Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Jeffree Skewes - Silk on the Road - Introduction

Dear Reader.

Silk on the Road is an unfolding project I have been developing in various forms such as paintings, poetry and essays. More recently I am moved to committing this series of artworks and writing towards a future published book of some sort.

Silk on the Road embodies my idea of an allegorical journey that takes place during an inexact time across imagined lands of the fabled Silk Road emerging from a kind of personal dream-time of memories, creativity and spiritual awakenings.

This perhaps well-worn road concept poses metaphorically as the big picture of the 'journey of life.' Here, Silk on the Road delves into unfolding stories as if experienced on a journey. In this way, personal events can be seen taking place on some allegorical mountain, desert, sea or mystical land that can be universally interpreted and understood. I find this vehicle of poetic writing combined with images serves as very effective base to develop a personal, narative supported by and imbued with my own artwork images.

Inter-lapping these narratives of fictional discovery and adventure inevitably throws up persistent questions, challenges and a constantly renewing awareness that the journey, its experiences and its revelations seem suited to this chosen 'road' metaphor.

Image: Silk on the Road – drawing.4 (detail) / silk ribbon, silk painting, ink on rice paper on interfacing / jeffree skewes

As an artist I have drawn on these types ideas and events over years to inspire my own art and aesthetics with that notion of 'life is a journey' often serving as comfort and a personal touchstone and remedy when faced with not just life's obstacles but also reaffirming those reoccurring and enriching entries into to the worlds of aesthetics, adversity, mystery as well all the satisfying things that come with art making.

On this blog of my 2016 contributions for Project 365+1, I have republished and collated the thirty one in all,  daily contributions for ease of locating them and providing a more coherent amalgam of all the written and visual material I fleshed out to reflect what is now effectively a final draft for Silk on the Road.

Concurrent to my work on Project 365+1 was also a mini art exhibition of the same name I staged in Chutespace, a mini-contemporary art gallery in Canberra. http://www.m16artspace.com.au/chutespace/

Below are the 31 poems and their accompanying artworks I produced and compiled during August 2016 republished here without editing or layout changes as they appear on Blog 365+1 other than attending to a few glaring typos.

In the very near future, I hope to satisfactorily re-edit all this material, having them proof-read and adjusted where required in order to develop the body of work as a refined edition of Silk on the Road.

As luck may have organised it, I have since joined another variation of Project 365+1 called Project 52 - designed for participation during 2017, in which I and other poets, writers and artist will work on a piece for a whole week (hence '52' - ie posting one/per week for a whole year). Currently, I'm really looking forward to the new Project 52 and will continue updating and sharing some of the processes and the progress of my Silk on the Road....

I hope you enjoy this version of Silk on the Road suite as a kind of final work-in-progress, with one more step towards publication.

thanks for listening......

JS December 2106

'About' Note from the Project 365+1 Blog 

Project 356+1 is a poem-centric collaboration of artists and writers taking place daily throughout 2016.
365+1 encourages the everyday business of artmaking for those who work – however they work – with word and image. Some people will post only pictures, some people will post only poems or short prose pieces. Some people will alternate among the various forms of their practice. And some may evolve new practices over the course of the year.

There are no set topics or themes for the project but participants add a short draft work daily so that the possibility is always there for response and for a conversation in the work. The project will be blogged daily on the wonderbook and, from there, republished to other social media, for instance facebook.
Christopher (Kit ) Kelen 365+1 convenor and well known Australian poet, scholar
and visual artist, and Professor of English at the University of Macau


Jeffree Skewes


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