The Red Wool

My personal practice continues to be preoccupied with internal journeys, and a term I found in Robert Macfarlane’s thought-provoking book ‘The Old Ways’:

The word Wittgenstein used for ‘thought’…

‘Denkbewegungen’ is a coinage that might be translated as ‘thought movements’, ‘thought ways’ or ‘paths of thought’: ideas that have been brought into being by means of motion along a path (weg).

I’m continuing to make long narrow books, which seem to me to depict these ideas. They always seem to turn out tied up in the same red wool, sent to me by a fellow Sketchbook Circler. I am fascinated by this wool and cannot say why it features so strongly in this body of work.

Yesterday I started making photographs of the wool itself. I am reminded of Magritte’s painting of a pipe entitled The Treachery of Images. This isn’t really a pipe, it’s only a representation. The images of the wool aren’t really the wool either, they are just images; but the wool has begun to take on a more loaded meaning, a subtext or meta message. It’s a representation of something that represents a whole raft of other ideas, if you follow me. It’s the continuous thread running through my life that represents the persistence of identity, my continuing personal narrative, the enduring trace throughout all the reframing, reinventing, rethinking, reconsidering. 

It’s not just a piece of wool.

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One thought on “The Red Wool

  1. Really enjoy reading about your thought processes and the way your work evolves! I too, love Robert MacFarlane’s writings – have just finished ‘Landmarks’ which is equally as absorbing as ‘The Old Ways’. The use of red wool that comes with so much meaning – that belies it’s form – reminds me of the work of Chiharu Shiota!

    Liked by 1 person

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