Today should have been the first day of my residency in Tarset, Northumberland. As part of VARC‘s (Visual Arts in Rural Communities) two-year programme ENTWINED: Rural. Land. Lives. Art, I was due to be partnered with Unison Colour, makers of hand-made artists’ pastels.
With all that is going on in the World, a postponed residency is a little thing, but I am still deeply disappointed. I was looking forward to the coming month as a great challenge, both personally and professionally. The colours of Northumberland were calling, filled with the promise of a new outlook providing new ideas. I was both excited and trepidatious about the challenge of living on my own for a month.
With the Covid 19 lock down, Bristol has become a new, quieter place. The death of a friend has taken away the motivation to make or create.
With the start of May, I have decided to reframe the ideas I was going to explore in Tarset, to see how I can approach them in Bristol. The starting points of my explorations in Northumberland were to be walking and colour. My basic plan is to go for walks through Bristol, photographing colour as I go. I will then use these photographs to create a colour representation of the walks, and to create a colour palette of Bristol.
Today I used my 30 minute walk to my studio as a test walk. This first attempt has taught me that I need parameters. Just walking and taking random photographs didn’t feel satisfying. Too much choice ended in paralysis. I need some rules.
I found myself having an internal argument about the type of photographs I wanted to take – is it enough to record colour, or does each photograph need to be beautiful?
The first image shows the grid composed of a tiny close up section of each photo, with the simplified colour version underneath. The third image uses the whole photo, again with the simplified colours underneath. I think I prefer the second experiment, but I am not sure about the mixture of depths. Would an image composed of all flat surfaces be more pleasing, or just dull?
The next grid needs to be composed of more images to give me more pixels.