The studio floor is rather blue and twinkly! I am making glitter mats for my end of term/course show. Most of the glitter is on the mats and the sheets of paper laid out to catch the overspill. However a noticeable amount of glitter strays on to the actual floor. Actually it strays all over the place! This is the first time that I have i) attempted to stick glitter to flexible plastic and ii) mixed by own shade of glitter. After being so uptight about any other colour than black on the black glitter door, it has been fun to blend different blue tones. The scale and dimensions of the mats, and perhaps the brown paper that they are lying on, made me think of Rothko. It is probably more correct to say that seeing two of the sparkly mats lying next to each other made me think how different Rothko’s Seagram paintings would be if they were made in glitter rather than oil paint. And now as I write I am reminded of Corinne Felgate’s glittery re-interpretations of Mondrian’s grid based paintings that I saw in London earlier this year. Felgate uses glitter material cut to the appropriate sizes and shapes – it might be fun to see if I could replicate the Rothko’s tonal variation through sprinkling glitter (which comes in a limited range of predetermined colours). A Glittering Rothko series will have to wait until I have a studio again – it is not the sort of thing that I would want to do at home!
I am delighted that my idea of ‘glitter as methodology’ has found a place in my text for the book we are producing at school. As I was reflecting on my year of Following Eugène I realised that my methodology was pretty glittery – by which I mean that I have been constructing a plane on which the various materials catch one’s eye in different ways depending on how you approach it. The word ‘static’ interests me – both as an adjective: being still, and as a noun: electric charge. When I work with glitter I am working both these definitions – sometimes at the same time. Practically I want to fix the glitter down to make it static, and at the same time conceptually I want the glitter to have a sense of charge and excitement about it. For me the glitter (the physical material) enables me to play in the spaces between all sorts of definitions and ideas – that is what I love about it!
The glitter mats also reminded me of a proposal for a glittering staircase that I made several years ago. In that case I was planning to use crushed glass on an abandoned set of steps in the Crystal Palace train station. Of course I was making more of references to glass and crystal in that case but now I think that the visual effect I wanted was not so different from what I am achieving with glitter.
The text that I have written feels like a good account of the various professional courses that I have taken over the past three years – an amalgamation of both the practical and the theoretical exercises at Mejan and Konstfack. I cannot imagine that I would have been able to write such a piece, nor to feel confident about it, without finding my own way to engage with artistic research.