The work in progress show closed yesterday, leaving the next show on the calendar as our graduating summer show…Arg!
We had a couple of opportunities for feedback before taking down our work, firstly from a group crit during the morning, and then from visitors at the show closing party after hours. Slightly mixed feelings about my feedback. I heard at least three sets of visitors comment on my work saying it was “amazing” and “wow! look, they are maps!”, but the response from the tutor was at best tepid. We had quite a lively discussion in the class when I introduced my pieces, and I was pleased to see the group arguing amongst themselves about the meaning of my work – just the sort of debate you would hope to achieve.
The crux of their question was to the level of my specific personal experience which is on display in the work. Some thought they related better to the work because it was more universally human (mountains, sea etc), while others felt I myself was less present – an outside observer of the places being constructed. Suggestions such as making my own maps, using photographs or recording paths etc to personalise the materials. [Some of which I have already tried, some of which I have mixed feelings about].
My concern, is that Maiko seems to think my experiments have not broken away enough and I got the distinct impression from what she said that she didn’t seem to be keen on me doing more weaving. I’m hoping to clarify this before the end of term as I’m not very clear as to what her expectations are – how can I just drop my plan so close to the end? to do what else instead?
Being positive, I do see a couple of key points in her comments: certainly on the inclusion of personal experience into the work, and perhaps also on the safety/comfort of the technique. My worry is that I don’t have enough skill to go anywhere else with the method, or not enough creative vision to figure out what possibilities I’m missing. With only 15 weeks to go, how much have time do I really have to keep experimenting?
Our pop-up work in progress show is now up in Camberwell Space Projects after a week or so of last minute prep. It looks really good, I’ve been quite impressed by the range of stuff on display – particularly since this is the first real show of work by the first years. No photos of the work yet, must get some next week.
So in the end I put up two pieces, the mountain map and the sea weaving, alongside the two inspiration weaves/words. After testing I decided the pieces looked good on the wall – I think better than showing flat on a plinth or shelf. I got some useful minions to help me out too!
Using the wall gave me a lot of options to play with angles and the view of both sides:
Overall thoughts. The small pieces are nice, but I definitely want to do at least one big piece. I may not do three all the same size, but at least one work can be underway while I finalise the next two. Do I want to keep the threads loose at the back? This emphasises the two-sided nature of the map, and the excess of information which is lost in the view at the front (echoing the map versus the map legend). Does this become obvious though or does it just look untidy?
We were offered a last minute spot in Camberwell space to hold an impromptu pop-up show. All hands on deck to get things up and ready in around three days! As the college aren’t holding a formal interim show this year, we made the pop-up about experiments and test pieces for all of the first and second years’ ongoing work.
It was great experience of how to get a show ready and some of the things we will need to consider for the final show when it comes – curation is new to most of us, but it is an eye opener to see how different objects say quite different things when placed next to certain objects. After having a few weeks struggling with progress, I was pleased that one of my later experiments with the silk paper was good enough to show. I wanted to suspend it over the table, but in the short time we didn’t manage to find a way to hang it. A lesson on time needed for planning for the next show! A couple of days of display, some good feedback on the show in the black book, and then it was all over. This was us setting up the final arrangement:
and finally, a close up of my piece, an experiment with silk paper titled, the unwatched moon.