Pandemic Pondering #202

The Art Group prompt word is Collage today.

Collage is a popular activity in art classes at all levels. It has never particularly interested me.

I love Palimpsest though, The layering and changing art form so often seen on urban streets.

Palimpsest in its serendipitous form has inspired me to create collage more often and, rather belatedly, I am beginning to enjoy making them just for pleasure, there are many ways to make a collage, some of them without glue.

Mental collage or Palimpsest has started to fascinate me during the pandemic. As our horizons were abruptly limited with lockdown the way I think about certain things has changed. I’ve realised that experiences at home or locally can be as interesting and thought provoking as those moments we rave about when we are away from our domestic location. Extra thinking time and the inability to leave the familiar has made it more interesting.

The month of August and in particular yesterday are two ways I can illustrate this statement.

I’ve always rushed headlong through August in eager anticipation of a holiday or break in September. With no such treat in store, this is the first August I have given due diligence and attention to. Many of my previous thoughts are entirely true , the weather is unreliable, roads and places are too busy, gardens and parks are slightly tired and not as vibrant as earlier in the summer. All true but not as bigger deal as I have previously thought. Adaptation and a little more time makes all these things more interesting this year.

I’ve started forming local holiday type memories and experiences a month earlier than normal simply because I’m paying August more attention.

Holidays @theoldmortuary require

Sunshine

Relaxation

Good Books

Some culture

Swimming

Serendipity

So far August has delivered all of that and more without us leaving a 10 mile radius of our home.

Yesterday was a day of the most tedious shopping; cleaning product stock up time.

Serendipity delivered us a holiday moment on one of our regular dog walks. Mental collage made us notice it, in part I think because the colours reminded us of Greece.

We ordered a fishy tapas at a local restaurant, enjoyed classical music and talked to the owner.

Mental collage around a plate.

If we had been on holiday it would have been a precious nugget of the holiday. What it actually was was a precious nugget of life.

Researchers in the future will look back to this time of Pandemic. There will be many positive findings amongst the sea of bleakness.

Our positive nugget of life happened here.
https://www.thehookandlineplymouth.co.uk/

Pandemic Pondering #111

London. North or South?

PP#111 is very brief. All @theoldmortuary has done recently is paint fences black. There is less to write about when painting black fences than there is when renovating a Cornish Hedge.

North Londoners joke that there is nothing worth crossing the river for. Suggesting that South London has nothing of interest.

South Londoners know better than to retort negatively.

The most common reply is that South London is greener.

This is particularly true in our tiny patch of garden now we’ve painted the fences black.

Now the fences are back to black it’s all looking pretty lush. Not only that but I haven’t has to look too far for some stencil graffiti and Palimpsest with a green theme.

Stencil Graffiti bear , Gipsy Hill,
Church door Palimpsest, East Dulwich

Should you want to read about the North/South debate may I suggest this link- https://www.luxurytraveladvisor.com/destinations/north-or-south-london-which-better

Written by a proper writer rather than a mere scribbler. South London, it’s greener.

Pandemic Pondering #107

I don’t think I’m alone,as a creative person, in having utterly failed to fill the pandemic lockdown with a meaningful career defining response to these strange times. I’ve drawn,painted and sketched. Written obviously. My Magnum Opus is,so far, eluding me.

My Mistresspiece is missing.

It will come as no surprise that I am utterly disappointed by this definition of Mistresspiece.

An outstanding example of female beauty.

What utter bollocks!

A Mistresspiece is career defining creative work by a woman.

It stands alone and is not in my opinion mistress + piece, after masterpiece.

Rant over , time to continue the pondering about my missing Mistresspiece.

To be fair, a missing Mistresspiece is just a symptom of Lockdown Ennui. Expressed by so many people who have failed to do tasks or achieve goals, during Lockdown, that has previously been excused as a failure because of time constraints.

There is something going on in my studio. I doubt very much if it is the Mistresspiece. It hovers somewhere between collage and Palimpsest.

It is an attempt to get down in 2D the swirling thoughts of Pandemic Insomnia, which in turn seems to involve a return visit to those complex and often sinister repetitive dreams of childhood.

To be continued.

Pandemic Pondering #91

Palimpsest is one of my favourite visual experiences. I’ve written about it in a couple of blogs.

Originally the word described the effect of parchment being reused and the original script showing through the newly scribed text.

The contemporary use of the word applies to, a mostly urban , experience of Graffiti, street art , posters and stickers jostling for attention on walls and structures.

Tidying my studio recently has given us an almost parchment experience of Palimpsest.

We’ve started reusing an old familial blackboard as our shopping list. The blackboard has lost the ability to shrug off earlier messages. I could repaint it but I am charmed by the old messages butting-in to our current life.

Tidying the studio also provided plenty of old work filed away, today I decided to put it to good use.

I’m not really certain where one person creating a work moves from Collage to Palimpsest.

This is the first layer of whatever this is, drying off its first layer of sticky gluey creativity.

Progress will be blogged.

Whenever I revisit palimpsest I do a search on WordPress to see if anyone else is talking about it. Today I found

Elizabeth, saved by words.
https://wp.me/p2Gol-2fw

Blogged on the 18th April, she was one month into quarantine.

Three months in Lockdown and reluctantly easing, my thoughts run in a similar way to hers.

Life in lockdown has been layered. There has been a lot of thinking time, too much sometimes. I’ve definitely gained many new skills, I’m fitter of body and my blogging muscles perform much better but the losses have been eviscerating. Despite social distancing I know more people now than I did in March.

The thinking space has definitely helped the negative aspects of the last three months and created some wonderful memories and perspectives.

There is also a tiny layer of guilt that while some jobs have been done there are a pesky few that we have been resistant to.

Creating Palimpsest in the studio is the best antidote to chore guilt. One little detail is a bit of a wish for a return to normality.

This is why Instagram matters to Artists and Makers

Yesterday was an interesting day. A coffee meet up with a friend serendipitously introduced me to an artist and jeweller . Then an unexpected printing hiccough gave me some water colour scraps to create a new image.For interest I though I would use the Instagram Grids of the three people I met to illustrate this blog.

©tessajanedesigns Instagram

Coffee was with tessajanedesigns at Ocean Studios. We were just having a social catch up after teaching a Social Media workshop earlier in the week.http://www.tessajane.co.uk/

Mark Wiggin saw us nattering and came to join us.

©. Mark Wiggin instagram

https://www.markwigginart.com/

Then we popped upstairs to see Val Muddyman. Her current work recreates the tiny details of the beauty of a beach really close to her workshop at Devils Point.

©Val Muddyman Instagram

https://www.valmuddyman.co.uk/shop-1

Hugo loved her workshop.

For completeness here is my Instagram grid.

©theoldmortuary Instagram

I met all these people in just one hour, the images I found of their work on Instagram is such a simple illustration of why Instagram is a great piece of Social Media for Artists and Makers.

The image above is a future palimpsest but for now it’s a collage.

Bill Stickers is not only innocent, he is a genius. ( London gives good Palimpsest)

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/25/passages-from-the-bible-discovered-behind-quran-manuscript-christies?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

I’ve never really known the correct term for the incidental art created by street posters, graffiti and general wear and tear. Some years ago I settled on Palimpsest, this article in the Guardian has made me question my decision but I can’t really find a word that works any better.

Cultural and creative vibrancy can be measured by these serendipitous spaces.

Not all owners or administrators of walls are fans.

Palimpsest fascinates me , even the corporate version on traditional , paper and paste, advertising billboards are a rich source of serendipitous art if you can catch them on the day old posters are ripped off . The current trend to advertise gigs with notices, cable-tied to street furniture gets around the Bill Sticker haters but removes a layer of lovely colour and text that could be adding to palimpsest.

Occasionally I use the technique to create my own art.

Sometimes the most intriguing stuff can be found down alleyways. Hunting it out can require a strong stomach as these places also gather the excrescences, of a vivid and active night life.

London gives great palimpsest. The images below were collected on a walk from my hairdresser to a favourite coffee shop, half an hour max. My phone is full of palimpsest images from all over the world, some of it from teeny tiny places and sometimes in locations that are unexpected.

Hunt street palimpsest out; you will be rewarded.

” Dull places have immaculate walls”