The Quay

Acrylic and oil paint on canvas. Painted September 2002

I made these sketches to explore organic shapes and colours. I also wanted to see if I could explode/echo/repeat motifs across several paintings, to create a logical transition with a suggestion of language and rhythm.

MA Proposal Draft One by P. Bright

Organic & Synthetic

October 2002

Recently I have been creating images with PVC packaging tape. There are several colours of tape available, ranging from common brown to vivid reds and blues. These tapes are transparent and can be used in layers like watercolour paint or lithographic printing. Using tape is a very quick and physical way to create images. The “plasticness” of the material has a unique quality and is ideal for creating images that are bold, strong, colourful and contemporary. Each layer adds depth and intensity to the colour underneath and like lithography new colours are created as each transparent layer is added.

The “plasticness” of commercial vinyl tapes, their tactile and glossy qualities make them vibrant and alive; when juxtaposed against natural materials or organic colours they become a contradiction, a complement, more intense and more synthetic.

I would like to continue to explore this medium, to exploit its inherent qualities and experiment further with the organic and synthetic idea.

There are other ways vinyl tape can be used. In a commercial context, the majority of today's signage and graphic displays are created using a colour fast, high adhesive vinyl tape. There are thousands of different colours, tones, densities and thicknesses. There are hundreds of specialised tapes: pearlescent, opaque, iridescent etc. It is possible to use a computer to cut sheets of vinyl into shapes and symbols; using this process gives me the opportunity to use a clean cut hard edged 'mark', to add another dimension to the visual language I wish to explore.

Using a computer to cut shapes

It is possible to scan images into a computer and to cut them out using a programme such as ‘Signlab’. This means a library of shapes/motifs/brush strokes/images can be created and used repeatedly on pieces of work in different sizes and colours. This process fits nicely into my proposal. These possibilities are perhaps more easily illustrated by looking at Robert Rauschenberg’s use of the screen print in his paintings during the 1960’s. He used photographic images linked with pure simple brush strokes, patches of colour and lines.  Unlike Warhol, Rauschenberg did not use the screen print as a method of creating repeated patterns but to juxtapose images of different unlinked themes, to create a new narrative. The advantage I have (40 years later) is that each image (mark) I create within the computer can be reproduced in different sizes, distorted, reversed etc. Rauschenberg ‘et al’ had to make a new screen for every image.