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Local colour map of the Porte de l’Enfer, Ontario, Canada.
Pigment in glair binder on paper with pencil and ink; 24″/61cm x 38.5″/98cm; 2013.
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I’m very excited to share that my local-colour spidergram installation has been recently finished! All of my local-colour spidergrams—whether on paper or on walls—are about exploring a place through its colours. As a visual artist, this has proven to be a great adventure for me and for the communities with which I’ve worked.
“Saskatchewan Sampler Spidergram”
25½” x 38½”
an assortment of local-colour pigments from Saskatchewan;
egg tempera; paper.
In preparation for the upcoming University of Saskatchewan course, “Creating Paint From Soil: Applications And Observations In Boreal Ecosystems” (ART 398/898.3) I’ve created a preliminary sampler of local-colours from some of the soils forwarded to me by Ken Van Rees (Professor) Department of Soil Science.
Unlike my previous spidergram maps, which had a single sample at their centre, this map has a ring of five soils from around the province. There are some interesting things happening here and I’m looking forward to exploring the possibilities further with the students.
It seems funny that after completing so many local-colour spidergrams I still haven’t made one for my village of Conestogo. I decided this week that I needed to put that wrong to right, and to do so I also wanted to incorporate an additional component for this work: The ability to fold it up!
I tend to make use of my notebooks quite extensively–ideas for future work, conversations and little discoveries all end up in it. What I also wanted was the ability to include my spidergram work, but to do so I needed a way to compact the work into a book. Folding up my spidergrams also takes them in the direction of creating them as maps (which I have been playing with for some time now …).
But, it wasn’t until I came across the work of Japanese astrophysicist, Koryo Miura who created a, “map folding” method for deploying solar panels on space satellites. With it’s clever design, a map folded in this way remains ridge when open (because of the direction of the folds) and is easily opened by tugging on a single corner of the sheet. Using this method as my starting point enabled me to create a folding map that I think is visually interesting and structurally superior to traditional folded maps.
Now that I have the map ready, I can begin work on my Conestogo spidergram!
* With the new year beginning, I’ve been thinking about the purpose of my blog. In the past I’ve shared details of creating my icons and some articles I think are interesting, but this year I intend to post something each week about a little side experiment. In the past couple of months I’ve begun to receive the odd bit of dirt in the mail (which might have colour inside …) or find myself needing a specific pigment for a special project. These post might not always lead to successful results, but I’ve found the work rewarding in its own way and I hope these details prove interesting to others.