Embroider the Truth

Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole

Backlogs or backfilling?

I seem to be working on 3 different bodies of work at the moment and although they appear to be very different, using different techniques they do in fact have a great deal linking them together. This is a new approach for me and one which has come out of necessity. The necessity to off load thoughts and ideas that have been clamouring for attention inside my head. The past year/eighteen months seem to have been one constant round of getting work ready for exhibitions, re-packing and storing work that had been returned from exhibitions, planning Resting Place, organising Pushing Print events and all this has left very little time to spend developing and making new work in my studio. Hence a backlog!

I started this year determined not to repeat this, to spend more time making work.  This has meant saying no to lots of things, being selective about what I do,  stopping myself every time I get tempted to enter an ‘open’ exhibition and sadly to the decision to wind up Pushing Print after 6 fantastic years running this annual event. Family matters have also played a major factor in the first 6 months of 2015 but now at last I am spending ‘almost’ every day in my studio. The sense of relief is huge. My brain is beginning to feel less cluttered and overcrowded and the newly made space is allowing the thoughts to circulate around each other, intermingle and untangle again.

Work continues on the dry point drawings for Diary of Transference. These small drawings are time-consuming to do and I find myself having to pace myself to combat neck ache, arm ache and tired eyes.

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While I am having a break from these I work on a new series of collagraph plates responding to the photographs in Clarice’s archive. A new body of work that is beginning to develop around ideas of the Theatre of War. More about this another time as these will form the basis for a solo exhibition next year.

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While the glue is drying on the collagraphs I am preparing for the Maidstone Art Market, taking place on September 19th, finishing the final series of hand printed tissues, a gold leafed edition of ‘mourning’ tissues and cutting out ‘coins’ ready for a war game. More on both of these in another post.

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And in between all these, plans are beginning to develop for the final Resting Place event in 2016. The website has been given a complete overhaul by Platform-7 and now acts as a wonderful archive of the project so far. It has been good to have a break from the project, to allow everything we did last year to sink in and for new thoughts and ideas to develop and although it may be the final Resting Place for the project, Clarice’s archive continues to lead me to places and ideas that suggest new work, new research, new travels, new backlogs.

Backlogs.  Did I say there was more space?

Maybe the space is just backfilling.

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Resting Place is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Supported by Kent County Council

Supported by

In collaboration with Platform-7
All images and content © Dawn Cole 2013
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