City of Glass 60 Island of Bricks 700 Copy
'City of Glass 60 - (Island of Bricks)'  180x70cms

SAT 10 JUNE 4pm

Finished! One of those frenzied sessions heading to a resolution. I'm exhilarated and exhausted. Ancient bricks: blood reds, lipstick reds, earth-reds, iron-oxide reds, scarlet, orange reds, crimson reds, the bricks all different in colour, shape and solidity. The painting is different: it's beautiful, it's slightly disturbing, uncomfortable to look at, the marks around the island like a swarm of angry bees. It's a breakthrough piece, made with one small block of wood. Thanks again to Janie M McDonald for the suggestion of printing the bricks. Scale and orientation ambiguous and indefinable...Talking about the piece, Janie pointed out that the bricks can be also be read as a pathway, a cobbled street, connecting to the journeys of Stillman and Quinn that litter the story* 

 

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SAT 10 JUNE: 1p.m.

Finally reached the bottom tip of Manhattan - I can finally see the Island of Bricks, a thing of beauty. Central Park was filled in with vertical bricks- now a subtle presence adding to the weight of the island. I now need to work the space around...marks of movement?

 

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pier and ocean
'Composition No.10 Pier and Ocean'  Piet Mondrian

 

FRI 9 JUNE

A possible large-scale finale to the series....another idea that has been around for a long time....

The enormous scale of the (imaginary) new Babel in New York - (Once completed, the Tower would be large enough to hold each inhabitant of the New World. There would be a room for each person..' ) - has been explored many times in the series but this new piece puts the scale into (un)imaginable proportions: 1 brick = 1 city block. In a conversation with Janie M McDonald in our shared studio at the Shire Hall, she came up with the idea of individualy printing the bricks onto the canvas and so appropriately I've used one of the wooden wedges used to tighten the canvas as my printing block. It's a laborious process, working close in, but already a striking image is emerging. Looking forward to reviewing the painting tomorrow late morning when the bricks reach the bottom tip of Manhattan, but already I'm thinking of filling in Central Park with vertical bricks (remeniscent of Mondrian's fabulous 'Composition No.10 Pier and Ocean)' to increase the sense of weight, with marks suggesting movement (using the same block) around the island.

 

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first bricks
the first bricks are laid...

 

* 'City of Glass', from 'The New York Trilogy' by Paul Auster