workshop with elizabeth
The drawing workshop was about line, repetition and trace. Elizabeth and I drew repeated lines on a large piece of paper, crossing over as we drew. We the rubbed the lines out for a certain period of time, eliminating what we had drawn. We fell into a sort of rhythm doing this which became almost meditative. In the second workshop we turned up with everyday, mundane objects we could mix up, practicing with unknown outcomes.
Things I had brought included sugar. The line and trace elements came through when we thought of pouring the sugar onto the floor. Elizabeth made a circle, the I added my own traces, making fingerprints and traces in the sugar. Elizabeth joined me. It resembled some ancient ritual space, almost mystical. We were creating our 'performance' which would never happen, merely a photographic image.
We were discussing Hayley Newman's work and I showed Elizabeth the work 'Connotation'. We then devised our second meet up around the ideas raised in the work. We took black and white documentary style photographs of the things we did. I had brought tights as well as sugar and we incorporated them into the 'performance'. We wanted to present an image that purported to be a documentary image of an action/performance but was in fact set up for the camera.
Elizabeth and I had developed the idea our performance was a ritual dance performed wearing tights. We were feeling our way with this one and the thing seemed outlandish and funny but later after some research on the internet Elizabeth found out there was in existence an actual 'Circle Dance', originating in the Hebrides. We decided to incorporate this into the work.
We were investigating breath at this point. The blown bubble becomes a perceptible container of the breath for a short time. I felt the inflating and deflating bubble would be an effective way to visually convey the breath. The artificial gum bubbles become a perceptible container of the breath for a short time are distinctly organic and also fragile, like skin on the body, suggesting vulnerability as well as time passing. We found we needed up to three pieces of gum to produce the large bubbles we wanted to achieve. We had been discussing playing games, so I think that may have prompted the gum.
The philosopher Alan Watts said: “Transience is the basic condition of life. Nothing can be possessed. We are all dissolving smoke. Life, despite its appearance of being solid, is immaterial. Going away, dissolving is the same thing as living. To dissolve is the heart of beauty and the heart of life”.