My friend and fellow artist Matthew Best found this cool program in Connecticut that offered 3 free isolation float tank sessions in exchange for a piece of art that will later be sold and the proceeds donated to charity. It sounded weird and fun, always one of my favorite combinations, and off we went. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, though I am also hard pressed to describe it, just like I was hard pressed to understand what I was supposed to be getting out of it creatively. Was I supposed to have visions while in the tank? Get my next big idea?
No, it turned out to be more subtle than that. Firstly, three sessions wasn’t enough for me, I have gone back for 3 more because they were generally relaxing and restorative. Those are two things in short supply and the effects started to demonstrate themselves unexpectedly. When the program started it was in the middle of trying to get ready for this show and my focus was fairly limited, I had my materials, I knew what I was doing and just had to do it, but that is over now and for the first time in awhile those things can shift into something else.
My mind was quiet and I remembered there might be some red flocked paper shoved in the back of the closet 10 years ago, so off I went climbing over a mountain of crap and tumbling into the back recesses where not only was the red paper found but also 2 rolls of gold. SCORE. The atlases JD’s mom sent me ages ago started talking to me too, and from there it all started to come together. The materials dictated themselves, gold as the base because it isn’t good paper for cutting, maps in the middle because it is, and flocked paper on top because of the texture. Easy. Next was the design, the experience and the materials called out for a radiating pattern, and thoughts of meditation, focus, and flow were in the back of my mind. Nothing literal, no anxiety over ideas or results, and even when the paper tore here and there (something that usually sends me into swearing fits) I was unruffled.
This is what happened.
I like it, and will probably make a bunch more, but that shiny paper is a total pain in the ass to photograph.