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By: Steve Joyce
This project is on hold or closed, as I am focusing on my Un-fictions Snapshot etc blog.
This site-specific work explores image making using conflicting and specific mark making and processes. the project focus is the Minories Art Gallery in Colchester, responding to the buildings, the history and three paradigms for image making: Photographic, painterly and architectural. The work to be produced will be Cyanotype photographs, Chalk-line drawings.
# 15 [27 January 2013]
The last piece developed since the last post for this project was a the full size of a door. The large sheet of paper worked less well than the strips and so I have been pushing forward with an A4 multi-image door piece, which still needs finishing. I will have more time to complete this in the coming weeks, and I will see where the project goes from there.
Constructing and uploading my personal website has taken a great deal of time besides other things, but now it is up and running.
# 14 [30 July 2012]
Thanks for your comment Jo, cyanotype is a photographic process using ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide, if I recall correctly (check on Silverprint if want to try it, they have information and also have a ready made chemical). The solution is applied to paper and exposed to sunlight or UV with an acetate of the image you want on top of the paper.
I am using the process as it fits the concept for the project, and it has taken a while to fully define the ideas and achieve the right effects. I have had trouble with access to facilities to complete some of the work as they are very large. Also I have been finishing my Masters degree which focuses on other work for the final module, but I have completed some new cyanotypes on a very large scale.
These pieces are human scale and tie in with other ideas in my work that explore the idea of 'grounding the image in personal experience'. In other words I take the trace of the photograph and removing it from the conventional format of photographic images, I divert the identification with memory, to the real present as the viewer stands in front of the human scale image. This marks out the physical space in a similar way to my earlier chalk drawings, which are real scale images of doors and openings. There is a detail showing the original photograph and the full size pieces show how the cyanotype extends to the real door scale.
# 13 [11 June 2012]
Well that was a long break from blogging, but not a gap of inactivity. Things had slowed down because of problems getting good acetates made for the cyanotype, and still slow progress, and of course no Easter access to workshops. Pressure to bring the MA studies together in a somewhat different direction is taking attention as well as the past few weeks of personal family and other crisis.
The recent acetates are working better and as I have got what I wanted it is time to post some tests up. The grain on these cyanotypes is better than before and also the concept has been better defined now, taking on board some ideas that arrived from other MA work and some useful theoretical reading.
# 12 [30 March 2012]
Thanks for your comment Glenda, most of my work is more along those lines, cut photos and collage, and I am thinking of starting another blog (degrees unedited perhaps, as I move towards the finish of my Masters degree). This blog is really about the photography and the memory idea, but it has changed direction and following more similar concerns to other work.
The fragmentation of the cut-photos is leading me to think of other ways of creating images made of seperate components. The drawings here on the one hand take the ideas into a multi-part image, using standardised A4 cyanotypes based around the door metaphor.
The other idea is to develop earlier 'lock' images to fullscale pieces that will be to the same scale as the viewer on large paper with just a fragment of the door completed or on strips. These are the two areas I am working on for the next few weeks. It seems that following the same concerns in my different projects makes sense, and the ideas seem to have a clearer direction.
# 11 [20 February 2012]
That was a long break from the blog, but I have been busy on the project; with interuptions of course. The Masters degree took up a bit of time finishing the histories and theories module, that and my teaching commitments. Not least of the distractions was a trip to Paris with some of my students. The Pompidou centre was open this time, after previous visits to closed doors. My MA studies led to some interesting new thoghts about the blueprint project and much reading has redefined it in the light of some interesting theories. Roland Barthes and Victor Burgin among others feature high in consideration. Two things have occured in the development.
Firstly, I have noticed that there are similarities in work for this project and other recent work, not least in the fracturing of images and collaging approaches (as indicated in the image), which have changed the direction for the development.
Secondly, redefining the project after the initial experimentation with media. I now have a better focus for the work and realise how I want to exploit the various media and to what ends. More of that later as I work on each piece with the new focus.
# 10 [23 December 2011]
Worked on more experiments, this time with the idea of creating marks that refer to the stairways and floorboards, which don't really seem to go anywhere. The piece I gave the working title Stair Incline Steps, reminds me of DNA, and might be something to develop at some point, but not sure how, and not sure how that might relate - perhaps another project? Perhaps a longer format would push it in that direction, but as for now keep experimenting within the project idea.
# 9 [4 December 2011]
More experiments with cyanotype exploring the formal structuring of an upright line on a portrait format. I thought that the Lock image had a certain presence and potential, so I created this piece with the working title, Passage in One Stroke.
It works to some extent, but I think it might work more successfully on an extended scale relating to the real passage scale, as it would relate more directly to the viewer. The brushstroke could be over 2M high and the scale of the distant opening at the end would occupy a position in relation to the full height of the cyanotype mark. I will try that, perhaps on a wallpaper roll to relate to interiors, or maybe not, it could be too much reference.
The second experiment here explores the cyanotype mark as a gestural. painterly mark as part of image making in relation to painting. I started the project with this premise but here the idea seems lost.
So I reworked the mark in Opening with Gestural Stroke to assert a more painterly contrast to the photographic content, which works better. Perhaps echoes of Abstract Expressionism permeate this one, and maybe that's the way to go? A clear contrast with a reference point? In any case I will go back to the drawing board, pun intended, as I have some more ideas.
# 8 [24 November 2011]
Recent cyanotype experiments on a larger scale (A2). Taking an unassuming detail from the Minories, a sunken gate lock as a focus, as it is a space of a very small scale, how would that situate in relation to the viewer when exhibited? It is slightly larger than life scale, which gives it presence somehow, and the extended dark line created by masking out with paper breaks the photographic illusion. So that seems effective, and the paper crinkled by the process makes it very physical, especially along with the cyanotype chemical mark-making.
The two versions were made to explore refinements in the application of the stroke to see what happens. It seems that Lock 1' with the more evident stroke takes on the character of an old photograph as a relic aged and crinkled separating it from the wall somewhat, but Lock 2' might be better ironed flat again to make it appear to extend into the wall, so it could work in a similar way to the chalk drawings. I will have to return to the Minories to mock it up.
# 7 [13 November 2011]
After the initial cyanotype experiments I started exploring the mark-making to see what other effects I could get. The first experiment 'Passage Study' explores more subtle variations of application that follow the locations of various parts of the image. It got a bit confusing and reduces the contrast between the mark-making of photograph against brush stroke. Perhaps limiting the amount of marks so it does not get too meticulous would be the way to develop this avenue. But as for the other two 'blobs' . . . well, what was I thinking of there then? Yes it is possible to create many different types of mark but, well really, this is not going anywhere. Perhaps the abstract nature of the winding stair rails and balustrades could be reworked better, but the curly blobs . . . well take the blueprint back to the drawing board. Pun intended . . . well it is my blog. Face failure with humour, then try again.
# 6 [1 November 2011]
Cyanotype experiments are going well. The first test sheet using a negative acetate exposed as expected, though the multi image does not work well with the brush application very effectively. The second test exploits the relationship between painterly application and photographic image using broad brushstrokes to better effect. The reversal using a positive acetate creating a negative final image gives an ephemeral feel to the image, which seems to evoke the idea of memory somewhat. Test some more mark-making later and vary the scale too.
My art practice essentially centres on collage approaches, and often takes the form of installation.
The work explores the discrepancies between objects, images and expected interpretations. The materials and processes vary from the use of appropriated images, constructed objects, drawing, photography, printmaking and recently a move into video and projection methods.
I work independently as an artist and also collaboratively with other artists on projects. These projects include site-specific work, book art of various kinds and other exhibition organising projects.
My new Personal Website is: www.stevejoyce.co