Although this has been numbered as no two in the Flow series it has a number of predecessors. (Note to self, get a grip on documentation.) I experimented with painting gesso on 300 gram watercolour paper and continued with watercolour and coloured pencils. It has been a fight to reconcile the raised brush strokes of the gesso with the layers of watercolour but I decided yesterday that the struggle must stop here. The result is ambiguous, is it something growing, flowing or just a snapshot of light in a (colourful) glade? Or the remains of a structure?
Unless I suddenly see another possibility of portrayal I am now releasing it from my control.
Some time ago I was leafing through a Dutch book about Fra Angelico, printed in Antwerp 1941. (The book has a paper sticker with Boekhandel Krooneman, Jansstrasse, Arnhem. It has had quite a journey in the 70 years since it was printed and is now in a small village in Sweden.) I started noticing the fabulous fabrics hanging behind Maria and child in many of Fra Angelico’s paintings. So the pattern on the yellow background is copied from a painting (1437-1440) that is now in the St. Marcus museum.
The luxurious brocade fabrics were of course only for the wealthy and powerful in the upper echelons of society so it is appropriate that Maria with child are sitting in front of a shimmering wall of silk. I used a ‘frame’ to place plants and a planet in a similar position of importance.
Fra Angelico is a monoprint with block printing colour, watercolour and colour pencils.
So this is a landscape/animal/seed combo – not only can images be manipulated. Boundaries are being challenged – it is easy to fall into an apocalyptic mood. I have been inspired by Patricia Piccinini’s creations although I started my Fur drawings before seeing her work.
Despite their appearance I have some sort of landscape, or landscape/animal combo, in mind when I create my Fur drawings. A bit contradictory then, I admit, to call them Furs but that is what most viewers describe them as. They are in my mind ‘maps’ showing elevations, streams and other landscape features – obviously not urban environments – but what you might possibly find if you’re out for a stroll in an imaginary forest. The red colour is a sign of warning – what will happen if we continue behaving as an invasive species ….