I am still trying to get the encrusted paint off my hands! The hearing has reset back to normal, in fact it seems more sensitive. The knees still creak a bit but all other side effects of a great day arting are healing nicely.
This was a full day of improvisation- music and art. Mrchickenweat (Kai) had advertised on Facebook for local musicians and visual artists to come together for one day and create. Names for the musicians were pulled out of a hat (literally, a woolly one), rehearsal rooms picked, kit set up and….. No one had a clue what to expect – I took a bag of bits and relied on the DIY store down the road to fill in any gaps. So a roll of floor lining paper later…..
I chose a poet/drummer/keyboard combo to work with, it seemed the most unpredictable. The visual artist role was just to produce a piece in response to what was happening.
The energy was amazing-it was standing around waiting and then START, noise, noise, noise and then suddenly … music and structure.
My response? the old ideas work best – simple mark making following the rhythm of drum and vocal, then trying to work from the chords and interplay of the keyboard.
The combination of the 3 elements became more and more complex but there was always a raw energy going on, sudden explosions and yet a tight control. And then they added a completely anarchic ending of pure noise….. This needed more than charcoal- roll on with the finger painting!
The white paint created solid areas and greater potential for contrasts. At times the drum rhythm dominated, at others the spoken word set the pace and all the same time the keyboards pulled it together and added emphasis and depth. Also tried to tackle the shape and feel of the whole thing.
Adding colour into the mix was the next logical step. It upped the energy and movement. The scale was too small, it was becoming more gestural, so this was merely a test piece-
The big, final version was about 2m x 1m. Not all of it worked but sizeable bits had the kind of combination of control, pattern and smear -it- on immediacy I wanted. The layers and transitions try to reflect the creative process of the musicians, trial, try , tweak, discard or keep, continually building and embedding. And can you see it? Nope. I left it drying and the photo I took was worse than useless. The game plan was to record the music and use the arty pieces as part of the promo stuff, so it is all in Kai’s capable hands!
If this interests you. take a look at Thugs Up 1 on facebook and get involved – also Nick Walters altered photographic images are wonderful and well worth a look. As the project gets polished and finalised I should have more material to share in the future.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable day. I had to think on my feet, be adaptable and spontaneous. I came home tired, aching and dirty, but happy. The end piece shouldn’t be. I would want to zoom in and isolate parts or to fold and manipulate it into 3 dimensions – music and performance that close up is more immersive than a piece of paper on the wall. Never mind. There is a proposal for these to become regular events! Hopefully more artists will get involved – I would love to work collaboratively.
Next time perhaps..