The things I should have said a long time ago, at the beginning of this project, I believe the phrase is 'better late than never'...
One of the few things I like more than receiving a letter in the post is sending ‘brown paper packages tied up with string’. Or indeed parcels wrapped in old military maps, with 1940s luggage labels used as address stickers. A hand written letter feels much more personal than an email. Yes, I am definitely old fashioned compared to my peers. I like how clunky a typewriter feels, I secretly like queuing up in the post office and I think the Royal Mail is an undervalued institution. I think it is this part of my personality that enjoys to sit in a dimly lit gallery and draw, that relishes putting on my wellies and apron to go to the print room, that thinks the day has been a success when I go home in the dark excited about the prints I’ve worked on and unaware that I have unwittingly dyed my ear orange during the course of the day.
I like the feel of pulling dye through a silk screen and the knowledge that the tiny squeegee in my pocket will be needed to print on the bias binding that will complete my design. And the knowledge that scrubbing the screen clean will enable me to produce something entirely new. I like the satisfaction of drafting a pattern, of hand stitching a label or the tiny details I’ve laboured over that others may not even register. I am delighted to have been awarded a place on the AA2A scheme, I will experiment in the print room on paper and cloth. My project will be inspired by old military uniforms, early aircrafts, sailing ships, the art of correspondence, the delicacy of Victorian stitches and the preciousness of memories.
see things in different light, use my imagination, New things, open up my mind, learn, try different technique, create something new, be spontaneous, try new things, look more, communicate ideas, experiment, dream, discover new concepts, think, actually be bothered about something, express myself
... express myself
... use my imagination
... see things in different light
... actually be bothered about something
... discover new concepts
... communicate ideas
... look more
... try new things
... be spontaneous
... create something new
... try different technique
... open up my mind to new things...
As I discovered that one of the AA2A artists would be completing their hours at Coventry University and finishing on Friday 22 March 2013, it was a deciding factor in me arranging to meet up with Katherine Sullivan with a view to talking about her experience as AA2A artist and what her art practice has been during her time with us. I ( with permission) took photographs of some of the pieces that Katherine had produced, she had brought in an old light switch and using latex made a mould of the switch which she then cast using plaster to create a set of identical switches they make for an unusal piece of art work. She also has a small collection of photographs that she has taken of windows I am not sure whether she has photoshot these images but they appear kalaidascope technique where there is a mirrored image of these windows. Katherine kindly let me trail around her while she worked in the metal workshop with the piece of art work she was currently in process of creating this piece includes using lace and a suspender belt which have both been prepared by being dipped in copper and then drying these out using the gas burner in the workshop it is an interesting process watching this dry on the cotton lace fabric and then becoming a more solidified. When it has set she then puts these together by using copper wiring to create a lower set of skeleton outer garment of a whalebone inner housing for the material the general idea is that of an element of a out-line of a victorian female body. While tidying up her studio space it is very sad to see Katherine clearing out her space but the delicate way she wraps up each individual plaster light switch is interesting to watch, I have enjoyed watching her at work and it is a shame that this process is now over but hope to engage with this artist further as have passed on my details and have requested a visit to her studio in Dudley and am looking forward to further engaging with this artist and wish her well for the future and would like to thank her for taking the time out to talk to me while engaging with her practice.
What is art? What can you achieve? What is cheating? Do we have to make it ourselves? What about designers? Do we have to know where it is going? Lots of questions to reflect on and maybe not even answer.
Work has gone well tonight. Have experimented with different fabrics. Velvet and a fabric table cloth which will be excellent to dye and stitch into. Tested a block repeat idea ready for divore. Hope to be in again tomorrow. It will be busy with fashion students so am excited to see there work.
Saw a subversive print this eve which is an exciting technique and have printed the glue to try foils.
During the Easter break I will prepare new images to print hopefully on glass.
Managed to get to the college for a few days this week and finish modelling the clay portrait head. He has been hollowed out and is now drying ready for firing. A few students were working in the studio and got to see the process which they found facinating, they also recognised the head as one of the other students, which is a good sign. One of them commented on it being spooky as she felt like it was going to move.
Oh my, where does the time go? 9 days till the exhibition at HCA opens. I've been busy.
Here's how to build a mountain. I used this wonderful heavily grogged black clay, which is about as opposite as you can get from the porcelain I usually work with. First I built a substrate of 10 x 10 cm squares, and made some felt inspired by geology:
The mountain is made of slabs of the same clay:
Move the mountain to its substrate, and let it nestle in its geologic felt. Oooh, landscape! Add the wheel-thrown, faceted rocks from all those weeks ago for extra effect:
As with most of the things I've tried during my residency, I'm not sure where else this will take me, but I've greatly enjoyed both the mixing of media and scale of the objects in this particular piece.
Over the past few months I have had the privillage to meet with artists Kathrine Sullivan, Annette Pugh and Bethany and I've attended their talks at the university. Engaging with these artists in the print room, studio space and the metal work room has certainly had an impact on my own art practice and my engagement with more usage of blogging. Today I bumped into AA2A artist Katherine Sullivan and was sad to hear that her hours with us at the university will soon be over, so have arranged to meet and have a short talk and hopefully take some photographs of the work that she is currently working on. I've arranged to do this on the last day of term before breaking up for Easter and am really looking forward to finding out more about her practice. Watch this space for a running report.
I have been having great fun printing images of iconic current and historic personages on metal that is very nearly mirror like so that you see your own image imposed on them and can compare yourself to the person if you so wish. On the way I have encountered almost every technical hitch and glitch possible both in software and hardware and made numerous mistakes which have served to make me more considered in producing a correctly sized and texted image appropriately sized without defects. A steep learning curve!. Still working on my resin pieces and need to frame my screenprints.
At the beginning there is drawing. The scratching of pencil on paper and the stroking of a watery brush. The drawing is continuous. The drawing is essential. Without the paper the drawing does not stop but continues in reflections and day-dreams and driftings off.
The drawings are familiar. There are limbs and curves and mutterings of toes or a nose or a belly button. There is the slow rise and fall. There is the continual rhythm. The quiet throbbing. The pulsing that is almost silent but always there.
There is the less familiar. The strange. The obscuring. The restricting. But the colour is soft and the texture is warm. There is a desire to touch. To feel. To stroke. To really look and look closely. With fingers.
The figure is still and the person is calm. They are content. They are quiet. But they are a little uncomfortable and the need for a scratch starts to discomfort. There is an increasing ache and a niggle.
There is the time and there is the space. The space it inhabits and the space hidden within. Not much space within. Not much at all. But enough. Enough for the breathing. Enough for the itching to grow.
And throughout there are the words. Groupings of words. They come in and they go out. They follow each other and join together and rhyme or relate or frolic on the page. They tell the story. Not the whole story. But enough of the story. And the ending of the performance.