My brain refuses to come up with anything to write about,
I put off doing my #Letter365 for a while to go to the artist’s talk with Jill Kennington at the Arts Centre. Her show of photographs is on in the Allsop Gallery above my #Collage365 show Oh and we also had a nice lunch at Spice & Rice the street curry stall in the market. So I didn’t get to deliver my letter till much later and Dee has had enough of me taking her photo!
I really don’t know if I can just restrict this one to #Letter365 I wasnt to develop it as a theme and I think it needs space to breathe rather than being locked up in an envelope. We will see! Well you won’t – that’s the whole idea of the project.
Even in my mind’s eye the remembrance of today’s piece sparked alive with a satisfied joy. I completed the piece before going off to Portland around lunchtime. I didn’t quite have the time to drop it in at the Arts Centre before going so it sat on the passenger seat. Even though I was in proximity to it I really didn’t give the contents a second thought. I went to the dentist, a gallery. explored some of the historic ruins looked at the view, drove back to Bridport, delivered the piece, went to the shop, made dinner and watched The Dark Knight without giving this specific artwork any thought. So when I came to write this, for a moment, I couldn’t remember what I had made! Even as I write this I have not yet looked at the photographs, I know exactly what I have created. I remember the point at which I had to decide how subtle or how obvious I needed to be with a particular element for it to be just slightly unsettling, to make the eye curious in a curious person and in an incurious person for their eyes to rest gently upon it.
Anyway, Megan was kind enough to take delivery of today’s piece. It was her exhibition I went to see in Fortune’s Well. I appreciate her wearing nail varnish and top that works well with the day’s envelope!
It’s not often I completely balls up a piece, but today I did. I remember Mrs Williams, my teacher when I was about seven years old telling me how to make a mistake in a picture into something else. I tried that kind of thing but it just made it even shittier! So admitting defeat and not having an alternative to try the original idea again it was start afresh. Which worked out just fine. Now, I keep coming back to this point, the fact of a continuum, this small-work-every-day process, means that I need not worry or fret over a small amount of lost time. Yes I experienced a short bout of mild irritation, because if it hadn’t been for a failure of materials/equipment pretty much out of my control it was a good idea and I will pursue it again at some point with appropriate adjustments. So I learnt something and then had the joy of creating another piece, a piece which I wasn’t afraid to just add a last element to finish it off. If I had ballsed that up it would have been a shame, but same goes, the next piece would be fine.
I wasn’t so careful with the message on the envelope either! There I go casting aspersions on Schrödinger and I couldn’t even proof read my own envelope! The message is only 17 words and I managed to repeat one! I also nearly lost the artwork! I was busy in the studio preparing some paper with acrylic-painted areas for some drawings I am working on and used up all the available flat surfaces with drying pieces including the place I had put today’s artwork! Found it in the end though and feel it is quite interesting.
I had decided to use the headline earlier but events overtook me. I was going to write about the messages on the front of the envelope but, as you can see, I have photographed it upside down. Here it is before posting so you can read it:
So I was going to talk about all the things that needed to be taken into account in the set up of Schrödinger’s mind experiment. I was reckoning on pointing out flaws that if Schrödinger had heard would have irritated him, you know little nit-picking things like the size of the box and the amount of air in it and would the cat suffocate first and how had he calculated the amount of hydrocyanic acid? But of course my planning went to pot. The first flaw in my planning was that someone parked across the front of our house and blocked my car in. Usually it is just someone nipping to the Post Office and they are back in a few minutes. This person left it for about half an hour and went to their friend’s house. (I won’t recount the full story of her excuses for fear of stirring up my wrath). Then when I got to the studio I got into conversation with my neighbour and out of politeness ignored the alarm on my phone and another neighbour joined us and that led to some other discussion by which time it was time to get a late lunch. It was only when I got to the shop I remembered to look at my phone and discovered I was already 10 minutes late for a meeting with some friends! After that I bumped into someone else I’d not seen for ages and we chatted for a long while and…well, Bridport is a friendly place…by which time the afternoon had disappeared and I only had time to do my #Letter365. Even that I messed up a bit and stamped yesterday’s date on the back (altered and a new stamp added).
Then when I get back home and pop to the Post Office to post the piece I have to step over the police cordon to get to the box (you can see the tape at the top of the photo and you could say they have cordoned off my work!) Sadly the Post Office had been raided. Fortunately, although Andrea and Peter were slightly injured, they are OK and three men have been arrested. Seems like those men may not have thought things through properly either. Clearly I didn’t today, so who am I to nit pick over Schrödinger’s experiment and try to make witty comments about it?
Oh, and nobody noticed my deliberate/not-deliberate mistake yesterday!
Oh, and the piece inside? You’ll have to take my word for it it’s either really good or really bad or both at the same time depending the interpretation – but that’s another story!
Meanwhile. I am actually more interested in the water droplets hanging round the top of the post box:
The piece inside may or may not have any connection to what is written on the envelope, though one thing is for sure none of the envelopes contain a live cat or any other sentient being. Neither has an albatross that has been in contact with this piece or its envelope nor has it been made intentionally wet by seawater from such a bird. It could be argued that there is no completed artwork inside until the envelope is opened! Did Schrödinger use a cat in his problem to shock or cause us to think in a different way? Have I put live artworks in these envelopes along with a small radioactive source and a vial of art poison (carefully shielded so the artwork cannot tamper with them)? After an hour will any of the artworks be dead? By the time the installation opens in March 2015 will all the pieces be dead? If so will they have died of natural causes, starved by my cruel confinement of them or poisoned by the experiment. Were they dead to begin with? How can we tell if the art is dead or just sleeping?
You’ll have to look a the photo to grasp what I am on about and even then I doubt if you will. Frankly, the few people who look at this will probably not care what it’s about anyway.
I needed to go out and get some coffee so I delivered today’s piece by hand. Dee was at the Arts Centre and, in her usual reluctant way, agreed to take delivery of No261. It’s not the taking delivery she has a problem with, but the taking of her picture – there is no telling her! She had noticed recent Schrödinger’s cat references and suggested “Cat” as the name that he might have called it. She also noticed that today’s envelope was quite chunky – I don’t mean knobbly, just robust, substantial – which is true. Perhaps she is right about what Schrödinger called the cat?
As I walked out of the Arts Centre I noticed someone reading about this project and said, in passing, “that’s good. It’s mine” She called me back and we had a chat and she is a sculptor called Rachel and her friend Nick came back to the studio for a chat and i didn’t get the coffee. A little bit later I went out for the coffee and met someone else and had a chat and ended up not doing much work!
I’m not having a good day, struggling with the black dog, and I thought I could cut corners, save time and do any old rubbish. But, of course, I cannot. There may be a question about the quality or value of my work from and aesthetic standpoint but, I find, never from a moral one! Even after I had resigned myself to doing it properly I started bemoaning my choice of materials: “that will take longer”, “I wish I hadn’t chosen that”, “I have to take care now I’ve done that! and so on. But you know it was worth the effort. It would never have worked without doing it right and it would only have made me feel more depressed. And I got a moody picture too. As much as I love the London slang “moody” I don’t mean that. Nor is it in a bad temper. I just mean it’s a moody photo. Mind you it’s not so easy to read the bit about Schrödinger’s cat!