How to make a two dimensional work from paper more sculptural…how to activate a static gallery hang? These were two questions I spent time thinking about this week as I prepare for my forthcoming exhibition and the end of this honours project.
I laid out my artworks on the gallery floor and felt very underwhelmed. Here they were, the result of nine months of research, experiments, making and printing…and I didn’t like them anymore! Short of tearing them up, instead I tore my hair and nearly wailed.
A remark by a fellow artist that my work could become a narrative of process, and reference the fractal images, led me back to the exciting installation of John Wolseley mentioned in an earlier post. In his Heartlands and Headwaters exhibition at the NGV (2015) he includes folded, crumpled and torn papers which seem to fly off the wall. They made the paper dimensional, with movement and texture.
I decided to blow up one of the fractal images to see if I could fold paper to look like a fractal. After making a grid to scale it up and folding the paper, it just did not conform to a fractal type image. However I remembered reading many years ago about legendary book artist Hedi Kyle and how when caught in a blizzard one day, she just kept folding paper until it turned into book structure, the Blizzard Book.
This convinced me to trust my material. I allowed the paper and the fractal image I had printed on it, to determine the shape and nature of the folds. The paper is so thin, the indigo so lustrous, that successive folding allowed these elements to stand out in new and interesting ways.By concealing the print, I was revealing the inherent colours of the indigo and banana paper, the way they could ‘talk’ to each other through this process.
I was also able to finally incorporate banana fibres in a way that suited the material. The results are four Folded Fractals. I am very pleased!