This last weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving so I was able to have a long weekend. Although I wasn’t able to travel too far from home this time around, it was the perfect weekend to spend time outdoors, reflecting, and putting in hours in the studio.
Under Kimberley’s advice I have been taking turns between working on the web and Photoshop work needed to complete my projects and doing some irl, pen to paper work to break it up. This has been so important, as I can only handle so much screen time each day, despite my excitement about the works.
Chugging along on the web project, all 7 poems are now completed and written out in my handwriting. I precisely calculated the 526 words over the last few edits, and are ready to be integrated. Hopefully all spelling mistakes were caught, but hand writing the text seemed important to me so that the website feels as handmade and materialistic as possible, and also adds to the personal feeling of the writings.
Using these poems and some other drawings, I laid out the negative that will be used to make an accordion book. It will be paired with another that will be filled with the 526 stars in Pleiades, and will be accompanied by larger embroidered cyanotypes for my ArtsNB grant project.
I also decided to cyanotype all the images of the stars, rather than drawing them by hand, to capture the unpredictable and exciting hues that come from the process. I took a very large NASA public domain image, edited and inverted it, and made it more graphic to create the 50 odd negatives which capture all 526 stars. I also think there is something very poetic about an image of stars made by our closes star, and me, another bundle of stardust. These still need to be scanned, and have the text added, another big computer job that I will be breaking up with another physical project.
This project will involve the exploration of sound, another new media for me, but still based within the realm of drawing. I will be using these DIY paper music boxes to create soundscapes. I have always been fascinated by music boxes as objects, their form is so unassuming, but also ingenious. That something so small and simple can play back a sound that can evoke such strong emotions is really incredible. I also think the way they can play off paper is really the perfect blend of the physical and technological that I have been searching for. Their materiality is physical and so known to me, I spent all last year poking holes in paper, it makes perfect sense to activate it by making it into sound.
Starting off with a simple question: what would a constellation sound like? I intent to puncture holes as they appear to us in the cosmos, play it, and see what it sounds like. The paper tape will be looped and also drawn on to reflect the glow of these stars and the complexity of darkness. I also plan to do more research into the sounds that actually exist in space, if any(?) and research songs and fables that may relate to these ideas (Vega, Lyra?).
Sackville is expected to get five straight days of constant rain, so I am thankful I had one sunny day to get some work done. I love the impracticability of working with the sun, but I also wonder if an exposure unit might we a worthwhile investment, as it will be a long winter without much sun, and a busy schedule. Cyanotyping at night under UV, is not quite as poetic, but a bit more practical.
This week my reading and research has mostly been about wavelengths, soldering and how the science of cyanotype actually functions, considering all the practical problem that could arise while trying to build one myself. I also do not want this to take up too much time, but would be time-saving in the long run, rather than having to wait for sunny days to make work.
“Lyra represents the lyre of Orpheus. Made by Hermes from a tortoise shell, given to Apollo as a bargain, it was said to be the first lyre ever produced.
Orpheus’s music was said to be so great that even inanimate objects such as trees, streams, and rocks could be charmed. Joining Jason and the Argonauts, his music was able to quell the voices of the dangerous Sirens, who sang tempting songs to the Argonauts.” http://www.evolveandascend.com/2016/08/20/cosmic-music-vega-lyra-88-constellations/
Music composed based inspiration from the cosmos: https://www.astronomy2009.org/static/resources/iya2009_music_astronomy.pdf