I decided due to comments my tutor made about not taking samples further in part 3, to try and free myself up a little and work on some random sampling to try and shift my head into exploring textiles and working from a materials lead angle. I feel I failed miserably in my first re engagement to exploring Ideas. I was incredibly frustrated in my inability to just relax and surrender to the process. I knew I needed to work on something that I could be more playful and random. even though my materials are from the ancestors research from Part 1, I wasn’t looking to produce anything just to rip, stitch, burn and be open to just going with what was to hand. I had the radio on loud and prepared to lose myself. It took time before I became instinctive and the radio helped to distract part of my brain that may have wanted to interfere with the process. I had large graphite pencils, acrylic paints, lots of photo copies, sewing machine, soldering iron and matches to hand. I cleared the decks and played.
One of my loosening up exercises was to take chunky, graphite pencils and scrawled text from a collage I had made (below). I then over painted with acrylic paint. The graphite was still visible as it repelled the paint.
Below I again collaged though this time I worked in a more conscious way. I ripped at the census forms, photographs of my ancestors and their marriage certificate, envisioning how they would feel about their lives being changed so drastically. I found I got quite emotional doing this. Even to the point of brimming with tears. I covered the whole page (A2) in pva, which gave the finished work a lossy appearance. I drew it, using large marker pens, simplifying the colour blocks. I then cut that into pieces and pasted them allowing my instincts to choose where things should lay.
I cut the original collage into strips and pasted them, again using my intuition to dictate the composition.
I threw nothing away as even the smallest piece had some shape, colour combination or texture that I could refer to. The photographs do not tell the whole story.
I enlarged areas via Photoshop and printed them out, again ripping and layering and adding lines picking out text and also just picking out shapes of letters to soften the composition.
I then stitched into some photocopies, ripping and layering. I then took a flame to it all. I do like the text appearing beneath. I chose the green colour as it is the same as the original paintwork on the workhouse doors and windows.
I found that in doing this I became more in touch with how I should be working with exploring ideas. My mind was becoming more open and curious. I hope I am learning to trust the process more. One question I do have is: if I allow the process to take over, do I lose the lateral thinking that would guide me towards a fine art approach rather than a crafter?