Liquitex Big Walls & Windows

This was a residency I did at ColArt through the end of 2019. The show of the final work was in the public-facing Window Galleries at the main entrance to Central Saint Martins through January and February 2020, just before COVID first hit the UK. You can read more about it here and here. I had already been doing similar work for months at the time: using ink on A5 paper to make affirmations and putting them up in public, in Hackney. This time I was filling two 3x13m window displays, so I scaled up two of the A5 versions using a projector. I traced an outline onto the canvas and then I laid that canvas material flat to pour black acrylic into the outlines. The materials were supplied by Liquitex, so I used their acrylic with their pouring medium to create an ink-like effect which matched the A5 versions. Once the paint had dried: I suspended the canvas in layers, in front of kraft paper. The reason for that is I was rolling with a miscommunication from my sketch, which is the last image below. The sketch was on kraft paper, with a painterly illustration of the walls and then what was originally planned to be the entire work I had done on separate paper: cut out and stuck on top to illustrate the idea of the canvases being suspended away from the wall. I ended up including all those aspects as part of the final work. I did have to change the dimensions to account for spreading the canvas into multiple layers, which meant making the text areas much thinner. That in turn meant I had to use longer phrases. The sketch was to scale and, as you can see, it was originally going to have much greater height.

But things like those changes I made along the way, the many ripples where I stapled the canvas to the frame, or the leaky text? They're what the work is all about. It's about embracing imperfection. My motto in life is "there's never going to be a perfect time, so get stuck in with what I've got." It applies especially to things like starting a business, but it fits in every aspect of life. Perfection doesn't exist. The best anyone can do is commit to growth and improvement. I love myself knowing I live that commitment, regardless of how far away I am from where I would like to be at any given moment. That's rather than pretending to be perfect and, in turn, refusing to grow.