fragments of fragments

Saturday 20 September 2014

dear reader, following on from the previous posting, fragments, here are some more fragments* from this mini series, some mounted on black card and some on white watercolour paper:


fragments #34, 3cm x 4.5cm, mounted on 15cm square watercolour card


fragments #16, 4.5cm x 4.5cm, mounted on 15cm square card

here are three more ‘fragment’ collages, shown about three-to-four times their original size:


fragments #05, 3.5cm x 3.5cm


fragments #43, 3cm x 5cm


fragments #54, 3.5cm x 5cm

unfinished texts, prose, notes, poems, etc, are sometimes referred to a ‘fragments’ in literary circles, which came to my attention from reading about the life of Rupert Brooke, a british poet of the early 20th century. he tragically died at the age of twenty seven, a classical ‘adonis’ in appearance, complex, passionate and impulsive in personality, an intellectual and a creative free spirit, mixing with the bloomsbury group and travelling to the south seas in his twenties. i came across an old faber & faber edition of his collected poems in a charity shop and was instantly captivated. it is a shame his work is not more widely known. his life would make an excellent biographical drama.

i was wondering too if seeing many Alfred Wallis paintings** – at kettles yard house, cambridge, then the tide & tide museum at great yarmouth, and most recently at the dulwich picture gallery in london [art and life exhibition]  – has been an influence. i have been charmed and delighted by their purity and authenticity, but it bothered me to discover that when Ben Nicholson wrote to Alfred Wallis, he would ask for more paintings and returned others as they did not sell in london. so, what do artists do with their rejected works?

i keep a large box of painting & printmaking offcuts and discards, assorted snips and fragments of paper and card, and the very smallest scraps and tiny fragments float to the bottom of this often crumpled and rumpled sea of papers. the tiniest of offcuts and insignificant scraps were dredged from the bottom of the box to create these miniature collages, so some parts are very small indeed, only a few millimetres. looking at the two small collages above [43 and 54] they both remind me of trawler boats or barges, and it seems to reinforce a ‘dredging’ or trawling analogy.

i am also interested in the notion of ‘incompleteness’ [and whether this might relate to the aesthetic of wabi wabi], since i am consciously trying to make something new or significant out of this process, as they comprise many isolated [or broken] parts, joining the tiny parts together in a new way. some of it is serendipity, in the small discoveries, discovering a simple harmony and new resonance in things of no real material value.

fragments of fragments.

6 – 28 September 2014
Blackthorpe Barn
Bury St Edmunds
IP30 9HZ

Open daily 10am-5pm

*these miniature collages have been signed, numbered and dated since taking the photographs.

** you can see 160 Alfred Wallis paintings [or photographs of them] that are in public collections on the BBC’s Your Paintings website.

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