Failing to find The Quiet Earth
Over Easter my car decides to give up the ghost - abandoning it’s clutch on the hard shoulder and leaving me immobile for most of the break. It’s a prime opportunity to get my journal up-to date, but also to see the world from a different angle on countless daily walks to catch the train into Bristol. I’ve explored Newport a couple of times in search of photographic subjects, but on these walks home in the dusk I am incredibly frustrated that I don’t have my camera (which I unwittingly left in the car on the day of it’s demise and need to reclaim from the garage). The town’s downbeat 70’s brutalist new-town architecture feels like the perfect starting point for The Quiet Earth - lonely, quiet and anonymous.
Returning after the break I launch straight 2nd May – Portway/Tobacco in with two black slab prints from my photography around the Tobacco Factory and Plimsoll bridge. The day is beset by technical problems due to a batch of bad emulsion that renders the inks far too sticky for my high-mesh screen. It’s a frustrating day and I barely eke out a single satisfactory print of either image. On reflection neither image feels quite right, even putting technical issues aside. I come back to the sense - as with earlier prints – that if the screen printing process isn’t transformative in some way, if it performs a simply replicative task, then the final print will not make the leap I desire into being a successful piece – a reflection of The Quiet Earth.