Blog

Experimentations in ash

One of the aims of the Creative Development Fellowship that I have recently been granted from the Department of Culture and the Arts is to develop new ways of applying ash to create specific effects that speak about the subject.

An unsuccessful working panel for a new work - demonstrating the ways in which I can lose detail when the tonal contrast in the ash is not strong enough. 2015

An unsuccessful working panel for a new work - demonstrating the ways in which I can lose detail when the tonal contrast in the ash is not strong enough. 2015

Here I have departed from the pixelated process so that I can add more detail to the subject. I’m aiming to create an ash landscape that incorporates threatened and extinct species. A “Where’s Wally” idea. I wanted to bring the tones much closer together to create the impression of distant memory.

If you look at this image from a distance you can see the Orange Bellied Parrot that is one of the most threatened species in Tasmania at the moment. In fact there are two of them in this image, but the ash has made them too nebulous.

After five days of application I now realise that limiting tones and attempting detail at the same time do not go hand in hand. I think, in this case, I have failed to capture the details in the image. I am pleased that I tried this on a small scale rather than finishing a major work and then discovering its fate. I will now attempt it with tones further apart and try to refine the way the ash is delivered (still very crude) so that the detail is more accessible… a work in progress.