Wednesday, June 13, 2012

In Air - work in progress






Recently, I was talking about painting into thin air.  A romantic notion, no?

I wanted to try looping and squiggling my way across the walls of this hallway and across corners and into space using clear vinyl.  Wouldn't that be swell?  So I started.  But as so often happens, it didn't quite go according to plan. 

There's this weird thing that happens when you're an artist working in painting/installation.  You learn things you never thought anyone would need to know.  Like, I know that acrylic house paint doesn't crack, peel or bead when painted on clear contact, but artist acrylic does.  And I know that painting wool is a rotten job and requires an undercoat to work. 

On this work, I am learning that it's hard to make your squiggle look intuitive when you're painting a wide and looooooong brushstroke with a comparatively small brush.  Now, perhaps that's something I should have anticipated.  I didn't.  I'ma get me a bigger brush!  For starters.  Then I will see where this goes.  There's much more to do on this.

Also, will I add geometric shapes to this, or simply let it be a big brushstroke?  The suspense is killing me.

Orange Bounce




(C) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Orange Bounce (Installation view)
Acrylic, vinyl, graphite

 (C) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Orange Bounce (Installation view)
Acrylic, vinyl, graphite

 (C) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Orange Bounce (Installation view)
Acrylic, vinyl, graphite

(C) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Orange Bounce (Installation view)
Acrylic, vinyl, graphite


 (C) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Orange Bounce (Installation view)
Acrylic, vinyl, graphite

 (C) 2012 Naomi Nicholls, Orange Bounce (Installation view)
Acrylic, vinyl, graphite


A little catch up post of work from a couple of weeks ago.

This new hallway work (new work, new hallway) comprises of a large area of orange, it's more British Paints Peachy Dream actually.  The shape casts from the floor up onto the wall and across the open door, as if it were a projection of light.  Incidentally, I should work with projection.  There's an idea!  The shape sits on a background area of washy and painterly grey watercolour, which make the shape seem as if it's floating.  Further along the wall is a muted green, which floats a meter off floor level and also sits on a watercolour background.  Painterly marks in watercolour and green appear on the opposing wall and also on the floor where the orange shape sits.  Overlaid the large orange shape is part of a grid in vinyl and a set of three geometric shapes butted up against each other and stretching down onto the floor.

The work has a strong directional property, a hierarchy of where to look.  The orange is obviously the starting point and your sight bounces from one point to the next.  There is also a great effect on the opposite wall to the orange shape - an orange glow.  My photographs don't quite capture it, but it's striking to walk through.

The experiential nature of my work needs some exploring.  For me, they relate heavily to the body.  Although you wouldn't think so, to look at them.  But when one walks through, ones body is directed by the work, as is one's eyes and head.  Where do I bounce from?  Do I duck under anything?  I also feel aware of my height and size in relation to the work.  Sometimes the scale of my work in relation to the body prompts the viewer to step away to capture it all in one line of sight.  This has been really interesting when making work in hallways.  I also think the hallway aspect has really added to the content of the body in my work.  For example Other Points of View was in a square room, and not a thoroughfare.  It did have some good readings, and others did read a bodily interaction with the work.  But nowhere near as much as it has 'worked' in hallways.  And even in Line Drawing Extrusion from my Dimensions of Space exhibition, the room was long and narrow, and there was a reason for the viewer to walk the length of it.  That wasn't present in Other Points of View.  So - certainly something to play with.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Painting Into Thin Air

I wonder what it would look like to paint into thin air?  Perhaps not so very much unlike this?


(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls
De-installating Hallway in Peachy Dream and Grey.

(c) 2012 Naomi Nicholls
De-installating Hallway in Peachy Dream and Grey.


Another way of painting out of the conventional frame of a canvas dawned on me when I was de-installing my Hallway in Peachy Dream and Grey.  I was pulling up the contact from the floor, that I'd 'sneakily' (well I thought it was pretty sneaky) painted upon to avoid the wrath of the building overlords.  As I pulled up the contact, the paint is in three dimensional space, and 'hello', I thought - that's something I can play with.

I've also been thinking about painting onto some balloons.  I'd love to get a really bit weather balloon-type to paint on and put inside my normal wall paintings, but I need to find a place to source them.  I love how many completely random things I need to learn about in order to make art the way I want to.  This week, it's where to source comically oversized balloons.  Next week, the world?  Actually, this week, I think I will be content with average sized party balloons.  I just want to experiment at this stage and see what happens.

Here's a test I've done already of painting into thin air.  I started with some clear contact, the type I have been sticking to the floor to paint on.  I installed it diagonally across a corner and painted from the wall, onto the contact and then onto the wall again.  Then I cut around the paint and presto.  It's kind of alive.




It reminds me a bit of James Nares, but in space.  Space!

At this stage, it's just a 'disembodied' brush stroke by way of a test.  We shall see where this method reappears in the coming weeks.  Oh the suspense.