playing with perfume | speculating on studio spaces | investigating creative processes

Back With a Spice Rack

If you have been wondering where I have escaped to for the last month or so (and let’s face it, most of you have) I can joyously claim that I’ve actually been getting some bloody work done. The last few weeks have been a relentless pursuit of finished articles before the bite of winter renders the studio I work in uninhabitable. I find it a bit of a struggle to exact a balance between making stuff and networking. Often I fluctuate in preference between one and the other. Over the last few weeks though, a very tangible rhythm has emerged that has resulted in a relative abundance of finished works.

So where the bloody hell are these finished works, I hear you cry. Well, I’m not going to show you them all. Instead, I shall tantalise you simply by producing one piece of work at a time. So let’s start things off in style shall we? Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you, a spice rack. Yes, a spice rack:

'The Spice Rack.' Comprised of paint made from 16 spices, applied to a surface and stored in bottles.

‘The Spice Rack.’ Comprised of paint made from 16 spices, applied to a surface and stored in bottles.

This is not just any old spice rack though. Here, I wish to initiate a discourse between the nature of paint and painting. Applying meaning to paint by attaching experiential sentiment to the bottles the paint is contained within. The painting itself is passive, acting merely as a reference to the bottles. The painting is completed to allow an audience to further identify with the paints, but it is not a means to an end in it’s own right. It is within the bottles from which meaning is attached, and so the idea of commercialism and the prospect of purchasing memory and sentiment that is removed from personal experience is called into question.

I am toying with the idea of presenting it for the John Moores painting prize next year. I believe it challenges the idea of what can be considered a painting and as such, it certainly possesses a level of intrigue. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this piece in order for me to attain a reasonable understanding of an audience’s response.

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4 responses

  1. I like the idea of making the paint with these ingredients, and the jars, but think the piece needs more , instead of leaving the simple color (Mondrianesque) grid, could you consider maybe a line drawing on each-or some selected squares of what plant, seed, the color came from,? or draw a dish that could be made from (that spice)it? I think, it would be more effective if you go one more step. Just sharing. go for it!
    Rose

    November 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    • thanks for your comment, Rose. I have indeed considered doing something like that. However, the reason why I haven’t is because I like the idea of the painting retaining the raw, infinite possibility of pure colour whilst allowing the paint stored in the jars to be attached to meaning. I like the idea of challenging what we consider to be paint and what we consider to be a painting. So here, I would like the audience to treat the work on canvas in the same way as they would normally treat paint stored in a tube or jar. Hopefully that comes across. Perhaps it doesn’t. Thanks for your comment though πŸ™‚

      November 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm

  2. Monika

    I asume yout art piece is an instalaciΓ³n.
    The concept is great!
    Your message describing what the piece is about is well done and thought stimulating. It brings out the philosophical side of creativity in the artist, the value and the message which goes beyond the piece!
    My question to you will be: A viewer who has not taken the time to read the accompanying literature, and is uninformed of your artistic thought process, how does the viewer get that message, does the piece speak for itself?
    Yes, do submit and see what happens!
    Monika

    November 9, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    • Thank you for your comment, Monika. It is an interesting question you pose, but it’s also one that I can’t really answer. Hopefully the audience is able to identify and relate to the piece to some extent, and of course that’s what I am hoping for. But whether my message is coherent enough is another matter. What do you think?

      November 13, 2013 at 11:09 pm

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