I love elephants. I just love them. I bathed with one once, she was like a great gentle, playful giant and I was like a rubber duck to her, I suppose. Anyway, I did a sketch of an elephant and tried to transfer it into Lino, cutting away with a little chisel. Here’s a print of that:
To begin, I made a collagraph – which is a textured plate to print from – I used glue, sand, and tearing and etching to make this:
I used this and crimson ink to print on paper, then I overlaid a screen of thick tracing paper over the top to play with opacity and definition – (I actually have a further idea of the final item I want to make, it is based on but quite removed from the results here, it will appear here later if I manage to make it…)
At the same time I etched with a pin a sketch of the full moon into a plastic plate. My plan was to print this in black onto the tracing paper but my experiments lacked the definition I wanted, so instead I drew the moon in pencil onto thinner tracing paper and placed it between the print and the thicker paper.
The final print:
A dry point print of some discarded fish heads. Ink on paper.
A still life of a femur, an iPhone and plastic flowers in a jar of water. Work in progress.
I like bones as organic objects and symbols of mortality, and I like also the contemplation of man’s place in the scheme of things, which he decorates with all manner of fanciful conceits. The supposed dominance of nature, while still at mercy of her whims. The plastic flowers are perhaps a symbol of this.
In Kubrick’s Space Odyssey he illustrates the key-point evolution of man from ape through the use of a bone as a murderous tool: Thrown into the air it transforms into a space ship, another great evolutionary leap. These leaps are marked by enigmatic slabs – markers or beacons, it is never explicitly explained – they appear to be the work of an overseeing alien intelligence. In this still life the iPhone and bone allude to this.