‘BURNISHED SURFACE’ is a series of 30 frottages within the body ‘SURFACE WORK’.
In the same way as I make my surfaces, I made a surface of cement to use as a template for the rubbings on paper. I rub and burnish crushed pigments in variations of charcoal on charcoal, graphite on charcoal, charcoal on graphite, graphite on graphite. It is a direct response to the coal mining tradition among coal miners in some areas of Scotland including the region of Fife where my family mined.
After each shift, the miners were brought up from “the pit” covered in coal dust. Their wife or children would wash them in a tin bath, scrubbing their bodies clean except for their spine. There, black dust was burnished into their skin and after time became permanent. They believed it made their back stronger. White shirts, black jackets, Sunday Best clothes covering black paintings.