I have taken a few days to chew over my thoughts from an end of term 1:1 with our tutor, before writing this up. I’m still doing the Christmas Cleaning of the house bit by bit, and this has put me in the mood of organising things into order. We had a very helpful chat last Thursday, which was to make sure we stay on track and focus in on our research questions. Maiko is aware I’m intending on getting my City and Guilds work prioritised and finished first over this ‘holiday’ period, but I said I still intend to do what I can on my MA work while I’m doing that – at least time to think and reform my thoughts so to come back to the making knowing what I want.
So firstly, a raw summary of our discussion:
— #100cubes: Maiko looked at the work I have done so far; main comments were focused on the meanings – I’ve just been looking at the functional surfaces, can this speak more clearly of my project proposal?
— does the wood structure add anything (they were in truth just for keeping the tension of the thread. How can I express the concept of dimensionality without the constructs? Don’t just limit to string either
— maybe time to move on from the cubes, no need to do 100
— what exactly am I trying to get across within my project?
— object space: beyond, around, within – interesting ideas, to pursue further
— new materials don’t have to be alien, they can still be traditional materials but used differently
— I do seem to have diverged from my latest proposal, so what am I now asking? I am not really looking at light and shadow in my current objects!
— bringing in the quilting aspects other than stitching – layering, texture?
— from our discussions and my rambling it was clear that my interest in mythology keeps resurfacing, can this be recombined back into my proposal?
— the objects need to speak more
— I could consider taking one of my references and doing some work I response to their work
— “Keep Going”
…..and what will I do next?
1. I need to reconsider my research question and do a new draft of my project proposal.
2. Update my mind map and references picture to show what I’m now looking it. This should be more focused now since my last version back during the GettingGoing workshops with Bridget.
3. Mythology and science can be compatible. Have a look at some mythological influences and see how they can inspire
4. Look into Hiroshima Sugimoto – expressions of mathematical forms
I want to come into the 2nd term with a clear plan on what I am looking at. The time for playing and experimenting is over – focus, focus focus!
Late night talk at the Whitechapel Gallery yesterday, from our own Shane Waltener and maker Helen Carnac. It was badged as a discussion on the Art v Craft debate – with both of the speakers straddling / crossing whatever boundaries exisit between fine art and crafts.
Key thoughts and questions I noted:
- What is the relationship between the viewer an the object? Does this make an impact on whether it is art or craft object?
- Shane proposed: a CRAFT object needs to refer to its own making or the process of making; an ART object doesn’t, it prompts you to forget the making or look at it differently.
- When an object is very well made – high craftsmanship – you can almost forget about the making and understand it in a different way
- Technique can be an inhibitor to learning
- How does the object interact with space?
- What matters more – the object or its making? Should we dispose of the objects and just leave the instructions?
- It is not about the looking – it is about experiencing. Does the value of art get reduced by not being able to interact with it?
Some of Shane’s work that he showed which I really liked:
Helen, a maker and curator, talked about her most recent residency with dancer Laila Diallo. She talked about having a fascination for edges – which I really resonated with. She said “edges were fertile places” which I thought was such a great way of thinking about it. She also described how she and Laila had collected as shared words during their time together which acted as a soundboard for thoughts and ideas. I rather liked this, and this was my collection of words I wrote down during her talk.
An unexpected workshop which I accidently gatecrashed yesterday, joining the second year students and Shane W, looking at how to utilise visual research to support our projects. Very useful, and a great reminder of how useful drawing can be in interpreting an idea – no matter how “well” you think you can draw.
Some of the exercises were very quick – 2mins for a drawing – but I thought this kept up the pace and made sure you didn’t over think anything. Then being asked to suddenly turn a 3D line drawing into 3D was really surprising. I have always been a fan of working in sketchbooks, and this should give me a few more ideas on being more creative with it.
We had a very interesting visit to the newly opened White Rainbow Gallery on Mortimer Street. They are showing an exhibition from Aiko Miyanaga, her debut gallery show in the UK.
She is known for her use of ephemeral materials – and today’s show used naphthalene and resin. Her work is concerned with the process of transition – her works transform when exposed to the air, “physically dissolving and challenging the temporality of the present.”. I love this property – where the materiality of the object and the narrative are speaking one and the same message. Can I get my work to find the right materials to do this too?
Her naphthalene work is volatile – it sublimates and re-solidifies in response to temperature and humidity. There was a really interesting piece with naphthalene keys trapped inside a resin box (photo below). Slowly sublimating into crystals on the top of the box. This too is a property I find fascinating – the object will naturally change with time, showing the same constant state of flux and change in which we all exist. I wonder how I can embed this sort of property as a reflection of the ‘boundaries of reality’ which sits at the core of my proposal? The other thing I liked was a series of resin books (made for an exhibition earlier this year in Liverpool Central Library). Bubbles have been purposefully let into the resin, “capturing the atmosphere of the space in which the object was cast: each sculptural piece incorporates layers of time – then it sublimates into the air of the library, to be replaced by the breath of visitors, as if integrated into the act of reading. Miyanaga’s perspective on the library is more than a collection of words, books or a representation of history; she values the undefinable and the traces of thoughts.”
The gallery were kind enough to allow us to take photos, I think because we sweet talked them by saying we were Camberwell students and fans of Aiko’s work!
Her statement for the show:
A German artist whose works are described as “in the space between transparent room installations made of industrially manufactured technical textiles and drawings concentrated on exploring line”
Her work seems to be the absolute extreme of an exploration of line “her approach consists rather in stripping all content away. The drawings are not the expression of something, they stand for themselves: lines transform the pages, created in series, into pictures. These lines are the sole content and narrative.”
Delicate transparent grid like objects consisting primarily of nothing, of gaps ranged between the space-filling net of material. “a quality like openness or transparence could mean that an interlocking of space and work is intended in Dorothea Reese-Heim’s three dimensional objects. The artistic aim would then be to have the surroundings, for example the surface of a wall or view out a window, peel through. The intent would be for the viewer to conceive of the real being shown in the gaps of the artificial….scaffoldings veil and mystify the space lying behind them. We don’t know what lies within or behind these constructions; they are in a certain way the vessel of the imaginary. In this way the material principle can be confounded with a mental principle.”
I have made a start on my final assessment piece for my City & guilds work which I am endeavouring to get finished before the second term at Camberwell starts. This is going to be my Big Exhibition Quilt, ready for FOQ 2015. The piece is titled broken memories and I am seeking to capture something of the pain of memory loss through old age, dementia or Alzheimer’s. My design is to make three panels, showing a increasingly fragmented and pained mind. This was the original sample; I have a few more ideas on how to improve from this.
Well, the first steps are now done, with completion of the three painted panels (acrylic ink in limited colour palette on white cotton lawn – when wet almost see through) which will be ripped and patchworked onto a cotton background. I’m using inks for this as it keeps the softness of the fabric intact in a way fabric paints don’t. I am still waiting for an order of oakshott cotton to turn up before I can get the full panel pieced and ready for quilting.
One of the things I noticed since my last assessment piece, is that my approach is now different from before I started the MA course. I am thinking more about the materials and what they say in the piece. Not just the surface design speaks, but the surface itself. I also see how important preparation, intent and planning is, even when the physical act of making (or in this case painting), is improvisational. This isn’t something I though before – improv was only just sitting down and seeing what happened.
More to do, but good progress so far.