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Assemblage Update: Touching on Text

I’m hesitant about using too much text in an assemblage as words carry so much weight, and they throw that weight around!

Any word or piece of text in a piece draws people’s attention. Our brain/eye sees them and hones in. Sorting them. Working to make sense. Make sentences. Make meaning. We lean forward, eager to decipher and be orientated. Words can undermine the reading of the totality of the image/marks and bias a work in an particular direction. That said, words in works can also be helpful, acting as hooks, as echoes, as a ‘crumb-trail through the woods’.

Common Wood has more words than is usual in my work; the text started as something approaching a draft poem,

ps. ‘Nigh Wood’ was the working title for the Common Wood piece denoting both ‘night’ wood and ‘nigh’ as in ‘close to’…

it was a collage of ‘found’ text from scraps in my poetry notebook. The text was never intended to become a finished poem (had that been the case I’d have transferred it over to Watershed my poetry site or perhaps incorporated it into a prose poem) rather it was a set of words that seemed, to a greater or lesser extent, to echo the evolving marks and images found in Common Wood piece.

Two of the text-based pieces. These are unfinished. The text and patterning may well be part-erased as further mark-making and painting takes place, they’re simply a layer of texture, something to work on and work into as each piece evolves and hopefully takes on it’s own character. From a common starting point ie. ‘words painted on wood’ hopefully six separate but inter-related text-pieces will emerge – that’s the idea anyway!

The back panel of Common Wood is also coming together. From my (purposely) limited palette it seemed appropriate to focus on the ‘grey’ spectrum conjuring connotations of night, Winter, shadow, cloud etc. whilst the white ‘dot’ element in my mind prompt ideas of snowfall or starscape (or dots-in-front-of-your-eyes or pompoms – if that’s the way the marks strike you. There really isn’t any right way of reading an assemblage, they’re simply an invitation for the viewer to make/take meaning from the images/objects presented. I might orchestrate or facilitate the piece but I’ve no desire to dictate it’s final meaning for each viewer).

The back panel propped up in the Studio. The three canvases that’ll be incorporated into the assemblage can be seen above the back panel, whilst text pieces lie on the newspaper beneath. The separate elements are moving closer…

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