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frottage 1998-2023

burnished surface series 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 and the rub.

With this frottage technique I refer to a tradition among the miners in the Fife region of Scotland. After each shift, the men were pulled out of the "pit" covered in coal dust. When they returned home, their wives or children would wash them in a tin bath, but without washing their spine. Instead, they used the Venus mount of their hands to buff and polish the carbon powder into their skin. Eventually it became permanent. They believed that this strengthened their backs. White Shirts, Black Jackets, Roman Catholic Sunday Best Clothes covering black paintings.

burnished surface series

1 | 2 | 3 and the rub i-iv

64 frotage frottage each of 30x30 cm. 

graphite on paper

graphite on charcoal

charcoal on paper

charcoal on charcoal

In series 2 I introduced oil and began to move the paper out of registration to add a blurred, indistinct surface confusion.

burnished surface series 4

Using gesso as paint, I make a template that hardens to become the plate. I adopt repetition and limit my materials to charcoal and oil, rubbing, polishing, and burnishing them into the surface with the Venus mount of my hand. Each piece is made in the same way, but many variations such as rhythm, pressure, speed of my movement, and how I use the materials dictate the result.

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