Reflecting identity

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Working over time

So I am continuing the piece entitled Days of my life and have now done 46 years of cutting, painting , cutting and stitching!

It is interesting that as I continue I am learning more and more about the paint and paper and the metaphor seems to deepen. Each page/ day is different but informed by what has gone before. The evidence is in the marks but each page hides those beneath it. It is the whole piece that offers an outward manifestation or some insight of the experience.

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Processing my process

The scale of Woollenline, a huge landscape drawing, its domestic, social, political and economic arrangements forced a new way of working that now impacts on my current work, exploring identity.
Slowly drawing alongside people both caring for and living with dementia inspires a subconscious shift of both pace and scale.
I remain preoccupied by the  materials of life. The fleshy substance of it: literally when encountering an organ ( brains) pickled in formaldehyde and then again when travelling with the conversations afforded by mid stage Alzeimher’s.
And not only those affected with an enhanced alteration of their brain, every one of us sees and experiences the world differently forcing my interrogation of the use of pronouns : who is the ‘they’, ‘you’ and ‘we’?
The scale of Walkers: I, you, we & they could have been infinite but is determined by the relationship of the piece to the initial prints, hand-held clay tablets carrying images of Sumerian glyphs, the pronouns.
Each step of exploration brings new insights: Someone loved  a series of portraits inspired by residents of a care home are made of hundreds, if not thousands of individual pieces, paper, beads, rags, glass. Each different personality requiring its own materials.
The work echoes an enquiry into my own life, a piece made from over 23,000 pieces of painted paper, Day’s of my life. 
Then there is my brain.
Over 400 images from the MRI scan I volunteered for at University College London.
New work.
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Nin

 

My drawing of Nin is made from beautiful rich red wool fabric cut from a military jacket.

Nin was once in the Queen’s guard. he was 73 when he died recently.

The background is made from studio rags

It is bizarre how when, cut into small pieces and knotted they start to take on the colours of bruises.

When complete the piece will have used between 27,000 and 30,000 bits of rag more than the days that made up Nin’s life

Like Days of my life, each element whether paper or cloth, unique in itself , yet seen from a glance they merge to tones and patterns of their own making.

 

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Uncredited woman

Uncredited woman. Pip woolf 2017The uncredited woman,

Blind printed etching, drawn lines on scrim, encased in a glass bell jar

 

The uncredited woman creates a map: a record of cause and effect
The space determining her world
Her state of being
Impacted by the home she shares with 54 other residents and 75 staff
She walks 
Making her own floor plan, etching her movements into the building
The space determines where I place myself to draw, what materials I use and how I engage with this community

Personal space is critical but limited; subtly learnt
Creating fine lines of connection

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Fragments

I think I am destined to be forever counting, either days of my life or the 27,000 plus pieces of rag need to create the image of Nin. What I won’t count are the seeming thousands of pieces of glass that erupted when I accidentally knocked the toughened glass panel with a rejected image of John. The sound and appearance were spectacular, bringing the piece into sharper focus even as it seemed to disintegrate, blossoming into more thoughts of identity…..

 

image001

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Another way

My partner gave me this article to read. The last sentence encapsulates so much!

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23531352-100-how-music-can-shine-a-light-on-past-worlds-without-words/

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