…then read this interview
John Stezaker’s new show at The Approach looks like essential viewing for me. His return to making silkscreens chimes with my own desire to find new directions for my Redacted Comics / Black Works series. The isolation of a single element emerging from black is a technique that we are exploring simultaneously. Really looking forward to seeing these works tomorrow.
The diagram above loosely maps out the evolution of my Redacted Comics concept, and more broadly my relationship with paper and surface.
Back in September 2013 (!) I came onto the MA with the intent of continuing to make collages. Cut to April 2014 and this collage work has turned into remixed narratives using comic book source material, and fiddling around with isolating a character on a page via scribbling over everything else with a marker pen. I begin to get interested in fragments revealed and in May started isolating / spray painting comic books (double page spreads within whole comic books). A video version appeared in the Chelsea Cons Project show in June 2014.
I starting working on larger scale pieces for the Interim Show in July. Since then I’ve been experimenting with paper weights, finishes and with further manipulation of the image prior to painting by using Photoshop (software I’ve used daily since about 1997 – but for commercial design works) – allowing me to further manipulate / remix / recontextualise the imagery that I’m appropriating. I also started making pieces out of whole comic books again, shown at Arebyte and a newer piece at the last Open at Peckham Platform (it’s behind the bloke in the brown coat). My recent ‘black works‘ are being shown in Hong Kong this month – this show has forced me to create pieces of varying sizes with a very punchy gloss finish (taking me way out of my comfort zone of subtle, hard-to-read, pieces.)
I intend to make some more, possibly larger ‘black works’ but am also starting to experiment with light boxes and printing onto glass and acrylic. I’m very interested as to how the introduction of a light source can change the notion of redaction and narrative – especially if paired with some kind of control given over to the viewer (a sensor that dims the light as the viewer gets closer?). Having the viewer physically moving around in front of my work is something that I’ve become interested in during the last 12 months or so – black spray painted paper that you have to move around so the light catches it, the video piece I made where the viewer had to walk toward the screen to control the speed of the video, the Mystery Beach installation I made where the viewer could control the video my picking up an object.
I just wanted to reflect on this particular aspect of my practice in an attempt to understand it further. I’ll let this sink in for a few days and write a conclusion.