From Fine Art Wiki


What is it?

The Grid is a piece of writing that I was commissioned to produce for a publication [anymore info about the format of the publication? Simple things like whether it's just you, or if it's online?*] facilitated by Molly Richards, which will be published later this year. It is separated into 6 sections each with their own title: grid; wave; need; knowledge; plan and set. [are these 6 sections broken down into a further 3 sets? They seem to relate to structure, some human experience and organisation...] The texts stemmed from several conversations we had surrounding our personal lives and the way in which relationships are often conducted, or at least initiated, online. Each section follows a line of logic around several main subjects that have arisen in conversations I have had with Molly, regarding the strange sense of community online dating apps produce, the expectations that we had and the experience we faced on confrontation with the expectation of others. The grid is a way of viewing the lines of formulation the swiping, left or right or flat and horizontal mode of reading people’s renditions of themselves online; the point of decision, which is to leave your house and go to meet your idea of this person; and to reach the vertical line, which is the plain of activity, on which you react to each other away in real time (real life dates).[I see now] The text sways between the poetic and the abstractly descriptive and weighs heavy on the personal narrative, using the pronouns ‘I’ and ‘you’ to void the work of gender, although the voice is clearly an emotional and analytical one.[What is the significance of a poetic voice combined with analysis for you?]


When I was asked to write a text for the publication, Molly was very vague on what she wanted. She said she had read enough of my work online to get a sense of my style of writing and therefore felt comfortable (trusted) me enough to produce something that she could begin building the publication around [*]. With very little instruction of what she actually wanted, I spent a week trying to piece together various models of writing that might allow me to intimate, but more direct in overview. I took a lot of reference from Chelsea Minnis’s ‘Zirconia’ and Denise Riley’s collection of poems ‘Say it Back’. [Can you say a bit more about how you relate to these authors/their works?] Once I had written several straightforward accounts and diagrammatic formulas of what I wanted to say, I was able to formulate the metaphor I wanted, (the grid) for what I wanted to express. I then built a set of constraints, (The key points of interest) which were bulleted and then built into the structure of each paragraph. It took about four weeks in total to tweak it to a point I was happy with.


I had been asked to write about something I wasn’t initially comfortable with, as I felt quite exposed in regards to my own emotional experiences and previous behaviors. I had just moved to Rotterdam and was feeling quite overwhelmed with where to begin in regards to making new work. Because of this, I felt it was important to challenge why I felt so uncomfortable and to try and find a mode that worked for me. Making this work was also a way for me to try and get a stronger, more feminine voice in my work. [How is the feminine voice represented for you?]

Can you describe how it relates to a previous work you have made?

The work I had been making previously was heavily research based and often focused upon the endeavors of older men. The Grid was very different to any other works I had produced. I tried to be as honest as possible within it by refusing to frame the work in fictional character narratives, something I had done in several previous texts, including the publication ‘How Slowly Glue Dries’. I had [become ?] very comfortable with the mode of address that I wrote the publication in and as a result had also applied to another text ‘The micronational Type’. I didn’t want to do this with the Grid and so I knew that if I felt uncomfortable, I was moving away from my established style of writing and towards and fresher and more exciting written voice. [has this also ever been a spoken voice for you? (perhaps in the reading event?) - and if so how did that feel in relation to the written voice]

What scene/context produced this?

A good friend and previous collaborator, Daisy Lafarge had recently sent me a text she had, had published about a week together in the summer and the conversations we had, called ‘The Dredging of the Bateau Lake’. I had been thinking about it a lot and the way it was able to be both reflectively raw, maintain a rhythmic intensity and how the nature in which she writes is both macro and micro at once. I had this in mind when I wrote ‘The Grid’, and I find it impossible not to hold my work in the context of hers when I read it.

Can you place the work in a broader or contemporary context?

In regards to the subject matter, it sits slightly outside the context of my own practice and more in relation to contemporary, millennial subject matter. I am also aware that I would acknowledge myself as an artist and, timidly, as a writer second. When I look at this, in the context of my own practice it is an artwork, but I can also see it in the arena of prose. I am aware that there is resentment in the writing world towards artists who present themselves as poets or writers, but that I am also an artist who has been asked to be a writer and contributor by other writers. Whether or not they see this work as an art work or as piece of prose on it’s own, is unclear, but I am aware that within the context of the publication, I am the only artist who has been approached, and therefore the context of my background is subject to scrutiny from whoever takes the time to read it with my professional sector in mind. [in which way do you think this can become an issue - for me as a reader of your work?]



It’s a 20 second, hand drawn, stop motion animation which currently has sound…which I will probably remove, as I’m not sure about it. (It’s too rock and roll and therefore to slick and cool). The animations show two oscillating, slanted rectangles that contain images of a pull through trap (a piece of plumbing pipe) and Brancusi’s ‘The Kiss’.[is this in the background? What is in the background? Is it all drawn? Or is some printed/cutout?] The images don’t move in a wildly energetic way, but quiver and bulge. The drawn line is very visibly faulty and gritty, but gives the work some dynamic.


I took some tracing paper and built upon some initial drawings I had done whilst writing a text for the Dexter sinister workshop last week. There are only ten slides but the film loops several times.

Why? My mum sent me a pencil in the post with a note saying, “ this is the best pencil, but it cost £6 so don’t waste it”. I wanted to make some physical works, or works that have a more physical quality and I also wanted to be more intuitive and direct, which this has been. Also because it ties in very nicely with a bigger project I am trying to find a way to resolve.

In relation to the past work mentioned, how is it similar?

They are both trying to retain honesty, and my hand is present in both- in The Grid, it’s the voice and in the animation it’s the drawn line and the marks that are made. Similarly to the text, I felt out of my comfort zone when making the animation and set myself rules to help in the decision of planning and it acted as a device for order and organization. The paper is very important. [can you describe some of these rules?]

In relation to the past work mentioned, how is it different?

Where the point of digitalization occurs is very different. When writing, it is easiest for me on a computer, then when I print it out and see it on the page, that is where the ‘oomph’ and excitement happens. With the animation, I was uncertain about the work the whole time I was drawing, but when I saw it on the screen, that’s when my confidence in it kicked in.

Who can help you and how?

Chatting to someone who has more knowledge and technical skill in animation would be very helpful…of someone who really understands after effects. I could also do with showing it to more people- I only finished it last night and it’s still very rough.


What could this be? It could be a film that is animated to some degree. I want to spend a bit more time figuring out how to hone the animation stuff I have been working on, but it needs to employ the abstract more. It would be in relation to, or including a series of texts that I am currently trying to boil down to three sentences and a punch line. These all employ the abstract in regards to being elusive in content matter, and I want the visuals to reflect that. I also want there to be more small models of potential spaces involved. More sculptural elements. Maybe this would be a way of presenting the film.

What makes this necessary?

I’m trying to make more. At the moment, criticality is the contraceptive to my making, and i feel this is causing problems in my practice, because I really desire to make things of a tactile nature and spend slightly less time at the computer. I think this will help me be more open in my strategies of approaching my research, creating, managing, and executing. I’m trying to hold back less, when I feel strongly about making alongside writing.

Collette Rayner