The beginning of July heralded the start of the second part of the MSB residency exchange between Castlefield Gallery, Bloc and Stryx. This time we were with Bloc Projects in Sheffield. A great venue and a great bunch of fellow artists.

Instead of lengthly introductions, our group said our hellos and got straight down to idea formation and discussion. Knowing everyone’s practice to some extent it was easy to continue playing around with current concepts and extending fresh ideas. I personally felt so much more at home this time and with it came a certain amount of confidence that my own physical experimentation would be welcomed with open arms.

So by opening myself up more freely to the process I was instantly less inhibited by invisible restrictions and limitations I had imposed upon myself in Manchester. Pushing boundaries within the process of my practice was liberating and I felt more confident in expressing my ideas.

I came with a few potential ideas up my sleeve so I would be ready to start work in the unforgiving timeframe of 1.5 days. I knew I wanted to go bigger. I knew I wanted to be bolder. I knew I had an opportunity to attempt work I wouldn’t normally have the space (or time) to do. I also knew that I wanted to make my work more interactive. So how would I go about incorporating my vision of being able to interact physically with painting.

Work in progress!

In Manchester I had already touched upon this through the transparency in materials (clear perspex, grey plastic vinyl, tracing paper), being able to see through to the ‘raw’ building behind them. To continue this concept I needed to use a bigger transparent ‘canvas’ which led to the idea of using clear dust sheets. Painting the Sheffield city map as a guide lead to an abstracted painting not dissimilar to my ‘Our Urban Playgrounds’ works on paper (‘A Question of Landscape’ solo show) showing road, rail networks, roundabouts, etc.

The second day allowed for time experimenting in how it could be displayed… hung like a sail or draped ceiling to floor. I knew from the day before I wanted people to enter into the painting via the main entrance door which would mean having to cut up the entire piece. A few deep breaths later and sure enough I hoisted it into position towering above the entrance like some floating immersive sculpture flowing in the breeze of the door. As there was a good foot of in-between space within the doorframe, productive discussions with my fellow colleagues came up with the idea of making it even more interactive by placing my ten individually painted ‘whimsical utopia’ reflective CDs in the space itself.

Visitors then had the opportunity to stop and immerse themselves in the total landscape painting and here are some of the pics with more to find on the ‘Shows’ page.

For more images go to www.jennydrinkwater.co.uk