You can’t just throw your hat into one ring

‘Interpretations of interpretations interpreted.’

James Joyce

This is an interesting time in the process of setting up an exhibition. We are awaiting further communication from the gallery about our proposal (a further response is due in January). The necessary balance with other work and commitments (you can’t just throw your hat into one ring) meant it was not at all surprising that two members of the collective were unable to make this meeting.

We discussed our research resources and shared how they were or were not inspiring us together with the lack of forward momentum. It was though, interesting to note, through these conversations, that both artists were being drawn particularly to the historical aspects of the location and starting to move away from our original impetus, which is the beauty of research… who knows where it may lead.

A great deal of the discussion centred on our process as artists. The desire to continue mark making when that feels the last thing we are able to do, be that due to time constraints or disengagement.

The pressure we place on ourselves to create ‘a work of art’, even when life serves us other challenges to distract us from the practice, we both agreed was palpable. Creating, in whatever small way, is such an essential part of our daily life, it should be without chastisement that our produce is irrelevant or judge it on technical ability or aesthetic reasoning. Every mark has its place, even if it just allows us to stop, look and see for the briefest of moments, and go through the process. It may be that this documents the time they happen in or, they could offer the insight onto a new path. Only time and reflection will tell.

These are a few images that illustrate just this point. Both artists are working by just looking at the subject and not the pad. When the subject has gone, so the marks are complete.  Jo adds one colour later, the  colour from the subject that she finds most memorable.

This is a quick, responsive and rather liberating process for both artists.

Caroline Lumb – Paddy fields
Caroline Lumb – Wild elephants
Caroline Lumb – Mountain range
Jo Howe – Swans
Jo Howe – Leaves on water
Jo Howe – Fire


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