Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Signal studio residency 2020

I started my third studio residency at Signal Arts Centre last week and already I feel very much at home in the space, despite arriving masked and chatting to people with coronavirus protocols in place. I had residencies in the studio in both the fall of 2018 and the fall of 2019, so being here is becoming a pleasant annual habit. I blogged about the work done (or started) in both those residencies here and here, and as with those residencies I decided beforehand what my focus would be during my time in this studio. But first things first: after a simple tidy and sweep, I rearranged and covered tables to correspond with how I intended to work. I saw that one of the previous tenants had put the long mirror horizontally behind one of the sink areas (there are two) and I thought this would be a convenient spot for my daily self-portrait, a work warm-up for me. Since I don't actually need two sinks, I simply covered this sink with a wooden board to create another surface area.

I have use of the portable press till the end of the year, so it got its own table between the larger window and the sink that I would be using. My focus this year is to be on silk-fibre papermaking - a process that I learned a few months ago in zoom workshops provided by artist Tunde Toth. I blogged about this workshop here. I planned to make some paper and use it for monoprints related to my current body of work Memory Is My Homeland, which I have blogged about here, here, here, here, here and here.

So I started work well before lunchtime. This is my first self-portrait of the week, done with watercolour pencil.

As I knew I would not be ready for printing this week, and always feel that I should do at least three different things in the studio daily, I brought materials to make collage cards. Thinking of my recent work on Aos Dara-Umha Aois Combined Symposium, which I blogged about here, here and here, I created a collage card based on my memory of the saplings and ferns at the entrance to Tomnafinnoge Wood.

By the end of the week, I had used up most of my silk fibre supplies, but happily so. I made a number of sheets that are raw in colour and I also made some sheets using dry pigments to give intense colours.

Here are some of the sheets fully drying on blotting paper. I look forward to printing on them soon!

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