The Jam Factory presents a new series of drawings by Mirren Kessling. Earlier this year, Mirren showed an environmentally themed film “Cryosphere” at the Museum for the History of Science in Oxford. Combining blocks of ice which slowly melted above her head suggestive of Chinese water torture techniques she created an evocative performance about the consequences of climate change to our biological systems as glaciers and ice sheets recede. The piece was influenced by a photographic assignment to Iceland in which she photographed the Mýrdalsjökull glacier.
The flow of ice as it thaws became the starting point for this new series of drawings at the Jam Factory. Pigments frozen into blocks of ice are laid out on thick watercolour paper to melt in the sun. Colours and marks evolve organically through freezing, thawing and evaporation from tiny pin-pricks of colour into sumptuous swaths. This slow process of mark-marking by ‘Autogenetic painting’ with ice and pigment is then layered with fast, spontaneous monoprinted images referencing maps and buildings around Oxford.
Mirren, who draws obsessively has consciously experimented with the level of control she has in her work, by Monoprinting she has removed herself from the intense labour of drawn detail to examine the process driven method of printing. Her prints vary from small note-book sized images to large pieces that involved 'body-printing'.
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