Remarkable and Curious Conversations

Curated by Cally Trench

Linda Francis
Unintentional Traces

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Linda Francis wrote: As artists we 'leave our marks' deliberately, but I am interested in the unintentional traces that we leave behind. Do they tell a story? Do they leave clues to the personality of the artist? They may be the result of a repetitive action that we do not notice, or they may be the result of an accident that we have been unable to eradicate.

Maybe there are similarities in the marks we leave behind, maybe they are infinitely varied. We all have a presence but are not necessarily aware of the impact we make. Could discovering this impact, possibly even a tiny one, lead to a more deliberate 'presence' or mark marking?

Our presence is not a permanent one but the traces we leave behind may become more permanent. They become a puzzle or a mystery for future generations to unravel.

Some of us like to clean and tidy, neaten and renew. Replace the old style with the 'modern'. Over the years all but one of the windows in my house have been replaced in a variety of styles and the previous owner replaced all the walls and ceilings and sanded all the floors but she didn't quite manage to get rid of all traces of the previous occupants and those are the bits I try to retain because they add to the history and intrigue of the house.

PS Does everybody feel a need to leave a mark? I remember being told off by my parents for writing on the walls at home, I still wrote on the wall,

but in very tiny lettering in the hope it wouldn't be noticed. Writing my name was not a wise move.

Below is a selection of the Unintentional Traces photographs shown at Remarkable Place on 24th and 25th March 2012.

Unintentional Traces

Linda Francis , Purple streak (July 2011)

Origin - mysterious. The only purple object I can find is a small step ladder but there is no paint missing.

Unintentional Traces

Unintentional Traces

Tineke Bruijnzeels , Traces (2010)

I was struck by the variation of traces left in my coffee cup every morning. Same cup, same coffee, same amount, and yet the differences were amazing.

Unintentional Traces

Philip Lee , Probably Unintended Ball Marks
(December 2011)

There is some doubt as to their 'unintentionality' in all cases. My 12 year-old son Edward was responsible for them appearing on our hall wall over Christmas. He was throwing a ball for a border collie dog called Daisy, and I think he quite liked making them.

Unintentional Traces

Joan Skelton Smith , Off Cuts (May 2011)

When producing my cut out work I always feel strangely attached to the material that I remove and hesitate to throw it out. This image is composed of the cut out paper bits from the template for Mohammed Bouazizi. I collected the bits into a bowl and then just dumped them onto a sheet of white paper.

Unintentional Traces

Cally Trench , Pedal Bin Marks
(March 2011)

These marks were made on a wall in the bathroom by the lid of a pedal bin. The bin has now been replaced by a much smaller one, and so the way that the marks were made is no longer evident.

Unintentional Traces

Alison Carter Tai
Detail of an artist's linen smock
with oil paint marks, c.1920

As a dress historian, I have been investigating what artists wear, and have worn through the centuries. One fascinating area of study is that of analysing artists' smocks, where the garment was specifically adopted as a working overall in the early 20th century, and unintentionally bears the range of palette of that artist, recorded in finger smears and splashes, and perhaps even the odd wiping down of a brush.

Unintentional Traces

Alison Carter Tai
Plastic garden table

Here's the plastic garden table with unusual patterning caused by algae or snail or some such (jury still out). Some leaves for perspective. I have half a dozen images of various of these pattern formations.

Unintentional Traces

Lis Mann, Clay

A piece of clay was handled on a daily basis, imprinting my fingers from a few days after the project was launched till the clay eventually went hard and began to disintegrate at the beginning of this year. Even though it was being constantly worked it retained the memory of every time it was handled.

Linda Francis
Tineke Bruijnzeels
Philip Lee
Joan Skelton Smith
Cally Trench
Lis Mann
Alison Carter Tai

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