Japanese Memories

Learning how paper is made before I have a go.
I spent a few days recovering from a cold and this morning decided it was time to sort through the back reaches of one of my many cupboards. Always fatal. I found my old file with photographs and paused with the thought that 25 years ago today I was in a small village called Kurotani (Black Valley) making paper in Japan. The award was with the Japan Foundation Fellowship and followed on from a Winston Churchill Fellowship Awarded three years previously.

I attach a few images here and on reflection, can see the lasting influence the awards have had on my life, work and art. Paper and textile have always remained interchangeable in my work. As winter approaches, and I look at the changing landscape through my windows and windows of the places I work (and as I travel by train and bus) I think back not only on the views through Shoji,,the paper windows of Japan to the most fabulous small garden, but also to the divisions between inside/outside, the domestic and exterior spaces. There is potential for new works as Urban/Nature progresses through the Autumn.

Most of the images here (other than most recent work at bottom) have been taken with an old Pentax Camera which I have used since I studied at Art Collage in the early eighties. I printed the black and white images in a small cupboard at home the old fashioned way. Makes me realise how much  we take for granted now with quick digital uploads. Loose some of the thrill of the wait and remembering.

Drawing of papermaking and older makers checking paper sheets for dyeing.

 Drying paper on boards in the sun.

Shoji (paper windpws) Emperor's room.
Food packaging on the right.
                                          Inari (Fox) Shrine

           Omikuji, Fortune papers at a Shinto Shrine  Pasted papers at a small restaurant

Fenland (Recent folding book piece)

Slate, Leaf, Paper.


Lin said…
Lovely memories and beautiful pieces of work.
RosieK said…
Such a wonderful way to find the influences from way back -I still love film and being in the darkroom coaxing the image to life -the process has such a different feel and the resulting work is more precious
layers said…
I know what you mean about old photos triggering so many memories.. what a wonderful experience you had with papermaking in Japan.. I have been 2 times to Kyoto.. mainly to see the temples and go to 2 gigantic flea markets.. and when I see any photos of Japan my memories are flooded too.
layers said…
Sounds like you had a wonderful experience in Japan all those years ago.. memories come with looking at old photos.. I have been to Japan 2 times, mainly to see the temples and go to 2 gigantic flea markets.
layers said…
oops, I see that I am leaving too many comments.. I thought my first one did not go through.. sorry about that!
Cas Holmes said…
Thank you for going down memory lane with me..really can be too many comments about Japan.

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