Photography to earth and drawing

I saw this AMAZING photo in the Evening Standard.  I am not a follower of football, but I do appreciate a good photo and this spoke to me on a number of levels.  The shear energy in the player – full power!  And the position of the photographer:  on the ground.

This observation is key to the way I must take my photography forward to really make it work for me.  Clay is all about the material reality, substance.  For me, the work of being here at all can be explored and explained through clay.  This comes from the ground.


Why photography?  It is a very efficient method of flattening a subject.  I have always struggled with the flatness of things, especially the not-quite-flatness of paintings (but that’s another post!).  I also feel very integrated into the spaces I am in…it’s as if my skin is an acutely permeable membrane.  Photography helps me distance myself from it.  This is vital for effective development.

The same happens with observational drawing but a different set of information is revealed.  The making of a drawing allows me to leap further into the page with a drawing more readily than I can with a photograph.  Leaping is not always GOOD!

energy of movement


Egg Moon

The Grass or Egg Moon in shamanic tradition is “when the grass turns green and life comes back into the ground”.  It is my intention to highlight the potential in the material clay, which is why all pieces will be reclaimed for use in other projects.  This acknowledges the long natural cycle of renewal that making in clay offers us.

Between 10 April and 10 May is the Egg Moon of 2013, and will be used as a period of time during which making on-site in Waterlow park in Archway will take place on a daily basis.  Small and medium scale temporary interventions in raw clay will be made.  The works will be documented either with photography, drawing, video or sound and the pieces may be re-worked and re-visited over the period of making to document their change in state.

egg moon

The effect of abstraction – audience

Is a public space really a place for abstract clay work?  The charm and the challenge with clay is that it is ALL potential.  Nobody really knows how to react to it unless they have spent SERIOUS amounts of time with it.  So is it too gratuitous to place my own purely meditative responses (which are inevitably abstract) in a public place?

Abstract forms need a hook to make them work.  It could be texture, scale, colour; many things.  But they need a hook and it needs to be clear, at least at the beginning.

The public place is one that is to be shared by ALL who use it.

This is particularly the case with Waterlow Park.  The abstracted form is a distinct challenge to the comfort of a place, so possibly a questionable thing to do.  You can kind of get away with it if the abstraction is using materials that are obviously from the place, but to literally, insert clay into a spot?  That might seem to be provocative and is that what we want in a ‘Garden for the Gardenless’?  Really?

Where is the harmony?

Dialogue with space – what happens if…?

…you take clay to a site?

Spent today working in the forest, doing something that had come to me to do a couple of years ago but I had never had the permission; take my material to the source!  clay is usually acted upon in a highly controlled environment.  What would happen?

So to engage with immediacy and see what happens.  Performance anxiety for doing it on public view.  Soon got over it though!

Curious things came about.  Very abstract!  That raises all sorts of questions about purpose and audience.  That’s for ANOTHER POST I think!


join flow

Where to work

So, now we begin the final push!  I am slightly troubled by the lack of time I seem to have…to find the site I need…to secure permissions…to fulfill my ambitions for my degree show, but the best way to get over it is to do it!!

I am sure of the following:

  • I want to work outside
  • I want to work with raw clay
  • I want to intervene in a temporary installation
  • I want to incorporate my intuitive response to space

I have a site visit to a new studio in Archway next week so I should take a look there to see what is around and about the place.

SOOOO strange that this is in the same road that my grandfather worked in as a cabinet maker;  Elthorne Road was his place of work for 50 years.  amazing.  What shall I find?!!

Elthorne Road

(Courtesty of Caxton House Community Centre)