Angela’s merzbarn dairy day one
Painting the town blue
Raining….doesn’t look hopeful for making cyanotypes. Brought some precoated pages in anticipation of making cyanos using the ambient UV in the daylight and exposing natural ‘things’ onto the papers. Only problem is there’s very little in the way of daylight and it’s very wet which will stop the process if it touches the paper.
Thought number one: Print the raindrops onto the paper?
Anyway, I’ve given it a go. Put a few leaves onto a page and put in the case and left for half an hour or so. Rain had more or less stopped by this time and the case got a bit wet but the paper stayed dry. Looked to have developed ok but on washing (in a puddle) the print fell off…..this means it’s underexposed. Not enough UV collected.
Tried another. By this time (about 3.30) it’s getting dusk and don’t know if there’ll be time for letting this develop. Anyway, left over an hour and by now it’s stopped raining and there’s no water around, however there’s a full pot of very strong stewed tea…. I’m leaving the print in there overnight….. We’ll see what happens to that. This is another of our commonly used tricks. The tannins in the tea bond with the chemicals changing the colours ….red wine also works but doen’t often make it as far as the developing tray.
These are all things we’ve tried hundreds of times before. I was hoping there would be something that jumped out at me as different up here but not so far. I want the site to influence the work but that’s something that can’t be forced. Had an interesting chat with the current artist in residence Robbie O’Halloran. Robbie spoke of Schwitters and that feeling of the weight of legacy that encompasses the site. There’s no doubt the the significance of the place adds an additional layer to the project. There’s almost a self imposed need to ‘perform’, to be infinitely innovative and creative. There’s also the physical context of the place. It’s a field, similar to countless others in the area. The ramshackle buildings are built from the same grey stone and the ‘not quite springtime’ grass is the same green/brown as the rest of the surrounding landscape.
I’ll call today ‘data gathering’
In an effort to force some creative thought I took some clay and made some pinch pots. Made a conscious decision not to bring tools so anything with clay has to be done with hands or tools have to be made. Natural inclination is to make a vessel….so I did….three actually. Then (reverting to type) I pressed some leaves into the bottom.
It’s a start. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.