Visiting artist residency at USC School of Cinematic Arts, LA (Part 11)
Got the cyanotypes working after some experimenting with the exposures and chemicals, and exposed 32 frames for a 2 second loop of video. It worked!
Still working with tissue paper in the Oxberry studio, I moved back to the idea of earthquakes that’s been in my mind for a while. Last weekend there was an ‘Earthquake advisory’ for Southern California, which was a bit scary…. but nothing happened. The advisory meant that chances of a big earthquake were as low as 1 in 100 instead of 1 in 6,000.
Anyway I’ve started making an animation of the tectonic plates, using tissue paper cut outs. So far I’ve animated them moving and shaking, and I like the subtlety of that. I’m also happy with it as an image - using graph paper and tissue paper that makes nice variations in colour when they overlap, which in this case happens on the parts where the plates meet, the ‘fault lines’.
This week I presented my work at the CTAN Seminar, speaking about my work in general, my PhD project and what I’ve been doing at USC. I got some great feedback and interesting questions, and the students wrote responses to my talk online here.
I’ve also started speaking to and animating with Media Arts PhD student Laura Cechanowicz, who works with animation and VR to explore time, space and the body. There’s lots of similarities in our works, and we’ve starting sharing the Oxberry studio to discuss what we’re doing and start some collaborative work.
Gallery visits this week were to a few spaces in Downtown LA, the warehouse sort of district. They were nice spaces with more conceptual exhibitions than the other Pop art shows I’ve seen recently. I also visited the Fowler Museum at UCLA, which was showing Nkame: a retrospective of Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón, which was awesome, and an interesting textiles exhibition, Uncommon Threads.
Then I explored Culver City during one of the Culver City Art Walks. The highlights here were an exhibition by Henry Taylor at Blum and Poe, which looked at homelessness, poverty and inequality in American society. Taylor’s installations turned the gallery into whole new spaces - one a make-shift dwelling behind a graffitied wall, in a sort of urban wasteland, in the next room the backyard pool of what I imagine to be a LA McMansion. In another room the artists’ studio space is set up which looks as though it’s in use and the artist has just stepped out, and finally a darkened room showing a new video work by Kahlil Joseph where the viewers share the space with three people sitting around a table, smoking pot and drinking beer.
I also went to LACMA one more time, and saw these amazing drawing works by Toba Khedoori, who was born in Sydney but lives in LA. These were huge works on paper, but (in some of them) only a relatively small part of the paper was drawn on. It created an unusual sense of space, which felt both intimate and expansive at the same time. In others, the drawings were quite geometric, and I also enjoyed the paired back use of colour and the contrast of big white spaces with very black blacks.