Saturday, 26 June 2010

Walls, photographs and managing inspirational images for Visual Research

Systems to categorise and organise have interested me for years.

I used to enjoy watching those programmes where an organisational guru would take over someone’s house and after only two days would have installed a wonderful system of shelves, boxes, drawers and index cards. It all looks so simple; just go out and buy lots of special storage boxes and hey presto!

But categorisation of information, documents, images etc is just not simple!

I have lots of boxes in my studio. In some you can work out that they have been categorised by their material say, made from plastic or metal. But materials for sculpture often don't fit neatly into a box, either physically or metaphoricallly.

In my practice there are all types of items. And they all come into the 'category' of, “Interesting and will possibly become part of a Frillip Moolog being one day”.

I take a lot of photographs; my camera is with me everywhere. As I have said before I draw inspiration from a huge range of sources.

It’s great to have a really strong visual memory but having taken the photographs I then need to organise them on my computer. There are folders within folders.

My Visual Research folder has lots of sub-folders;
Furniture, Upholstery, Fun & Weird, Architecture, Interiors, Ambiguous Objects, Shops, Museums, China & Glass, Childhood, Chindogu, Dens, Graffiti, Heaters, Display, Signs, Water Towers, Swedish Stoves and Brushes as just a few of them.

It might be easier to use a tagging system to manage my images but to do this I'd need to store them all in cyberspace.

As it is, I look at my images often. As time passes they can be moved from category to category. This happens when I am interested in them for another reason.

You can see that this is a very idiosyncratic and personal filing system.

A few months ago I realised that I was noticing and photographing walls. Before I knew it I was noticing interesting walls at every turn. This is the reticular activation system in practice.

The photo above was taken in a couple of seconds. I just turned round and snapped. And how lucky that everything lined up perfectly!

I think these strange molten rocks used to build the wall in the photo below are actually waste from an old Victorian factory furnace. This was taken as I walked up to the Camden Arts Centre to see the Eva Hesse exhibition earlier this year.

I parked by this next wall when I delivered 'Boris' to the Pitt Studios for the Worcester Open.
This colourful beauty is made from broken slabs. I did look closely and I do believe that they have actually been painted (as opposed to bought pre-coloured).
A labour of love!
This one brings back memories of Richard Woods' "Stone Clad Cottages". (Fermynwoods Contemporary Arts offsite project in 2008.)

This strange specimen was spotted on a visit to the Isle of Wight this Easter. I had just read read Mythogeography, a guide to walking sideways.
Taking a Mythogeographic approach I am tempted to apply some paranoia when imagining how this interesting shape of flaked off render came about.

I like homemade and this wall was built by my Dad just a few years ago.
His drive and zest for life are an inspiration.
Although he is old he won’t let old age or bad legs and back stop him from building walls (and much more besides).

We found this homemade creation when out doing a Geocache in Staffordshire.
I'd describe this as a fun little grotto type of wall embellishment.

This wall makes you stop and ask questions.
It is part of the Erasmus Darwin House in Lichfield.

There will be a Frillip Moolog presence in the Erasmus Darwin House 30th Jul- 23rd Aug 2010 as part of 52 Weeks of Art.

This portion of wall is a remnant of the wall built 1296-1321 around the Cathedral Close. The house was built against it and then later in front of it. This shows you a cross section of the wall. It was 6 feet thick!

Here's another useful wall.
We discovered this at BlackGang Chine on the Isle of Wight. Black gang Chine "Theme" Park is featured in Bollocks to Alton Towers, one of my absolute favourite books. (It really was a challenge though and after 5 hours I was begging to leave.
It is possible to overdose on tacky!)

Talking of tacky. I just had to stop the car to take this photo. So a breeze block wall with a few real stone protuberances?

As I walked round the corner I discovered that once finished the breezeblock will be dressed with swirls of cement.
I just can’t decide how I feel about this. It’s almost, “so disgusting that it’s gorgeous”!
(An expression from my childhood).

And so, coming full circle, here I am back in the underground. A "brick" wall to represent Brixton underground station. A lovely visual pun!


Barbs said...

"A wall is nothing but a sum of limited views, and the consciousness of a wall is a collective entity." to misquote Maurice Merleau-Ponty

frillip moolog: said...

Mmmm I'll give that soome thought.

Barbs said...

psychogeoging round hackney

Anonymous said...

I prefer the breeze blocks before the swirls. And love your first pic! Reminds me of Victoria Station before it was :0( redone – used to take trips up to London as it was only half an hour on the train from where I grew up. Which then reminds me of Brighton Library before that too was got rid of (still mourning) - the amazing wallpaper fascinated me from my earliest days. Methinx you'd love Brighton Pavilion, if you haven't seen it, for its interior walls as much as all the rest. :0)
~ mand

frillip moolog: said...

That video, "Iain Sinclair: At large in a 'fictional' Hackney",is fascinating Barbs.
Having just come back from a week with Forkbeard Fantasy I really appreciated the clips that had beeen filmed on Super 8 film.

frillip moolog: said...

Hello Mand. Well, I think you'll be really interested in this Museumaker project. Clare Twomey is making a huge swarm of black ceramic butterflies to inhabit the Brightoon Pavillion.

I knew about theproject. The BBC did film the opening so there may even be some more images online.