'it starts with embarrassment and ends with hope'

I've just been watching Damien Hirst 'The First Look' on TV - an interview about his forthcoming exhibition at Tate Modern and I've pinched (in the spirit of his art) this quote about his show, for my degree show project 'Painting in the attic'. I've talked about the collaboration in previous posts but haven't said much, since I started the project a few months ago, about the installation for my degree show in June.  I've been scraping away more paint, filming myself working, taking samples, collecting relevant information and thinking about the presentation of this 'forensic investigation'. Last week I had the opportunity to book a space for 4 days at at the university studios in Royal William Yard, Plymouth. My tutor, Phil Power, held a seminar for the group on Wednesday and I got some excellent positive feedback. 

magnifying glass on scraped painting 
I set up the space with a trestle table, a working space with my tools for scraping and examinging the painting which includes a microscope and slides. An easel with the 50 year old oil painting undergoing a removal of the oil pigment and a magnifying lamp.
Installation view, working table,  painting on easel, paper boats on floor

Installation view - working table 

 On the floor was the original frame and a 'contemporary' response to the work - overlaid monotype prints, 6 mirror tiles and a paper boat made from a used envelope - this response to the original painting was as if it had fallen out from the original frame and remade itself 50 years later with the work I am involved with now - it was a spontaneous response while working in the space and trying out my ideas for the installation. The rest of the paper boats (50 in total) I have been making were huddled in the corner rather like a safe harbour! Not sure what to make of this as it took me by surprise when I placed them there.
Installation view - original frame, prints and paper boat - floor piece 
On the opposite wall I put up a shelf of test tubes and perspex boxes containing fragments and pigment scrapings - I intend classifying these and labelling them for viewers to make sense of - only they probably won't make much sense (only to me!)
Installation view - shelf of scraped pigment samples and detailed images
Finally I projected a film of me working on the painting on the wall to the right of the easel painting. The sound was the most interesting - a perpetual loud scraping noise - one of my tutors has suggested I concentrate on presenting only the sound and not the projected images - so more work to do as I don't know much about sound installation.
I feel a lot less anxious now I've tried out my ideas - it was really exhilarating to get them out of my head and into a concrete, visual form.


bridgette said...

Fascinating! I love the gathering of paper boats too.

Carole said...

Very interesting to see how your project if working out. I love the idea of the scraping noise with out the image.

Liz said...

Hi Rosie, I've been thinking quite a lot about your process with the painting after your talk - (also have you seen the controversy over the renovation work on the Da Vinci St Anne painting?) - it struck me that you are undertaking a similar thing, actually "adding" something to the original, ie the marks of your scrapings, (remember I said I thought the tool was rather like a pen? ) which you can be absolutely sure are your own, as well as "removing" the layers of time, metaphorically speaking!

Rosie Kearton said...

thank you Bridgette, Carol and Liz - I find getting comments so encouraging as I'm constantly doubting myself! I have also thought about what you said Liz and will look up the Da Vinci controversy

Jane said...

I've only just seen this Rosie. I'm really impressed - it tells a visual story and presents yoru work as if the viewer were a part of it. Its a fascinating insight into what you have been through and whats going on in your mind. I am entranced. Brilliant - and nothing less than I know you can do.