Having cut, shaped and set in place the seemingly monochrome mahogany numerals which make up 'Number 5 Surrounded by his Associates', I remained fascinated in the potential of the elegant nature of the wood grain used in making that work.
This fascination was further expressed in an interesting exercise in seeing how a line photographic process would interpret these individual numbers, given that there is so little tonal difference between the figures and their background. Line plate photographs were taken, involving some degree of chance as to how each exposure would define the variations in the very slight contrasts between figure and ground, varnish quality and light source.
The resulting nine images show a mixture of positive and negative figures, sometimes isolating the numeral from its background, sometimes giving it equal emphasis. This interpretation of the wood grain gives each image a sense of transience, its unsure definition being quite dependent on its surroundings.
In this series the images relate not so much to their original associated numbers but more to the individual textures from which they emerge. The central number '5' has been treated a little differently by way of acting as an anchor, as in the parent work.
In these prints, the uniform quality of each numeral has been transposed from the original wood to the surface of a sheet of dense Fabriano handmade paper, which was, itself, blind embossed in an attempt to emphasise each image. This same process has been used to reunite the serial elements on each sheet of paper,
i.e. 1 - 9, indicating the number series to which each individual print refers.
The order, 7,6,2,4,5,1,9,3,8 was determined purely on visual grounds, the single unit below the printed image indicating the number of the series, of which there are nine editions plus the artist's proofs, identified as '0'. In all there are ninety individual prints.
In this example of the work, the images are of series 5.
Previous sales of this artwork seem to indicate that a series of nine framed prints sit particularly well in Accountant's offices; is it that they add a little spirituality to their daily activity?
Screen-ink on handmade Fabriano paper with embossed figures.