Further work from the studio that has followed the direction of the previous small ones but perhaps has a more focused content. It feels realized and slowly there is a glimpse of a lucid narrative. Using the lace (that decorates many Finnish houses) as a stencil, I spray paint the patterns onto enamel surfaces. These then have ‘tar pieces’ montaged with Finnish houses from a popular home making magazine Meidan Talo meaning ‘Our House’.
Art is such a strange business you never quite know where you are with it. You make it and you have the excitement or frustration and then you are completely bemused by it all – what on earth is going on ? You kind of know because as you work you are submerged into an inner world which has its own logic and set of references which you negotiate by instinct, experience, critical sensibility etc but when you come out of that world and someone asks what is it about – I can only stare at them blankly – like its trying to describe the impossible. It’s that verbalising of the visual and it’s a real struggle. So when it takes half a morning to draft a readable paragraph on what your art practice is about, it reveals a gap that’s always there between these two realities. Obviously as time goes on you can achieve an objectivity and then you can consider whether the work is successful in what you intended. However this can change as the work might suggest a different direction and set of possibilities. There's another gap that I’m currently trying to unravel as I explore sentimentality and fear. The sentimentality in the domestic decorative and what it shields us from – the incomprehensible – the wilderness that is at the source of our fears.
Of course I cannot ignore the wilderness on my doorstep. The frozen landscape is beginning to thaw and I feel quite melancholic. It has been fascinating to watch snow and ice in all its different states. I should be glad to hear the birds and see colour again and I am but somehow a world that has held me spellbound is going to disappear. How fragile a state of nature is and yet we cant seem to help ourselves on this exquisitely beautiful earth. If only we could all feel that ‘molecular’ experience of the Apollo astronaut whilst seeing the sun, moon and earth simultaneously, maybe then we’d realise how interconnected we are with all around us.
When exploring the supermarket I encountered little plastic animals in bags for children. I bought a bag and these animals have been my ‘studio ornaments’ as they sit on ledges next to work. They have now entered the paintings and Zoo is emerging with similar ideas and approaches to Meidan Talo.
Time to stop and thank everyone who has left me a comment – I really appreciate your positive feedback - it makes the blog alive ! Whilst my postings are not regular they are only made when thoughts flow and work is progressed.....
Favourite Finnish windows
The photos below are of the last snowfall from about a week ago and I have also been filming whilst taking many of the photos that you see on this blog. However I wish I could have filmed my experiences of walking back home across the frozen river at night after dinner and sauna with friends.
One time there was a snowstorm that lit up the night in a luminous yellow from the full moon. The last instance was dark and just as I was reaching the edge I sunk into snow and water upto the top of my thighs. It was scary and alarming as I ploughed through this thick, heavy, cold soup, which had formed on top of the ice. It was explained to me later that when holes are made in the ice for fishing, water finds its way between the snow and ice hence my adventure… one where I was never so pleased as to reach the river bank and pull myself up and sprint to my warm, safe studio.
fishing on the frozen river