My work as a musician and a visual artist hold equal value in my creative practice and one enhances the other. Visual art is intricately linked with my music and songwriting.
As artist-in-residence for the Victoria University Music Department I've been working on campus at Kindred Studios Yarraville, writing and recording new musical works. VU have been supporting me by providing access to the recording studio and engineers and a space to create visual art.
To assist the creative process of songwriting and prepare for recording, I ‘paint out’ the lyrics to the songs in a visual diary with pictures, decorative borders and production notes. These ‘lyric sketches’, made in water colour, ink, gold leaf, pen and pencil become integral to the life of the musical works. Song lyrics are often finished as I paint them out. In the recording studio the lyric sketch book is physically present and becomes a vital part of the process, used as a tool to communicate ideas to the musicians and engineer. Below are some pages from my lyric sketch book. These will be further developed into a series of finished 'contemporary illuminated manuscripts' to accompany new musical works on the album 'The Divine Crimson V.' Inspired by the art of William Blake, Medieval illuminated manuscripts from Europe and the Middle East, Chinese calligraphy and watercolours, vintage tattoos and wild west posters.
All images copyright Sherry Rich