for proclamations…it accomplishes its work in silence”. So I’ll just shut up for once.
The sun has made a welcome return and…ta da! I’ve filled Box Three of my Wonky Geometry series. I’m happy about this on two counts – as not only does it mean only one to go (admittedly an arbitrary self-imposed diktat) but also it’s been (with five other items) on my annual targets for work production for the year. Perhaps lockdown will see me complete all five this year (rather than has habitually been the case several being rolled over to the following year). Then again maybe at some point we may be allowed out again!
I imagine that for the ‘strivers’ this is around the time that New Year resolutions start to get irksome. They would for me if I were the sort to pose myself tough ambitions of that kind. As it is I’m simply resolved to get some things ‘resolved’ this year. So no new projects, no purchases of fresh timber, new canvas or paints and – especially – no new ‘ideas’! Of course what I call ‘ideas’ is a rather grand term for what are just notions that mostly go out the window I start working on them.
So instead I’ve made an inventory of all the various half baked things on the go at the moment. I say inventory but really I’ve just had a mooch about the studio and dragged out everything that’s sitting there. And set about deciding what might be potentially be ‘resolved’, whether that’s a bit of ‘tickling up’, more radical surgery or being put out of its misery. It includes the growing mountain of paper works, offcuts of full sheets, each boxed up at various sizes, of which the biggest is the Wonky Geometry series at 27 x 27 cm. This constitutes 112 pieces to date, the last six of which are shown above, the result of a few days of ‘resolution’.
I mentioned Lawrence Carroll a few days back. And now I just took delivery of this very handsome monograph. Whenever people tell you, as they get older, that they have no regrets don’t believe them. Ok if you’ve lived a bit they may be modest ones but there will be some things that could have, may be should have, happened.
Around about the late 1970’s my work seemed to me to be complicating itself to the point where I needed to step back and rethink. Over a year and a bit (from late 79 through 80) some very minimal pieces were made that – I hoped – had a certain ‘quiet authority’ and communicated through their simple presence in the world. Only one or two were ever exhibited (in group shows) and I never had a chance to see them in a decent space where their cumulative impact might have been greater.
They were large works, with minimal titles too. Made on big sheets of paper I backed them with glass fibre resin. Over the year the use of this, naturally with scant regard to health and safety back then, resulted in some extremely deleterious health issues. Coupled with a change of circumstances (work, home and studio) my dissatisfaction with this work led to an abandonment. When I settled into my new circumstances months later I began re-complicating my work and over several years this accelerated, culminating in a brief period of figuration in the mid-eighties (I wasn’t alone in this). Over the subsequent thirty plus years a certain seesawing between a more minimalist position and a complexity in my work has continued to this day…though I’ve rarely gone as far out as the 1980 works. One regret I have is that I never got a chance to see more of Carroll’s work. My other regret is that I’ve not been a wee bit more disciplined and plotted a more steady course over the years. Whether this would have produced better work, or I would have been happier who can say?
In any event activity continues…Rock Of Ages, the third (and final) part of my Landscape & Memory project is slowly drawing to a close. With three of the 18 that make up this section completed over the past couple days, only 11 to go now.