Initial layers of investigation:
- Contemporary experience of tactility: physical and digital realms.
- Cellulose - a biological material - in the form of kombucha SCOBY (produced through bacteria-yeast symbiosis) and digital images on paper.
- The landscape: specifically Napenape, a site on the north Canterbury coast.
A starting point: Textures from the Napenape landscape: digital images.
Tactile objects from Napenape beach.
An almost-still moving image: part of my investigation into ponds, cultures, reflections and site. Subtle movements of air and water disturb reflections.
Kombucha SCOBY cultured in an improvised 100 litre tank kept at a constant 23 degrees C, as well as in smaller boxes.
Drawings mapping the site. Left: Fabriano paper, embossed, 270 x 400mm. Right: Embossing and laser engraving on SCOBY, 250 x 385mm. The laser removed pigment, leaving the SCOBY membrane white.
Experiments with kombucha SCOBY. (Some images have captions: Hover over to view. Click to enlarge image.)
Digital-like frames from bamboo and PLA bioplastic. Experimenting with them as supports for SCOBY membranes.
Experiments with inkjet images on paper: photographs from the site subjected to digital processes -rotated, reflected scaled and repeated.
Digital images taken as part of my site investigation. The name Napenape means 'to vigorously jerk'. The wind jerks spray vertically off the waves.
Experimenting with these images alongside various forms of cellulose membrane.
Digital drawings: the process of mapping a single contour line from Napenape to The Casting Room.
Experiments in line-making with the intention of translating/mapping a contour line from Napenape to an indoor space in material form. Materials: Napenape earth, iron oxides, cellulose gel, shellac, SCOBY membrane.
Digital drawing. Napenape panorama with photos of the folded paper objects digitally overlaid. This interested me in terms of the specifics of site. I wanted to use this as my starting point in creating an experience/installation.
Experimental object. Representation of a walk around the perimeter of Napenape Valley: black portion walked physically; white portion travelled virtually via topographical data extracted from Google Earth, 3D printed PLA plastic, ink, 100 x 92 x 37mm.
Maquettes (1:10 scale) and trial installations towards Enfold. Progressing from the idea of images on four walls of a room with footnotes below them, to continuous images wrapped around the room and folded to resemble my walk. The problem then became where to put the text without the whole becoming busy and incoherent. When I realised that text is linear and directional like walking I decided to wrap the text around the room. Initially I used text printed onto folded paper. This did not integrate enough into the architecture. I wanted to map site to gallery and this left the text detached. Finally I decided on digitally-cut wall text in shades of grey and black (informed by translucent layers in Photoshop) and in different font weights. I decided to use the objects to direct the viewer in and out along an irregularly folded path.
My process: digital images from the landscape reflected, rotated, repeated, printed, then folded into objects. In the more complex objects the repetition becomes less obvious, distorted by 3D form.
Installing Enfold involved making and installing an initial trial set of text, then reviewing, remaking and reinstalling it because I wanted a more restrained, spacious effect with text forming a skyline or horizon. Initially there were too many objects so these were also edited down.
Discovered later: enduring traces of the ephemeral. A deep and permanent etching on concrete after the acidic SCOBY had been spread out there to dry. The concrete fizzed when the SCOBY was laid down and has been eroded away. This has possibilities for further work.