I am currently artist in residence at the Gowry Art Institute. The studio is located in the forest, at the base of the Ponmudi Mountain, South India.
The other day I was walking in the forest and came to a valley where the river ran through. I found a spot where the butterflies rested. They let me to get right next to them. After a while I noticed that they were ejaculating… well ejaculating something for sure. They went on squirting for about 5 minutes, continuously jerking their abdomen, shaking the liquid away. You can see the little pool of liquid still attached to the body in some pictures .
Found a baby Bungarus Caeruleus snake outside my bedroom window. Sughandi said,”‘Oy, yoy yoy” twice, I think I could see what she was getting at. The neighbours came round with sticks and pounded his head in. Felt abit sad but can’t piss about I suppose.
The photo is of a different dead snake.
Saw spider walking with Philippe. The spider was pretty big, maybe the size of my hand outstretched. I wore a near identical pattern on my shirt. Phillipe reckoned the spider was thinking I was highly venomous and predatory.
Amongst the banana leaves and palm tree roots find an empty packet of ‘Lovely and Fair’.
Saw a monkey pull something off the end of it’s red raw, odd shaped willy and eat it. I did find that pretty disgusting.
Here is a snapshot of the first 2 weeks spent in residence at the Gowry Art Institute, India.
So far I have found working in the forest both uninspiring and inspiring. Everything I do here feels like a cheap substitute – something which could never be as engaging or complete as things here.
Today I saw a tree suffocating another tree, coiling around it as thought the wood was made of liquid. One meter above the ground, on a horizontal branch lay a very neat stack of what at first appeared to be goat shit. It was actually a pile of nuts going mouldy. Above, from an unidentifiable location came the sound of a long dry stroke where the trees met, pig with a chainsaw.
forest flower, menstruation blood, latex
wax, string, alginate
wax, string, bone
wax, plastic container
wax, string, plastic container
I thought it would be a good idea to arrive at the Gowry Art Institute with some materials in order to start making things right away. For the past few days I have been visiting a local dentist to buy alginate (a material denstists use for casting teeth).
I have very much enjoyed the negotiating time I have spent in his dentistry room. The place is like a cabinet of curiosity, bottles of substances marked poison stand open, minature xrays of broken teeth, mixed up pastes set hard, open syringes, prostetic fingers and other stuff like that knocking about.
The Dentist also makes silicone prostetic implants and false eyeballs so he is able to get hold of some silicone. He told me about a man in the village who had a boil that turned into a degenerate skin disease. The man was left with an open flesh wound on his left cheek. The destist made a face implant piece which the man could hook on with a glasses style ear hook.
The trip has really sparked my imagination and given me a real lift. I am looking forward to getting into the studio.
Here are some images of the en suite shower room from my hotel in Mysore. So far in India I am finding many of the hotel rooms and other domestic environments very appealing.
I am wondering how an Indian audience will respond to the work I make whilst in residence - whether the differences I am attracted to will appear mundane or sterile.
Looking through some photos, I have come across images of incidental object compositions. At the moment I am trying to loosen up the way in which I make installations. In previously work, the original premise of an idea and final realized esthetic have been near identical. I would like to work in a more intuitive, expressive manner. I want to compose objects concentrating simply on things I am attracted to, as opposed to things that make sense as an idea.