Bank Street residency, day 6, 11 April 2012

Today I did a walk, but decided to base my work again on the train journey, because, when I stopped in a cafe for a think about what to do, I had a more coherent sense of the train journey than the walk. This breaks the rules of my residency, but they are my rules to break! The train journey divided into two halves: from York the Doncaster it was mostly though countryside, which, in the warm morning sunshine had a feeling of softness and porosity. From Doncaster to Sheffield it is more industrial and built-up. The adjectives I noted down were: gritty, spent and dirty. An old dark-coloured boiler suit hung up on a fence or something which I saw from the window seemed to epitomise this leg of the journey.

I made two works, on two adjacent walls, to represent these two parts of the journey. The first work responds to those ideas of softness and porosity, with circular, freely-painted forms which blend into the white wall. The green is Spring Greens from a range of paints carrying the branding of Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen. I’ve been dying to buy a tester from this range throughout my residency. Because I’m sure he mixed it and named it himself.

On the other wall, I used the grey and Venetian Red paints from earlier to make a bit of a vague mess, which, if not a very sophisticated idea, is at least an honest attempt to express the grittiness of the second leg of the journey. (Visually, I actually sneakily quite like it). I’ve been struggling not to fall back on old ideas and I’ve landed on rather obvious ideas instead. The uncomfortable thing about this residency, and the commitment to blog about it, is that it is more like an art school exercise which forces you back to square one. I wanted the strictures I set myself to begin to force things to happen which were surprising to me and this has begun to happen a bit. I’ve moved from very controlled ideas which I could have done without having to respond to any walk (or train journey) towards more uncharacteristic ideas as I’ve made myself think harder about my walks/journeys.

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