In this blog I’ll be discussing current and past works along with noting down the ideas and possible future works that stem from each.
Catherine Wynne-Paton is a multi-disciplinary artist working with live art, text, performance, painting and drawing all of which is driven by an investigation into the relationship between the physical world and the world of text and is often a response to conversation, individual word collections and specific sites.
The Lost Library Project was not only a performance but also research driven by the social value of free access to text, number seeking and pattern finding within community establishments that are changing rapidly.
Drawing and painting are part of her thinking process about texture and the natural form of plants, their contours and imagining a text or message carried within their forms.
In her exploration of the gap between the perception of text and the reality of it she attempts to uncover visions locked away in words and phrases by bringing them into physical form to play with and understand their meanings from other perspectives. Because words can both be reductive and expansive she wants to find the limits of the form, the contours of text, the contours of the land, plants, where meaningless textual form of the contours of land and plants (might) meet meaningful, if limited language. The point where meaningless becomes meaningful. The point at which meaning is lost. The aha moment of understanding.
Now, a concise version of my statement:
Catherine Wynne-Paton (b. Banbury UK, 1977) grew up in Wiltshire and moved to Wales in 2011, studying at Hereford College of Arts. Her work is driven by investigation the relationship between the physical world and the world of text and is often a response to conversation, individual word collections and specific sites. In her exploration of the gap between the perception of text and the reality of it she attempts to uncover visions locked away in words and phrases.
This is ok, and feels more professional, but doesn’t give a lot of detail. I can always add detail relevant to each project at the end.
Last time I edited my website I went for a title list of my works leading into details and images for various projects and works, but I don’t feel it works very well and previous to that I had a simple slide show of visuals, keeping text descriptions to a bare minimum of title, media, size and year. A variation of these that I think would work well now is having a gallery grid showing one image from each year as a cover image to the years’ gallery.
Reviewing my artist statement…
Current statement on website:
My practice is predominantly concerned with investigating the relationship between the physical world and the world of text.
In our digital world we are bombarded by increasing amounts of information via text on a daily basis. In my exploration of the gap between the perception of text and the reality of it I attempt to uncover visions we have locked away in words and phrases.
I believe that art, in mapping society, can wake us up, not only to reality but also to our dreams which, through art, can become real. I want to create imagery that uses and explores and is relevant to everyone’s imagination and dreams.
The investigation is often realised through an engagement between a word, phrase or body of text and another medium such as paint, print, mixed media, collaboration, video, installation or a combination of these methods.
This is where I am with the new edit:
Catherine is an artist working with words, using conversation as the root of new work; playful yet political. Her investigation is often realised through an engagement between a word, phrase or body of text and another medium such as paint, print or site-specific performance, installation or a combination of these methods.
Keywords: Dreams, social infrastructure, communication, grassroots activism, site-specific, words, text.
Places of interest: library, water-fountain, footpath,
I work with text in part due to my contrary nature, if it is difficult for me – I want to do it. And I find writing (for most purposes) nearly impossible. Text is simply too over-stimulating.
What to do with the form of text that sends me into a tailspin?
a) Ration it.
b) Record conversations on audio and video.
c) Use different source material (video & audio).
d) Research through images, video and experience. (How limiting is this really?)
e) How far can conversations alone go?
f) Could conversations stand alone as practice?
g) Why is text so addictive?
I’ll be considering for next time:
Limiting my source material to direct experience, video, image and audio is tempting. Why?
And pondering the idea of whether conversation can stand alone as practice.
Well I’m drawing plantlines – attempting to follow the contours of plants in various media (paint, pencil, pen, etched). Sometimes a single line across the surface, at other times multiple lines travelling from left to right, overlapping, yet starting one below the other.
Today it’s been strawberries in watercolour first in my sketchbook, the left side over existing painted marks and then onto the clear white page. The next was with a sharpie pen around a disposable coffee cup.
Hundertwasser believed the straight line is ungodly, my first middle school teacher banned ruler in art (pretty standard for art I guess) and a later art teacher didn’t appreciate my messy way.
I think I can do away with the straight line in my work. Plants don’t tend to be this way, I am not this way, life is certainly not a straight path. Driving from here (Abergavenny) to Aberystwyth is basically a rollercoaster of a road, and my travelling over the surface of the earth is rarely in a straight line, even though I sometimes try to be efficiently going in a direct line. This straight line causes problems. I think I know where I need to go, but life has other ideas. When I try the direct route, I am almost certainly going wrong and not paying attention to my surroundings. It is too easy. There is no benefit.
Curveballs abound all around me now.
I am in the midst of grief over the loss of my brother Stuart. The two brothers left are coping, I hope, but it is difficult for all of us -we’re reeling from this as is the whole family. I can feel my head physically occupied in trying to process what’s happened and unable to remember much new information. And there are many moments it hits me in the stomach or chest as a pulse of memory. Trying to keep up with work and supporting each other and being there and being supported back. Seeing more of family than ever.
I have fairly political ideas and ideals coming to the surface as I work on plantlines and write this:
STRONG GRASS ROOTS
REACH HUMAN(E) POTENTIAL
SAVE THE POST OFFICE!
COMPULSORY LETTER BOXES
The way people do things – e.g. sell eggs outside their house, signs for ‘local honey’ – which you can follow and find a cottage, press the bell and get honey straight from a beekeeper (or family member) and those bodged together things. Hmmm. I absolutely love.
I have just done one of those facebook clickbait bits of fun: what job should you have had and it came out with FBI agent. I feel like I need to be an agent to understand myself and life. How far will I go to figure out myself?
Artists Hundertwasser, Guy Allott, Peter Liversidge particularly appeal to me.
In drawing plantlines – am I looking for a message outside of myself? Am I missing a point? Does it need to be more ‘something’ (not sure what this is) to resonate?
One of my approaches is to draw an ‘honesty’ line, a ‘strawberry’ line, ‘mixed (plant type)’ lines and on with other plant names. I have also been drawing the contours at the Clydach A465 roadworks and considering drawing the plantlines of plants under the trees in the Gorge.
So – is the fact that it’s a contour line or that it is a plant line the most important aspect?
Yesterday went to the Costain roadworks site with Liz Morison at Clydach Gorge to see the site from the inside. We went out on site in safety gear.
Continuing my drawings and etching of plant contours, Plantline, I etched the contours of the landscape into a small prepared plate. This is currently line etching in Copper Sulphate.
We were in the midst of working machinery with the A465 behind us and the green hills of Clydach rising steeply in front of us. One of the many new bridges was being built up and later we saw the foundations of a sweeping footbridge over the gorge – Clydach footbridge.
Liz was collecting soil and other debris for her work.
I got photographs and footage of people working on site, in particular focussing on where people touched the land – feet and the machinery moving the soil.