Simone Asia’s Residency – Week 4 Blog Post

Simone Asia, current artist in Fresh Milk’s 2015 ‘My Time’ Local Residency programme, shares her fourth and final blog post. This week Simone drew on experiences she has garnered throughout the residency, giving them an ethereal perspective based on the elements and their symbolism. Continuing to experiment with colour, materials and techniques has been critical to her time here, and led to artistic discovery and growth. Read more below:

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This was the final week of the residency, and overall I think I have benefited from this experience.

I did not go ahead with a wall drawing this time around. However, I experimented with shapes that I cut out to use as minimal collages. I wanted to explore the theme of elements that affected me either positively or negatively while I was here on site. These elements were water, earth and wind.

My thought process was initiated by the element of water. It affected my life by damaging most of my devices, while the rain affected my mood and joints. On a positive note, my experience at Fresh Milk led me to be more connected to nature (the element of earth) which is my elemental sign. I appreciated my natural environment more which made me feel calm and collected. The third was the element of air. The wind played games with me. Some days I would feel its lack of presence while other days its presence was overwhelming, knocking down all of my work on the wall which became very frustrating when I wanted to focus.

In order to express these elements, I referenced the platonic solids: the icosahedron, the cube and the octahedron, which represent the elements water, earth and wind respectively. I wondered if I should have used the element of fire – the tetrahedron – because I was affected a bit by fire later in the week. It is the dry season now and many fires happen. The presence of smoke affects my sinuses a lot and I was having issues all week. The pyromaniacs come out around this year, they use the sun as an excuse to burn the cane trash and bushy areas, but ironically most fires happen at night. Maybe I should have introduced the element of fire in my drawings… I feel perplexed. I always stress over small things.

I tried creating on vellum for the first time and found out it is a very tricky surface to use. Pigment liners, ink and vellum do not have a solid and stable marriage. The vellum does not allow any type of ink to dry onto its surface, so many times my hand would smudge the lines I made. I tried to avoid touching the parts I drew and I went as far as leaving it overnight so it would dry. The next day the marks and lines I made literally melted on the vellum – it was bizarre. I did not like it at first because I like to control the things I create, but afterwards I grew fond of the melted marks and smudges. It worked well with the drawing, giving a nice contrast where the water sign lay. It suited it more than what I had originally done. I did other abstract drawings utilizing the symbols, and I liked them a lot. I grew very fond of this work I made here in the studio. I think I am becoming more comfortable with using colour.

To my surprise, I saw Bambee this week. We stared at each other for a while as she lay in the dirt. I stood beyond the electric line, not getting too close. I had not seen her in a while. I think I saw some sadness in her eyes; maybe she will miss me. Maybe I am just delusional. This is a cow who does not share these thoughts. Oh well…

Overall I think my four weeks at the farm were productive. I enjoyed meeting all the international resident artists and other local visitors. I enjoyed the conversations with the Fresh Milk members and volunteers. My experimentation with colour and collage is a start to a new segment of my artistic journey.

I am happy with my progress. I want to thank Annalee Davis and the entire Fresh Milk team for the opportunity.

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