New Work

It’s amazing what NOT having a day job can do for an artist. I know this is only a temporary luxury, but boy, am I loving it. I have been able to make SO MUCH work these past two months while in residence at KCAC!

Here I am... happy as a clam working in my studio!

Here I am… happy as a clam working in my studio!

I started by experimenting with the local lokta paper, just playing around with ink, graphite, hair, and thread… IMG_1322 IMG_2648 IMG_2649 … and then I made a few ‘test’ pieces for a new idea – translating photographs I’ve taken of the walls in Kathmandu into drawings, potentially abstracted ‘maps’ of a sort? IMG_2000                         IMG_1443

The 'translation' of the photograph...

The final ‘translation’ of the photograph, using gold paint, my hair, handmade hair paper, and adhesive on Nepalese lokta paper….

Details of the piece in progress… IMG_1991 IMG_1989 And another ‘translation’ using hair paper, adhesive, and gold paint – a bit more ‘map-like,’ maybe?

The original photo of a Kathmandu wall...

The original photo of a Kathmandu wall…

... and its 'translation'...

… and its ‘translation’…

IMG_2028 And a few fun details of this piece in progress – I like the lines that were created, even if ever so briefly. Perhaps it’s something to revisit?… IMG_1994 IMG_1997 Obviously, these pieces involved the introduction of Japanese gold paint into my work, as part of a larger experimentation with materials. I’m not sure if I’ll continue to use it, but I did enjoy dabbling into just a wee bit of paint for once… IMG_1446       IMG_1444 I’ve put the idea of the Kathmandu wall ‘translations’ aside for the past several weeks – I’m not sure if the idea is worth pursuing further. Perhaps on a bigger scale? I don’t know. We shall see… In the meantime, I’ve finally begun realizing a body of work that has been brewing in my mind for some time now… drawings of ‘domestic linens,’ as I call them – doilies, table runners and cloths, handkerchiefs, etc. Some of these drawings are made using single strands of my hair and glue, others are cut-out from my handmade hair paper… but others – the vast majority, even – are made using… (brace yourselves)… AN INK PEN! (gasp!) An ink pen?! I know, right? Can you believe it? IMG_2803 IMG_2804 IMG_3289 IMG_2806 IMG_2808 IMG_3469 IMG_3471 IMG_3472 I lay the linen down on the paper (Nepali lokta and rice papers mostly), and I trace all the negative spaces. I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of trace and the presence of absence… IMG_3466 IMG_3473 IMG_3478 IMG_3477 IMG_3522  IMG_3523 IMG_4593 IMG_4596 IMG_4594 IMG_4595 I have to say, it has been quite liberating to step away from using hair all the time. It can be a fickle material to work with – quite frustrating at times, indeed – and to be able to make one mark with an ink pen just once, rather than having to make a mark a minimum of two or three times to create a piece (indentation in the paper, then glue, then hair, etc.)… well… it’s just really nice! I’m sure the hair is here to stay in one way or another, but it feels good to experiment and move on from it, even if just a bit. BUT for the hair enthusiasts amongst you – never fear! I’ve got some hairy pieces in the works as well…

Detail from a piece that I started in Kathmandu in 2012, and then finished in Philly in 2013 - made using adhesive and single strands of my hair...

A detail from a piece that I started in Kathmandu in 2012, and then finished in Philly in 2013 – made using adhesive and single strands of my hair…

Hair paper cut-outs…

Hair paper cut out with its original linen...

Hair paper cut-out (right) with its original linen…

IMG_3280 And another… IMG_4059

First, the negative spaces were traced...

First, I traced the negative spaces onto the hair paper…

... then the primary shapes were cut, followed by the detailing to make the cut-out more closely mimic the original linen...

… then I cut out the primary shapes, followed by the detailing to make the cut-out more closely mimic the original linen…

These hair paper cut-outs are going to be tricky to exhibit because the hair paper looks best against a light background, while the cut-out shapes and patterns look best against a dark background… IMG_4493 IMG_4496 IMG_4491 IMG_4492 What to do? Any suggestions or ideas on how to handle this problem? If so, please leave them in the comments below! And lastly, my newest cut-out… a beast. I’ve been working on it for over a week and I’m not even half-way finished… IMG_5324 IMG_5321 IMG_5323

I'm collecting the hair-paper scraps for potential exhibition alongside the piece - I love the little 'petri dish constellation' I'm creating along the way...

I’m collecting the hair-paper scraps for potential exhibition alongside the piece – I love the little ‘petri dish constellation’ that I’ve been creating along the way…

And so, I spend my days hunched over my table drawing and cutting until I feel like my wrist and hand might fall off… I have plans for many more drawings, and will start using the Nepali ‘domestic linens’ that I’ve bought here as soon as I find some paper that’s big enough. I’m planning on having an exhibition in the Patan Museum gallery at the end of my residency in July, and it’s possible that I will have an exhibition at a prominent commercial gallery here in Kathmandu near the end of our time in Nepal, in the spring of 2016. (Deadlines are a good thing!) More info to come as I have it… and more dispatches from the studio to come in the future!

10 thoughts on “New Work

  1. Pingback: Sign Me Up Santa Fe | Home is Where the Hair Is

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s