“I love you more or less each day”
I suppose I should have expected a period of intense frustration, but I would have preferred not to have to go through this. I am impatient to move forward. There are so many ‘starts’ and ‘almosts’ populating my studio and sketch book that I feel like sweeping it all away and burying my head in a bucket! Although that might possibly make an interesting image in itself, it’s not exactly the way I had anticipated my work going.
It all began with a phrase (as so much of my art does), in this case ‘I love you more or less each day’. Like so many women my age, I seem to have been on a diet an awful lot of the time since the birth of my children. It’s hardly surprising that the current one should bleed into my practise.
I am a compulsive list maker. Even my lists have lists and dieting provides the perfect circumstances for such an activity. Food diaries, the ups and downs of a daily weigh in (I know you shouldn’t but…), counting calories, and so on and so on. I began to think about the way my self esteem was influenced by a pound gained or lost. And more importantly, the wider cultural meaning of dieting. The way body image is framed and dictatated by the media and then exploited by a billion dollar dieting industry.
The piece began to take shape. A mirror, positioned to only reflect the viewers head, bathroom scales standing on photographs of an over weight body. Because that is so often what is seen and what is not seen. It has little to do with reality. I wrote the phrase ‘I love you more or less each day’ across the mirror.
But…but…there is something missing, or something that is not quite what I want.
One of the experiments I wanted to make was with the lettering on the mirror. With this in mind, I attended a workshop on how to set up files to use the laser cutter. I was hoping that I could use it to etch into the mirror. Of course, this is the point at which frustration really set in. The laser cutter can be used to cut almost anything, it can etch glass, leather, wood, even tissue paper or silk. Of course the one material that cannot be used with it is a mirror.
Back to the drawing board, I guess.