I once had a dream that I came across some never before seen Picasso paintings. In earth tones, with smudge marks that looked like the leaf stained sidewalks you see after the rain in the fall, they seemed timeworn and powerful.
Sidewalk patinas captivate me. It is now that time of the year when coloured leaves layer randomly on the ground and imprints are left on the concrete. That brownish colour comes from the naturally occurring tannins being released like tea leaves with water.
Each leaf stain is a moment in time which has emerged as a result of series of interactions with the earth, sun, rain, wind, time, intention.
For years, nature’s mark making has played in my mind and slowly I have been evolving a body of art work that springs from this language.
Last summer while working as an artist in residence at Couleur Garance in France I learned a very simple technique of hammering leaf tannins into cloth which react when placed in a bath of ferrous sulfate to create a purplish – black colour.
This fall Couleur Garance curated an exhibition in conjunction with its Forum de Couleur titled “le temps s’égraine…” inviting artists to respond to the theme “time is passing…”
The work I created for the exhibition, ground and sky, speaks of the cycles of growth, decay and renewal that we observe in nature. The repeated printing of this season’s leaf tannins and cutting away bits of paper reflect a slow process of the hand’s motion, of time invested and time passing.