Zoe Catherine Kendall, artist, writer and human...

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Illustrations from Fragments of a Storm Suspended in Time

Back in 2011 Artist Collective and Independant Publisher Lazy Gramophone asked me to contribute to their TIME project by writing a short story and illustrating it. The resulting book will be published by Lazy later this year and comprises stories from a pick of writers including Sam Rawlings, William Conway, Tom Hirons and myself, spanning in its theme three generations from childhood to adolescence and adulthood to old age. Each story will be illustrated. As I am both a writer and an artist I was asked if I would illustrate my short story Fragments of a Storm Suspended in Time. Here are my finished felt tip illustrations and a preview excerpt from the story which Jotta published earlier this year.

Friday, 17 February 2012

How I Move Through My Days

A sculptural book and installation piece I exhibited at Serpentine Gallery's Centre for Possible Studies back in January as part of Imprint by Fabelist. Check the digital portfolio for close ups of the book and the installation, and below for the blurb!

'Life experiences imprint themselves on me day after day. Living patterns repeat themselves in a perpetual cycle. I collect memories as I go, reflecting on and contributing to these daily, monthly and yearly rhythms. Here, the mundane coalesces with the extraordinary and recollections blur into a dense internal narrative. I leave a foot print behind too, producing and discarding a considerable amount of detritus. Tesco receipts and appointment slips amass in the waste paper basket. Other more significant mementos remind me of difficult junctures and good times. The debris gathers as evidence of my living which I have been stock piling over the years.

For the Imprint project I began re-tracing my steps through unearthed letters, scribbled thoughts, sweet wrappers, to-do lists and medication packets. A picture began to emerge. Both personal and universal, the memorabilia chronicles a journey taken by all. My paper trail spoke to me of events, emotions and challenges which are experienced by most people at some point in their lives. The resulting story is not only autobiographical but societal and human.

I decided to make monuments of these often discarded remnants of daily life, painting a portrait of my life and of life today. A book format allowed for the detritus to be read, retained and reflected upon. Themes such as endurance, emotional upheaval, consumerism, health, romance and rituals like birthdays and personal preening arise. A current runs through the resulting work, a sense of continuity and rhythm. The tides of fortune and misfortune ebb and flow with as much regularity as the more mundane elements of life. The form and illustrations compound my reflections with nature. The sea acts as a metaphor for this life cycle and the circular, oscillating pages when upright take on the shape and glow of a radiant sun, overseeing the annular journey and holding it within the book. These souvenirs, this archive, tells our story.

Accompanying this work is a twenty line story poem, one line for every page of the book. The poem starts at the last significant moment and ends at the beginning again. We keep spinning around and around this story which has no start or finish whilst the poem continuously repeats.'

Story Poem

until, I don’t know what to do with my memories, where to house them, how to see them.

I tunnel, dive, duck and cover, swooping under and leaping over life’s little hurdles.

But life is a large hurdle, in the way of..?

I am journeying, often a lone navigator at the only helm I know, directing, leading the way through.

I will find things and places, destinations long since assigned like death and danger!

There are others on this journey too, sometimes we travel together, sometimes closer

we weave, wander, wallow, stop?

No – do not stop, you can never stop, even if you try, try so very hard…

I speak to myself, here can be lonely, oh so very lonely, wherever it is that I am today.

Sounds like heaven and hell converging, coming from without: bangs, whispers, weeping

and from inside a song, my words strummed to a heartbeat rhythm, my thoughts humming

percussion, street lights, buzz, drum, colour, light, laughter, cries…

Perpetual motion, new stories and renewed challenges

A stormy sea overwhelming and great wisps of hair, thick and untamed, blowing

harmonies, paintings, shadows and revelations, such excitement!

Great bellowing fits of eagerness rising from within: I must, I will, I can, I know..

And what of you, will you join me? Can we climb each other’s sails?

Slide together from above, playing games like love

and fooling about until I fall and you land on top of me

Both of us at once ceasing and finding a new way onward…

(and back to the start)

until, I don’t know what to do with my memories, where to house them, how to see them.

I tunnel, dive, duck and cover, swooping under and leaping over life’s little hurdles…

It was really exciting and satisfying to have an opportunity arise in which I could put to use my collected detritus. I had been collecting this stuff for a while, knowing that I wanted to do something with and not knowing quite what, and now, here it is. Thanks Fabelist!

The artwork is comprised entirely of collected detritus, PVA glue, acrylic paint and words.