Thursday, June 01, 2006

Carvin a chop stick

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Old painting (1996) called Adolecent Bedroom

Drawing of Joelle's house

Doors of the Outer Battery -StJohn's Nfld

Heavy Snow Paintings

This project is made to throw your voice. You speak towards a “painting” and try to speak with another person, who is in front of the other painting. The chairs are placed to facilitate finding the focal point of the dish. You will need to move your head around to find the best place for you to speak with, and hear the other person. There are also reference marks on the floor showing both the focal points and the pathway of the sound. Any object placed in this pathway will baffle the effect.

Besides apples falling on heads we have no tangible signifier for gravity.

…………..In the making of these “Weight paintings” gravity becomes an element of construction. Wet canvas is stretched over a wooden frame with curved sides. That curve is cut out of the wood based on the cantenary curve of a drooping string. The painting is taken outside where liquid plaster of paris is smoothed over the surface. The idea is to lay the painting flat and let gravity effect the canvas surface as it does a drooping string. Liquid plaster and gravity, with the help of the weight of snow, are combined to make a concave bowl-like shape.

As with any material, the canvas has a shape of its own wrinkles, fold lines, texture. So…. A process must be applied to smooth out the surface. The method in this project is to use the weight of snow. Snow falls in an equal distribution. The weight of the snow presses the canvas more precisely into a curve also leaves a texture on its surface. The texture on each painting varies with the snowfall. Bigger flakes- more profound texture. ….So these paintings are both a mould of snow and gravity. I hope uncle Albert would have liked it!

The comparison within these artworks is important. The suspension bridge, the architecture of Gaudi and the satellite dish share the same curvature as these paintings. Called the cantenary curve, it is the signifier of gravity. The combined elements of painting, gravity/snow and otherwise mysterious technical objects (like satellite dishes) are an attempt to reconcile science and art with affect. Once one understands the significance behind these paintings I hope they become a sculpted image in your memory that tells the story of their making and of natural phenomena

Steve Topping


****Please: Centre your head on the painting while standing with your head over the small X’s on the floor. Speak soft words to each other while finding the most intense acoustic amplification.