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Mixed media/Ritual/Video_ 2020/2021 - Workshop available
The idea started when I was looking through some photos that I took in China. I found a photo of an older man writing calligraphy on a stone path. The story, poem or words he wrote disappeared after a few seconds and this intrigued me. I wondered why he was doing this and what the point was of writing something that disappeared? The perfectly portrayed writing that might have told an inspirational story lost to the earth. This form of art is not creating any damage to the earth and it is not leaving a trace of evidence. The actual art has ceased to exist and the only evidence of it having existed lays in the hands of the audience.
The Chinese man whose story disappeared into the earth was my biggest inspiration for this project. I have designed a method which allows you to document memories for a couple of minutes using biodegradable materials. I designed my own paper by recycling newspapers or using materials found in nature like grass, leaves, fruit/veg rests, etc. I only used leaves that had fallen from the trees or gras that I found after the lawn was mowed, I didn’t steal or take anything away that had not already been taken from nature and left to die. To make the stories disappear on the paper I used beetroot juice, lemon and alcohol.
After illustrating or writing your memories on this paper you can watch as they slowly disappear. This process allows you to confront memories, draw them and let them float away, you are doing it completely for yourself as there is no image left for others or yourself to judge or admire. Once the paper has been used and the image has disappeared it is up to the artist what happens to it. You could reuse the paper as many times as the paper will let you, you could bury the paper along with the memory or you could frame it and be the only one to know what story it portrays.
I designed this paper and method of art for anyone to use. The ritual I created of depicting a memory, letting it disappear and then deciding what to do with the blank paper afterwards is a form of meditation. Making you focus on a detail of life and putting it somewhere safe. The blank page you are left with is not empty for the person who wrote on it as it now holds a memory, only to be seen by that person, as it was in their minds.
Scroll down to see the video that explains the ritual and takes you through the process.
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