Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The valuable role of gecko poo

Quite the intriguing title I know!  It all began with some work I had printed some time ago (2015).  I had left the work out to dry overnight and returning a day or so later discovered it had been the perfect target for a gecko poo.

Of course. The challenges of living in a rural setting.

Despite being disturbed by it, I clearly paid little or no attention to it as I only re-discovered it recently when I was sending some work to a friend.  I was trying to choose the best set of three prints for her and had to remove this set from my considerations for obvious reasons.

I set it aside and thought I must do something with it.

I have been pondering how to bind clouds for quite some time, and thought this might be a nice little project to begin with - there was nothing to lose. To clarify - the work is  titled A Place Among the Clouds.

The remnant stain from the offending item.

So I set to work, recording the exact placement of said poo and thinking about how to remove it - by trimming the bottom? by trimming down both sides?

Given there were three sheets of paper to the work; how would trimming the sides make it look?  It was a funny old thing to get myself so thoughtful and involved in the small task of removing the stain.

As I was testing out how to go about it I layered the three sheets onto each other and was mesmerised by the the words softening and hiding and layering. Sigh. I spent quite a while with these lovely moments.

 From random placements I then tried to see what happened if I did a more formal grid plus diagonal.

 Also very lovely.

In the end the decision was to trim the bottom of the sheet.  I had assumed I would trim them all; but when I saw how the trimmed sheet sat upon the sheet underneath I realised I wanted to trim them to different lengths.

And then bind them at the top.  And the diffenret lengths along the bottom would be how you could ease your finger in to the delicate paper and lift it up.  And it occurred to me the this was the perfect position to bind, as the movement thought the three 'verses' was much more about clouds lifting and rising, and this action reflected the words.

Of course I needed a cover, and so I tested out some grey Magnani Pescia paper - velvety yet firm. And I think it is looking rather fine.

The next steps will involve scoring the front cover to make sure it will fold and bend at the right spot and then binding them together. But before that I also want to work out how to have some imagery on the cover. So a nice progression thus far and a few more steps to go.

I have been rather comforted by how deeply I got into artistic making again after having been making so much product for the Gallery Shop. A rather joyful re-discovery.  All because of some gecko poo which made me think of something as less than precious and gave me permission to play and explore and wonder...

And as I was packing away, I came across this very old collagraph print (2006) and rather than toss it into the bin, I have kept it out.  For some reason, it said something to me.  I am not sure exactly what yet  but it is sitting alongside the work in companionable silence, and will let me know, all in good time.


  1. oh this new book is a beauty, funny how it goes!

    1. Funny how it goes indeed Mo - from gecko poo good things emerge...go well.

  2. the collagraph speaks of new-moonrise ... and I love the layerings of cloud words, most especially the first two angled versions

    1. Ahh the moonrise Liz! The layering has been great fun and the angled tangents are something I want to play with more. Thanks for the moon, go well.

  3. This is such a wonderful example of the mystery of creativity. I have read it over and over. Thanks Fiona.

    1. Thanks so much Dana! Isn't creativity just magical? How we only start because one thing; then head on over and discover all these other moments along the way. Just love it! Go well.


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