I am doing a short (2 week) residency at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield. I am using my time to explore two things: painting directly on the four gallery walls to create more of an installation or immersive work responding directly to the space; and using a daily walk as a means of generating impressions which can be translated onto the walls of the gallery.
This is day one and I arrived at Sheffield from York mid morning. I began my first walk at around 11:45. I am thinking that I will take Sheffield Botanical Gardens as my destination for each day’s walk, taking a similar route to it each day, then ending at B&Q on Queen’s Road to buy a tester pot of paint, which will be used for that day’s work. Today’s walk took the following route:
Cross Burgess Street
Botanical Gardens (tea in the Curator’s House Café)
St Mary’s Road
At B&Q I bought a tester pot of Dulux Ruby Starlet paint. It was spitting with rain and I felt very sluggish. Most of the time I was looking down, so I decided that no element of the work should be above 150cm. The colour came from the dark red brickwork of a lot of the Georgian and Victorian buildings, some of which are almost plum coloured. Apart from the colour and height of the elements I was going to paint, I could not form any idea of what to do. I had in my mind to do something fairly heavy and based perhaps on the heavy building façades, punctuated with tall rectangular windows and doors, which I had seen. When I opened the little pot of paint, it was much more magenta-ish than the colour label and I couldn’t bring myself to put any broad areas of it on the wall. In the end I, perhaps rather timidly, painted some thin linear elements which responded more to the space of the gallery than to the walk. I think I needed to make sense of the space as well. I was quite pleased with the rhythm and balance of the elements, even if they are a lot more minimal than I intended! Somehow they expand the space, which I needed to do, as it was hard to relate the sense of space of the walk to the fairly small space of the gallery. Anyway, tomorrow I am going to go back and see what I can make of it!