'Trust the Tale'
I became inspired to learn more about the life of D.H.Lawrence after visiting the Birthplace Museum at Eastwood in Nottingham. They had a tin bath hanging on the wall outside, which reminded me of the one we had until the mid-1960s. Like D.H.Lawrence, I was born into a working-class family, lived in a terraced house and my mother came from a mining family. I was, however, startled to learn that the whole of the Lawrence family shared the bathwater in turn. The miner went first, followed by his wife and the five children in order of age, eldest first. I dread to think of the filthy water by the time they bathed the baby!
During my research into Lawrence's life for the exhibition of 'Trust the Tale', I discovered his letters in the Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham. After studying them, I was inspired to use the handwriting and present the words and phrases in graphic form.
The handwriting was made symetrical and reproduced as accurately as possible, whether the words were legible or not.I was fascinated by the amount of abstract symbols that could be generated in this way. It is tempting to make a connection between the symbols or signs as being figures, animals, insects, angels or aliens. As in the Rorschach inkblot test, we make of these shapes what we will.
A series of 2D pictures and inkjet fabric prints has been the outcome of the work. White and black polyester fibre has been used to create the pictures as the representation of ink on paper. Found, historic fabric designs and Nottingham lace are the backgrounds for the digital prints.
Lawrence was a visual artist as well as a writer. Although the original words in the letters were written 100 years ago they look contemporary when presented in this new form. It is tantalising to think that if he had taken a mirror to his own handwriting, he could have produced the same images.
See more of the work on; www.trustthetale.co.uk