One of the major pieces of work to be completed during my blogging absence was a painting for the 2012 WindowsOn event. I was invited to submit a board for this exhibition in the early spring - a charitable event that supports local MS Organisations. MS is something that has affected people very close to me so it was a great to have an opportunity to utilise my creative endeavors to lend my support.
The WindowsOn website provides information on the exhibition from theprevious year, but the theme for this year was ‘world party’. My response to this theme was to use selected objects within a reflections box which, in our society, are signifiers of a ‘party’. The idea of these objects being reflected is to signify their ‘world-ness’. As the objects were manufactured on the other side of the world, the reflections allude to the non-party part of the objects life – being produced and then transported for us to use in a fleeting moment.
The board I had to work on was to be exhibited in an outside recess of a factory building where there was once a window. It was therefore on quite a large scale (45” x 47”). It turns out that this scale was *slightly* too big to transport the board to my upstairs studio so my dining room become my temporary painting space.
There was a tight deadline to get this painting completed and, as I knew that it was going to be exhibited outside for a year, I had to factor in priming and varnishing times. This is how the painting developed up to the point that it was varnished:
As I use acrylic paint I knew that I would have to use yacht varnish to ensure that the painting lasted the first deluge of rain that we had (let alone all of the other attacks the elements will throw at it over the course of a year). I applied the varnish in several thin layers which changed the overall hue of the painting:
I was initially a little alarmed by this as, not only had the colour changed, but after the first coat of varnish it was very patchy where the varnish had filled the deeper recesses of the board.
Thankfully further coats of varnish resolved the patchy-ness issue. The vintage hue created by the varnish also further developed the concept of the painting by raising the question of whether these were celebratory objects for future use, or neglected objects from the past that had been left from an abandoned planned celebration. Creating this kind of ambiguous narrative is a thread that has run through a lot of my paintings.
All of this was completed within a few weeks (including an all-night painting session where I fell asleep at 6am whilst lying down under-painting an area at the bottom of the board!). It was a relieve when the board was finally propped-up next to my front door awaiting collection for installation:
The paintings are all still up at Sumo – more photos to follow tomorrow of the installation and the actual exhibition to give you an idea of the impressive scale of this project.