Advisor Meetings - Iceland and New York
with Jean Marie Casbarian (Studio Advisor)
Since my last post in regards to advisor meetings, Jean Marie and I have had three Skype meetings (one in Sydney (16 November 2017), one in Iceland (24 December 2017) and one in New York (4 January 2018). We also had informal conversations and meetings while in New York. I am very grateful for all the time Jean Marie puts into helping develop this project. Before leaving for Iceland Jean Marie gave lots of ideas for books and readings and sent me the pdf of John Cage's Silence. Other things that she asked me to consider was using voice as practice (look at Meredith Monk) and remember to write during this time of being away. Consider notebooks as an archival practice. Based on this recommendation, I wrote a lot while I was away and I am hoping that, upon reflection, these words will help tie aspects of my work together.
Jean Marie also recommended that I watch the documentary, The Expedition to the Ends of the World. I am going to view this documentary now that I have returned as a way of revisiting the familiarity of this kind of landscape. She also recommended I use this time to think about how the work has evolved in the direction that it has. Why breath? Think about the progression of the program and where this all began. It began with the idea of connection, mainly external connection through socially engaged work, and it has now become very much an inner reflection in response to the challenge of facing an unexpected death during this time. Jean Marie recommended using this time of away to think about what is at the heart of the work.
Since going through this experience, Jean Marie has now suggested that I take the time to sit with everything that I collected during the time away (images, moving image, sounds, writing, drawings) and reflect on the thread that ties it all together. I am going to do that this week and I am going to continue a daily habit of writing for one hour per day to see what comes out of this writing process and reflection.
with Andrew Cooks (Research Advisor)
I also met with Andrew while in New York (19 January 2018). He gave me some recommendations to research further, but I have them in a diary that I may have misplaced on one very long plane trip back to Australia. Unfortunately, it was the same diary I wrote everything in while I was in Iceland. I had a discipline of writing for 1 hour a day, and it was all in this journal. Etihad is currently looking for it, so fingers crossed they find it. Until then the one thing I have been watching, based on Andrew's recommendation, is Fortitude - a TV show set in a small town in Iceland. The landscape is the most captivating part of the show, and it now looks to me to be both so surreal and yet so very familiar at the same time. I showed Andrew a few video clip that I had taken just on my phone. He had an interesting suggestion that I am going to experiment with now that I am back at the studio in Sydney. He suggested taking a small section of the footage and drawing each frame, one over the next, to create a blur or distorted final drawing. He also suggested I have areas of blurred or smudged sections on the large-scale charcoal drawing that I am currently working on. What happens is those areas that are visually clear become the areas that you focus on while other areas that are not clear your eye tends to skim over. People will be drawn to the more precise sections while moving over the areas they can't make out clearly. So then it is essential to think about the areas you want the eyes to rest. I am going to experiment with both of these ideas now that I am back in the studio.