The day had arrived, we were to submit our final printmaking folio. Despite many instructions and warnings, last minute printing was still to be done, under the close scrutiny of our class mates, also anxious to use the printing presses. We scarpered from the Context and Culture Class, without a backward glance or word of apology to our teacher, as we raced toward the print room, to grasp our elusive final submission.
Work benches were cluttered, students clustered around any remaining, scant work space, and the queue for the printing presses peaked at six workers in tandem, churning the lino-cut relief prints out. Prints were spread over table tops, in drying racks, between drying boards and across benches. Exclamations of surprise, or groans of anguish accompanied each print as it rolled off the presses. The maker was either thrilled with the result, or in the deepest of despair with the outcome. The back of the room saw students curled over visual diaries pasting and writing, fulfilling the brief fastidiously.
The submission deadline grew steadily closer, with notes being scribbled frantically, prints collated, and half dry prints being wrenched from their repository. One of our number needed assistance, and we all banded together and collated his many prints. To no avail, as he confided later he forgot to submit his visual diary. Grr! Safely stowing our work, we exited the print-room gleefully, stumbling towards our homes or studios in a post production daze of exhaustion. A job well done we are now at the mercy of the assessors. Its now time to concentrate on our final folio submissions, for painting and drawing.
My Visual Diary, is an integral part of who I am. I record in it, stow found objects, sketch ideas, write lines overheard on the train, snatches of songs, and map out ideas. Its my creative life blood, my thought space, where I create, think, feel and articulate my visual repertoire . Varying sizes, paper thicknesses and surfaces add variety. At the moment I am using a rather cumbersome one, distributed free by a VU teacher, from an abandoned stock-pile in a cupboard. Its large in size, and needs to be transported in its own bag. I now draw in a horizontal rather than vertical format. I love the crispness of its sheets, the rustle of its pages, and the inviting, cool expanse, of white paper in which to unleash my creative energies. One page flows into another, many are filled in rapid succession, soon a fleeting image is captured and I am able to move onto the next feast of mark making.
Sporadically, I look back at the previous pages work, scarcely able to believe I have created such spontaneous imagery. My small diary was carted around eastern Europe, in 2013, and saved me from many an argument with a recalcitrant daughter. I would put my head down, and draw and paint in my tiny diary, easing the barbs of the day and removing any residual animosity. For a period of quiet reflection, wherever we were I would use my diary, choosing from the accompanying small selection of tools, and I would attempt to draw what I saw,record it in my visual diary and commit it to memory. It became my escape, my release and my solace when the constant travelling became exhausting, and the camaraderie of the journey a little stretched. Bit like my current trajectory at VU.