Welcome to my online Journal where i hope to share my thoughts, feeling, inspirations, processes, problem solving, and completed works as well as works in progress.
This third large canvas was to be a reconciliation between the first totally natural and the second totally man-made and marked canvases. The first canvas had a softness and pliability to it having been embedded with the elements before painting with it. It felt that this third canvas had to go through the same process the achieve the same effect, to bring it alive. I left it in the spring first for two days, returning daily to walk with it and to turn the fabric over. I then placed it on a fire whilst it was still damp from the spring until it had been smoked and small marks and holes had started to form. I then left it for a day hanging in the forest to air it. I then buried it in the marsh and swampy land and returned the next day to retrieve it and walk with it again. I used the same water and ashes from the fire to experiment with making different pigments.
I was lucky enough to have moved back to chithurst manor in west sussex which is an ancient space, the house dates back to 1080 and many trees in the wooded grounds are old enough to have preservation orders on them. Also excitingly i could use the straw bale and clay round house we had built in the grounds as a meditation and meeting space. The shrine in there simply has a large broken wagon wheel on it, to represent the wheel of life, how we are all broken our own ways but we must keep turning and rolling onward. I like the neutrality of the space, neither making a spiritual statement or disregarding any....it just is there. I lit the fire and had the canvas spread on the ground with the pigments in dishes around me. I was naked, this felt important, so i could use my whole body freely to mark make and play with the pigments and textures, explore the topography of the canvas. I also filmed it this time to edit and use later as a projection in an installation with the work. I spent a lot of time sitting at first, clearing my head, a dear friend had passed away the day before so i took time to calm my mind and think of them. It was around Halloween which traditionally is a time to honor and remember the people who have passed so i spent some time honoring this, smudging the room with sage and giving thanks, not to a god or spirit...but to life. There is a very pagan element to a lot of my work, almost nature worship but i hate the idea of people confusing my work and ideology with some outdated tepid 1970's (i wasnt even born) hippy movement, ajawaska drenched (tried it) spiritual belief system or dusty claustrophobic religion (born into it). I just honor, question and explore the natural world as a teacher, a phenomena of great beauty and inspiration that has earned my complete respect, protection, admiration and trust over many years. Our egotistical human melodrama plays out on this vast secretive canvas of a cosmos and it has earned our awe and amazement. It deserves to be explored, to be experienced, to be poked and prodded, lent upon, dived into, sung to and rolled across....why else are we here?
So there it is, and here we are....what ever I or We or Here is, your guess is as good as mine!