Further Conversations in Paint with Alison Berrett
22/03/12Today, two new beings came into the world, in the form of 'Conversation: Comfort and Joy, the rebirth of Sid and Nancy.'
Sid and Nancy began life as a pair of tartan cushions that were left on the street outside someone's home in a box of items marked, 'free to a good home'. It's an invitation I can never refuse.
As Alison and I puzzled over the way forward we considered emptying out the stuffing or wedging them into a box. The urge to experiment was tempered by a worry about loosing the the plumpness, the comfort and joy of them.
Working with the object is central to our method and so colours were selected and the decision made to paint them in a playful exploration. Trusting each other and trusting the process the conversation continued and Sid and Nancy slowly came to life.
Consulting & collaborating on each gesture and colour choice we talked about having 'a room of one's own' in a studio sense and the importance of play in our work.
I wanted our words to weave into the paint and as the talk turned to the bias against uncomplicated 'decorative' painting, I found myself asking Alison if it was okay to scratch into the wet paint with the end of a brush. With a quick nod I began to write what she was saying.
There's always a moment of struggle, when you have to risk 'spoiling' what you have done so far to get to a resolution. Just before the end, one cushion looked stronger than the other. We took a break.
Alison didn't want to loose the vulnerability of the weaker cushion and after pausing she made an orange streak on the edge. Suddenly it could stand up to it's partner.
As we gazed at the fruits of our conversation we agreed they were punky. Have you got any safety pins I asked, and Sid and Nancy were born a homage to Vivienne Westwood still playing in her seventh decade.