Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Brushing through a book of Barry Le Va in the library, his work resonated (not for the first time) as an idea of investigating drawing. I'm looking for a way of drawing across, on and with objects, materials. Becoming slightly more clear about how objects have presence. A few weeks ago I dreamed of tall flags or banners hanging from poles and touching the floor, a dark, ominous and somewhat awkward presence. I have been at the sewing machine trying to reconstruct that image in some way. Painting fabric with a mixture of graphite powder, water and acrylic medium results in a dense black surface which turns silver with rubbing or distress. It also results in black hands and fine graphite dust everywhere. Which is not terribly good for keeping all those other mostly white drawings clean.
I keep cutting across the flags and then re-sewing, shifting their angles. I want an unstable feeling, similar to the balanced plywood pieces. The idea of shifting like fractured sedimentary layers. All of these objects suggest a ground plane.
Lately in the studio I move between sanding and priming plywood, cutting and sewing fabric, and hectic clusters of graphite marks on paper. My creative attention is split about equally between drawing and composing, as I've been recording new sounds (springs, trombone, plucked strings, metal) and starting the first stages of new sound clusters. I've also been in a process of mourning the closing of the Portland Art Center's old town exhibition space, helping to write the history of that space and think about potential futures which could include flexible, project-based collaborations and activities. It's a tremendous loss of invested energy from everyone involved, and it seemed on the edge of real fruition. At the same time, not being weighed down by high rent opens up room for different and exciting modes...