Last week I started the woven rose project: I know it’s a carnation rather than a rose but, when I was working on it, it looked like a rose:This is a flower, now past its prime, from a bunch that I received for my birthday:

A carnation past its prime.©️Anna Goodchild 2021

I ‘developed’ that image in AP where it appears pixelated when printed:

Image developed in Affinity Photo.©️Anna Goodchild 2021

and then wove the image printed on Hahnemühler ‘pearl’ photo paper: I cut the A4 sheet in half along the long side and then cut both sections into 1 cm strips which, once woven, replicated the idea of pixels which are rendered in a form of physical pixellation:

©️Anna Goodchild 2021

I feel that this can be taken further but how?
The woven strips make me think of the different elements which weave through my daily life: the kindness of friends and family who thought of me on my birthday and during my recent treatments; the transience of living forms – here an ageing cut flower representing my ageing living form brought into sharp focus during my recent experiences; the importance of light and colour, of nature, of multi-disciplinary expression in my life.
Could I mould the woven form into a landscape? Could I add different physical elements to it like trees or mushrooms? Could I give it expression above (trees) and below (roots) the surface to replicate the idea of underlying influences / currents in my life which support and feed or undermine my wellbeing? Do I make similar woven images of different flowers, or of objects that have meaning for me like images of cameras, food, paintings?

Time and kind responders will tell.

My first attempt at a modified weave:

Jan 3rd: Landscaped woven photo with bits of lichen.©️Anna Goodchild 2021

Idem on white might appear too stark, besides which, I am not happy with the bad focus:

©️Anna Goodchild 2021
Jan 4th: Diorama in daylight with reflector.©️Anna Goodchild 2021

Not satisfied with the focus using the macro lens, I thought reverting to my 24 – 70mm lens would help

Jan 4th: daylight with reflector and at 70mm. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021

It is too distant for what I’m trying to achieve and the focus (f22) is still not right.

This image by Rene Groebli appeared today on L’Oeil de la Photographie post and I think the idea of shards of photo might be relevant to this project:

From the Cambridge English Dictionary

Jan 7th

Following all the feedback, I decided I would change only one thing at a time. The first change would be to use 2 different images. In keeping with the idea of weaving the different elements of my life at the moment, I decided to use the image of my breast taken at the radiotherapy treatment with the image of the flower:

Carnation.©️Anna Goodchild 2021
Radiotherapy breast image.©️Anna Goodchild 2021

The colours of the RT image are great, particularly when combined with the carnation:

RT breast image combined with carnation image. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021
The reverse of the woven image. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021

Jan 8th:

The next thing to change was the width of the strips in the weave:

RT breast image. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021
Carnation image. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021
Woven with irregular width strips. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021

I’m not sure that I can appreciate the difference between this one and the regular 1cm strips. This appears more confused to me, which can be justified given the battering that my body has had to go through over the last 6 months – nothing is ‘regular’ or normal.

Reverse of the image woven with irregular strips.©️Anna Goodchild 2021

The next single change is to tear the strips rather than to cut them. the resultant strips will be wider than the cut ones and the edges will be rough which will cause a problem when interweaving them:

Rough torn strips.©️Anna Goodchild 2021
Reverse of rough torn mix – nothing is even or steady. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021

Perhaps the rough torn mix, front and back, gives more of an impression of a ‘battered’ self than the previous versions. It is perhaps, more pictorial than the others?

Having read the chapter entitled ‘Taking a thread for a walk’ in Tim Ingold’s new book ‘Correspondences’, I decided to take a line for a walk, and I decided that the walk would be done with coloured chalk on the back of the woven images, and that I would entangle several lines of different colours:

Taking several lines for a walk over the woven pieces seen from a low vantage point to accentuate the body of the chalk powder – I don’t know why yet. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021
Several chalk lines went for a walk seen from above from where the body of the chalk powder is not so visibly textured. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021
Again line walks seen from above. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021

Then I decided to warp the images of the line walks:

Warped images of the line walks. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021

In reading Tim Ingold’s 2021 book ‘Correspondences‘ he writes: “Woven lives intermingle at their surfaces, which, like those of the ball of wool, do not cover up an interior world of private individuality so much as confound the layering of experience which such covering implies. … The texture is a surface not of concealment or covering up but of intermingling.” (Ingold 2021 p. 187)

The images above have a texture which the chalk powder enhances as it is scraped off at the rough edges of the strips which could represent the strings in a ball of wool. The intermingled life experiences on the reverse sides of the woven fabric are not felt here directly but they have to be there or there is no surface on which to scrape the chalk. Will that become visible / felt at any stage? I don’t know yet.

The warped image above tries to show both sides of the woven fabric simultaneously with the holes showing depth or a possible unravelling.

I love the way Ingold writes about interwoven lives, whereas my pieces are about interwoven lines implying the recent happenings in my life. This takes me back to Ingold’s book The life of lines‘ where he writes “… every living being is a line or, better, a bundle of lines.” (Ingold 2015 p3)

With all that in mind, I worked on the image with broad torn woven strips, and warped it:

Jan 10th

Broad strips torn and woven, then warped in AP. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021
Idem in B&W. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021

It looks remarkably figurative.

Trying to warp the reverse of the broad torn woven image and the result is quite reptilian:

A spooky reptile emerges. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021

11th Jan

Narrow, regular strips on turquoise background. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021
Idem in B&W. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021

12th Jan

A triptych of the 3 warped forms. ©️Anna Goodchild 2021

References:

Ingold,T.: 2021: Correspondences. Polity Press. UK

Ingold,T.: 2015. the life of lines. Routledge.

12 thoughts on “Dominant pixels

    1. Thanks, Catherine. I agree about the tactile bit , and I also feel directed to making it into a sculptural piece. Because the interwoven strips are not fixed in their places, they can be pushed and prodded into different shapes. Your observation has just made me think: The finer I cut the strips, the easier it will be to mould the whole. As it is at the moment, 1cm strips are too big & clumsy to mould into any significant / sophisticated (wrong word but I can’t think of the right one) mouldings.

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  1. I would like to see a variation in the width of the strips, a fine width would make it more delicate and this might make the piece more flexible, and able to form curves. You could add other media through the weave pattern too. Plenty to keep you busy.

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    1. Thanks, Karen, those are great suggestions. I had thought of using tracing paper – one of my favourite printing surfaces – perhaps I can use cellophane to string through the weave? Grass comes to mind too, perhaps? or my latest obsession: seaweed? Again, many thanks.

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  2. Hi Mum
    I also thought it looked like a patchwork quilt when I saw it. I also think that fine strips would be good, perhaps try altering the width according to the area on the image- wider in some areas and narrower in others? You could then try paper casting with it- wetting the paper and moulding it to a predetermined form e.g. a vase, let it dry and then remove it? Could the second interwoven image relate to your thoughts about other aspects/relationships perhaps? C xx

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    1. Thanks, Carmen. I agree with the fine strips idea – it’s something I shall try later on. The paper casting idea is also good except that, because it’s photo paper, it’s going to delaminate – perhaps that’s a good idea too! For the relationships idea, do you mean having a different photo interwoven with the flower image? Whichever idea, there is lots to go on. Many thanks. xxx

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  3. Hi Anna,
    Interesting developments and ideas from others. Like them my first thought was a quilt, remembering previous works or yours. Now, a landscape with trees in the background. Different width strips could accentuate the foreground to background creating a false depth of field. A little more moulding to give the landscape more interest could help.
    I look forward to seeing this develop.

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    1. Thanks, Doug. I am trying to develop the landscape idea combining several of the suggestions from the respondents. I want to weave 2 different images together, one the same carnation one, and the other a completely different one, perhaps suggesting aspects of my life, but I will have to wait for my printer inks to arrive ;)). Cutting strips of different widths is also part of my plan to make the woven article more flexible and therefore more mouldable. Thanks for your suggestions and comments, I really appreciate them. Enjoy your summer – it’s -2 with the chill factor here today!!

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      1. Your further experiments have brought you to a fascinating place Anna. The torn pieces are a formidable metaphor for what you have gone through over the past months and, to me, the warping of the image portrays the way your’e taking back control now.

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      2. That is very insightful, Catherine, thank you. You are so right on both counts and certainly the idea that I am trying to take back control now is something that I myself had not fully realised. WoW!

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  4. Hi Anna,
    I was wondering whether you have looked at the work of some of these artists, who fragment or deconstruct and construct. There maybe some interests to see: Francois Rouan, Adam Lupton and Mark Bradford (good piece on youtube). I love your work and the avenues of creativity here are endless. x

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    1. Many thanks, Krystyna for your suggested artists – I love the way Bradford works by layering and then tearing away, & how he uses paper as paint which is quite revolutionary! So much originality there that I could watch him for hours! Thank you! I am stunned by Rouan’s ‘tressage’ – he is making a living doing what I’m doing! That is very encouraging. I’m not sure I fully grasp Adam Lupton’s work but he too has sliced some of his work. Really interesting. Thanks again.

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