NOTES FROM THE STUDIO

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  • RETURN TO THE BODY

    RETURN TO THE BODY

    Pencil drawing: 'Brown fat'

    What is the Polar Night Study?

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    As I trawl through the copious, sane and insane, notes and drawings I produced as a resident with Ars Bioartctica in Finland I re-discover what a foundational role the documentation of my bodily experiences played in navigating the peculiar spaces and situations which defined my Polar Night Study project with Ars Bioarctica.

    The body, usually my own, seems more-often-than-not to be the point of departure for my practice. And so I begin processing my Ars Bioartctica experience from this intuitive and familiar place on my first day in the studio at Fremantle Arts Centre, starting with a small series of drawings which explore the way the body responds to and copes with sub-zero temperatures. I begin with a focus on the subject of 'brown fat', then move towards a more comsuming attempt to draw the sensation of trying to get blood pumping to your extremities in -15degC.

    Pencil on paper Pumping Blood (solo) i

    Drawing from (sensation based) memory and a series of journal entries I want to make work which can communicate the kind of desperate physicality of this 'blood pumping' action and how it speaks to the fragility of the human body the extreme cold climate environment. In particular my experience in the Arctic brought a new dimension to the conceptual weight of water based media as a metaphor for the body in it's ability to register and respond to the sub zero temperatures in such a dramatic and catastrophic way. For this reason I'd like to eventually expand this account of bodily experience into a series of mixed media works with a focus on water based media such as gouache.

    Pencil on paper Pumping blood action study (solo) i

    As I work I see my gravitation again towards this kind of scrappy annotated diagramatic style that I became quite obsessed with near the end of last year when working on the 'Blue Prints for Structural Hygiene' series for TRACE at Mundaring Arts Centre.

    Above: Pencil on paper Action study pumping blood while holding hands (two person)i

    Below:  Pencil on paper Action study pumping blood while holding hands (two person)i