This morning I popped down to the print room whilst waiting for my work to dry and had a chat with Norma Foulds one of our AA2A artists in residence, about her work in progress on display in college.
Norma's current work is exploring the menopause, a phase of womens lives much less talked about in the past, even now womens awareness of symptoms are still lacking. Norma's own experience of the menopause led her to research into the natural flowers found on the packets of tablets provided to menopausal women. She created line drawings of these flowers, using them to print onto translucent fabric panels, adding hand stitching and text using freehand machine embroidery.
Behind one of the panels a large screen print of the words describing menopausal symptoms. I asked Norma about the text and she described to me how she frequently uses a process she calls 'brain dumps' where she writes down all the things in her mind to allow herself free space for her creative practice. In this instance she wrote down all the symptoms she could think of relating to the menopause. A large version was then placed behind one of her floral stitched panels slightly obscuring the words. It looks fantastic don't you think?
As a student it is great to hear from practicing artists, where they draw their inspiration, and insights into their practices. Little tips including 'brain dumping' ; which paints give the best result when using a Geli plate for printing ( a previous chat with Norma); how to stop liquid paint, balling instead of absorbing, when painting on raw canvas (Iain H Williams); tips on resiliance (Joseph Travis and Jack O'Hara). It is also insightful having the artists working in college and being able to watch their processes and ask questions. They are always so accomodating, giving their advice freely and offering support and suggestions based on their experience. Making new connections in the art world is always beneficial for both sides. Who knows where our connections made here may lead to in the future.