Thursday, September 3, 2009

Work in progress: The Cabbage Field




THE CABBAGE FIELD: IDEAS BOX/SHRINEapprox 11.5ins x 7.5 ins
click here for larger image
Following my most recent posting, I received so many wonderful messages of encouragement that I've been reflecting on how I use my blog. Until now, I've regarded it as a place to post completed digital art works and scrap pages. Thus, my work rate determines how often I post. If I create something in response to an online challenge, then there is a deadline to meet, but my more personal projects often evolve over several weeks, if not months of research and experimentation: a process I rarely share in any detail. From now on, I intend to post a little more frequently, sharing work in progress and some of my experiments with techniques: in the form of digital creative journal pages or "Ideas Boxes".

There is one piece that has been particularly taxing my brain since returning from France, presenting me with technical challenges that I have not yet been able to resolve. My Resistance phase often leads to the complete reworking of an idea but in this particular instance, I'm certain that my initial impulses were the right ones and I don't want to resort to an easier option. Yesterday, it occurred to me that if I temporarily removed the objects from the context in which I'd set them, I might, eventually, be able to return to the initial problem with a new perspective, and so, I placed them inside a little digital box. This was an interesting experiment. At first, the box and its contents resembled exhibits in a museum or cabinet of curiosities: I knew that was the wrong place for this story but made a mental note to explore those ideas at a later date, with another set of objects. The temptation was to keep adding what I call "anecdotal" elements to the collection: things that look attractive, but don't actually resound in any meaningful way or move the story on. Then I remembered something that helped me to focus once more on the emotional resonances I was seeking to convey. Somewhere along the roadside between Gloucester and Ross on Wye, set into the ground and hidden by tall grass and weeds, there is a little glass-topped box shrine, commemorating a young Traveller lad who died in a road accident near that spot. Inside, there is a photograph, plastic flowers and messages on metal and paper: weathered by time, atmospheric conditions and the tiny creatures who have taken up residence in this little casket of sadness. Focusing on these things, I worked on my box, which I now regarded as a shrine. My offerings don't look as if they have been encased for very long but this is just a step along my journey and I'll work more on breaking the objects down when I'm setting them in their final resting place.

This new process has left me ready to return to the original artwork and challenges that I'd set myself, with a deeper physical and emotional understanding of the objects with which I'd chosen to tell the story. However, It has also sparked- off lots of other ideas that I want to explore a little further, and so, if your curiosity has been aroused, I'm afraid that you will have to wait even longer to see where everything is heading!




12 comments:

Taluula said...

My goodness Miss Lumi I am agog!!! I like what I see so far.

La Dolce Vita said...

I am always willing to wait for the good stuff! your box is mysterious and thanks for explaining your process...

btw, how is the garden? first frost will be soon upon me and harvesting green tomatoes for frying

Sandra said...

ahhh the depth, i just want to touch it and open the box.
and to post more of the in-betweens is a FAB idea!

Kimmie said...

a wonderful post here ..... I love to see and read about the process. We're all so different - it's so fascinating. I truly love your blog and look forward to seeing you post not just because you've "finished" a piece. It's a very friendly way to blog .... I ought to try it :)

mary schweitzer said...

I love hearing about the whole process and watching a piece develope. Thank you for sharing your beautiful work

Kim said...

You tease! Of course like everyone else I can't wait to see the finished piece, but I find the sneaky look into the process fascinating. Funny how artists often proceed through similar processes. Like you the resistance phase often sees me tempted to reshape everything, dump original ideas and attempt others, but I find that persistance pays off and the means of achieving the original ideas begins to flow. I look forward to watching the piece evolve.

Seth said...

Glad you are showing pics along the way. I just love to see artwork in progress and to hear about abut the artist's process.

Poetic Artist said...

I am glad you are sharing..I love to see the progress..Wonderful.

dolls like us said...

Good job with the artwork.

Linda said...

I was very interested in this post - I have seen lots of those shrines by the roadside on Greek Islands.
Fascinating work...as always from you.
Linda x

elizabeth said...

Really beautiful work. Very very beautiful. Also love the 18th century herbal book of remedies you have posted! I hope you own it.

Gini said...

What a beautifully worded post.
Gini
xx