My Kitchen Exhibition
My Kitchen Exhibition
I was due to have a small show of paintings at a small gallery in Bristol just as the second lockdown began, so I decided to have the exhibition on a wall in my house instead, and share it with people here in the virtual world.
There are fifteen small paintings in my kitchen exhibition, and I am very pleased to share them because I have not made any paintings for some time, until this year, having until now made mostly screenprints. I also framed the pictures myself, and in the process became more aware of the value of a frame and how it can become an integral part of the artwork.
Paintings, and the making of paintings have some nice aspects that you don’t get so much in printmaking. When you are painting you are creating in a way that is very direct, there is no mediation of process to slow you down, or to allow you to re-work and perfect the image you are making. A painting develops a satisfying surface of brush marks in a way that a print does not. Sometimes there are other paintings beneath the surface. And a painting does not require glass in a frame the way a print does, there is no barrier or annoying reflections.
An awareness that most picture mouldings are created from hardwoods, and that producing glass is very energy intensive made me hesitant to go to a picture framers, since like many I have become very aware and concerned about our use of resources in the knowledge that we have only a limited carbon budget remaining on this planet.
A friend gave me a two old boxes of 35mm slide transparencies, thinking I might like them because they were pictures of birds. I did quite like the pictures but the boxes had more potential. They were nicely made from hardwood with very fine joints, which I later learnt are called comb joints.
Dividing the lids from the boxes gave me four box frames. So it was a way of reusing a box which has little useful purpose any more. People digitise their old slides and have no use for the boxes anymore. Since then I have been buying slide boxes online, and sometimes cigar boxes, although these can have a rather strong odour attached to them which I am not that keen on. My framing is getting more creative now as well, I have started to use the wooden slide separators that come in the boxes.
This is not important but the paintings are attached to the boxes using magnets. I had a load of small disc magnets in a draw, and it means you can remove the picture to dust the box easily. But I also get a certain amount of childlike joy from the magnetism - that resistance as you pull the painting out of its frame, and the satisfying ‘clack’ as the magnets meet when returning the painting to the frame.
I have now experimented with making a dyptich from two paintings, a seagull and a pigeon, in which the two parts are held together with magnets. This means they can also hang as separate pictures, but they will still always be drawn towards each other. I like this idea and so might do some more magnet related work.