Progressing the images from my previous post, I’ve started to arrive at something more akin to what I had in mind from the outset.
The first in these three images in particular has the subtlety I am after, and, combining the three ‘locks’ gave me even more – something not entirely obvious once compressed for the web.
There’s something too of early Victorian photography in this image, in particular, the early experiments of the Henry Fox-Talbot such as the fern reproduced below.
Following a post I wrote back in 2017 (Locks) I’ve been looking again at the idea of creating small works using drawings made by my son and somehow reflecting the idea of the drawings as keepsakes and mementoes of times spent together. I took some of his drawings and using a lightbox, traced parts of them in both pen and pencil, trying to create images that were like locks of hair, the results of which can be found below.
Photographing work like this always strips it of its subtlety, but nonetheless, I was quite pleased with what I made. They don’t quite have the ‘lock of hair’ look I want just yet, but it’s a start.
Following on from my last post, the images below show tracings I made of the same drawings made with my son, this time in pencil. There was no particular reason why I made them in pencil; it was something that seemed a good idea. Aesthetically, I’ve always liked pencilled lines and, as a result, I really liked these particular tracings.
As with the coloured versions, I stacked them in a pile and it was only then that I realised what these images reminded me of.
To me, they were like preserved locks of hair – keepsakes of people and times and as such they’ve become a perfect line of work to explore.
When you’re a father, separated from your children a few days each week, the things you do with your children when you have them become especially precious. I find I take more photographs when I have them as they somehow sustain me in the days when I don’t see them. The same applies to the things they make; drawings, paintings and so on.
A few weeks ago, Eliot asked me to do some drawings with him, whereby he would draw on the page and I would follow the line he made. It was a very simple thing, but he loved it, and the images we made were lovely.
It’s drawings like these which become so important in those days when I don’t have the children, and, as I mentioned in my last post, these in particular seem to lend themselves to work I made a few years back, where I would stitch ‘images’ from sources such as GPS data (taken from walks), or old trench maps.
As a start, I began by tracing the drawings using the same felt-tips as we used in the original drawings. Given that these stitched works will, in some respects, be about memory, the fact these tracings are not entirely accurate, alludes nicely to the idea of memory itself not being an entirely accurate draughtsman.
As I drew them (the time difference between the ‘moment’ in which they were made and the length of time it took me to trace them also alludes to the idea of working to recapture a moment in the past) I piled them up and began to appreciate the aesthetic of the piles of tracings, where previous drawings would show through.
I’ve always loved drawings or paintings with scribbles and lines and these piles seemed to point to another way of using these drawings – another possible outcome. It was only when I did the same with tracings I made in pencil that another possible work began to emerge, one which was exactly in keeping with the idea of memory, family and recovering past times.