Janet Tryner Fine Artist

Fine artist and live graphics designer.

Saturday, 13 July 2019

Printing updates & Armadillidiidae

The dock weeds growing in the soil I 'liberated' from the housing estates are growing a crazy red dock spot pattern.

They are probably much weakened by being grown in pots and can't fight it off. But it does look pretty and I noticed it just in time to get it into the print. However, as you can see on this test print, the screen print stencil didn't work as hoped. I'm going to rework this as a lino-cut block print and use the opportunity to add more detail.
While I think about this another printing project has taken over my walls - so currently, they are covered with woodlice! Not real ones, and looking a bit like pineapples here.

Because I spent all that time making a lino-cut stamp to make the wild-clay ceramic woodlouse effigies for my degree my thought is that I may as well try them on paper, retrofitted with two more lino-cut block printed layers to add colour. No photos here but they look great in bright graduated colours. Next time I will plan the layers ahead as doing them later was really tricky, hence I don't have photos of the fancy coloured ones. 

No details now but I'm thinking about ways to make a bigger, part layered woodlouse block print.

Monday, 1 July 2019

A growing project: salvaged silver-houses soil

July 2019. I sit here considering what to do about the weeds and splurging into tissues the remainder of a cold that kept me down all weekend.

The weeds are growing in soil that I 'liberated' from ground destined to complete a shiny new residential estate. A poetic reminder of its last wild moment when it was beautiful. Enthusiastically stealing from the developers a wealth of confetti in white-flowered Shepard's Purse and Thistle.

So far I have grown mainly baby Dock Weeds and a very long and searching Field Speedwell. A flat, round and fluttery leaved buttercup that didn't like growing in a pot also upped and then died.

I want to make a print to celebrate them. So I'm drawing on tracing paper to overlap them and see what shapes there are.

3 July.
Slowly cutting out a complicated stensil. This will be the top layer in a strong opaque colour. But it has to be done first so I know where all the other shapes need to go.

I'm still clearing out and amalgamating all the studio things I had to bring back from college into my house. This quite a large task! Nevertheless, I've managed to squeeze a space for making and drying prints into my bedroom. It's nicer to work on the table downstairs with a view of the garden but at least I don't have to tidy stuff away so often.

I'm planning on using a range of printing techniques and I will end up with a range of prints on paper that probably have a few differences. Lino relief printing I'm used to, screen printing not so much. I haven't tried to combine them before, so we will have to see how it goes.

I have a some Permaset Premium ink on order and I'm interested to see how that works on plastic. It's water-based but will print on unpermeable surfaces so I'm hopeful it will be more successful than anything else I've tried recently.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Sugared jelly calcite quartz

Looking like sugared jelly sweets. Calcite crystals on quartz. Lapworth Museum of Geology at Birmingham University.

A fan of bricks

Manorbier Castle and bricks found on the beach.

Treasure seeking

My hoard of pebbles is growing. Even though I limit myself to taking away as few as possible and then only the smallest samples of the best. Collection, collecting, connecting to place and taking away, memento, state of mind, rubbing, wearing away, rounding. Water and rock & rocks and rocks, getting smaller. Getting nearer.

King’s Quoit & Manorbier Beach, South Pembrokeshire.

At Tenby the stepped path to the beach was precipitous. I was scared. Stood low trying to ground myself clinging to the handrail, talked myself through it, didn’t look away from the path, stopped many times. Eventually, the beach was flat and sandy, speckled with pebbles and shells - razor, cockle, winged tellin, oyster and a few shiny, slate blue broken mussel shells  - and a boulder speckled with grass and inhabited by gulls and a fortress, girdled with more steps. We didn’t go up.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Recurring surface

I entered an artwork into Leamington Open, this: ‘A few rough hands, garden suburb’ but its back-up name is ‘recurring surface’ and I like that more now. It works better with what I was thinking about when I put it together: time/surface/ hands-to-materials and dislocation / Leamington’s scratch-the-surface regency vernacular. 

I liked it more when I first made it and less now because I put it up for ridicule. I can't help thinking that I should have daubed white on bits of it.  But I still like the brick looking as though it's holding up the wood when it's actually the other way around. 

I suppose I meant it to be sarcastic which is rather negative - but at the same time I've got the casts of the stone tool up there which I love and which are real survivors so I think that's positive. Putting them up with the brick I want to say they are all real survivors, at least, they've out-survived us by various removes. The wood plank between brick and stone tools is also a stand-in for the organic being - us. Apart from the stone tool casts the materials were found - by me by chance - as the string is time, crossing paths, bringing things together and I've left the all-important bit of grass in the fluffy end because via time objects gain stuff and that's a really thing. 

There is a bit of messing about with hierarchies - an object - organic - object sandwich and the human-related agent/object on the top, but in being replicated it's real-ness is under question. Like here the white plaster will blend into the wall at the pump-room galleries and sort of disappear and be a bit ghostly. I was wondering if I should have used more of the casts (I have loads) but I'm ok with five - there's no relevance in the number. OK. So overall, I'm alright with this work. I wonder if it will get in? It's a bit different from what they had in last year! Also, the fixings may prevent it from getting through. Ah, well, whatever they choose I'm happy enough with this.

Update. So it did get in to the open, great, and I get to see it again this Thursday and have another think. The think I'm having at the moment is around its readymade scavenged  elements, the brick, wood and string all doing the active, supportive work within the piece, and the cast of the stone tool - the nominal worker of the group - made passive, supported, diminished in duplication.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Mythic tool

13.10.18 Course work.

This is a negative space cast of the stone tool I found last summer. Transparent, coloured, and actually edible too - food-grade geletine and glycerine, which is what I happened to have readily available at home. The space of a shape not present reflects the mythic qualities this object has taken on for me. 'Mythic', because the longer I spend in its company the less I understand it. While it's been in my possession, and without realising until now, I have invented a narrative and character beyond it's orginal intent.

To begin with it was a lucky find. Then a link to an understanding of materials as a means of survival - something to contrast against our era of plenty: A tool used to line between a very different, older humanity, to the contemporary one where mobile phones are today's tools of survival.

Now I have begun to consider bending that meaning further: How do I re-present this object through my cultural lens in the hope of understanding more about what it is to be human now.

It is interesting to consider this problem as an object removed from context. I think it is safe to say that in no longer being a viable tool, in having been 'discovered' and removed from where I found it, this thing is far away from its original context.

Susan Stewart in 'Separation and Restoration' talks about the souvenir and to a lesser extent about ancient objects, both of which embody nostalgia and the exotic. She quotes Baudrillard to say that the exotic object fascinates by means of its anteriority which is linked to the posessor's lost otherness - "since contemporary mythology places the objects in a childhood remote from the abstractions of contemporary consumer society, such objects allow one to be a tourist of one's own life, or allow the tourist to appropriate, consume and thereby tame the cultural other."

Instinctively, I don't want to acknowledge a touristic attitude with it's implications of a lack of depth and imperialistic attitude on my part. However, am I indeed trying to own and tame my species' heritage? The experience of survival reliant on the production and use of stone tools is unrecogniseable to contemporary experience. Yet, implicit in our daily making experiences is the understanding that our knowledge and culture must be inherited from that unknowable past. This is an understanding that involves uncomfortably mind-boggling perceptions of time and chance.

In furthering the links between the souvenir and cultural imperialism, Stewart mentions "the exotic object represents distance appropriated ~ thus placed within an intimate distance; space is transformed into interiority, into personal space, just as time is transformed into interiority in the case of the antique object or the souvenir - a worthless object that is transformed by a narrative attached to it by the owner. ~ Like all curiosities these souvenirs function to generate narrative."

However, I am unsure of its status as a piece of exotica. It is strange to me, but it was familiar once, so someone long ago. I think I am forced to return myself to my first paragraph and admit souvenir status.  However, I do know that I want to lend it weirdness; retaining objectness whilst highlighting temporal displacement.

Susan Stewart 'Separation and Restoration' in Ruins: Documents of Contemporary Art. Ed. Brian Dillon. 2011 Whitechapel Gallery Ventures Ltd.