'Red Dot' is the second screen print I have produced on the subject of land around the Itchen Water Meadows. This makes a second print specifically on the theme of trees and the woodland/forester's marks for management. A red dot on the trunk, I understand, signifies that surgery is needed, whereas a short stripe indicates felling.
The look of my prints is not my usual hand drawing. It has turned out this way because it has been so wet to work outside in the field. In its place I took photographs of areas that are designated for tree clearing and, for the sake of moving the project forward, I have used close-ups of the photographs to create colour layers for the prints. This method has challenges in pre-deciding areas and boundaries of the colours (no more than four) and to overlay them successfully.
Over the last few weeks I have read 'Water Meadows', History, Ecology and Conservation, Edited by Hadrian Cook and Tom Williamson, published by Windgather Press Ltd, 2007.
Whilst studying the subject and starting again to draw on location, I am also mindful of how I am going to artistically interpret all this information. Some trial sketches of men working are shown with this entry and artists I am looking at are Bruce McLean, Josef Herman and John Constable. Stephen Chambers' recent show at the Royal Academy, also, has helped me considerably in creating the layers for the screen prints.
The pieces taped to the wall have fallen to the floor and lie untouched.
It is a glorious day... -3c but the sun is out and the hoar frost shimmers.
No one in the MA space...some quiet sessions up and down the corridor.
Good, I am in a state of not knowing...wondering...questioning...this is what life is. When we know the answer that is when we stop exploring..stop growing.
Actually why not go back to those pieces from the very beginning...revisit them knowing what I know now...mmmmm
Can't be bothered
Here and now
Scratching the surface
It's nice to be up in the sky
Just get on with it
In response to
"They remind me of industrial landscape"...I hesitate to agree...landscape..yes...industrial?
But I reflect on the comment and of course she is right... our landscape is that of agricultural industry
So far not heard back from my Dressage application, although just by applying for it has pushed me too develop the work further. With all the Christmas celebrations and working at my part time job, today is my first day of getting my wig back on. As it is a Saturday I can’t access the uni project spaces and worked at home in the spare room. My first task was to get my light bulb frame up. I really wanted to get inside the frame and start miming to Penny Arcade speeches. Being the material it’s hard to evaluate what I’m doing so I filmed my performance experiments. I used playback to see how all the visual elements look together, the scale of the frame, and I question are certain props working? Early on I could see that the frame looked too big in relation to my body. Having online access to Penny’s speeches I decided to try out a longer piece and a shorter musical arrangement.
Originally I was only going to imitate her still images, however using the speaking and moving is visually more interesting. The frame needed to be smaller and I changed the shape from looking like a door to a TV screen. This form is more dynamic with part of my body inside and out. When I am in synch with the words it works well, although I also like it when it goes off. The rhythm of this piece is really important and I need to study the speech to control the flow. In past performances I have used lo-tech special effects and I feel this piece needs some extra sparkly bits. Packing away the string of lights that I bunched together, spontaneously I started dragging them across the floor. I may use this action to direct and move the viewer to the performance area. I need to do a rece of what project space to use as there is a mix of white cube and blacked out spaces. The spaces range form really small to large and I also have to consider the location, as I want to direct people from the corridor into the room.
How time flies! Since my last blog ‘Studioless and Hungry, Will ‘Art’ for Money’, a lot has changed! I think the best way to sum up the last few months would be to list lessons learnt.
Lessons learnt in October, November and December.
1. If you are very very good and very very kind, someone will give you a shiny new studio space. Probably.
2. Glitter is a very easy way to ruin a nice new studio. Also note that ‘glitter-lung’, is a real medical condition and correct PPE must be worn during the application of glitter to avoid Disney-like coughing fits.
3. Three and a half jobs, plus three exhibitions, with three pence, in three months is HARD. IT’S HARD.
4. Most exhibition spaces are EXTREMELY cold. Putting glove warmers in your boots for long stints of invigilation is cost-effective, and soothing.
5. Some exhibition visitors WILL tell you to your face that your work is ‘RUBBISH’ and ‘THEY COULD DO THAT’. The best way to deal with this situation is to make notes, and amuse yourself over their points over 20 pints of beer, with some like-minded artist type people. The worst way to deal with this is to cry in front of said-visitor. You WILL NOT gain sympathy. Or sales.
6. Some people are astronauts, some people are accountants. You are an artist. You’re not saving lives, but hey, neither are a lot of people. Fight your corner, because there are a lot of people out there with a lot of mis-conceptions about how hard/ how valid what you do is. And that’s okay; just don’t let them get you down. (And that’s a serious lesson.)
7. People like cake. If in doubt, give them cake. If they’re in doubt, give them cake. If all else fails, cake is your friend.
Please enjoy the images in my most recent picture album ‘October, November, December’. More to come soon.
And neither does art. Over the holidays, I've been plugging away at my first attempt at integrating weaving and ceramics.
Even after re-stringing the frame, I had so many twisted warp threads that I decided to stop this piece halfway up and only incorporate 2 of the 5 ceramic objects. Next time, instead of crochet cotton, I'll use proper warp thread, and a smaller frame!
The next challenge was how to get the warp threads behind the objects to disappear.
Now you see 'em...
The answer: lots of stitching, and lots of patience.
Now you mostly don't! Unless you get too close.
It's not quite the piece I want it to be, but it's been a great learning experience, and plenty of fun. Looking forward to continuing in this vein in the spring.
So it is now the end of one term at De Montfort uni and for me it has been non stop making which is great! I have been able to contct some of the AA2A artists to see how they are getting on and what there thoughts and feelings are towards the scheme. One AA2A artists said that they were made to feel really welcome at the uni and that the facilities on offer were great. This was really good to hear as I have always thought the workshops at hand offer alot and are very supportive of people who just want to make. Another AA2A artist said it has been a slow start and have encountered some problems to begin with, hopefully with the next term just around the corner this will all be sorted.
For me a student rep it has also been slightly slow to start with but it has also been a big learning curve seeing what artists do once they have been working outside of a univeristy envioment for a while and then return. I am looking forward to getting more involved with the artists and getting to know them and there pratice more in the upcoming months.
Oh motivation where are you now should be doing logbook bibliography and art work but just want to chill it's still christmas. There is lots of food, chocolate and more chilling yet to be done. The thought about entering into the spirit of continuing with art practice but when Christmas period is upon us then the motivation gets waylaid into own art it becomes something else. One hopes that this is only temporary and can use this experience as a learning curbe for future projects.
How have other artists also faired over the festive period?
I finally conquered my fear of the unknown and have begun my first attempt at weaving ceramic objects into a textile. Getting the warp onto a weaving frame was one evening's major accomplishment. The first attempt didn't go so well:
The next attempt went a little better. Let's just say, I'm going with it and will see how it turns out once I start on the weft:
I used no. 3 crochet cotton for the warp, which I'm now thinking might not have been the best choice; it was awfully stretchy and hard to maintain a good tension. For now, however, the main thing is getting a start.
Thought experiment: A new cure for depression:
The only cure for depression is suicide.
This is not meant as a bad joke but as the serious proposal of suicide as a valid option. Unless the option is entertained seriously, its therapeutic value is lost. No threat is credible unless the threatener means it.
The treatment of depression requires a reversal of the usual therapeutic rationale. The therapeutic rationale, which has never been questioned, is that depression is a symptom. A symptom implies an illness; there is something wrong with you. An illness should be treated.
Suppose you are depressed. You may be mildly or seriously depressed, or suicidal. What do you usually do? Or what does one do with you? Do nothing or something. If something, what is done is always based on the premise that something is wrong with you and therefore it should be remedied. You are treated. You apply to friend, counselor, physician, minister, group. You take a trip, take anti-depressant drugs, change jobs, change wife or husband or "sexual partner."
Now, call into question the unspoken assumption: something is wrong with you. Like Copernicus and Einstein, turn the universe upside down and begin with a new assumption.
Assume that you are quite right. You are depressed because you have every reason to be depressed. No member of the other two million species which inhabit the earth - and who are luckily exempt from depression - would fail to be depressed if it lives the life you lead. You live in a deranged age - more deranged than usual, because despite great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing.
Begin with the reverse hypothesis, like Copernicus and Einstein. You are depressed because you should be. You are entitled to your depression. In fact, you'd be deranged if you were not depressed. Consider the only adults who are never depressed: chuckleheads, California surfers, and fundamentalist Christians who believe they have had a personal encounter with Jesus and are saved for once and all. Would you trade your depression to become any of these?
Now consider, not the usual therapeutic approach, but a more ancient and honourable alternative. the Roman option. I do not care for life in this deranged world, it is not an honourable way to life; therefore, like Cato, I take my leave. Or, as Ivan said to God in The Brothers Karamazov: If you exist, I respectfully return my ticket.
Now notice that as soon as suicide is taken as a serious alternative, a curious thing happens. To be or not to be becomes a true choice, where before you were stuck with to be. Your only choice was how to be least painfully, either by counseling, narcotizing, boozing, groupizing, womanizing, man-hopping, or changing your sexual preference.
If you are serious about the choice, certain consequences follow. Consider the alternatives. Supposer you elect suicide. Very well. You exit. Then what? What happens after you exit? Nothing much. Very little, indeed. After a ripple or two, the water closes over your head as if you had never existed. You are not indispensable, after all. You are not even a black hole in the Cosmos. All that stress and anxiety was for nothing. Your fellow townsmen will have something to talk about for a few days. Your neighbors will profess shock and enjoy it. One or two might miss you, perhaps your family, who will also resent the disgrace. Your creditors will resent the inconvenience. Your lawyers will be pleased. Your psychiatrist will be displeased. The priest or minister or rabbi will say a few words over you and down you will go on the green tapes and that's the end of you. In a surprisingly short time, everyone is back in the rut of his own self as if you had never existed.
Now, in the light of this alternative, consider the other alternative. You can elect suicide, but you decide not to. What happens? All at once, you are dispensed. Why not live, instead of dying? You are free to do so. You are like a prisoner released from the cell of life. You notice that the door to the cell is ajar and that the sun is shining outside. Why not take a walk down the street? Where you might have been dead, you are alive. The sun is shining.
Suddenly you feel like a castaway on an island. You can't believe your good fortune. You feel for broken bones. You are in one piece, sole survivor of a foundered ship whose captain and crew had worried themselves into a fatal funk. And here you are, cast up on a beach and taken in by islanders who, as it turns out, are themselves worried sick - over what? Over status, saving face, self-esteeem, national rivalries, boredom, anxiety, depression from which they seek relief mainly in wars and the natural catastrophes which regularly overtake their neighbours.
And you, an ex-suicide, lying on the beach? In what way have you been freed by the serious entertainment of your hypothetical suicide? Are you not free for the first time in your life to consider the folly of man, the most absurd of all the species, and to contemplate the comic mystery of your own existence? And even to consider which is the more absurd state of affairs, the manifest absurdity of your predicament: lost in the Cosmos and no news of how you got into such a fix or how to get out - or the even more preposterous eventuality that news did come from the God of the Cosmos, who took pity on your ridiculous plight and entered the space and time of your insignificant planet to tell you something.
The consequences of entertainable suicide? Lying on the beach, you are free for the first time in your life to pick up a coquina and look at it. You are even free to go home and, like the man from Chicago, dance with your wife.
The difference between a non-suicide and an ex-suicide leaving the house for work, at eight o'clock on an ordinary morning:
The non-suicide is a little traveling suck of care, sucking care with him from the past and being sucked toward care in the future. His breath is high in his chest.
The ex-suicide opens his front door, sits down on the steps, and laughs. Since he has the option of being dead, he has nothing to lose by being alive. It is good to be alive. He goes to work because he doesn't have to.
Hi AA2A Artists,
Just wanted to introduce myself; my name’s Jo and I'm the new AA2A National Administrator. I’ll be working part-time, two days a week to support Wendy Mason (National Director) and Georgia Rodger (National Coordinator) to help the scheme run smoothly.
Since joining in October, I have been busily registering all this year’s artists and student reps - creating profiles on the Dotbiz site so you can upload all your image albums and updates via your blog. It’s a real joy to see them come to life and thank you very much for sharing them! Please do keep them coming and don't forget to check out the training videos and Easy Guides if you have any problems.
Having done a foundation year at Art College I'm only too aware of the value of a programme like AA2A, so it's a real privilege to be part of the team. I'll be trying to post weekly blogs in the New Year so watch this space.
I really hope you enjoy the year ahead and all the scheme has to offer.