This was the first celebrity death that actually touched me personally. It was a weird sensation that Monday morning when Sean Keaveny said those words on the radio. Tasha and Brain were there too, it was good to have people around for a little hug.
Throughout the day I knew I wanted to make something. Something creative but free. To use Bowies music and the emotion of the day and have something to keep and remind me forever that that was created the day he died.
My thoughts quickly turned to previous years ink pots that were mixed for commercial screen printing jobs but have been sat around getting moldy for months.
The plan came together.
Using some fabric I got for free from an upholsterous in Horwich 6 years ago, I cut three large squares using the width of the fabric as the dimensions of the square.
I layed them on the floor of the studio, arranged all the ink pots around and found a stanley knife.
The final things was to turn Bowie up full blast on the Soundsystem.
The (very) basic idea was to rip open the pots with the knife then let the music direct the speed and shapes and ways I put the ink on the fabric.
I guess a litte direction went into the initial squarey shapes and the circle but thinking was the last thing I wanted to or tried to do.
They and the studio ended up looking like this:
What do you do with three 1.5m squared pieces of fabric that are about 1mm thick but have 5mm worth of wet ink on them in a studio that doesn’t have any heating?
I placed another sheet of fabric over each one then stacked each one on top of each other then I rolled them on to a massive postage tube that Pete Blacker gave me a few years ago.
It got secured with more fabric and tape. Got picked up to be stored in the corner then it all slide off, on to the floor in one big heap. I picked that up and threw it in the corner until it got hot enough to bring it out to dry.
#5 – 12/02/16
But didn’t know it yet.
There was an email on the Islington Mill Everone email from Salford Uni saying they had a load of photography backdrop paper going free for anyone wanting to pick it up. Tank Petrol and myself went to have a look:
2.7m long and loads of it. We didn’t have any transport so the only way of getting it the 10 minutes walk back to the mill was carrying it. We ended up with 6 rolls each. They were so heavy and awkward! We needed three stops on the way and probably gave a lot of commuters at rush hour a right laugh. Heres the beer stop for some rehydration near the mill:
There wasn’t any thought of using them for this project. I wanted Aimee to cut them into A1 sheets so I could use them for another piece but after trying for an hour and not succeeding I got the saw out and chopped them in half so they were easier to store then I think Aimee suggested using them to take prints of the Bowie paintings.
#6 – 18/02/16
I pulled the cold, wet heap of ink and fabric out of the corner and opened up one of the painting. Now I had two painting as there was the top sheet there too so there was two different pieces to take prints from. Nathan was in the hood to help pulling the paper from the paintings cause that was some sticky stuff!
By acident I ended up pushing the wheelie trolley through the paiting and back on the floor whcih left some nice shapes so I decided to start running and jumping on the trolley and down a piece of paper. No reason other than it was good fun.
Nathan joined in too.
Now I had a load of really long pieces of paper with wet ink on.
These got stapled up all around the studio and down the corridor and most of them dried over night. Once they all dried I could get on with Paitnings 2 and 3.
I remembered this time to take some shots and videos of the process of printing:
#9 – 12/03/16
Emma let me use the gallery space to exhibit the pieces so I could see them in a white cube and I can get proper photographs of them all. This is not the end of the process. I think it has only just started. These are going to be turned into something else. What that is, I don’t know yet but there are little thoughts starting to sprout.