Catherine McCulloch

My work generally comes from emotion and includes themes of the environment and protest.  As words were provided (and remembering that the overall theme was Transformation), I attempted to think of ideas that were not too literal or obvious. Each word elicited feelings that I used to decide what I needed to say, and the appropriate medium, stroke and colours. These preliminary ideas and sketches were recorded in a draft journal. I also articulated what the word of the day represented to me and created a sigil of that affirmation.

Many hours were spent looking for reference images, going through old books, stock photography magazines, paper samples, popping to the store to buy a specific colour pen or paint. As I had a specific idea in mind, I had to find what I needed, not use what I had. I commandeered the kitchen table and had everything at my fingertips.

Each image would take anywhere from an hour to numerous hours to execute. This did not include waiting for a spread to dry overnight so I could start on the next one. Sometimes I would need to go back and “fix” a page where paint, pen or glue had bled through to the previous page. Some remain as it is part of the process and creates a transition from idea to idea. Many spreads require viewer participation because the theme requires society to actively play a part.

I found that my brain was in overdrive for the 30 days, and I endured long hours, little sleep and constant movement. So my body transformed along with the journal. Disciplining myself to completing this project on time, and to a standard I wasn’t embarrassed by, has resulted in an increased awareness of my surroundings and I see the opportunity to create that each moment presents.