Blog by artist/printmaker Dawn Cole
I am about to embark on a new project. It’s exciting. It’s a little scary. It’s funded by Arts Council England – yay, and I will be writing more about this soon. However, before I start the new project there are ideas for a work that have been rattling around my thoughts for some time. The ideas won’t go away and the urge to make has been getting stronger. I have to exorcise this work from my thoughts before embarking on anything new.
The origins of the word ‘lace’ have been a constant reference point and it’s connection to the words entice, entrap, snare and noose have provided the underlying thoughts behind much of my lace work to date.
Over the past couple of years I have been working with lead (see previous post) and one of the sources I use is from fishing equipment suppliers. At first this was just a practical source but after a time I began to think about how this source might connect with my work; with fishing being a form of trap and enticement.
My research in response to Clarice’s archive takes me off in numerous directions, some aren’t relevant at the time but I often find myself returning to them at a later date and when they then become relevant and suggest a way forward. Army recruitment posters are one of these directions. They often pop up in my research, their words always leave me with a chill, knowing what I know now. They always make me think about the soldiers Clarice nursed and the ones buried in Wimereux cemetery. They make me think about the opening words in Clarice’s diary
In time of war everyone has an idea that they ought either to join the Army or Navy and if they are unfortunate enough to belong to the female sex, ammunition work or nursing! Naturally every woman, girl, and even child who has anyone fighting for their country feel they absolutely must do something definitely – to help.
They make me think of fishing.
And so I have begun making fishing flies, using embroidery threads, in the colours of regimental flags and specifically the regiments of men who are buried in Wimereux Cemetery, and who died during the period Clarice wrote in her diary.
The work is very much ‘in progress’ but here is a little preview – an enticement even, to lure you in.