28 April 2017

Selection of materials

The process of selection takes time, it includes bringing materials together in the same physical space. I had fun looking into containers and on shelves that have been neglected for a while. It is often surprising to find new ways of working with materials that have not be partnered before, much the same as the collaboration between the people involved.

There is so much potential for explorations into all the materials and relationships between our work practices that I found it hard to know where to make a real start and what to limit it to.

27 April 2017

Origins and potential of materials

I found  myself working with materials that I have owned for nearly forty years, dating from when I designed yarns for commercial use. This is in character with Slow Making, where the pace of a project is not dictated by immediate demands, but by a combination of skills and resources brought together for the task in hand.

Almost all materials used in this collaboration were considered a waste material in another setting and have been given an adapted use or form. Depending on resilience or adaptability of the materials they may be re-formed and used again in future.

I had not taken advantage of some of the yarn properties until now, the effects of natural or Ultra Violet light on artificial and natural fibres. The UV light is used in the lab to reveal changes that take place in cells as they deteriorate, I am using it to change the viewers perception of what is visible, the fibres sensitive to UV light are almost invisible in natural light.

The wave length of Ultraviolet light falls between 'visible light' and X-Rays, the human eye lacks colour receptor adaptations for ultraviolet rays. Polyester and polypropylene are made from processing oil and petroleum based chemicals, they reflect more UV light than natural fibres which is why the human eye can see them as brighter than other white yarns when the light is shone onto them

26 April 2017

Lab and studio exchanges

On my first visit to the lab where Ana is doing her research I was struck by the similarities with my studio. Almost haphazard and slightly chaotic, so many things to see that it is difficult for the outsider to discern what is relevant to the particular work process or project in hand and what is just characteristic of a busy workspace environment.

I was fascinated to watch how Ana handles the early stages of zebra fish life, the eggs are kept at a stable temperature to ensure successful development. She is obviously very familiar with her tools and materials and enjoys the process, much like I am in the workshop or studio.

In our collaboration I aim to exhibit the similarity of work processes and motives for artists and scientists exploration, the curiosity and determination to achieve new and previously unimagined results.
There is elegance in watching skills being demonstrated, and a beauty in results that are achieved. I hope the resulting artwork will express some of this.