“I am September Morning (image, below) and the artist who created me, doesn’t like me talking about myself and my fellow photos from his eighteen-month long project Formshire. His favourite quotation is Edward Hopper’s statement, “If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.”
Of course, I do not have a voice, nor the wherewithal to wield a pen or tap a keyboard. Yet, here I am communicating in words. How odd. He becomes animated when people speak of what they want their art to talk about, pointing out that art can’t talk, all we can do is hope to rouse.
The artist called me September Morning, as I made my first appearance on a gallery wall, at an exhibition, in September and he wanted to mark the event.
Owing to the gallery appearance I now exist in two forms. As an 24” x 18” print, I reside within a boundary of 3 ½ inch white mounting, which has a window-sill-like deep bevel and around us both, is a wooden white frame. I am embedded on Pruf lustre, the finest of paper, upon which I am very content to make public appearances, until perhaps, the day I try acrylic glass. In my other incarnation, as the Raw digital file, I reside in a desktop folder titled, Sun, (a reference to the weather, on the day I was created), where I do nothing for months on end.
I am the union of materials and light, assembled that sunny day, in a static caravan, which coupled as the artist’s residence and studio, in a shallow, rural Cornish valley; a location which the artist was deeply attached to. If I had the ability to reflect on matters that seem to concern humans, maybe I would feel as much affection for the place as he did, for without its influence, I would not be.
The space in the caravan was served by natural light, entering the room through two large windows. There he worked away for 15 months making us all. I am one of the youngest, made near the end.
He sometimes mentions to people that Buddhist monks used the caravan as a place of retreat, before he arrived. So, perhaps I am the product of Buddhist or meditative energy? Maybe, a little. The artist is not a Buddhist, by the way, but he always felt the place had a scared air to it, an inspiring something.
We were all made, photographed and dismantled in this space. My material parts in the form I am recorded existed fleetingly. I am a record of myself. He has spoken about how nebulous the line between a good composition and an ordinary one is. I was, the day I existed, one of the few to arrest the artist's attention, from the ninety-four of us that were exposed that day.
I am unable to say much more. The artist is currently fretting over the possibility that he’ll take years to understand me and the rest of the abstractions in Formshire. His theory is that our art, especially abstraction, is born and exists in the realm of intuition and wildness and that it fights an ongoing conflict with intellect and reason. These latter two keep thinking they have won when, like hunters with guns they shoot their words and conclusions at us and mount us, like a trophy on a wall or a plinth. We, however, always re-animate ourselves, sometimes quickly, sometimes after a longer while and jump down – gaze pityingly upon the artist, half admiring their attempt to petrify us in words, half contemptuous at their futile efforts, made over and over.
The caravan was demolished during the summer, 2017.
(The project Formshire is comprised of 34 Photographs, 30 Photographs and Visited With Gleams of the Sun)