Wednesday, 2 June 2004

Seek and ye shall find.

Some years ago, in a fanzine I was particularly fond of, the editor ran a series in which the same 10 questions were put to a different person each issue. I was never asked to complete the questionnaire, but I did it just the same. I don't remember the first nine questions or my answers, but I've never forgotten my answer to the last:

Q. When you look in the mirror, who do you see?
A. Someone else.

Which is a kinda tricksy way of getting to the subject of this post. What I found today was not what I was looking for.

There's been considerable interest in the recipe for Geoff Hamilton's All Bran concrete (well, one person asked), and I've done my best to find it today. I can see it in my mind's eye - a little piece of paper with the recipe

1 part All Bran,
2 parts powdered bismuth
1 part liquid nitrogen....

that sort of thing, written on it. It probably wasn't All Bran. Shredded Wheat? Cheerios? I don't think so. I know I put it Somewhere Safe.....

But my search has certainly uncovered a lot of stuff from my artistic past, and it's been a fascinating unearthing. For one thing (and this ties in with Marja-Leena's comment about papier-mache) I came across both a book on papier mache full of quite interesting ideas for fine art applications and this sketch for a sculpture:

Posted by Hello

I also rediscovered my old notebook in which I used to write down quotes from articles, books and other sources. Boy, am I glad to find that again.

Diderot developed a theory of ethics based on the idea of the statue; if we wanted to be good, he said, we must become sculptors of the self. Virtue is not natural to us; we achieve it, if at all, through a kind of artistic striving, cutting and shaping the material of which we are made, the intransigent stone of self-hood, and erecting an idealised effigy of ourselves in our own minds and in the minds of those around us and living as best we can according to its sublime example. I like that notion....

....What statue of myself did I erect long ago, I wonder? Must have been a gargoyle.

John Banville: Ghosts

I'll continue looking for the recipe, but I determined today to take a radical look at the way my work spaces are arranged. I think I've worked out a way of shifting furniture around, in part from one room to another, so that I have a better organised thinking and writing space, and a more open studio area.

This can only be a Good Thing and may even lead to further archaeological treasures.

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