This body of work has developed as a direct result of my collage works where I was adding flat painted wooden shapes to the canvas or fabriano surface in order to expand and project the work out from the surface. It was a natural progression to discard the surface altogether, thereby allowing the wooden shapes to become the work.
As the triggers for all my work relate to my memories and experiences of the forms and colours of nature, landscape and cityscape, it also became imperative that the object shapes were a more solid 3d form rather than flat to reflect this real 3d world.
I like the idea of using discards and am constantly sifting through the bins of discarded material in the University workshops. I am drawn to wood and chemical wood (something about the warm organic feel to it). I like the fact that these pieces are someone else’s cast-offs from their work: the negative if you like to their positive.
I am very specific about the discarded piece I select, the shape is most crucial, which is contrary really because I haven’t made the original decision about the shapes, someone else has. Also contrary is the fact that I need to keep the original creator’s marks, such as pencil measurements, scratchings and scrapings, but then need to add my mark, initially paint, as this immediately alters what the object originally was.
Once I have made the painted mark, each object develops of its own accord. If I feel the piece is too solid, I may add another found piece to create spaces within or I may balance the solidity by adding flimsier thin strips of painted wood attached with coloured wire which complements the colours of the paint. The colours I am currently using lift these solid pieces to give them a light and happy fun-like feel.
The one artist who has helped me to accept and look at my own work differently, is Richard Tuttle. He uses elemental images, simple techniques and ordinary materials to make his extraordinary artworks. There is an ambiguity to their meaning which intrigues me and is something that I want the viewers of my work to experience. I have already received comments that my “objects are enigmatic, alluding to architecture, machines, models, landscapes and paintings.”
In experimenting with 3 dimensional objects, I am not creating a sculpture, more a 2 dimensional painting with additional spatial elements coming from within the object as well as projecting out from the gallery wall. Linked in with this is the effect of light creating shadows and colour reflections, similar to the effect of the artist Jane Bustin’s paintings in the exhibition Figuring Light – Colour and the Intangible. This requires further exploration from me with regard to the source and direction of the lighting.
The philosophy behind my work is to create pieces that instil enjoyment in the viewer with an element of intrigue which is emphasised in the presentation. Each piece has to be hung against the gallery wall. As each is an individual piece it needs considerable space around it. To encourage participation, I have deliberately hung the pieces below or above eye level so that all of the piece is not immediately visible. Once the viewer’s curiosity is aroused they need to approach the work and peer over, under, through and around in order to see the different effects of the colours, shadows and reflections. In my next body of work, I want to pursue further this ‘inside/outside’ theme.
Gill Smith | 07805787589 | email@example.com