Well, my familiarity with the Gorge is increasing. As with my encounters with the people who comes and go. The other days whilst I sat in my car etching (it was torrential rain) I saw a large group of walkers making their way up to the limekiln area. Also – I walked down a road I hadn’t before and found the best high vantage point of the roadworks so far. Could see the work force quite clearly working together laying in the pieces of the bridge structure in place. This now seems closer to me as I’ve just arranged with the construction company for the group of artists and writers to meet with them. The group I know is two artists and two writers, though I think others are also interested, just not able to come to our meet-ups (I missed one a few weeks ago due to not wanting to pass on a cold).
I reckon we may each have different ideas and so I’ll share mine and ask for others’ thought on it later.
Etching aluminium is a new process for me (I did a couple of days last year) and in my first batch of etchings that I have recently printed I had a variety of approaches – from trying to capture the texture of the land, to etching a collage of two images one of the current machinery at work on the land and another of children in the road at Clydach in around 1900, hovering in the sky, watching the changes. This hasn’t worked particularly well, so I may work on with this on PhotoShop at some point. I’ve etched very basically imagery looking out of an unusual looking cave (more like a mouth, perhaps!) with people dancing on the land. I’ve found that the smaller plates are producing more interesting results that the larger ones, plus the results when using lard as a resist produces results that are often unexpected, but also often the most intense and photographic looking, which is intriguing and needs pursuing.
Starting with text I’ve moved through ideas on people on the land (in paint) and in etching. I have begun working on aluminium before I’ve felt ready because I just needed to get interacting with the medium. My work for this is bouncing between ideas of people and text in place, to the texture of the place, and now I’m thinking about the way the workforce are moving around the changing site. I’d be really interested to take stock of the movement of the people (workers) over the contours of the changed landscape. I thought I had a plan on my approach for the aluminium at the start of the project, but it turns out to be inadequate. Tomorrow I am printing at the Print Shed in Madley, the pieces I’ve etched so far. To become clear the motivation and ideas behind the work need to come to the fore more. People, and contours of the land. I have notions of people responding to the site through movement (as in performers) but what has been staring me in the face in the fact that people are already doing this. The workforce. I wonder how I could work with the movements of the people on the site?
I’m particularly interested in where people have contact with the land and their movement over it.