Tuesday, 18 February 2014
red handled skipping rope
My mind is haunted deliciously by the spectres of the three drawings still to be realised, mentioned in a previous post. Of them all, the envisioned drawing of the blue mittens is perhaps the most powerful, although it is as yet nebulous, and I must take care not to dwell upon it too closely, for fear of causing it to dissipate before my mind's eye. I find myself possessed of a newly forged inclination to draw, delightful to experience, as for years there has been an absence of such. Now, I feel a pleasurable anticipatory thrill whenever I encounter the presence of the three proposed drawings in my thoughts; a frisson of excitement familiar to me, that which presages the beginning of engagement with new works. I can even think of a working title to contextualise the drawings, although I shall not speak of this to anyone.
Years ago, my work was much concerned with childhood; specifically memories ofmy own childhood and of the games one plays in solitude. It would seem that I have made a return to these concerns, but this time informed by the poignancy of mid life, when one is very often consumed by self doubts, thus liable to question deeply one's own position in the world, and is, moreover, persistently alarmed by global events. The drawings that I hope I am about to embark upon address those concerns obliquely, their collective and individual titles conveying both the unmitigated pleasure to be found in the pursuit of the simplest pastimes of youth, and the ever present fear and dismay embedded in one's adult consciousness occasioned by current events and occurances.
With my new born intent a motivating force, I search online sources for a child's skipping rope, preferably one with wooden handles and a white rope. I am particular in that I require a vintage rope, one that has been used, and is still in usable condition. I find, however, only contemporary replicas of the skipping rope I once dreamed of owning, and so turn the task over to my partner, who is a gifted researcher, and who frequently unearths longed for treasures from times past. He is gloriously successful, and I am ecstatic, for he finds a once white rope, suspended between two rounded wooden handles, reminiscent of old fashioned ice cream cones, their red paint pleasingly worn to reveal the blonde wood beneath.
The arrival of the skipping rope is attended by much anticipation and pleasure. The parcel is duly unwrapped, and the red handled rope placed within the scope of my eye in the back bedroom, where I can look upon it each day, as I do my drawings, to familiarise myself with it, get to know it as an enchanting object. As with the future drawing of the blue mittens, I discover that the means by which I shall attempt to realise the drawing of the skipping rope comes readily to mind, affording me a point of departure, although I must be careful to allow the drawing to evolve in its own terms. A precious memory in part informs my vision of the drawing to be; the rasp of frosty air drawn swiftly into the lungs, the warming exertion of jumping to and fro the whirling rope, the electric thrumming of the blood and the repetitive thud of the rope and the soles of my shoes on the aged stone paths of my parent's garden, where, one hoar bound winter's morning, I returned to skip as an adult, recording my endeavour through the eye of the camera in order to recapture the ecstasy and life affirming rhythm of the solitary games of childhood.