(For previous newsletters click here)
Newsletter - June 2007
Welcome to the June edition of my newsletter.
Coming up this month:
- Cocoons - why are they so fascinating?
- See the creation of a cocoon on video using time-lapse
- Download a free high-resolution print for your
What's inside the Cocoon?
Cocoons have appeared several times in my work,
both individually and embedded in artworks such as "Rushing"
and "Hidden". In fact, for the Beginnings
exhibition I created many for a single piece
called "Forest" where they were placed in a box with driftwood
and sea glass.
I have been asked many times what's the thing with
these cocoons - what do they mean, why are they there and, sometimes,
how do you make them?
For me, these textured forms, which I call cocoons,
seem to be at the heart of what drives me to be creative. I think
about the long life-journey that's led me to be an artist today
and all those experiences, frustrations, dreams, fears and numerous
detours seem to be encapsulated in the cocoon itself.
Sometimes I see them like little emotional storage
vessels; each hurt embedded in winding layers of protection. We
lay them away in our heads until, if possible, they can be sorted,
unwrapped and dealt with.
I wind and wrap threads and cloth round and round
to form the structure of the cocoon, using different textures and
colours to make up several layers. I then melt them with a heat
gun to produce a highly distressed effect and reveal the layers
underneath. My cocoons may contain a single moment of painful memory
or represent the amalgamation of a whole section of life that shapes
behaviour for ever after.
Perhaps more powerful than the idea of emotional
storage and protection within cocoons is the notion of dormant potential,
new life waiting to burst forth, the emergence of revitalised energy.
Sometimes this change comes slowly as we work away at unpeeling
the layers that may have taken a lifetime to build up. Sometimes
there is an unstoppable rushing force, tearing open, inevitably
effecting even more change all around.
Detail from "Rushing"
At the moment these are core ideas within my
artwork. It is a very personal journey for me but one I hope you
can identify with in your own way.
Creating a Cocoon
Especially for this newsletter I created a
cocoon and took photos of it at every stage - from the wrapping
of the layers to the distressing of the material by the heat gun.
By overlaying the photos I've been able to create a time-lapse style
video of the process.
The voice-over on this video is pretty much
the same as the writing above, so if you don't have sound, don't
Sit back, press play and enjoy.
Download a free high-resolution print for your own wall
Now you know a bit more about the process of creating
a cocoon, if you would like a high-resolution image of a detail
of this work for your own non-commercial use, then right-click
on the image below and select Save Target As
then save the image on your computer and print it off on photographic
paper at up to A4 size without losing any quality.
Be advised that the image is approximately 2.4MB
big, so might take a little while to download
If you run into any difficulties then please let me know.
Questions and Comments:
I would very much like to hear from you. Please email
me with any questions about my artwork, or with ideas of things
you'd like to see and read in future editions of this newsletter.
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think might be interested in receiving this newsletter, please point
Wishing you all the best until next time,
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