Work in Progress

The aim of the page is to keep viewers in touch with my latest studio work.  This is not completed work but rather an indication of the ideas I am exploring at the moment.  Comments, questions and feedback are welcome. Copyright Rachael Polson 2012

Tuesday 12 may 2012

“I draw – but only when I have already made it in 3 dimensions”




Monday 11 May 2012: Things vs Stuff and the Christchurch Earthquake

On Thursday last week I spent the day in Christchurch seeing the demolition process through the eyes of the camera lens and examining the materials (stuff) which have come from the destroyed buildings (things).  If these are regarded for their formal properties, rather than their meaning or function, they can be strangely beautiful and fascinating.  Twisted iron and steel become lines, shapes and textures.  Demolition machines and safety cones add a dash of colour to the otherwise  grey stone and rubble. Support masonry and bulldozers provide compositional value.

March 22, 2012: More Camera Paintings (click on image for enlargement)

March 15, 2012 : Camera Paintings

Below are some ‘camera paintings’ taken from a painting I started at the beginning of 4th year at art school.   There has been a intense process of editing out the initial duds and working out which technique and action brings forth the most rewarding images.  I have spent most of today looking closely at each image deciding which ones make the cut for further exploration. This in itself is an interesting process where the points of choice become clearer.  That is,  what makes one composition work?, what engages ones’ interest?, what is it that makes it seem engaging or beautiful vs which ones just look blurry or lack structure formally.

These image will be starting points for some paintings. I intend to approach each painting patiently and with a lean amount of paint;  try to rein in some of my more impulsive habits; save the gestural brush mark for when it is really needed –  Just  to push myself into actions and approaches that I haven’t used for a while. Dry pastel will also be used.

February 22, 2012: Rebuild Project

Today is the one year anniversary of the February Canterbury Earthquake.  So it seems fitting to be working on this project today and listening to the coverage on the radio and stopping every now and then to watch the memorial service on the TV.  The reading out of the 185 names of those who died was very very sad indeed.

This is a project I have been mulling over for about a year now.  The aim is to respond to the earthquake in Christchurch through a series of architectural models.  I am making models of buildings which had been “red stickered” or which are most meaningful to people I know. Then I am using photography as a way to look closely at these models.  I don’t plan for the models to be perfect as I am not an architect.   But rather it is a starting point for an exploration of the sense of loss, memory and nostalgia for these places.  I have started with St Paul’s Church which has been so damaged here in Timaru that it can no longer be used and I expect will have to come down.

I am ready for the project to morph into other forms; I can see already that scaffolding and that ‘language’ would be appropriate;  to perhaps build around the models and then to separate the forms. I would also like to explore the possibilities that plywood, architecture paper, painting and even thread could bring to this.

I have been researching the buildings and using Google earth for details (the pre earthquake structures and street are still on there) and printing images.  It’s amazing how you can zoom in and along streets and look at buildings that are no longer there or badly damaged. There is a good amount of model making information on Youtube as well.

I have started asking people I know to tell me their most important building in Christchurch or somewhere else in Canterbury. Buildings so far include the Arts Centre, Provincial Chambers, Catholic Basilica, Anglican Cathedral, Jonathan Smart Gallery High Street, wooden villas around the Arts Centre. If you want to tell me yours please let me know.

1 Response to Work in Progress

  1. Pingback: Things to Stuff: the Christchurch Earthquake « Tend…tender…tenderly

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