I’m trying to be more spontaneous and visual, instead of my comfort zone of planning and words. However this experiment did start with words, from my current reading, where Glenn Adamson links Marcel Duchamp’s 3 Standard Stoppages to “the drooping, coiling, spilling, and curling forms of Hesse, Morris, Zeisler, Hicks, and their peers” (Adamson, 2014, p. 148).
That led me to the MOMA website (http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=78990) and Duchamp’s work exploring gravity and the indeterminate nature of things, including a “fixed” measurement which wasn’t so fixed. He allowed a metre-long thread to fall and captured the resulting “metres” as profiles in wood.
I decided to see what lines I could capture, comparing two different threads and a series of drops, traced in different colours as a time series. The final time was the thread itself, coated in glue and pressed down where it dropped. Both experiments were on A3 cartridge paper, with a thread twice as long as the paper was wide, tracings done in wax pencil.
The first experiment was with a heavy linen rug warp. It had a strong memory from sitting on the cob and was determined to curl – except when covered in glue which relaxed it.
Second time round I used a light cotton warp yarn, suitable for a small, fine tapestry. This was much more draping and produced much more variety and looseness in the line created.
I’ve enjoyed the experiment, but I don’t think I’m ready to move too far from words.
Adamson, G. (2014) “Soft Power” in Porter, J. (ed.) Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – Present DelMonico Prestel