Thank you Sue for the tea-chest – a great size!

Checking on my collection of boxes for ‘Syndrome’ so far

 Not bad but need loads more, once I have printed ‘Incidence’  I will be able to start a bit more in earnest

though I think I am going to have to make most of them so need some old weathered wood.

Been a no less busy week in the studio but much less stressful

 though it is hard to work with a cat on your arm.

Have printed the next two layers onto ‘Incidence’.

 Calm colours, pale grey & barely yellow which should glow out from behind the trees once the darker colours are printed over.

There are still some tiny  areas where the base coat of pearl lustre shines through & the two background layers can be seen –

is it wrong to obsess down to this detail. Or just wrong to enjoy the physicality and aesthetic of the process. Am I still just illustrating my ideas. Will I always have Bernard & Annie at my shoulder.

The wonderful thing is I can make all my own decisions about how the piece should go – but it can leave you at sea sometimes and it’s good to have some constructive input.

I was too tied up getting the stencils and everything printed last week to attend the latest engine chat chat but it would be good to get some feedback on this piece.

Louise Harrington and Fiona Chaney who are curating Surface II at the Crypt Gallery have given the artists the opportunity to make something site specific.

For me the work is more site inspired,  I thought about the setting and found the first burial there was of a 12 year old girl. This seemed really sad for the first burial to be a child and I thought about what it must have been like to be a child in 1822.

Then I discovered Charles Lamb’s essay written the same year that Ellen Strachey died is also very sad

‘…. when suddenly, turning to Alice, the soul of the first Alice looked out at her eyes with such a reality of re-presentment, that I became in doubt which of them stood there before me, or whose that bright hair was; and while I stood gazing, both the children gradually grew fainter to my view, receding, and still receding till nothing at last but two mournful features were seen in the uttermost distance, which, without speech, strangely impressed upon me the effects of speech: “We are not of Alice, nor of thee, nor are we children at all. The children of Alice call Bartrum father. We are nothing; less than nothing, and dreams. We are only what might have been, and must wait upon the tedious shores of Lethe millions of ages before we have existence, and a name”—and immediately awaking, I found myself quietly seated in my bachelor armchair…’

So dreams, loss of childhood through one means or another have been swimming round my mind. And this has brought me to the idea of children – leaping into the unknown. Death, dreams, adulthood.

My own childhood dreams and fears play a part too, and I suppose the idea of the forest as somewhere both frightening and magical. Probably because I have recently been reading ‘Forests – the shadow of civilization’ by Robert Pogue Harrison.

Do you remember Karen when we got lost in Thetford Forest when we were about 12.  Even now – collecting photographs for the piece I had to get Kevin to come to the forest with me.

The use of Perspex to signify the sunlight breaking through the tree tops did come from my using it in ‘Subluminal’ and wanting to see it on a bigger scale. ‘Subluminal’ was inspired by the idea of a spiritual moment with nature so it ties in to connections with the mystical aspect of death and dreams, the unknown.

I like the way the Perspex creates its own yellow shadows and when the light hits it at the right angle it comes alive – I hope I can get the angle of light right in the Crypt so it can be experienced fully.

The rest of the week has been spent helping hang work ready for the Ochre Print Studios annual exhibition, my own work included.

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