Bones & brushes

Emma Bowen led this month’s sound-and-drawing Drawing Room. Katharine Aarrestad (of the Cremaster and last month’s graffiti sessions) stood in for Sharon Quigley to run the session.

The inspiration piece was Marina Abramovic’s Cleaning the Mirror #1, 1995, currently on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. It consists of a stack of 5 monitors showing the artist scrubbing and washing a human skeleton, from the skull down to the feet.

In the first part of the session we used bones (animal), brushes and other props to make sounds that Emma recorded. My contribution was the clang of dropping bones into a metal pail. Emma produced a mix of our sounds, which was then played in the background to set the scene for the remainder of the session.

Here is a photo of the installation, and the sound-making tools we used:

130711 bones&brushes

Next we used monoprinting to produce some pieces inspired by the bone-scrubbing. First step, draw oil pastels or wax crayons onto a plastic sheet. Second step, place paper over the sheet and press it by drawing onto the paper.

My first print – a pile of small bones:

130711 1

Print number two – a flowing tap:

130711 2

With 2 minutes before finishing, I pressed a page onto my coloured sheet for this:

130711 3

As often is the case with the Drawing Room, it was good to see what other people were able to do, but I wasn’t that taken by my own results. However, the process is always very interesting, and this month was no exception. It was my first adult experience of monoprinting. A couple of days after this session I briefly encountered a different form of monoprinting again in a workshop at the Edinburgh City Art Centre, which I have yet to write up. It was great to practice both forms.

My thanks to Emma for leading the session, and to Katharine for running it in Sharon’s absence.


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