Q Polaröids Pt II
In late August 2020 I travelled with my son Jules to Stirling to accompany him during a 14 day Covid quarantine in a local flat, prior to the beginning of his first year at Stirling University. The flat was bland and spartan with nondescript views of either an empty back street or a carpark. After a few days, with cabin fever setting in, I suggested we take it in turn to take a polaroid a day of anything in the flat – each other, objects, shadows – whatever. The daily ritual became much like drawing notches on the wall to record the passage of time.
I loved the resulting snaps, a beautiful and intriguing motley collection of details and polaroid colours that told its own story in an enigmatic way. They gathered dust for a few years as I struggled to find a way to incorporate them in my work flow. After several drawing and painting attempts, I realised I was only observing them with a literal eye, ie was effectively drawing a pile of snaps. What I was actually looking for was possibly hidden from the naked eye.
To unblock myself, I decided I had no choice but to imagine them as something foreign, something I’d never seen before, possibly from the perspective of an archeologist way in the future when maybe the concept of photography has long since disappeared. I started to imagine that maybe they were something more organic, possibly from the natural world, – a tricky task to unknow something.
This is when I stumbled upon a Paddle plant, a plant I walked past everyday on my way to the studio. This plant seemed the ideal candidate for inspiration, with its lack of symmetry and cluster of leaves expressing personal histories. After several studies I moved onto clusters of other objects including, new potatoes, my son’s old shoes and a dried log with dead Turkeytail fungi – each time trying to unknow what I was observing.
This series of small paintings is what happened next, a return to the polaroids themselves but this time attempting to avoid a literal translation and trying to represent memory as a construction of many fragments, pooled together by this loom in our head which weaves a different image every time we visit the same memory, in this case, 14 polaroids taken by my son and I in quarantine.
Image 01 – ‘Q Polaroïds 13:05pm 29/03/23′ 30cm x 30cm -oils, inks, & crayon on cotton paper 300g/m2
Image 02 – ‘Q Polaroïds 11:15pm 29/03/23′ 30cm x 30cm -oils, inks, & crayon on cotton paper 300g/m2
Image 03 – ‘Q Polaroïds 17:46pm 22/03/23′ 30cm x 30cm -oils, inks, & crayon on cotton paper 300g/m2
Image 04 – ‘Q Polaroïds 11:27pm 28/03/23′ 30cm x 30cm -oils, inks, & crayon on cotton paper 300g/m2
Image 05 – ‘Q Polaroïds 14:39pm 30/03/23′ 30cm x 30cm -oils, inks, & crayon on cotton paper 300g/m2
Image 06 – ‘Q Polaroïds 15:28pm 30/03/23′ 30cm x 30cm -oils, inks, & crayon on cotton paper 300g/m2
Image 07 – ‘Q Polaroïds 14:11pm 31/03/23′ 30cm x 30cm -oils, inks, & crayon on cotton paper 300g/m2
Image 08 – ‘Q Polaroïds 15:41pm 03/04/23′ 30cm x 30cm -oils, inks, & crayon on cotton paper 300g/m2
Image 09 – ‘Q Polaroïds 17:32pm 05/04/23′ 30cm x 30cm -oils, inks, & crayon on cotton paper 300g/m2
Image 10 – ‘Q Polaroïds ‘ 14 polaroids alternately taken by my son, Jules and I, during our 14 day Covid quarantine in a flat in Stirling, Scotland, 27/08/20 – 09/09/20