T1-MMT-P1-p2-e4 Cutting holes

I wrote about ideas attracting me to this exercise in an earlier post (30-April-2015). I started simply, following the course suggestions.

Sample p1-112

Sample p1-112

Sample p1-112


Simple rectangles in A4 printer paper. I note the automatic alignment of rectangles and edges.

Thoughts captured as I was cutting:

  • Office blocks
  • Codes – morse code
  • Newspaper
  • Random book pages
  • Le Corbusier
  • Snail
  • Sample p1-113
    Strathmore toned gray paper.

    Sample p1-113

    Sample p1-113


    Based on window placement at Le Corbusier’s chapel of Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp

    Thoughts while working:

  • Surrendering control – random. Focus on the process
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Sample p1-114
    Indigo dyed cartridge paper

    Sample p1-114

    Sample p1-114


    This was roughly designed as a snail / spiral, using pieces cut from sample p1-113 as templates with the idea of creating a subtle unity / correspondence.

    Sample p1-115
    With a few pages cut I tried some layering.

    Sample p1-115

    Sample p1-115


    Always a little puzzled by reflections and rotations, I had to take photos and arrange them to convince myself that a simple one page over another has four basic variations plus extra mirror/flip images. All these four look rather dull. They are sample p1-114 laid on p1-112.

    Sample p1-116

    Sample p1-116

    Sample p1-116


    Adding a more interesting background that the eye attempts to interpret makes it slightly more interesting. I think there’s just enough information here to get “landscape”.

    Sample p1-117

    Sample p1-117

    Sample p1-117


    More spaces combining reveal more. I also found in p1-116 that the stark white of the initial page (p1-112) is rather intrusive / insistent in combination with others.

    Returning to this after a week’s break – non-OCA life intervened. I re-started at the same point.

    Sample p1-118

    Sample p1-118

    Sample p1-118


    I tried many combinations of the indigo over the grey, trying to maintain the story of the landscape behind, and was unltimately unsatisfied.

    Sample p1-119

    Sample p1-119

    Sample p1-119


    Is this better? Unfortunately the photograph isn’t. I ran out of photo at the bottom, which also doesn’t help. Still, I like the ordering of the layers. It’s easier for the eye to move through the quiet, serene grey to the more complex colours and movement of the pages behind. It takes full advantage of the much more complex and sophisticated layout of holes in the grey paper, and there is more unity and more of a flow in the result.

    Sample p1-120

    Sample p1-120

    Sample p1-120


    I find the mix of straight versus organic lines, and the strong directions, interesting. The picture underneath is from a weaving calendar.

    Sample p1-121

    Sample p1-121

    Sample p1-121


    Thinking of organic | geometric I tried white, over indigo, over a soft white paper pierced with a grid of circles, over black. The repetition of white and the regularity in structure makes the top white page less stark in my eyes. I like the limited amounts of great complexity revealed by the broad area of simplicity – which has somehow become more solidity and stability, more forceful, rather than bland nothingness.

    Sample p1-122

    Sample p1-122

    Sample p1-122


    The holes in the indigo page were intended to follow a spiral. Layered over a picture of an ammonite fossil the fragments of curves assist the eye to identify the path. Suddenly the spacing makes sense again.

    Sample p1-123

    Sample p1-123

    Sample p1-123


    Backlighting allows the regular grid of pieced circles to be seen, partly obscured by a page of a very open paper of unknown material (perhaps natural fibres – jute? mulberry?). There are a lot of individual elements I like here, but I don’t think it works as a whole. I keep returning to contrasts – organic and geometric, informal and formal, natural and processed.

    Sample p1-124

    Sample p1-124

    Sample p1-124


    A deep red paper embossed with circles of different sizes replaces the regular grid. The layers appear better integrated.
    Sample p1-124 - backlit

    Sample p1-124 – backlit


    Backlit, the embossing is partly lost but a sense of depth is added.

    Depth – This leads me back to Ariana Boussard-Reifel’s works discussed previously, which had impact from the many layers used (as well as of course the conceptual elements).
    I don’t want to give a huge amount of time to this exercise, so will experiment with fewer, but thicker, layers.

    Sample p1-125
    Corrugated cardboard squares. First layer cut with many large holes, so depth will be revealed.

    Sample p1-125a

    Sample p1-125a


    The first layer, placed on a background of more cardboard, looks only mildly interesting…
    Sample p1-125b

    Sample p1-125b


    Until I change the orientation of the lower layer.

    Thoughts while cutting:

  • take the same area of material from each layer, but divided into different numbers and shapes of holes.
  • Sample p1-126
    The next page was cut more as if removing lines of text. I was very dubious while cutting, but the result is more intriguing than expected.

    Sample p1-126a

    Sample p1-126a


    Sample p1-126b

    Sample p1-126b


    Again varying direction of the ridges gives quite different effects, each with their charm.
    Sample p1-126c

    Sample p1-126c


    A raking shot takes advantage of shadows.

    Sample p1-127

    Sample p1-127a

    Sample p1-127a


    Sample p1-127b

    Sample p1-127b


    Three layers of cutting, with a fourth behind. I now find both aligned and perpendicular versions complex enough for interest.

    Sample p1-128

    Sample p1-128

    Sample p1-128


    Bringing one of the earlier flat layers in adds some fine detail which I think is effective. Some depth and shadowing is removed, but a different kind of contrast is introduced.

    Sample p1-129

    Sample p1-129a

    Sample p1-129a


    Sample p1-129b

    Sample p1-129b


    Throwing some of the offcuts in between layers adds height and complexity which really works.

    I’ve felt a bit rushed and disjointed in this exercise. I haven’t taken advantage of the idea of holes concealing – meaning removed. I also haven’t followed up many of the avenues that came to mind as I was working.

    I found the corrugated cardboard the most rewarding line to pursue for now. It gave the depth that interested me, with some wonderful shadows and space.

    Mandy Gunn Centro-Polis (detail)

    Mandy Gunn
    Centro-Polis (detail)


    I really must finish my write-up of the second Tamworth Textile Triennial (mentioned in passing 30-April-2015). Mandy Gunn’s work included in that exhibition is clearly relevant.

    With some reluctance I am moving on from this exercise. I think there is a lot more potential, but time has got away from me.

    T1-MMT-P1-p2-e4 Cutting ho1es
    Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
    Part 1: Surface Distortion
    Project 2: Tearing and cutting
    Exercise 4: Cutting holes

    5 Responses to “T1-MMT-P1-p2-e4 Cutting holes”


    1. 1 Lottie May 9, 2015 at 4:10 am

      You have been busy! I am drawn to 128 – I think I like the way it has an architectural feel – almost as though I can imagine doors and windows with little stories going on behind each of them. But there’s something else, it’s like the inside of a door lock when you take it apart- the layers and moving mechanisms. It has an overall secretive quality.

    2. 2 fibresofbeing May 9, 2015 at 9:21 am

      Secretive – I like that. Also the idea of movement, that if you wait the right combination will come up, it will open or reveal. It becomes like a striptease or peepshow, just one more coin and you might see.
      It’s a bit like that shuffling the layers. I couldn’t plan it all got too complicated.
      Of course – I should try by starting with the full picture, then adding holes to sheets building up to the mysterious beginning and hide critical points. Like writing a detective novel. It could have an interactive element.
      Now I’m thinking of children’s books…
      which all gets very busy and away from the architectural feel, which can have more stillness and can be about structure and framing.


    1. 1 T1-MMT GROUP exchange Exhibition and Symposium | Fibres of Being Trackback on May 22, 2015 at 11:10 am
    2. 2 T1-MMT-P1 Sorting | Fibres of Being Trackback on May 23, 2015 at 7:47 pm
    3. 3 T1-MMT-P5-s7 Reflection – Mixed Media for Textiles | Fibres of Being Trackback on March 28, 2016 at 5:02 pm

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