Initial studies and visual research as part of ‘The Warp and Weft of Memory’, a collaboration with artist Renee’ Turner. An online narrative archive exploring the wardrobe of Gisèle d’Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht, and the ways in which it reflects her life, work, and various histories through textiles and clothing. She was an extraordinary woman whose house in Amsterdam has become the Castrum Peregrini cultural playground. In this visual development work, I explore illustration approaches, based on the assumption that they may be used as stand-alone illustrations as well as background and possible navigation pointers. At this early stage of research, the main challenge was that the site structure and content was still not defined, so these images are more an attempt to capture the atmosphere and not necessarily adding extra information to text and photo narratives. The final project can be seen HERE.
This digital illustration is taken from Gisele’s wardrobe. It is a close up of her painting’s smock with a found stone laid on top of the cloth. She was a prolific and imaginative painter, her house is a treasure trove of found objects and artworks. My interest and inspiration are to try to capture what cannot be photographed, evoke an after image matching the ‘exterior reality with intimate reality’ (Bachelard, The poetics of space, 1958).
Concepts are drawers in which knowledge can be classified’. Bachelard’s description of the intimate spaces in our lives is fitting and magical. This image is an attempt to represent the textural quality of natural forms and fabric. Again, the exploration is in the reality the image may evoke rather than a linear narrative. As such, its aim is not to create a metaphor separated by the physical being is related to, but remains a fabricated image, and ‘owes its entire being to imagination’ (Bachelard, Poetics of space).
Study of a mineral showing the inner core of the stone. Original item found in Gisele’s studio.
The goat is inspired by one of the photos in Gisele’s large photographic archive. She stands in front of the animal raised on its back legs almost ready to butt heads with the artist. The photo is taken on one of her many trips abroad. Gisele is visibly thrilled by the chance encounter, and it evokes that child-like marvel at the world that is so fascinating in her persona. The quirky illustration of the silhouetted animal perched on top of the clothing becomes the logo of The Warp and Weft of Memory project.
Separating ordinary items from their surroundings and simplifying forms.
‘Inside a casket, a parlour of insects’.(Bachelard)
The textiles and clothing are a fragile ecosystem, ‘subject objects (…) like us, through us and for us, they have a quality of intimacy’. These illustrations are inspired by Gisele’s fading butterfly collection, moth ridden and most of it slowly becoming dust.
‘Its is not the intelligence that is a filing cabinet. The filing cabinet is an intelligence’. (Bachelard)
This is a further study, simplifying forms, combining separate objects from Gisele’s house, experimenting with a grid that can become in itself an illustration, and an intuitive navigation system.