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To end my residency I wanted to do something with the lists of words and other notes that I’d written down during my walks and train journeys. On most of my walks I would stop somewhere in a café and write down feelings and impressions. Often these took the form of lists of words, which, when I read them back, were strange and poetic. Sometimes I couldn’t think of much to write, so the lists were oddly short. I decided to select words from these lists to paint on the gallery walls, using the positioning (low, high, corners etc) to play with the meanings. The two lists I decided to work with were:

Tired

Weary

Heavy

Ivy

Holly

and:

Hedges

Walls

Doors

Hills

Pasque flower

Skips

Rubbish

Passageways

Entrances

Dirt

Bus stops

Shops

Cafés

The first list I painted on the long wall and the adjacent wall, with the words ‘tired’, ‘heavy’ and ‘weary’ in different greys just above the floor. ‘Holly’ and ‘ivy’ I placed in the two greens (Melon Sorbet and Spring Greens respectively) in the middle of the two walls at eye level. I selected ‘entrances’ and ‘dirt’ from the longer list. I would have liked to put the two words separately on opposite walls, so that you bounced between the two, but I only had one remaining wall (or rather chimney breast). I liked those words because they were incongruous with each other. ‘Entrances, dirt, bus stops’ might have been a stronger sequence, but I had a rush to paint all the words that I did anyway.

On day 7 I visited the Kelham Isle Museum to see the Don River Engine (the most powerful surviving steam engine in Britain) and selected my words in the museum café. On day 8 I painted them in Franklin Gothic Demi 220 point (traced from print outs), photographed them and then painted them out so that the gallery was returned (nearly) as it had been. ‘Entrances, dirt’ existed for barely half an hour and ‘Tired, weary, heavy, holly, ivy’ for slightly longer.

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