30 March 2020
Water has been much on my mind during the Covid-19 lock-down. I imagine being without water and attempting to control a virus spread.
As soon as the lock-down lifted and the builders resumed work - first on the emergency to-do list is to find water.
The idea of working with government departments like Fritha Langerman - 'meetse' - water, became scary and dependent. An apocalyptic mood seems to prevail and the drilling crew said that they were extremely busy - especially finding water for rural schools!
I feel awful trying to make art without materials and living with my extended family. Waiting for studio building to resume seems impossible at the moment.
I use a spray bottle to add water and big blocks of graphite to work into the mud. A geological layering appears - even though I am working sideways so that gravity can move the mud, graphite and calcium chloride around.
The greeny-turquoise of the calcium chloride salt seems to mark where the water is caught between the strata of red shale and sandstone.
I am reminded of the work of Jan Hogan in Australia, where her work with mud records the history of a past people. LINK1
6 April 2020
The images of the dried mud are texturally fascinating and I now want to work with mud as a medium. This seems crazy but possible and I think it could make me feel less depressed! The biggest support I found was a 300g A1 piece of Fabriano which is nice and tough. It should withstand all kinds of activity and 'mud play'.
The weather is freezing and I try to keep my hands dry. Once the paper is dry I move inside and hang the paper up. I want to use water itself to move the mud around and I want to add water-soluble graphite and copper chloride crystals formed when I acid-washed/oxidized my copper water pipes.
Here my mud and paper record my involvement with the finding of water. As I am freezing, I come inside and work digitally in front of the fire.
Using Photoshop, I layer digitally and adjust the opacity of the flaked mud photo to integrate it with my mud drawing. Happiness!
To quote from Hogan's Torn Line (LINK)...
"The roll of paper, initially the ground for an event, now shifts and becomes the line.
It has torn and broken into pieces.
The record of a continual event changes into fragments.
The knowledge contained needs to be both read in the pieces and imagined in the gaps between. The paper is literally a membrane bringing nature and culture into contact and retaining traces of both".