Today I done some experiments on acetate, which will be used for screen printing technique. Everyday colours around us are a good resource for image making as a good example of colours being together.
So, half way througfh our placement at MIMA and working with Tees uni, we have been inducted into the design dept, proving we can make stuff without loosing fingers too often and tantilised by the array of opportunities. The AA2A placement at Teeside has so much scope for creating new work and new projects that it can be a bit overwealming, but networking with the other AA2A artists and taking the sound advice of technicians is keeping me in line. The MIMA AA2A+ element is exceedingly rewarding as the calm and very professional guidance received from MIMA curatorial staff has helped steer my project, keeping me on track and reminding me about my own development .
My project, to record opinions and photograph people of Middlesborough with their thoughts about Useful Art and MIMA is going well and having met with MIMA director and Curators, I now have clear direction for the questions and approach as well as an indication that an artist book of the project would be kept at MIMA in the Useful Art library. I have 2 best selling authors to interview and photograph next week on Teeside and a visit to the transporter bridge, college and Teeside Giants project in store. Ive also attended a presentation by the winners of this years Turner Prize, jolly nice they were too and had a couple of ideas for using the laser cutting and engraving machines at the Uni , as well as the 3d printer.
Coming up in the next couple of weeks Ill be at the Uni experimenting with old polaroid stock to transfer the digital images from my project to the polaroids then extracting the flexible gelatin based emulsion layer to fix to glass or perspex to test an idea for the final show.
At the presentation I gave to students at the beginning of my placement, one of the students asked me if I would use fracking as my subject matter. At the time, I said no, although it was a possibility. I have since decided it is too rich a seam to ignore. Excuse the pun!
I am only at the research stage in terms of content and deciding on how the art works will be made and look but I do know that the work will be presented in three dimensional form.
All four of we AA2A artists were required to present the work we have made so far in an interim exhibition in the walkway of part of the Fine Art complex at Teesside, which we put up this Tuesday 19th. I have completed some prototype artists' books along with collecting lots of information, quotes and sketches linked to my thinking.
I decided to put it all up on the boards as a reconstruction of my studio wall during researching the project using tape, just as I do when working and gathering material. I'm hoping it gives the students an insight into my working practice; it has certainly helped me to appraise where I am so far, to see some interesting connections and to make some decisions about the way forward with the experimentation and continued research.
I will upload images into a folder of the same name if you wish to see examples of the work so far.
New work in progress created during my aa2a residency at DMU.
longing / belonging
nourishing / being nourished
moving / being moved
truth / love / distance
the scent that lingers in the air, the trail left behind or the impression made in space after something or someone's been and gone.
The artist is present in the space with another body: a mass of cloth covered in honey and gold. Both bodies are not defined by the physical or their problems, rather they are placed in a context of hope; for the future, for the present and for always. These bodies are presenting the best they they can be in the given situation.
Sillage is a work about mental illness, about the thoughts that keep us awake at night and how we can attempt to overcome the seemingly impossible when we create time and love for ourselves and others.
When I received successful email from Solent I was more than happy to be back to 'my' uni. I had big plans how to start and what I will do first... But then reality hits me as I had few things to sort out! My wedding! Then honeymoon...
After I came back I was on my 39 h/week full time contract in supermarket and just turn my head around and actually visit Solent it was Christmas 'School closed’!
After Christmas my head was nowhere and my hand which is usually drawing was doing shopping, washing, calling, cooking, and working full time in NOT really dreamed job... My creative side gone away and I were getting up from bed just to work - to make money, to make living... But my mind was dead and I knew I need to do something.
Yesterday again I get up 12 o’clock and I was thinking ‘what I’m doing with my life’ I got AA2A placement so get your body and do something now! So HERE IAM in my studio writing this post and planning how my life should look now. I am collecting my campus card tomorrow and starting my journey!
Need to arrange meeting with my client to start big project at Solent. I will post my work in progress soon!
Today I have been working in a slightly different format. Having edited a number of raw files from my initial photoshoots; which have involved simultaneous projections from a variety of sources, I have now sequenced a series of them into a short film clip. The element of movement and the opportunity to play out scenes in real time adds to the narrative. The scale available through data projection has also given me a different perspective on the outcome of the project. This is definitely a development that I am going to engage with further. Having access to the equipment here at the university is immensely enabling.
ideas into visual form
Making some studies in preparation for the work I am aiming to produce for the final AA2A exhibition. The studies will be presented in an informal interim exhibition from the 20th February.
I am planning to make a series of pillars, using a variety of materials from sheet metal, acrylic sheet and wood. Free standing, they will be my height and will be painted and printed on. The content will be my personal reaction to the threat of fracking and the fight against it; the erosion of our democratic rights, the labelling of anti-frackers as domestic extremists. The term "earth, wind and fire", keeps encroaching into my thoughts - I am possibly going to call my piece Earth, Air and Water - the three vital aspects of our life on this planet and the three things highly likely to become polluted and threaten that life should fracking get the go ahead.
My aims for this placement were to develop my work into three dimensions, thus the pillars, which represent the human body (the vertical in many of my paintings represent the same) will be a phyical manifestation of this. I am also going to make small folded books exploring the same content but in hand-holdable form. Alongside this, I will have a roll of Chinese paper containing further explorations of the theme that I intend to print up as one continuous work, similar to the ballot box piece I made last year. I envisage this being suspended and draped from the ceiling of the space it inhabits, to allow viewers to walk round and through it. If I have time, I may produce some smaller prints on Chinese paper although I suspect these may be something I continue with later in the year.
I've not got very far yet, so I'd better crack on. Why do I always find this so difficult? I suspect it is because I am anxious to produce work of good quality; once I get going it is always fine, so I'd better stop procrastinating. . .
I shall create an album of sketches made so far along with other older pieces that relate to the intended work and become part of the imagery I will use.
Happy new year to all of you who may be reading this. I promise to have something worth looking at soon!
I've got an exhibition at the LCB Depot in Leicester starting next tuesdayhe 12th January. Go here for more details.
I will also be holding an artist talk at DMU on the 25th January, talking about my current practice, projects and how my work has developed since university.
A bit of a fallow period, although I have been continuing to experiment in the sculpture workshop (evening class) and going along to events to help me keep thinking about the project. I have been building small structures with polystyrene, scrim and plaster, but seem to want to scrape back the plaster right to the scrim, reveal a texture underneath, make it clear that I am interested in forces, not depictions.
I visit the Ai Wei Wei exhibition at the Royal Academy, and this was much more pertinent than I could have possibly imagined. The artist had constructed a major wooden floor-based wave-like piece, based on a map of China, and including exquisite 'invisible' wood joining, embedded in Chinese traditions of wood working. In addition, there was another floor-based wave-like piece on display made, terribly poignantly, from thousands of restraightened metal struts gathered by Ai Weiwei and his team. The struts had been employed in the building of public buildings including schools in Sichuan, done on the cheap, so that they were easily destroyed by the earthquake in 2008, killing thousands of people, many of them schoolchildren. This moving piece gave me pause in terms of the careful selection of materials.
The Thursday playdate with Brian was fun, but left me curiously unsatisfied. One piece of oak bent beautifully, but I am not after the lovely bend of a Windsor chair. I am looking for something much more 'revolting'. I think of heating small pieces and crashing them into one another, but I am not sure. I look further into the reality of a quake, what effectively happens is a kind of shake, not a bashing together as such, even though the tectonic plates are rubbing against each other. Having felt an earthquake in the early hours of the morning when living in Germany, I remember that sense of shaking, but, at the same time, of liquidity, as though the floor of the block of flats I was living on could have simply slid off the rest of the building.
Over Christmas there is little time to work as we are away at a family get together. However, I meet a potter at the place we are staying. He was showing some beautiful work and generously showed us some 'firsts' as well as the wonderful 'seconds' for sale in the greenhouse, which were very strong and dated from the earliest years of his career. I talked to him about his raku work, which struck me immediately. What to my untutored eyes was a somewhat 'failed' pot, was in fact, his greatest achievement, in the true spirit of raku.
That certainly interests me, I mentioned the word 'entropy' to him, in the sense of the notion of inevitable social decline and degeneration, which, on reflection, makes me think of Robert Smithson. I had been looking at precarity on the PGDip, a kind of precarious language of activism and survival, the metaphor I have chosen for this piece is one of upswell. But is that a language that really accords with what I am reading, and what my practice thus far has indicated about the need for a more precarious approach? I am thinking on. I start to think more realistically about pieces that are free-standing, at least to start with, because installation work seems improbable at this stage.
I start drawing precarious wooden structures, like clashes in mid-air, and see them in baby pink and blue for some reason! The drawings aren't strong, just a feeling really - I note that in the third one, where I try to integrate my bent wood piece, this just doesn't work, the process may simply not be right for what I am trying to do.
I find a definition of raku and the Chinese letter form seems so pertient here:
I wonder whether I could make the form of the Chinese expression in wood? But in many respects I think raku may be much more interesting for Clare's work than mine. But it does make me think about the kinds of visual languages that contemporary contexts call for. This links in with some reflections I have had about the Japanese art school experiment Bigakko and one of the tutor's interest in working without a fixed sense of ground.