People are always asking me how I came up with such unusual name like ‘Echostains’ for a blog. Echostains began was a project I did at University. That project has now seen many changes, but it is still alive and kicking. I am still exploring communication through art, though now the communication is through the written word and in cyberspace. Here’s an explanation of the original concept;-
‘EchoStains’ is a personal project that I completed in the second year of my Visual Arts BA Hons Degree. (1Ith August 2002). I have split the project into three parts because the process was ongoing and progressive and each part inevitably merged seamlessly into the other, culminating in the final piece – the large painting ‘Echo Stain’. The work is about communication – on all different levels.
In this first part of the project, the process is as important as the eventual image, in the sense that ‘recipes’ (see ‘My Surfaces’ category) and media components that have been explored in an earlier project, are now being applied in an almost ritualistic manner; i.e. pouring, splashing, scraping back, and finally painting. So, a dichotomy of measured and automatic response has merged to make the stain tangible. The ‘echo’ is the way that the piece communicates with the viewer – it is a first contact. Dialogue is established through the use of colour conversations. Solid matter versus the metaphysical and slight tensions between the representational and abstract start to emerge.
Another example is ‘House on the Borderland’ a book by William Hope Hodgson which was made iwth various inks overrunning each other, manually mnipulated to created ‘prisms’ crossing over each other.
In this part of the project although the language is still personal, a kind of code is starting to come through. The Shadow Map’ is a form of communication: a visual narrative. Although there seems to be a gradual shifting away from the more nebulous ‘Echo Stains’, the ‘Shadow Maps’ are only an extension of the Echostains’ concept.
Communication is continued by the use of colour relationships and special considerations makes themselves known. This is sometimes explored by painting in more gestural movements: sometimes motivated by lines of poetry – a measured response. The use of certain colour relationships denote mood. Repetition has been employed in some instances to convey a sense of rhythm and immediacy. The Shadow Maps try to give some semblance of coherence to the ‘dialogue’. The ensuing result is that they start to develop into a sort of communicative ‘code’ that is not yet deciphered – still in shadow.
The Yellow Wallpaper
The monumental works of the artist Wlodzimierz Ksiazek are both public and personal. He has developed a kind of dialogue that communicates to the viewer. This can be summed up by the quote mentioned in the review by Merleau-Ponty, who wrote of Cezanne’s work how each element contributed to: “an emerging order of an object in the art of appearing, organises itself before our eyes.” It is this kind of ‘dialogue’ that I have used in the third part of my project, inspired by the short story by the American writer Charlotte Perkins Gilman called ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’. The story can be read online.
Although these paintings do not ‘illustrate’ the story literally: it is the highly personal narrative that is the chief objective. The use of repetition and occasional nuance that starts to communicate on some level with the viewer.
So now you know what the ‘Echostains’ concept is about. Each gallery holds about a dozen paintings. I shall be putting more on, as well as new work.