• Chantel Matthews

Morning Pages

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

Not having any clay and not wanting to record morning pages via digital images and retrospect impulsive poetry like last Covid19 lockdown, I decided to journal daily moments with drawings and narratives. Wanting to expand, I decided to translate these drawings onto a bedsheet. Watching https://aut.kanopy.com/video/robert-rauschenberg-retrospective I related to "if the moment can't be fresh, strange and unpredictable as what's going on all around you, then it's false." I find myself moving further and further away from needing the outcome as much as seeing the effect unfold before me. As much as I draw the work in my head beforehand and plan the creation, intuition always takes over, and it looks nothing like the plan, yet it still says what it says. I'm looking for the right amount of narrative and erasure that allows others to see, including my own, to open up and see it again for the first time.

For now, this collage seems to be a conversation with myself, influenced by my everyday psyche and surroundings. 

Further reflections:

The difference with this lockdown and the last lockdown is the familiar. The level 4 lockdown, morning pages were done to record my daily rituals that assisted in my mental well-being. Wanting to emotionally, spiritually, physically be the best possible for myself and whanau. Within these morning pages, writing moments presented themselves, which then created unexpected works.

This time around, the morning pages became a daily task I must do to keep making. It became a chore where I was dreading filling the next box with a moment. During a 'moment' on the ladder, painting with house paint, using a wooden spoon, and resenting the inspiring Kanopy documentary in my head, I noticed the ceiling above my head had fly shit. Instantly I was transported from an artist making to domestic cleaner, adding clean fly poo to my duties. 

Upside, I am thinking through what it means to imprint a memory onto a vessel that holds space for that memory. The random doodles attempting to capture a thought that is then impressed on the cup used to ponder, take pause, and store or let go of thoughts—physical making with the mental thought process.


Artwork © Robert Rauschenberg Foundation