Rolling directly into my sketch book as preliminary work for Elsewhere, a project for The Stove Network in Dumfries, I found myself wondering where the roller would go, what it would do, how much ink it would deposit, what textures it would create, when it would run out of ink, how long I will believe in the mark being made before lifting the roller…
Then I did another, thinking about the paths that two people make in life and how an overlapping area immediately creates darker and more intermingled tones where textures are rubbed against each other and tones are deepened, directions are reversed and previous intensions are blurred…listening to Mahler’s Third Symphony on Radio 3, I feel that uncanny synchronicty of sound and shape that makes an idea more real.
Adding a third element creates six different entry and exit points and more overlapping life spaces plus a more balanced sense of positive/negative space. I also now see a hint of the third dimension creeping in, with suggestions of bouncing off as well as intermingling…could be playful or a bit aggressive, depending on the encounter.
Ink up again and this time remove roller from paper more often to reveal more jagged connections, the syncopation of real life, the repetitions and repulses of life on the street. As well as the smaller spaces and tentative contacts of a normal human world…almost. And the stepped stages of confidence returning (even as we know of the growing R number).
Parallel lines of multiple contact, two people can affect a lot of others, the need for thought and restraint, a certain inhibition creeps into the movements, more gaps appear, negative space morphs into positive space, and back again, the realisation that we are all connected is not always welcome.
Now we know we are interconnected and an architecture reveals itself in the weight and tonal strength of overlapping shapes…we are building a strong archway of communication and purpose, creating depth from multiple layers. A sense of perspective is forming and there seems to be a tunnel with light…
The new normal is a flat plane of the regular warp and weft of life, with slight variations in pattern to accommodate what we know is not normal. But as humans we know we can do this, because life never was normal and the most fundamental raison d’etre is discovering how to coexist peacefully and continue to survive in this sublimely diverse universe.