Saturday, April 18, 2009

Leaf Colour Stripe Swing


Leaf Colour Stripe Swing, originally uploaded by e s c h e r.

I got home from work early yesterday afternoon, the weather was fine and sunny. Perfect conditions to make something.

And yet... I couldn't think of anything to make! My normal way of working is to go for a wander and just see what comes to mind. I look for inspiration by looking at the natural materials all around. But it just wasn't happening yesterday afternoon. So instead I went home, drew the curtains and switched on the playstation. Shame on me!

Working intuitively is a great pleasure when you make something you like but with it comes some pressure. After each new sculpture is captured in the camera it is like going back to square one. As there is no plan or idea of what I will do next I just have to hope that some inspiration comes and I have no idea whether it will. Up to now I have been lucky - the ideas do come - but I fear one day they will dry up. I was hoping that yesterday was not an example of that.

The internet and Flickr bring with them new ways of displaying your artwork. Traditionally artists would display their work at a gallery or in a book and this would afford them the time to prepare and to choose their favourite work to display and give them a chance to get everything right before showing it to anyone.

When I make a sculpture I upload the photos within an hour or two of completing it and with this approach comes some more pressure. If you make something that seems to be good then I feel that the next effort must be as good, better or more original. As I strive to produce good quality artwork this leads on to having to produce even more. This coupled with the fact that I have no idea what I am going to make until I get out there means it can be a nervy experience, hoping that what is made will be worthy enough. I have been meaning to write a blog entry about this subject as I feel this new way of displaying your work to an audience is interesting and with it brings new approaches to doing and sharing artwork. 95% of what I make is shared here, the good the bad and the ugly. I wonder how many people display their artwork in such a way? But still this approach seems to work for me and with it I am granted a lot of pleasure. The pressure spurs me on yet I still feel it!

Anyway I am rambling now!

Imagine if you will those balmy summer evenings with a light breeze. The image I awoke with this morning was of a hammock hung under a tree gently swinging in the breeze. I wanted to make something that captured that feeling - of bright summer sunshine, vibrant growth and the ambience of a care-free summer evening. In my minds eye I imagined sculptures hanging from a tree twisting and swinging lightly in the wind.

I got up early and went for a stroll around the park, cemetery and woods. Firstly I found scattered red leaves blown into my garden from a nearby shrub shedding old leaves. Then I found some lush green new foliage freshly growing on a large bush. After another few minutes walking I found another large rhododendron and it had a few fading yellow leaves ready to drop so I grabbed those too. Now an idea was forming in my head - something that would display these different colours at their best, a taste of Autumn in Spring. Finally as I headed home I found another rhododendron that had had a fire set underneath it, some of the outer leaves had been scorched and gone brown. Now I had four colours to use and bright sunshine with which to display them.

I constructed a frame from reed grass and thorns and hung this from a frame made from sticks. Once constructed it swung gently backwards and forwards in the breeze. This was exactly the feeling I was looking for, that hammock gently oscillating underneath the branch. I hope you can see this in the accompanying video and the ambience I was aiming for comes across. Carefree and colourful - all the happiness of Spring!

2 comments:

Robyn said...

Brilliant! This is another one of your pieces that made me oooh and aahhh.

"They" say the more you work and develop your ideas the more your ideas will flow. I have found that to be true but there are phases when it just doesn't happen and it's best to do something completely different.

I also tend to upload photos when I finish each piece and I find that the photographs immediately show up the flaws....and I rush off to rectify them.

Richard Shilling said...

Hi Robyn, I was quite pleased with this one. It's nice to find some colour and use it. Natural colours are some of my favourite things to play with.

Ideas, inspiration and where it all comes from is very new to me but I am sure enjoying the journey. I wonder where it will all lead?

Thanks for stopping by.

Kind regards
Richard