Yesterday, I finished the first layer of plaster on each of the standing elements. I have made 2 x w.90cm x h.60cm they represent the notion of a gate into the Shinrin Yoku space. 2 x w.60cm x h.90cm and 1 x w.60cm x h.120cm (will it stand? is still a question!) these are supposed to reference prospects and thresholds.
I originally imagined just one of each standing piece and two or three hanging ones but decided to make ‘spares’ in order to have enough to be able to up-scale the installation in a large space or leave bits out in a more intimate arrangement. (Atrium? /studio?display options in mind) Also of course, having spares is just a good insurance policy in the event of any forthcoming accidents or disasters! (ever the pragmatist I say to myself).
Today, I have worked on application to the other side of each piece and I am delighted with the contrasting textures visible on the front and back as you look through from different sides.
It is proving to be a difficult day. I just phoned Chris in hospital and found him barely lucid enough to speak – so much morphine – I felt quite tearful. I’m working hard to keep my anxiety at bay because of that AND – still no interim assessment!
The very act of applying the plaster strips to the fabric pieces is quite a calming, meditative, mindfulness sort of experience though – which helps – serendipitous. Being meticulous as I am, about applying the minimum amount of plaster to support each piece and using the minimum amount of water required to set it on the fabric is a way of actually engaging in the minimalist aesthetic kinaesthetically through my process as well as effecting it conceptually and visually in the product. I am pleased by the feeling of ‘integrity’ this invests in the outcome.
It is so important to keep the pieces safe and secure while they are so fragile, and also, to keep them clean. So, where meticulous process is a mantra for today, it is twinned with methodical working practice. I am hanging the elements to dry between each plaster application on the overhead ducting in the studio to keep them clean and safe. There’s a sort of rhythm developing around doing a bit of plaster application; climbing up to hang the piece; washing down the bench; doing a bit of this while it dries…. bringing down the next piece; laying out the strips on it; STEPPING BACK FROM THAT – doing a bit of this …. looking back at the strips to tweek the design and back to applying the plaster. Round and round. Erin thinks it must be really tedious. It is however, quite soothing I find.
Phone Chris again.