Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Getting a grip.

Too much going on in my head and in the umpteen sketchbooks on the go. Attempting to filter out some of the common threads and actually pin down the direction they're going in..... Admin basically.... I've got an awful feeling it's going to involve lists.

Keep returning to these lines. These are of the river (Dart). Keen to explore this control, order over the unpredictability of nature. Also the repetition in a daily rhythm. At High Cross House there is a quietness. It is full of lines. The order and repetition of the line create an emotion almost undetected in its coolness. Whether to go with this or challenge it and pick up on the tension with the outside (rambling, free, curved, squiggled, movement, life...). It's a start.

The first day at the studio was short because there is still a lot of work going on with the building. I was able to be there long enough to freak out. I have not really anticipated how much of a public space my studio will be.... The last time I worked like this I had a similar freak out I remember now! I think the pressure I pile on myself is huge and I know that is the way I work, unfortunately. The space here needs to be set up. Ideally I need a body of work to display whilst I work on the current stuff. In reality I don't have a body of work. My old pieces don't exist only in bad photographs. I don't really want to have it around me necessarily! I go over old work and I see what it lacks. Where I went wrong. Sometimes I am philosophical about it and kind to my old self. Like a fond parent I see the limited, naive, work as part of her development, learning curves if you like and that it is a constant journey. Then I have horrid days when I almost give up. The inner critic rises like a putrid poison to infect me with self doubt and shame; how could I ever imagine that silly drawing was valid? It's basic and rudimentary. It lacks rigour. It is so undeveloped.... and so on.

Nevertheless I keep going and the next step is to make a list of course. That will help me get a grip. Control over the chaos within whilst the drawing takes control of the chaos 'with out'.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Preparing to begin working here on Tuesday (see article below). I have a lot of ideas to pursue and really didn't need to diversify anymore when lo and behold I discovered another.... The imortance of selection and focus and development is abandoned again in favour of greedy overstuffed ideas, desperately vying for attention.... But this one just came accidentally and begged to be noted down..:
I have worked with the idea of drawing time or marking time before and then I found a test used for diagnosing dementia. The patient is asked to draw a clock face. From this a series of conclusions are used to diagnose the full extent of the dementia.
It struck me because of the cognitive and language research into drawing that can be extrapolated but also in a poetic sense the age of the patient and the passing of time is being forced on them, they are facing their own passage of time.

Any road up. The project at High Cross House will be heavily influenced by the rampant nature surrounding the house and the tension between this and the Modernist 'line' of the building itself. I'm hoping to blog a little more regularly, if not for my own sanity (reflecting thoroughly on my drawing research) then for a document of the work which I am notoriously lousy at. It will be interesting to work in a domestic house, I have wondered if the work I made on the theme of home will resurface. Especially in this environment 'designed for living' where 'Ornament is crime' and where the canon of modernism, the masculine, emotionally phobic lines and shapes of minimal expression reign over the concept of 'home'. Have I had enough of this subject? Maybe I will just let rip with a mark making response to this space without the ideology surrounding it. As always context will be content but there are umpteen contexts to look at.........Overstuffed? Bursting!

National Trust to open modernist High Cross House to public

Devon property designed as a simple and sleek 'machine for living', is one of the UK's most important modernist homes

High Cross House in <span class=Dartington, Devon" style="padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; border-collapse: collapse; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat; ">
High Cross House in Dartington, Devon. Photograph: Chris Boden/PA

The National Trust, best known for its lavish mansions and sprawling manor houses, is to take over the management of one of the UK's most important modernist homes.

High Cross House in Dartington, Devon, a former headteacher's home designed as a simple and sleek "machine for living", will open to the public from 7 March.

Designed by the Swiss-American architect William Lescaze and completed in 1932, the house was built for William Curry, the first headmaster of the progressive Dartington Hall school.

Robyn Brown, of the National Trust, said: "It is one of the top five modernist houses in the country. It is fantastic, brutalist architecture, very clean lines, very machine-like and indeed that is what it was designed as – a machine for living."

High Cross is still owned by the Dartington Hall Trust but will be managed as a tourist attraction by the National Trust. The building will be turned into a "local hub for contemporary arts", where visitors can see artists at work.

Vaughan Lindsay, chief executive of the Dartington Hall Trust, said: "We hope the partnership will bring many new visitors to the estate to enjoy High Cross House, explore Dartington's glorious grounds and gardens and find out more about our charitable programmes in the arts, social justice and sustainability."

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