This requires a reflection on previous work involving space and three dimensions. Without rehearsing the problems I’ve had with close compliance with those tasks, I’m taking a slightly different path, at least in this experimental phase, and using whatever the environment offers.
This afternoon, it offered shadows across my easel which had on it a piece of white cartridge. I began tracking time by drawing along the outline of the struts of the studio’s roof as the sun moved over to the west. The first lines, in soft pastel, were made at 14.30.
It moves fast, changing as I’m tracing the lines. And shadows are very difficult to pin down close up. Well-defined from a distance, they seem to dissolve into a kind of fog when I get within drawing range. I’ve noted the time on each colour thread.
Last shadow photo 17.46.
I like the idea that this is totally opportunistic – the easel and the paper had to be exactly where they were, the sun had, for once this spring, to be consistently blazing down, and I had to see it and know what was going to happen, at least in principle. I’m not sure what the next step will be, that may suggest itself when the sun has gone for the night and I have just the traces of its passage. I’m tempted to sweep a brush upwards along the direction of travel.
30th May and I noticed shadows passing across a board on an easel positioned horizontally. I rapidly placed some white cartridge there and began painting the shadows with a large brush and paint at different stages of dilution. The sun kept coming and going, disappearing under clouds periodically, then emerging again. And as this easel is at a different orientation from the other, I had no idea where the shadows would go.
There’s no right way up for this but it felt to me to be upside down because, to avoid getting my own shadow into the frame, I had to stand at the ‘top’ end of the easel. The darkest strut disappeared quite quickly but the other marched across the paper in wide swathes, never quite bumping off the two pale grey stripes on the left that belong to a third strut. Again, I’ve documented the time relating to each shadow, writing that in different places along the strip after noticing how subsequent strips sometimes obscured a previous time stamp.
Because it’s hard to see and evaluate while it’s flat, I have put it onto the other easel where I can see what kinds of shapes have been made.
I think I’ve found myself hovering above the rings of Saturn.
Following the rings of Saturn theme, I emptied the contents of the ring punch into a small pot of glue and made proxy ice crystals of them. I had to resist going the whole space station and made a supreme effort to leave it as it is. A small piece of film with yellow paint has included itself and I’m leaving it there as a representation of the sun [or a shard about to shatter the skin of the observation craft].
31st May and I’m working on a third iteration of time and space. This time the shadows are crossing the floor of my studio and instead of tracing them, I’m taking photos that I intend to print on plain paper and gloss paper, cut/slice/de-integrate, and put together as another expression of the passage of time as described by an entity outside my control – the sun.