Archives for posts with tag: childhood

The artwork is complete save for a trip to the framers.
“Father had one week of holiday a year at the beginning of August and as a family we would go to West Bay each day to camp in our tent. Every day, Mother packed delicious food for the day and we would set off for our destination, 1½ miles away. Father cycled while Mother and we four girls could choose to walk or catch the bus. If we walked, we had enough money to buy chocolate, which we made last by eating one square of chocolate per field. Father spent time fishing on his boat and even taught us to swim in the harbour. Our expectations were different then and yet not so much has changed. Children still love the sun, the sand and frolicking on the beach. The sounds of seagulls, waves and excited high-pitched voices are the same.”

Wondering what this is about? Click here to find out more about this project.

Detail - It is hard to see on screen but I love the way the photos melt and blur into the paper

Detail of 'Eighty Years Later'

I have glued most of the images and textures onto the artwork although I will add a few at the end if required. The next stage was to add the text. For the heading I used my letterpress wood type and after a little practice, I tackled the real thing praying I wouldn’t make a spelling mistake. I used coloured ink and allowed the colours to blend, keeping a palette of blues, greys and lilac and I will live with the slightly wobbly letters. For the main body of text I considered using a computer font and rubbing it on using artists’ thinners. In the end with encouragement from Lin Kerr, I bit the bullet and wrote in my own ‘fair’ hand. I took the view that this isn’t a computer generated image and what seems like imperfection provides the character. Wondering what this is about? Click here to find out more about this project.

Placing the first layer (feather monoprint) and preparing the photographic images

Sticking the first layer (feather monoprint) and preparing the photographic images

I have printed the photographic images onto Chinese rice paper using a laser printer – and almost destroying my printer as the rice paper is soft and not designed to be fed through it. So that the ink won’t dissolve when glue is applied, the images need to be fixed by spraying layers of Lascaux. I started gluing layers onto the base paper working very calmly and slowly when no children were around. As soon as you apply glue to the paper it becomes like wet tissue paper, is very difficult to handle and almost impossible to reposition, so learn to love the odd crease. I found that photographic images can’t be realigned at all because the ink starts to seep through even though I used fixative. I worked slowly but as efficiently as possible and then put it aside to dry. Wondering what this is about? Click here to find out more about this project.

Working at my desk on a rough composition

Time to stop conceptualising and start designing. To create original art works, I use a combination of designing on the computer to create a rough composition but nothing beats printing out the components and playing with them on a sheet of paper. I will make use of monoprint textures of nets and feathers. Feathers create a delicate texture and are also reminiscent of the flotsam and jetsam found on the beach. Rope and net-making was one of the chief industries of Bridport and in fact my grandmother’s first job was in Gundry’s office at the age of 14. Gundry still supply ropes, nets and twine and are still based in Bridport. I am also using holiday photos (then and now) printed onto Chinese rice paper which softens and dissolves the image.

My grandmother on holiday with her parents and two older sisters.

A few years ago my grandmother shared happy memories about her childhood holidays and how much joy they had given her. I was taken aback and shocked at her experiences compared to what we expect of holidays today. Granny Mom lived in Bridport and their much-anticipated annual family holiday was in West Bay a mere 1½ miles away. Holidays are now so complicated and we travel long distances with high expectations. We owe our family and ourselves two or three holidays a year and at least one should be overseas.

I want to create an art piece that records my grandmother’s holiday memories of the 1920s and I hope with a gentle prod help us rethink our own expectations. It will also be a reminder of happy beach holidays in childhood when simpler things gave great satisfaction. Originally the artwork was meant to emphasise the contrast of holidays 80 years apart but as I started researching, I realised that some things don’t change – children still love the sun, the sand and messing about on the beach. The sounds of seagulls, waves and excited high-pitched voices are still the same.

I will work with layering techniques similar to this piece ‘Memories’ which was also inspired by my grandmother.