Transit Cube

Transit Cube

Another little project I am letting tick along concurrently with my Major Project, began during research towards my Independent Project: I came across the artist Walead Beshty and his FedEx boxes, that receive random patina from knocks and scuffs during their transits. During the lock down so much of the things we need have to be ordered by mail delivery, and I had also been listening to a CD I bought featuring the book 'I send you this Cadmium Red', about the correspondence between artists John Berger and John Cale. My father who is 82, and I have now not seen each other in over eighteen months agreed to collaborate. Hopefully this would bring us closer in some way. My idea is to make and then respond to or derelict the box, send it to him, let him respond to that, contribute or interrupt my responses/ derelictions and send it back to me.

My first main response came from my father's participation in the Grayson Perry lockdown art competition, my father is working on the theme of family and his painting features the board game Scrabble, one of our favorites. So using stencils I painted six letters OELPVH one on each of the sides of the box. The intention is that the letters spell: LOVE, HOPE, HELP. I realised afterwards there are a few other unintentional words; LOPE, POLE, VOLE AND HOLE, but never mind. My father responded continuing with an early theme by painting animals that begin with each letter, Octopus, Egg, Lion, Pig, Vulture and Hedgehog.

Now I will up the game along the lines of Barthesian philosophic theory and adapt these with learnt signs, symbols and their signifiers:

Lion = in cage as most of us see them 'locked down'

Octopus = 'organise' - mindmap (as used in proff skills and MJ) based on eight alternative outcomes post covid

Vulture = 'virus' has similar qualities

Egg = fragile like the 'environment' needs careful/ thoughtful treatment

Hedgehog = spikes like 'hypodermic' a possible way out through jabs

Pig = lucky in Chinese horoscope stay 'positive'

If nothing else the Transit Cube is informing my practice, it has helped me consider how to introduce signs and symbols into my work. But most significantly this week it encouraged me to cut the first successful stencils with my vinyl plotter that has been lying dormant because of software complications since October!

I need to weed the vinyl and apply stencils to box - if the details on any of the graphics are unclear then I will clean screens and set up for exposing - check emulsion etc - I will probably print on tissue paper.

Transit cube is ready for its next shipment to Cambridge, in time for my father's 83rd birthday !

Moving on from the early learning theme to more topical signs and signifiers.

Transit Cube returned to me and has taken on a more political theme; my fathers perspective is pretty much the opposite of mine.

Each side of the cube has become a state or union embroiled with its own arguments and propaganda.

My father made and printed out some controversial stickers which I replied to with the photo transfer technique using re-appropriated material that was relevant to my dissertation.

The countries represented are: United Kingdom, USA, EU, France, China and Russia.

The cube is quite a dialogue now.

This project has had to be cut short as my father has been taken ill and is currently in hospital.