I agree, I got ignited by looking at the result on the fabric of all those months stagnating in a bowl of rust and fungus. I do have it earmarked for experimenting with to see what I can develop in Part 5.
I agree completely with my tutors comments about being constrained with expected outcomes. I really struggled with just playing with some aspects of this work. I had lost my confidence in rolling with the process. I found I was having problems relaxing into just playing with the materials. I knew why this was happening at the time and I was looking subconsciously for something familiar I could hook my mind onto. I returned to using the materials I wanted to develop from part 1, hoping that I would pick up some momentum. The residue from working on the Printing course has been that I have become constrained and focussed on the end result. I have been working hard to get out of this but I am still struggling from adopting those habits. I am hoping that I can relax into my personal project for Part 5.
Without my tutors comments I would not have seen the distemper and fabric in this light. I was then reminded of Cornelia Parker’s Exhaled Cocaine (Lima). Parker acquired some cocaine from Cardiff Customs and Excise, which they had burnt to cinders. I saw this at the exhibition in Manchester in 2015 and it is one of several ‘Exhaled’ works by Parker. Iwona Blaswick the curator of the Manchester exhibition suggests ‘that in her re-purposing of found materials in ways that reflect on an object’s former purpose and meaning, Parker’s work offers a new definition of abstraction, one that involves ‘the use of something that already exists in the world (not its representation) and the substitution of its original nature or function with another, contrasting and even absurd mode of being’ (Blazwick 2013, p.108).’ I was intrigued by this alchemy mode of thinking at the exhibition.
I also am drawn to use ‘site specific’ materials as my tutor says. I have a collection of roofing slates, grate covers and distemper from the workhouse site that I am hoping to further develop samples. I had hoped there would be brick-dust also as the buildings were scheduled for demolition last year, but are still standing.
I have begun experimenting as suggested by printing many pages of text onto paper and fabric and playing with them with no outcome in mind. I think it will help me become free in my experimenting.
Stage four ‘Unable to construct ideas that take shape and move these forward.’ That is exactly what happened. I simply halted and could not see where I could go or even how to move forward. here it wasn’t because I didn’t want to work on it, I was simply lost. I can’t explain it any other way. My tutor reminds me what I was required to do, but whilst I was aware of this and was incredibly frustrated at my inability to do this, I can recall being sat and my mind being completely blank.
My tutor can read me extremely well, and her insight into me working with metaphors is enlightening. I don’t think I had realised this. Ii am now aware of how I could have progressed those early samples. I am hoping I can hold this in my mind moving forward, especially with the comments below, where suggestions are offered as to what I could have – and should have – done. I also need to discuss the use of ‘metaphors’ with my tutor to see if she can help me shift away from falling back into this mind-set. I don’t want it to limit my progress and development.
I had hoped that picking up the pianola sheet would shift my thinking at the time and it did lead me to using plastic and then the cine film and negatives. I agree I stopped short of taking this work further and I had in mind that they would be samples I could develop and use in Part 5. I now realise I should have concluded their experimenting here and then picked the end results up later if I so desired. Fool that I am and now frustrated with myself even more.
Again my tutor picks up on my subconscious behaviour ‘you rely on representation, the image, the metaphor…’. I admire Cornelia Parker and how her work poses questions and invites the viewer to look as deeply as they wish. I need to bring to mind what I enjoy or am challenged by with other people’s art. How do I move forward?
From the comments about being restrained by my sketchbook I have been working on A2 sheets of paper this past few weeks. I do prefer larger format work but realise I am scaling down in order for my work to fit into the postal folder. How utterly idiotic. I find that I am constantly frustrated and angry at myself over how I have moved back into working on Exploring Ideas. I have been limiting myself for stupid reasons, and many subconscious thoughts have clipped my scope of working. I normally submit several sketchbooks with each part of the courses but I have again lost my way with this.
I am encouraged by this section of the report. I am getting into the stride of working through my thoughts and gaining insight into my way processes and ways of working. Even if it is quite painful at times to see my many shortcomings.
I have this book on order from the library.
I have a copy of Cas Holmes book The Found Object in Textile Art, in it she has a series of ‘loosening up’ exercises that I am working on. I am doing some simple mark making and using a variety of mediums before I do any ‘proper’ work in order to engage my brain and also creativity. I am enjoying doing this as it is not pressurised, result oriented and it allows me freedom within what I have become to perceive a tightly regimented process of the course. I know that this is the legacy from working on the printing course. Whilst I hated very much the Printing course,how I struggled with it every step of the way and how it has affected my personal working style and thinking, I can also see that in doing it and it being on initial thoughts an error in choosing it, it has thrown up and uncovered a new level of awareness about myself. I am reminded of a quote: ‘Mistakes are not tattoos to wear for ever but bruises that will fade’. I am still very bruised by the printing course. I don’t see that as an excuse, just an awareness.
I love the passage highlighted by my tutor above: ‘Collections of work which evoke moments in our lives. Here are people and glimpses of stories marking themes of our very existence. Reminiscent works which reference mythology and storytelling, using the line of thread to connect relationships and define emotions such as suffering, hope and renewal.
These are the punctuations which reveal the sense of self and identity, the making of connections between the touching and tactile quality of textile, and the expression of feelings.’
I have this printed out and I am going to use it as a starting point for my work in Part 5.