Feeding off the scraps, sharing the spoils…
The early part of lockdown was a shift and sort exercise to complete structural and decorating work on what was a disused garage. As I found myself getting through the organising (finally) and with my own print space I realised I no longer had an excuse not to get on with things. The closer I got to opening the ink, the more tentative I became about doing it. I realized that I needed something to get me started and so I decided to take part in this year’s 100 Days Project Scotland.
In May 2017 Isla Munro, designer and a tutor at Edinburgh College of Art had signed up to be one of the participants in Emma Rogan’s New Zealand 100 Days Project. With Emma’s blessing, Isla has run a Scottish led version of the project since 2018. The 2020 project started on 16 May and finished on 23 August.
I wanted to use the project as a way to connect with people physically from a distance whilst reducing my significant hoard of ‘keep it just in case’. This seemed even more apposite in a time of enforced isolation.
My contribution was ‘feeding off the scraps, sharing the spoils’. I took inspiration from my go to boys Kurt Swhitters and H N Werkman and their respective approaches to adversity productions… use what you have, make what you can with what you know best. For them and Robert Rauschenberg, the make-do and re-use was often the only solution and it is good to be reminded of how necessity is often the mother of creation. There was probably a subconscious homage to On Kawara in these too.
I was also incredibly fortunate to be at a symposium at Bath Spa University in February where John Furnival was talking about his work. What an amazing man, so refreshingly pragmatic about his motivations and practice. ‘If it’s printed and it looks good, use it!’ has become a mantra (in his honour).
Each day or so, I made two postcards, which were repurposed from scraps, offcuts and many of the unresolved ideas I have gathered over the years. The limited time managed the overthinking and I enjoyed the simplicity of responding to and with the materials, I have. I customized and adapted using some of my other ‘commercially obsolete assistants’ Letraset and the typewriter to realise the pieces and of course any excuse to get out the rubber stamps is a bonus…
Some are more successful than others are but I ignored any desire to the edit. I managed my bouts of constructivism and I hope people who know me well will that notice that not everything is 032 red! They are what they are… that is enough. This is a liberation of sorts for me.
One card I kept the other I posted. The chances are if I know you well enough to have your address, one will have found its way to you.