“My paintings have reflected two concurrent interests: the considered placement of related objects, and the depiction of found natural objects.
More recently, I realised that with string, being essentially linear but pliable, I could create the variable forms used in my paintings, and mirror the variability-within-similarity of the natural models I had been using, such as leaves and shells. The use of the formal grid on a shallow plane gives clarity to the way in which each component within the array relates to the whole and to every other, and brings into existence a pattern of fluctuating sub sets as a result of this interaction.
String as a source of forms is of particular value in my case, being helpfully devoid of misleading connotations. I admire abstract painting by others, but for some reason feel compelled to find and work with abstract visual qualities as they are found in concrete experience. The string provides me with one means of working on the boundary between concrete and abstract.
The work that I have drawn from natural materials has often been appreciated as natural history illustration, and reference to collecting, classifying, and displaying of specimens can validly be made, but what I find more interesting in this, is the procedure, the observing and ordering, rather than the content.
The dimension of colour in the string series arrived as a gift, in a box containing my late mother’s tapestry wool that I discovered left outdoors, apparently earmarked for a bonfire. Subsequently, seeing Monty Don on Gardeners’ World drew my attention to the fact that there are variously coloured gardening strings available, rather than the all purpose green that I had been using in my own garden, and in my paintings.
It will be obvious that my working process must be exacting and disciplined, but it has a pleasurable aspect. I enjoy being forgetful of myself, and tantalised by trying to comprehend the elusive sense of order in visual phenomena.”
Daphne Gradidge - April 2013.