I heard Thomas Moore, author of ‘Care of the Soul’ speak in SoCal several years ago. He said that sometimes when he and his wife get a windfall, they’ll purchase a work of art rather than something ‘sensible’ like a new dishwasher. Mrs. Moore will ask of a crafted item, “Where’s the hand?”, wanting to see the mark made by a person, the imperfection that means that it wasn’t made by a machine. It is said that all Islamic artists make a deliberate error in their work on the grounds that Only God Is Perfect.
What’s this preamble leading up to? I’m very excited about a new piece of work I finished on Friday evening in my ongoing explorations of image, light and translucence. I made this ambient light source from rice paper, one of my South Bank photographs and a haiku.
I’d been thinking about it for a few weeks – how it will look, where I’ll photograph it, the apartment/boutique hotel on the South Bank which it will grace. I ordered some Chinese rice paper from Germany which finally arrived on Wednesday. Doesn’t the post seem to take longer when you’re waiting for supplies? I also picked up my Golden acrylic gel medium (too big to put through the mail slot) from the Post Office on Friday. I constructed the piece late on Friday afternoon and had such a good time while I was making it. Sometimes when I make new work, I encounter problems to be solved or unforeseen tangents, but this light came together beautifully.
I wasn’t sure how the opposite vertical edges of the image would come together at the join. When I got to that point, I decided to place the haiku going down the middle of the piece. I love how the diagonal lines in the photograph dovetail on either side.
I also love how it changes in different lights.
The haiku –
The hand comes into it when I had to splice in one of the Dolphin lamp posts which been cropped off when I printed my photo onto the rice paper. These cast iron, globe topped lights are so iconic to the South Bank that I could not leave it chopped off!
I’m currently in Devon Open Studios and have placed my Suncast Shadows light in my studio, reflected in a mirror so that visitors can catch a glimpse when they pass and can go in for a closer look. Then I draw the shade and turn off all of the other lights so people can see how it glows in a dark room.