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The Cut - Melancholy I

The Cut

This image is an expression of the emotional trauma a baby experiences when adopted. It is thought that, under two months old, a baby does not know it is a separate entity from it's mother, hens any permanent separation causes trauma to the child subconsciously. The smaller block colour circle symbolises the soul and life, the fuller teardrop circle represents the child, incomplete almost reaching out as the bigger part-circle detaches itself and moves away, denoting the Mother.

I re-drew the teardrop circles in ink on mark resist for exposure onto mesh, trying to enhance the depth of the circle and the feeling of roundness of the circle, this was a slow but again a mediative process, this drawing is still my favourite of the triptych.

Colour-wise I felt red would be too obvious a colour for the small circle, I wanted it to represent new life so chose a pale green to reference the colour of new plant shoots as they have push through the soil. I wanted the green to be glossy or satin and tried mixing the paint with effervescence, which a pearl type medium, however the white in the colour stopped any shine they would have given.

NB: I am going to test in Lithography as they do have vanishes that may work over the screen printed colour.

I had been considering whether the work might need another element and so had experimented in screenprint during the workshops. I had played with inks and methylated spirits on mark resist to try and manipulate different textural finishes, it was difficult and more down to luck than design, however as began to work back into the mark resist with a scalpel I found myself drawing forms which were remenisant of a veil or a flower but also hair-like in texture. I thought these along with some cut-out smaller circles, which had the patterns of the ink flowing through them, might work compositionally and enhance the idea beneath each of the drawings.

Screenprint tests of ink & meths experimentation.

After printing the first layer I started to explore the idea of adding a veil shape to the image, as if adding a s shadow of my Mother, (whom was an Iranian Muslim), by playing with the positives and overlaying them to see how they might work.

Layering with the drawing to work out what might work.

I liked the shape and flow of the larger veil piece, there is a finger shape within it which I wasn't sure of, in terms of excentuation or not. After fiddling for a while, I decided not, as it seemed too obvious to allude to a hand reaching out, plus I didn't like the asthetic. When I came to print I moved the veil to the other side of the picture as I thought the shape worked better away from the little outcrop of tears which are leaving the main circle.

After the first couple of pulls of the veil my immediate reaction is that it was too dark and heavy in the image. Dave Fortune suggested I take the positive and work into the mark resist a little more to add more flow to the lines and lighten the shape. This I did and a re-printed with the reworked veil, however I'm still not sure. On reflection as I look at the two of them together, one finished with the green circle several things strike me; one, I actually like the depth that the darker veil shape originally had, but also I think the veil is too big, although I like the shape it seems too dominate over the picture as a whole.

First veil shape before re-working with the scapel, and after.

There was a smaller form I had worked on, which was actually the first piece I drew and where the veil idea came from. I had discarded it as perhaps too small, reconsidereing that actually it might not be as intrusive, I decided to test on the two prints that had not been added to.

I like this better, the ambiguity works well and the size less dominating. The placement I am still working as I like it crossing the circle but not sure I have found the perfect position as of yet. I also want to re-think the paper I work on, after a conversation with a artist friend, she suggested that as this triptych was about fragility why didn't I work on tissue paper, or some thing thin and fragile. It made me realise I was always work on Somerset satin because I like it, but actually I need to consider other surfaces as a way of expression.

NB: I am going to re-print, working on the placement of the veil shape and also how to get the green of the picture to have satin / gloss texture. Also I intend to test other papers, possibly Japanese paper.

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