Exercise 1.3

Using one of the tools (pendulum, piping bag, hair, a ball, a bag of paint, a bat and ball etc) explored in exercise 1.2 add/develop another element that removes your gesture from the process of mark-making. For example; you could attach a leaking bag to a mechanical toy, wind it up and let it move across the paper, or you could attach a graphite stick to the bottom of a door so that every time it opens it makes a mark on a surface placed under it. Document these explorations in your sketchbook. Reflect on these experiments. How might you develop them further? How do you feel about the marks being made by something other than your hand? Does this add or take away anything from the work? Describe what you feel you gained and /or lost.

I took a walk to see what marks could be made on paper. I put 9 seeds (sprayed them wet) onto a paper, that had two different pigment colors on it. Everything was placed in a box which I would carry with me whilst walking. The box was made by my husband, who loves carpentry and he made it with Rosewood. The seeds are called wheat medics, a self-generating annual legume and seen mostly as a weed to get rid of (rubbish?) when it enters gardens/lawns. On the farm, it is favored by the sheep and it is mixed into their feed. I (we)took a short walk around the dam. I am considering ideas of agential realism that Karen Barad refers to – how will this walk be represented? For Barad agential realism is an effort to transform not just the ontology of our objects of study but also the ontology of subjects involved as well as the relation between objects and subjects. She suggests that the inquiry should involve transformations not just of my ways of knowing but also of ways of being, feeling, committing, and living in the world. I am so aware of my own embedded experience (imprints?) of anthropocentrism and conflicting world views that exist in this regard. I want to stay open in these explorations and expected outcomes/ learning. I will stay quiet during the walk, observe and be attentive to my surroundings and bodily experience.

I used a provocation (score) to ensure performative and attentive walking. (see below)

forget about the box, it is walking along and needs its own experience; …….think about gestures of your own body whilst walking; ……….think about the things in the box – are they interacting, are they participating. Reflect on the marks I make, look…….see….feel….. listen to the sounds around you.


There was a rhythm to the walk and the box in my hands – I crossed gravel, grass, mud, stones, and rocks. I heard sounds of birds around the dam, watched the wet grass shine in the sun, touched the grass, stones, and mud. I also put the box on the soil and grass. I loved my mark-making in the wet grass – I repeated walking a stretch in the long grass to create a line that was made by my feet. How long will I continue with this repetitive walking? I watched the sheep in a nearby kraal- not sure that they liked my presence -that became my indication to stop the line making. I could not help wondering about the small seeds inside the box, are they moving at all? Will they leave marks when they interact with the pigment and paper.

I think that 2 works were created

  • the line I walked in the wet grass. I repeated the walking to create this impression in the grass;
  • the marks in the box made by the connection of pigment, water, seeds, paper and movement

Considering the other

I placed objects on paper with pigment powder and backed it in the back of our car and drove to the gate – a new electric gate is being installed and I had to drive in the veld as the normal road was closed due to the work being done. I made video recordings of the drive.

Image below:

As it was raining I decided to have the rain perform on water paper. I dropped blobs of gouache on water paper and placed it outside in the downpouring rains. Within a minute a connection took place and colors were flowing. Lifting it out of the rain back into my studio, the movement caused more flowing. Here was no idea of how an outcome would look, as well as a predetermined process. I ‘feared’ more flowing – erasure within this short performance was a possibility I considered, and I did not trust my video/photography done in the rain. The experience opens opportunities to attempt it again. A bigger work would create a much different experience, as well as putting the paper on an angle as the rain hit the paint could bring an interesting outcome.

Reading the quotation of Deleuze and Guattuari it is understood that mapping can give us an access to an impersonal plane of creativity. In previous studies I came upon the work of Fernand Deligny with autistic children. This French educator who developed an approach for autistic children through the wander lines they trace in space. Through these wander line maps he and his staff made, Deligny suggested an escape from our linguistically- and symbolically-shaped reality in order to bring to light “common” /aimless(le commun) we share with autistic people. In terms of a creative process it seems here is a link which Deleuze and Guattuari found. I find the idea of marks made by other than my own hand open up a bigger sense of connection to my own search for understanding where work and ideas can possibly develop or change. I have always been intrigued by artist who use science in their work – like Thomas Sarasceno and Olafur Eliasson

I found the process of repetition within the works I made exciting. I believe exploration of ideas for a series could be considered, even bringing in some methods by working with unbroken lines and filling a whole surface is something I would like to explore. I feel these works have opened up ideas of how my own artistic process starts with a feeling and then forms emerge which can become questions and experience, and feel intwined with things and places. The work I made should be seen as my thinking and experiences of things around me.

The work of Yayoi Kusama comes to mind as extreme but so effective use of colour and repetition. I am not very comfortable drawing pn my Ipad- if feel I loose control over the intensity of marks and lines – too impersonal experience for me.

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