It was tricky placing the ten haikus carefully between the plants. The panels will change as the summer goes on, some plants will grow more/flower, change colour.The sun will create different shadows from the panels themselves and from surrounding foliage.
It has been challenging working on the woodworking for the display of the haikus. The early decision to use recycled wood and the choice I made..to use hardwood plywood that just happened to be flame retarded has meant multiple difficulties in my search to be a sustainable artist.
The flame retardant meant I could not use sustainable water based varnish. I used nutshell varnish on the supports and underneath but I now find that this will go black in the rain. This means it will have to be polyurethane for the display surface.
The flame retardant also meant I could not glue the board to the wooden support - and this meant screws..more dilemmas of choice. The solution was 2 discreet black slotted screws with the slots all facing the same way as the grain of the wood. And so it goes.
Placement in the garden will be this week ...
Meanwhile I have continued working on the sketchbook prints- this one inspired by the irises that have flowered and then gone.
And a second inspired by the shadows of the meadow plants on my sketchbook.
Having had a digital morning preparing the texts of the haikus for laser etching using Illustrator, I have spent the afternoon playing around digitally with the sketchbook prints - perhaps for future production as screen prints or to be printed out as digital prints. Colour at last!
Otherwise I'm becoming fainthearted...the actuality of producing the boards and the supports for the haikus is taxing my limited woodworking skills. As I try to be a sustainable artist I sourced the wood for these from the Bristol Woodstore - it has come as waste from building and demolition sites in the local area. Sourcing sustainable wood varnish (to protect it) is currently being researched by the Natural Paint Store.
The irises were amazing this week...in all stages of flower from tight bud to papery finish with all their sheen of life between. This was a very quick pen sketch of their liveliness and will need further development for a sketchbook print. The clumps of the white Iris Florentina in the garden are large and spectacular.
For the last month I have been writing haikus (a form of Japanese poetry of three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables, with a 'cut' - a change of direction). These have been drafted while I was at the Garden - and I'm still working on them. I am planning to laser etch them onto sustainably sourced plywood (waste from a building site in Ashton Gate) to be placed in the Garden for the summer - placed in the elements for a certain length of time and then removed, for people to see outdoors and not in an art gallery situation. I have experimented with this format before with a haiku, laser etched on plywood, that was placed outside in the winter - it lasted surprisingly well through two months of rain, frost and snow.
Draw grass with charcoal
burnt tree from winter fires -
marking its own time.