I think I am drawn to disintegration and decay. It started back in part 1 with looking at my ancestors, my tribe and it has become a metaphor for my great Grandmother and Grandmothers experience of wealth turned to poverty due to my Great Grandfathers death. The soaking of fabric in rusted items from the same workhouse they lived in, and using distemper from the workhouse walls caked on fabric, to see how it would decay or wear were the first steps. I was also drawn to how the cine film threw its shadows onto the workhouse walls and, how the light played my memories against the backdrop of their lives long gone. In playing with materials I had around me, I started to de-construct/burn fabrics using devore acid and a soldering iron.
Shining a light at a distance through the fabrics created subtle shadows, some of the words were legible, others more muted. I decided to work using their names so I would have something recognisable to test the clarity of the shadows.
This proved to produce a nice clear shadow. It was optimised by the spot light being around 6 foot away. The closer the light got to the object there was a reduction in clarity.
This wasn’t a crisp shadow by any means. It was a struggle for the camera to pick it up. I would use this method as a fabric piece but not use it to cast shadows, as it is very effective as a material in its own right.
This produced a clear and crisp shadow. I like how it is almost invisible until you shine a light onto it. I am committing this to memory as it is intriguing. I am fascinated by being able to hide text or other information on a fabric for it to be revealed at some stage. maybe requesting the viewer to move the fabric or it being shifted by a breeze? I can see me somehow incorporating this in a piece to tell my ancestors story. No idea how as yet, but I am finding that some discoveries in doing this exercise I want to explore and expand.
I liked the brutality of this. It was crude, yet deliberate. The soldering iron burnt some of the threads so there were areas where you could see through the fabric. Again a good result for the fabric that didn’t cast a shadow but the effect of taking a photograph with the light behind it was very effective.
This threw a reasonable shadow onto the wall but it is far more effective as a piece of fabric in itself. Unless I later see how I could use it in a different manner. I am aware that I am commenting on my initial thoughts about the samples, yet am expecting to revise my thoughts in future when I take my ideas further.
This cast no shadows at all, though the light shining from the reverse was effective.
I began this exercise with few ideas of what the results would be. I am inspired by what I have found and am looking forward to seeing where I could take some of the samples.