Lockdown week 14

Relaxed Reductions.

Although the virus infection and death rate figures are thankfully going down there has been only very general analysis of the detailed demographics behind the generally available figures. The interactive infographic below provides analysis and some understanding of the people lost behind the figures in England and Wales.

Click image for all information

Socially Distanced Garden Meetings

Andrew Kulman, Jug and Lemons. Woodcut 2020

As the lockdown is eased socially distanced physical meetings are possible to consider between know participants. Midweek we were invited out to a neighbour’s garden and my partner suggested I leave my phone at home. I did miss it. There were a number of occasions when I reached to make a search, confirm an event or view an image, but as the evening progressed, we relaxed into our face to face live experience.  We are lucky enough to have a garden and the following evening an impromptu invitation to a fellow printmaker and partner from across the city was welcomed.  Following their 11K paces from theirs to ours, we met and dined together. On arrival a series of three woodcuts were kindly presented to us. Summer images. Another enjoyable digital free evening!

#Digital Sociality.  

A new term has appeared on my research agenda: Digital Sociality.  This describes the increased, and potentially positive social exchanges taking place during the lockdowns and isolations deployed in the global pandemic. It is coined by ethnographers (Saxena and Lee Johnson, 2020):‘During a global pandemic, the wide geographic reach of digital media allows for articulation of imaginaries across places and opens possibilities for shared worlding. Used digital platforms may widen the reach of social and cultural exchange’. 

digital drawing

Continuing making drawings with the hashtag #BLM. Below is from the 60 Years Room at Tate Britain last year that celebrated the work of British women artists from 1960s to the present day. The room focuses on the work of British women artists. It included work from several generations who have explored similar themes. Spaces and structures, the idea of home, and fictional identities featured throughout the works. The display highlighted how women artists have been under-represented by galleries.

Identity and belonging. Tate Britain. 2019. iPad Drawing.

links

https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-britain/display/walk-through-british-art/60-years

Alder Keleman Saxena and Jennifer Lee Johnson, 2020. 

Cues for Ethnography in Pandamning Times: Thinking with Digital Sociality in the Covid-19 Pandemic. Dispatches from the pandemic. http://somatosphere.netScience, Medicine, and Anthropology 

Lockdown week 13

UK Covid figures going down, thank Goodness.

The numbers debate: Politics (economics) Vs Science (Health)

Following art week’s decision to open my photographic archive to make new drawings relevant to  #Blacklivesmatter with the iPad for sharing on Instagram, I have posted the drawing below. It is from a photographic celebratory event at the Birmingham Hippodrome and features portraits of Birmingham’s female Black elders, in the places they feel most at home. They are brought to life via augmented reality that sees the women in the portraits tell their stories and talk directly to viewers about what home means to them. Today is also WindrushDay 2020 when communities across the country celebrate the contribution of the Windrush Generation.

Listening to Vanley, at Brumhippodrome. 2019

Home was an exciting exhibition of augmented-reality portrait photography that has grown out of a creative project by renowned photographer Vanley Burke and Friction Arts and is presented for the first time at Birmingham Hippodrome.

Vanley Burke is often described as the ‘Godfather of Black British Photography’ – his iconic images have captured the evolving cultural landscape, social change, and stimulated debate in the United Kingdom over the past four decades. His body of work represents possibly the largest photographic record of the Caribbean Diaspora in Britain, and as an avid collector, Vanley continues to connect histories through his substantial archive housed at the Library of Birmingham. From local community organisations to the Victoria & Albert Museum and Whitechapel, Vanley has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, and as far afield as New York, South Africa and China. Find out more at vanley.co.uk

UK culture news

UK government announces theatres, cinemas and Museums can open with social distancing on ‘Independence Day’. Theatres rely on live audiences for the financial model to operate, cinemas may be able to survive with smaller audiences; Museums may be able to apply social distancing, but they will not be in a position to pay the staff to implement the rules as the income from trading is not to a sustainable level.

#printgang

Taiba rehearses her presentation

#Printgang continues be a shared forum for making and for me Lockdown Lookout drawing. This week Lucy set up her walk and Taiba rehearsed her presentation

Lockdown Lookout

Lockdown Lookout #4 Rain has been completed in the computing drawing, composing and editing stages. Digital print Proofing onto paper will be carried out this week.

Lockdown Lookout #4 Rain

Thats it

Lockdown week 12

UK Covid figures going down, thank Goodness.

 #Blacklivesmatter and the horrendous results of racism have compounded the painful reality we are living through. As activists have said they “Are Sick and Tired, of being Sick and Tired.”

As well as revisiting drawings I have made in Art Galleries of people and exhibitions that we used to share. I am opening the photographic archive and making new drawings with the iPad, and sharing them on Instagram.

Ibrahim Mahama: Parliament of Ghosts. Whitworth Art Gallery 2019

#printgang

Boyanna points to her new work on metal.

#Printgang continues be a shared forum for making and for me Lockdown Lookout drawing. This week Boyanna joined from Bulgaria where she has relocated for the summer. She is in 14 day quarantine, but continues to make her art works and uploads a daily Vlog:

Lockdown Lookout

Lockdown Lookout No 4 has begun.

#Blacklivesmatter

22 year old black football player from Manchester builds on his active volunteering to force change in government policy to provide lunch vouchers for people in need. #maketheUturn. Can’t say how Big this is. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/53055256

Apologies that week 12 is more visual than literal, but writing has been focussed on a paper that has to be completed for an upcoming deadline.

Thats it

Lockdown week 11

Can’t look at the Covid figures. There’s a sickness in the air.

 #Blacklivesmatter and the horrendous results of racism have compounded the painful reality we are living through. As activists have said they “Are Sick and Tired, of being Sick and Tired.”

I have revisited drawings I have made in Art Galleries of people and exhibitions that we used to share. I am sharing them on Instagram.

M is for Migration. @StudioOlafureliasson @Tate digital drawing
From a Small Island. @andrewjacksonphotography @Mac Birmingham. digital drawing

#Printgang continues be a shared forum for making and for me Lockdown Lookout drawing.

Lockdown Lookout

Lockdown Lookout No1 has been made and digitally proofed and printed.  It awaits editioning as a digital print or the basis for a larger silkscreen print based on the layers that have come together in the making.

Lookout Lockdown #1. 16×13. digital drawing on hannemule digital

Lockdown Lookout No 2 has be made and digitally proofed. 

Lockdown Lookout #2. digital drawing

Lockdown Lookout No 3 has begun.

Lockdown Lookout #3. digital drawing

Apologies that this blog is visual rather than literal  this week, but writing has been focussed on a paper that has to be completed for an upcoming deadline.

#Blacklivesmatter

Thats it

Lockdown week 10

Care

There are amazing human examples of care by families and health professionals across the world as people fight to survive the virus. It is increasingly difficult to comprehend the reality of the figures reflecting individual suffering. 

Above is the current situation. The beginning of the graph is January 1st 2020 with covid at zero. Click the link and be shocked by the trajectory of this interactive graph.

Birmingham School of Art #printgang

: : : (red), 2016
Color sugar lift and soap ground aquatints
45 × 42 in
114.3 × 106.7 cm
Edition of 25

I had an in depth conversation with Justin and Taiba about the Jaqueline Humphries’ print: ‘Red’ referenced in respect of her use of emoji figuration, pattern and abstract grounds.  Justin had seen the print for real in a recent visit to Crownpoint Press, San Francisco where it had been made.  He reported that it was an impressive work and its size, for an etched print, added to the impression.

We discussed the potential to silkscreen a mark resist drawing on to an aquatinted etching plate by printing with drawing fluid on the plate for it to be dissolved and let the acid bite. Like silkscreen parts of an image may be stopped out to protect from further inking, but in this process areas of the plate can be stopped out for deeper biting. I am not an etcher and am not wholly sure of the process, but it is worth thinking through and experimenting with when back in the Printroom. The concept of mixing silkscreen and etching is appealing.

Masking

Meeting a friend in the street we participated in a socially distanced catch up conversation. Jayne is a top costume designer who has designed and made covid masks and kindly offered to make us one each. A few days later the doorbell rang and she and partner Dave had placed a jiffy bag with two masks in a socially distanced way on our letter box.  Taking the opportunity to share some time we walked round our communal garden and showed them the neighbour’s developing veg garden and greenhouse reconstruction. We talked beetroot, bees, damsons and peacocks. As we went our separate ways Jayne said this was the best part of making and giving masks to friends: the talking and sharing.  Nice!

LockDown LookOut

Lockdown Lookout No1 has been made.  It awaits editioning as a digital print or the basis for a larger silkscreen print based on the layers that have come together in the making. Drawing No 2 has begun.

Looking out of another window a range of tree leaves and light are framed by the rectangular window section. Beyond the sunlit highlights I am drawn into the undergrowth on the ipad’s electronic surface feeling my way through the branches, leaves and shadows. The digital magnification function allows one to see further into the detail and the drawing of its, before reducing the view back down to observe the drawing in context of the whole.  The first layer has been drawn in 7 days, not 7 weeks. Probably because a format/concept for a series has been established and one can progress with confidence, while aware that a second drawing may not be as satisfying as the first.

On day 4 I was drawing late evening and a tv documentary following 90’s comedian Tony Slattery as he tried to find solutions to his continuing mental health concerns came on. At 60 years old it was an emotional roller coaster ride for him and his partner Mark as he faced psychiatrists, alcohol consultants and past childhood demons. The next day when I returned to draw from where I had left off, I began to be aware of not only the memory of the drawing approach I had taken, but also memories of what was going on in the Tv programme.  An image of Tony Slattery battling through against the odds appeared as a type of mental trace.  It seemed to be initiated by returning to the same focussed drawing modus operandi that I was pursuing on the iPad screen, while in front of the Tv Screen 12 hours before.  The two aligned in a manner not anticipated.

Lockdown Lookout #2. digital iPad drawing. layer 1

#Blacklivesmatter

At the end of this week 10 Lockdown is met with terrible trauma in the murder of George Floyd. The reality of vicious racism has been brought to the global stage and protest by all of us is demanded. The disproportionate burden felt by people of colour in the care, employment and justice systems must be recognised and addressed in this pandemic moment of change for the future.

Birmingham Museum acknowledged this need as has artist Mohammed Ali.

posted 1st June 2020
painted 1st June 2020. Birmingham, B14 Silver Street.
#Blackouttuesday #Blacklivesmatter

Thats it