Earlier this year I was invited by Ethan Lasser of the Chipstone Foundation to make work with just one tool. After much thought I decided to use my rolling mill. It’s a tool that I have had for about 7 years and it has some history, it belonged to a silversmith who worked in Hatton Garden in the 1950s, he then moved to Blackheath and worked from a shop there. I often think about him, as I have many of his old tools and so I guess in some respects we have a connection, though I only met him once, for about an hour, when I bought many of his tools from him. He told me some wonderful stories about how he used to work including re-polishing and selling cutlery that had been found in the London sewers.
I think that in my work I try to tell some sort of story…the story of where something has come from and particularly about the marks that have been left behind. I often use walking as a tool, to understand place, understand the stuff of a place and to wander and think and sometimes to collect things. I guess the wandering is like drawing a line and as I am interested in the drawn line I would say that there is a connection to walking and making marks for me.
The furthest I got walking in this project, though, was around my studio and I decided to document a series of things found in my studio by capturing their imprints on different papers by pushing, rolling and squashing them through the mill.
We were asked to make a short film to go with the work which you can see here and I decided to display the work in archival boxes. There are 8 boxes and each contains a selection of pieces under the titles: Findings; Drawn; Dyad; Emerge; Foils; Impression; Floating and Resolution. I probably made about 400 hundred prints in total and so honing in on which to show was a process of both selection and of course elimination.
The exhibition opens tomorrow at Milwaukee Art Museum and shows until April 2012, after which it will go on tour (more info to follow).