T1-MMT-P5 Sketchbook update 8-Feb-2016

p5-sketchpage 038; 20160201

p5-sketchpage 038; 20160201

A thumbnail of this page has been seen before, when experimenting with video presentation 5-Feb-2016. This is a very free blind drawing of sample p5-4, trying not to lift the biro. My “plume” is too stumpy, but otherwise I like the liveliness of line which catches the energy and movement of the sample.

p5-sketchpage 039; 20160201

p5-sketchpage 039; 20160201

This version I looked at the page while working, and it is much less convincing. It was while looking at this that I decided a video could be a better way of recording what I was seeing. My first video, done the same day, was very clunky and is no more.

p5-sketchpage 040; 20160202

p5-sketchpage 040; 20160202

In the middle of a work day I was taken with an idea for samples using the same knitted fabric as p3-47. There’s resin, plaster, inside, outside… The resulting samples are hardening in the garage, so more information on a later day.

This page also has an idea for binding the physical sketchbook, using the caterpillar stitching that started joins in Part 2. Very keen to do this when the time comes.

p5-sketchpage 041; 20160202

p5-sketchpage 041; 20160202

Some planning for improvements for video production, then another sketch of work by Gillian Lowndes. A monograph on Lowndes is making its way from Ruthin Craft Centre, and at some point a Research post will appear. The spaces between the pipes in this work are wonderful. See //collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O19516/three-standing-pipes-forms-lowndes-gillian/

p5-sketchpage 042; 20160204

p5-sketchpage 042; 20160204

O dear. This is coloured pencil, trying to do simple lines looking at the detail of sample p5-4. Faint, bland, just a little informative.

p5-sketchpage 043; 20160205

p5-sketchpage 043; 20160205

More ideas for samples keep springing up. Coiled baskets (this was while preparing my Research post on other OCA students, 7-Feb-2016 and looking at Anne Dyke’s work). Plastic horsehair could be used in the coiling, crystal organza for the stitching and final rounds of coiling. What would happen when heat was applied to the organza???

The lower sketch shows a way of recording an internal space other than casting (as in assignment 3). Fill a flexible shape with sand and wrap to create an interesting form. Build a coiled vessel around it (probably easier written than done), then empty out the sand and original flexible vessel. I’ve been a bit concerned about moving too far away from the original assignment exercises, and this could be a way of linking back.

p5-sketchpage 043b; 20160206

p5-sketchpage 043b; 20160206

This sketch started from a comment by Nina (5-Feb-2016), suggesting I work a bit bolder, with some colour, and that white paper can get a bit lost on the white blog background. Doing this sketch really helped me to focus in on the distortions and movement of the organza, and the extra colour strength of the oil pastels is effective. Repeatedly I leave insufficient space to show the plastic horsehair properly. Good ideas from Nina – I definitely should move away from white paper more often.

p5-sketchpage 044; 20160207

p5-sketchpage 044; 20160207

This is looking at work by Katie Taylor, discussed in my Research post 7-Feb-2016. That connecting line is very effective.

T1-MMT-P5 Sketchbook update 8-Feb-2016
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 5: A final piece
Sketchbook update 8-Feb-2016

T1-MMT-P5-s2 OCA students – Collections of vessels

In my research for this Part I have identified a number of OCA students who have worked with similar forms – a small group of vessels. I carefully don’t write “similar ideas”. My starting point has been my materials, individually and in combination, and how the resulting objects/vessels interact in space. This is quite different to the artists discussed below, who have all worked from a theme or concept. I’m finding it useful to identify differences as well as similarities. It leads to all sorts of questions to myself about what, why, and what if in my making.

Julie Bancroft
aslowunravelling.wordpress.com/
In her work for A Textiles Vocabulary Julie continually returns to her underlying interest in concepts of wear and tear, of loss and fragmentation. She feels an urge to engage emotionally, conceptually, to discover or tell a story.

Julie Bancroft

Julie Bancroft
Three bowls
Left to right: A place the leftover love must go; A place the leftover fear must go; A place the leftover loss must go

The bowls were inspired by words in a poem by Alice Walker, and seem to have been created quite quickly, almost intuitively, letting go and holding on. In textiles Julie may be finding her “form of expression and communication that is less specific, more fluid than words.”

Every element of the bowls has significance. The shapes gently cup, holding and protecting while still open, but vary in detail to suggest rawness of emotion or the round completeness of harmony and growth. Colours express emotion, the stifling, endless darkness of loss, the red of fear and suffering, the yellow and green of renewal and growth. Textures appear more similar, given largely similar materials, but still in the detail there are jagged pain and tendrils of tentative growth.

Julie regards these works as unresolved, as a starting point of exploration. To me they are very satisfying as they are. It will be interesting to see if she returns to this, either these particular bowls or the general theme and techniques. Will elaboration add greater depth or lose that clear, direct communication of emotion?

The presentation of the bowls is a simple rather flat line. It’s a default mode, chosen by Julie to avoid loss of momentum in an ongoing exploration.

p10

Aged care

This lovely work is the antithesis of my current experimentation. In the past I’ve tended to search for narrative and my final piece for A Creative Approach was full of emotions – primarily horror and rage (16-Feb-2013; 20-May-2013). In contrast this current course module has been extended serious play. It feels right for my final piece to be a continuation of that curiosity and sense of discovery.

Specific posts by Julie:
11-December-2015: On words The poem by Alice Walker and its meaning for Julie.
17-December-2015: When two ideas collideThe three bowls.
4-February-2016: When art and life collideJulie’s insights and bravery deepen.

Anne Dyke
thewaywardthread.wordpress.com/

Anne Dyke

Anne Dyke


Anne’s final work for A Creative Approach began with an idea – the drystone wall as a metaphor for our lives: “we start with bare walls that are embedded with the fossils of our ancestors, and finish with those walls almost obliterated, but in their place is a profusion of wildlife and microhabitats which depend on the underlying structure.” These ideas and subsequent extensive sketching gave a framework to Anne’s development, but in her reflection she concludes that although she would present it as a series, perhaps “Lifelines”, she would probably leave the interpretation of the work to the viewer.

Although connected by theme and a general technique of wrapping and coiling, each vessel in the series takes a different form and uses a range of materials and techniques. There is a progression, from the white, well-shaped vessel of youth to the crumbled mossy stones of age. Underpinned by her research Anne felt free to experiment, opening her mind to new ideas.

Anne put considerable thought into her photographic presentation. I believe the version above was based on a suggestion from her tutor, emphasizing the timeline aspect of her series. Personally I prefer an earlier presentation shown below, taken before the vessels were finalised. The external environment seems a better fit with the theme of drystone walls. The tighter arrangement of the pots means they connect more as a group, and mossy old age wraps around and completes the set. I also like being able to look down into the pots, being able to appreciate their three dimensions and construction.

Anne Dyke

Anne Dyke

Anne’s exploratory approach using a range of materials and techniques is closer to my own experiments. Although her theme may be downplayed if exhibited the proposed title of the work would naturally lead the viewer to consider theme possibilities. My plans don’t include such a framework. I need to be careful to ensure a cohesive group – a collection, not a jumble sale. I’ve been imagining my work displayed in a “white box” gallery simulation, perhaps each in its own space separated on plinths of different heights and lighting to produce exciting shadows and sparks of resin. When Sorting and again when displaying my chosen objects I want to remain open-minded on the balance of individual and group presentation.

Specific posts by Anne:
30-November-2015: Drystone Wall Project. Reflections.
Many others describing the progression of work, including 29-November-2015 and 29-November-2015, which shows Anne’s experimental approach and use of sketching in developing ideas and responding to samples.

Katie Taylor
ocatextiles3.wordpress.com/
Katie Taylor is working through Level 3 of the OCA course, and her work is clearly at a different level. She works conceptually, creating sculptural forms using combining materials not usually seen as textiles. This is done in support of her theme, her over-arching interest being in our precarious existence, the fragility of life and death. “I am not interested in making pretty art, I want my work to move the viewer into asking questions, of the work, of themselves, of their own place in the world”, she states.

Katie planned her entire Textiles 3: Your Own Portfolio module as a series of explorations of ideas around women’s social history, death, remnants of what is left and what is after death (5-October-2014). She considered bowls – empty vessels, or coiled and spinning out of control (21-October-2014). Clay impressions brought the focus back to fragility and what is left behind. Presentation was an early consideration (27-November-2014, 25-April-2015). Bowls, spirals and funnels were recurring metaphors. I won’t go step by step through all Katie’s research and development through multiple projects – I recommend her own voice on her blog for that. As a student I’ve found it fascinating to see a body of work being developed using the approach I’m currently learning – for example Sorting, repeatedly (2-July-2015, 16-October-2015).

During the course Katie presented her work in a number of ways:

A simulation of an exhibition, 16-October-2015

Katie Taylor  Gallery visualization

Katie Taylor
Gallery visualization

Here of note to my own current work is the repetition and connection of very similar but different vessels. I see this presentation as an effective way to give prominence, interest and visibility to the piece, although I think Katie was dissatisfied.

Exhibiting in a group show, with the additional benefit of feedback from other participating artists, 17-November-2015:

Katie Taylor  Installation view 1

Katie Taylor
Installation view 1

Katie Taylor Installation view 2

Katie Taylor
Installation view 2

Vessels comprise the major proportion in number items, but they are combined with other elements that bring variety of form and an expansive use of space. The display follows the walls of the gallery, and individual items are angled to take advantage of the relatively limited viewpoints of the visitor. Most of the vessels allow easy access to their hollow centres – a method that I preferred when looking at Anne Dyke’s work.

A video – not displaying a piece of work, but the work itself. Katie filmed herself spinning paper yarn by the grave of her parents. 6-December-2015.

There is so much in Katie’s work and it is so close and yet so far away from what I am doing. Perhaps my one reservation is the variety. In the exhibition the pieces seem fellow travelers rather than a resolved, coherent collection.

I feel the need to nibble at this in small, digestible chunks, taking on what I can without feeling overwhelmed.

All images reproduced with kind permission of the artists.

T1-MMT-P5-s2 OCA students – Collections of vessels
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 5: A final piece
Stage 2: Research
OCA students – Collections of vessels

T1-MMT-P5-s4 Presentation of sample p5-4

Presentation of work for assessment is a challenge for distance learners. Virtually all the OCA students face it, but Mixed Media for Textiles includes challenges of fragile / over-sized / heavy / temporary samples. Postage from Australia is another issue, then with my “collection of vessels: an exploration of materials and space” I’ve made it still harder. How can I present the physical evidence of that?

Sample p5-4

Sample p5-4

At least part of my submission must be actual work mailed and able to be picked up and examined by the assessors, but I will need to augment that with material in my blog. So while sampling vessels I’m also sampling how to present them in space.

This first attempt is a presentation of sample p5-4, initially discussed 31-Jan-2016.

First a simple video showing a rotating view of the sample. No voice because I was trying to keep it short and the focus on the vessel – but I suspect it’s deadly boring.

Next my discussion of the sample, trying to point out what intrigues me about it. This is heavily influenced by Ceramic Points of View: ‘Cup on Base’, by Gillian Lowndes on the Victoria and Albert Museum website http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/c/ceramics-points-of-view-gillian-lowndes-cup-on-base/. In particular Alison Britton picks up and move the work as she discusses it, and it really helped me to see her point of view and the mass and dimensionality of the piece.

I would really appreciate any feedback on the usefulness or otherwise of these, so any comments or suggestions are particularly welcome.

In my discussion I mention sketching the sample. I haven’t posted those pages yet, so a preview is below.

T1-MMT-P5-s4 Presentation of sample p5-4
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 5: A final piece
Stage 4: Recording outcomes
Presentation of sample p5-4

T1-MMT-P5 Sketchbook update 31-Jan-2016

Sketchbook work is continuing, at least a little each day. As the assignment progresses it’s becoming a satisfying mix of research, ideas, and at last recording my own samples.

p5-sketchpage 034; 20160125

p5-sketchpage 034; 20160125

Some final notes on ideas from previous assignments. The sketch of work of June Schwarcz influenced the design of sample p5-4 (31-Jan-2016) – inept, but with promise. I’d like to follow up this research.

p5-sketchpage 035; 20160127

p5-sketchpage 035; 20160127

I’ve already written about Fiona Hall’s work Slash and Burn (30-Jan-2016). Moving and shocking. Also a great example of contemporary textile work (although Hall uses a very wide range of techniques, materials and influences in her work).

p5-sketchpage 036; 20160128

p5-sketchpage 036; 20160128

I am very excited about Gillian Lowndes’ work and have been trying to track down more images and information. Beautiful and inspiring. On this page I did a line drawing sketch, influenced by my tutor’s suggestion to explore my prints using line drawings. There are also some notes from the videos on the V&A website showing artists commenting on Lowndes’ Cup on base piece. A proper research post will follow.

p5-sketchpage 036 a; 20160129

p5-sketchpage 036 a; 20160129

Using a process taught by Graham Marchant (24-Jan-2016) I traced a photograph of Gillian Lowndes’ Cup on base in preparation for a watercolour. I found it very useful in Graham’s class to work with a single inspiration source for an extended time, really getting to know it and seeing more and more.

p5-sketchpage 036 b; 20160129

p5-sketchpage 036 b; 20160129

I spent a couple of days on the actual watercolour. I got mixed up in the layers of clay, my lights and darks muddled so the effect is lost. On the other hand there are some parts that work – for example the corner of the top layer.

p5-sketchpage 037; 20160129

p5-sketchpage 037; 20160129

A little more on Gillian Lowndes. Some desperate calculations when working on p5-5, and a sketch of the sample itself, trying to capture the frenzy.

T1-MMT-P5 Sketchbook update 31-Jan-2016
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 5: A final piece
Sketchbook update 31-Jan-2016

T1-MMT-P5-s3 Initial resin drizzle samples

In my Review wrapup (26-Jan-2016) I identified a number of initial sampling ideas.

I set up those and even more for my first work session, leading to my first failure. The resin had settled into soft crystals. With lots of stirring I was able to get some out of the container, then lots more stirring with the hardener to mix thoroughly. While brushing and dribbling I began to notice the resin warming, then suddenly it was semi-solid and smoking hot – too hot to touch in my nitrile gloves. So I have a lump of semi-cured resin and a number of samples still in progress. Lesson learnt – I’ll have to accept that this process needs time and small batches.

Results so far:

Sample p5-1 Resin on polymorph

Sample p5-1

Sample p5-1

Sample p3-3 was brushed with resin. Most dripped off and I have not been able to remove the thin film of resin that remains. The surface is now glossy, but I can’t see any advantage of combining the two materials.

Possibly I should try again with a barrier at the edges to ensure a thicker resin sheet which might be easier to separate, but I don’t currently see this as a strong contender for development.
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Sample p5-2 Resin on composimold
This sample was based on the idea of columns of vessels with a corrugated surface (sketchpage 024 18-Jan-2016). Composimold was poured onto a plastic sheet with corrugations (in past life packaging for a set of pencils). It was rolled and slid into a cardboard tube to hold the column shape. The tube was held at an angle in a bowl and resin was dribbled in.

Sample p5-2 in progress

Sample p5-2 in progress
Click image for larger view

Given the heat generated by the resin I expected the composimold to melt into a lump. However the next day it appeared intact and I was able to peel off the cardboard tube.

The resin came away easily. Composimold is a good candidate for creating molds in future samples. However having been placed on an angle most of the resin had simple run through and only a thin film was left.

Sample p5-2

Sample p5-2

In this photograph I’ve left the resin partly on the mold, and the combination of materials creates an exciting combination of shape, texture and reflective properties. Soon after the materials relaxed and they now lie flat. However it is clear that there is a lot of potential here. This is a combination of materials and form that I would like to take further.
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Sample p5-3 Resin on crumpled paper
This sample started with print p4-32, reshaped into a bowl form. The form was placed in a plastic bowl to help retain shape during resin application. Resin was poured and brushed on.
Sample p5-3 with internal lighting

Sample p5-3 with internal lighting

In the photograph above a small LED has been placed in the bowl. When exploring all of the samples in this post I was aware of reflections of light. I would love to see all of them in good gallery lighting, which would really bring out the sparkle of the faceted surfaces.

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The bowl is around 16 cm in diameter and 10 cm at its highest. It is light but quite stiff. The resin will continue curing and gaining strength over the next few days, so I haven’t put a lot of pressure on it.

I think this result is delightful. There is potential to go back to all the crumpling techniques and printing techniques to create a series of vessels in different shapes and sizes.

Perhaps it could be a way to record and develop shapes such as those created during the casting project.

Liu Jianhua Container Series detail

Liu Jianhua Container Series detail
Click image for larger view

Peering into the centre reminds me of Liu Jianhua’s ceramic series (30-Jan-2016). A low display, perhaps with some taller vessels and playing with reflections, could be effective.
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Sample p5-4 Resin over heat distorted fabric
Sample p3-46 detail

Sample p3-46 detail
Click image for larger view

This sample was intended as a development of p3-46. The shape was based on a vessel of enameled copper by June Schwarcz (https://enamelguild.org/june-schwarcz/, sketchbook page and research yet to be posted).

Sample p5-4 sewn

Sample p5-4 sewn
Click image for larger view

I began with some roughly cut triangles of crystal organza, pinned together to make a tube. I wanted some sparks of colour, so included two orange pieces amongst the grey. One of my development plans was to use more of the plastic horsetail, leading to a decision to sew in black thread, then oversew some seams to capture the plastic threads.

At this stage I was doubting my taste level, but I’ve written recently of the feeling of daring myself. This is the piece I referred to in my reflection on tutor feedback (28-Jan-2016). I kept going, wanting to learn as much as possible from unpromising beginnings – and just maybe there would be a surprise.

Sample p5-4 heat distorted

Sample p5-4 heat distorted
Click image for larger view

Holes appeared almost immediately when using a heat gun. This aligns with earlier experiments – if the fabric can’t shrink and distort, holes appear. In the current sample the stitching held firm and put pressure on the fabric.

I suspended the shape and brushed and dribbled resin over it.

Sample p5-4

Sample p5-4

Sample p5-4 top view

Sample p5-4 top view
Click image for larger view

The final result is stiff and sits stably on the worksurface. The main part is 7 to 8 cm high, the plastic spikes rise to 20 cm.

I find it intriguing. It bothers me. It’s ugly and misshapen and awkward, but… The overall shape is dynamic. It claims space in a way that I find effective. There are the seeds of something that could work for me. If I don’t look at the detail, or only the right detail, it’s exciting.
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Sample p5-5 Resin over woven black plastic

Sample p2-57 detail

Sample p2-57 detail
Click image for larger view

Sample p2-41 b

Sample p2-41 b
Click image for larger view

This sample evolved as I was working on it. First it was going to be a bowl based on sample p2-57. I couldn’t find the bundles of yarns used then, so decided to substitute plastic horsehair. I was thinking something smooth and elegant.

I wanted to shape the braid over a form – a balloon. The plastic was very difficult to work with and I just couldn’t manage it. So I decided to switch to basket weaving. There would be challenges with the fairly short lengths of plastic, but that could lead to spiky shards, as seen in early sketchbook work (sketchpage 005, 10-Jan-2016).

Sample p5-5 in progress

Sample p5-5 in progress
Click image for larger view

It was a struggle. There were loose ends everywhere, everything sliding around. I had little to no control over the shape, which could be an issue if developing the sample. A sensible approach could be to combine with another material, but I really wanted the initial sample to be a “pure” exploration of my material of choice.

The final form was fragile. Individual threads could slide around and it seemed at any moment the entire thing could fall apart. However I was able to suspend it from three of the base groups of threads, and paint it with resin. The process was slow, and it was during this that the resin heated and smoked.

Sample p5-5 detail

Sample p5-5 detail

Sample p5-5

Sample p5-5
Click image for larger view

My photographs don’t do the sample justice. There are droplets of resin of various sizes all over it and they sparkle catching strong light. It casts wonderful shadows. There is an airiness and light to the structure.

The form is around 60 cm wide, but a couple of outstretching threads take it to 90 cm wide. The rim of the bowl sits 5 or 6 cm above the work surface.

If I can learn to work with the material there is huge potential here. I need to work on my lighting and photography to communicate this.
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I feel I’ve learnt a lot from this first set of samples. My resin handling is already improving. I need to work on my lighting and photography. One or two of the samples could be included as they stand in my collection. Sample p5-4 looks much better in combination with p5-5. It starts to become an interesting variation rather than just an isolated oddity.

T1-MMT-P5-s3 Initial resin drizzle samples
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 5: A final piece
Stage 3: Sample-making
Initial resin drizzle samples

T1-MMT-P5-s2 Collections of vessels at the AGNSW

Earlier in the week I was at the Art Gallery of NSW for the first of this year’s art appreciation lecture series (theme Collectors & Collections, starting with the Medici), and spent some time earlier looking for collections of vessels.

Liu Jianhua Container Series (2009)
http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/228.2010.a-kk/

Liu Jianhua Container Series

Liu Jianhua Container Series

Liu Jianhua Container Series detail

Liu Jianhua Container Series detail
Click image for larger view

The vessels of this series are linked by the glaze used – celadon on the body and a red glaze giving the impression the vessels are full of liquid. There is a range of form and height, and a sense of sparseness in the unadorned shapes. In this installation the vessels are grouped on a low bench in the centre of the gallery, just large enough to accommodate them. The visitor looks down into the rich transparent red. Individual vessels can be seen clearly, they are brightly lit, open to view, but despite individual beauty it is the group which has primary impact.

Longquan ware

Longquan ware

In contrast other vessels in the same gallery are displayed in rows behind glass within the walls. They are evenly but relatively dimly lit. Each has its own information label. They are related – similar materials and place of origin – but separate.

The gallery website for Liu Jianhua’s work shows a different arrangement, the pieces close but not touching, on the floor in the corner of a white room. It is just as effective in showing them as a series.

Unlike my proposed collection, there is a depth of cultural references and symbolic meaning in Container Series. China’s ceramic heritage is referenced in glazes and some of the forms, but combined with other forms and a distinctly contemporary installation. China as a producer of consumer goods, and its position as a growth art market add to understanding, appreciation and meaning of the work.

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Dale Frank Ambition 25 + regrets 10 + death 21 = 56 (2014)
http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/189.2014.a-zzz/

Dale Frank Ambition 25 + regrets 10 + death 21 = 56

Dale Frank Ambition 25 + regrets 10 + death 21 = 56

Dale Frank Ambition 25 + regrets 10 + death 21 = 56 detail

Dale Frank Ambition 25 + regrets 10 + death 21 = 56 detail
Click image for larger view

The bottles in Dale Frank’s Ambition 25 + regrets 10 + death 21 = 56 are one part of a larger whole. The grouped placement is significant, referring to the title of the work. In the group of 21 bottles each has a coin placed on top, I assume linking to the tradition of coins on the eyes of the dead to pay Charon. The total number of bottles is the artist’s age at the time. Is this the sum of his life, placed in service to art exemplified by the varnished plexiglass above? I took my photographs at an angle, wanting to avoid my own reflection, but perhaps I should have embraced the opportunity to create my own self-portrait. Given the title, ideas of life and death, this work seems in the tradition of still life, a commentary on a brief and shallow existence.

The individual bottles are anonymous, mass produced. The ideas behind the grouping contain the importance of the work – although it is also visually striking, being large, reflective, a glow of colour.

I feel uncomfortable about this work, as if I’m not in on a joke or there’s a conversation going on over my head. I don’t see this world of ideas as relevant to my current research purpose, my focus on materials rather than concepts.
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Fiona Hall Slash and Burn
http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/418.1997.a-ttt/

Fiona Hall Slash and Burn

Fiona Hall Slash and Burn

I wish I could include a better photograph of this work by Fiona Hall. It is stunning. The image on the AGNSW website is sharper, but for me it loses the atmosphere of silent screams, empty eyes, and random body parts.

Suspended in dim light are dismembered remains, knit from video tape still connected by an umbilical cord of tape to video cases lying on the ground. They are war films – Hamburger Hill, Apocalypse Now, Gallipoli. “Slash and Burn” can be clearing land, or more darkly, ethnic cleansing.

The media glorify violence, and make money from it. The victims are voiceless, anonymous, without number. The AGNSW website includes “Hall believes there is no hope for the sustainability of nature until human beings begin to treat one another with greater respect and understanding.”, but I see no hope in this installation.

Grace Cossington Smith The sock knitter

Grace Cossington Smith
The sock knitter
Click image for larger view

The use of knitting is poignant. Elsewhere in the AGNSW is The sock knitter by Grace Cossington Smith, showing the artist’s sister knitting socks for troops in World War 1. It is full of colour and quiet determination, comfort and hope. There is nothing quiet or domestic in Hall’s work.

Once again I find it difficult to find ideas to bring back to my own work. The individual parts were displayed in a strict grid pattern. There is variation in detail but the similarities mean the parts build as a group to create impact. In this post I am presenting works in the order I came across them – the AGNSW is constantly changing and all the works bar Liu Jianhua’s were new to me – and each seemed more serious, had greater depth of ideas, making my student explorations seem trite. I’m posting despite this, in a way demonstrating what my plans are not. However it is the next, final piece which silences me.
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Doris Salcedo Atrabiliarios (1992-1997)
http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/372.1997.a-o/

Doris Salcedo Atrabiliarios detail

Doris Salcedo Atrabiliarios detail

Doris Salcedo Atrabiliarios

Doris Salcedo Atrabiliarios
Click image for larger view

Here is loss, pain, emotion, violence that I cannot encompass. Presented in niches in the gallery wall, closed away from us by cow bladder stitched with surgical thread, are shoes of women who have disappeared in Colombia.

I stand quiet before this memorial.

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T1-MMT-P5-s2 Collections of vessels at the AGNSW
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Part 5: A final piece
Stage 2: Research
Collections of vessels at the Art Gallery of New South Wales

T1-MMT Tutor feedback on Assignment 4 – Mono and collatype printing

I received my tutor’s feedback on Assignment 4 – Mono and collatype printing a couple of weeks ago. In the past I have shared my reflection but not the actual tutor report on this blog. In response to a recent question my tutor advised “I am totally happy with my tutor feedback forms being made public. I believe this will help other students and shows this is an open dialogue between tutors and students.” Although Rebecca’s reports have overall been very positive this feels like another step up in the vulnerability stakes. A major theme in this course has been dealing with, accepting, embracing, risk. So here is a link to download a pdf: Tutor’s feedback. Links to earlier feedback forms are included under the relevant Assignment on my Mixed Media for Textiles contents page here.

My reflection:
I’m very pleased that Rebecca has recognised both my difficulties in the early stages of the assignment and that I was able to challenge and change my mindset. The result was “a good range of work”, but I agree that the more important outcome is learning how to learn, how to reflect on and respond to difficulties, to recognise and take advantage of opportunities.

I like the suggestion of working a form around the page to see the effect on the total composition. Given composition is one of my major goals in the current assignment I need to make sure to try this. Although I have been writing about exploring space and three dimensions, photographs on this blog remain my major communication tool and I need to make them as dynamic and interesting as possible.

Bringing past samples into current work is always pleasing. As associations and connections build it gives extra depth and strength to the work. It’s also a great way to consolidate learning. I certainly mean to continue this in the current assignment.

A number of times in her reports Rebecca has encouraged me to take risks and go with even the crazy-seeming ideas. I’ve just starting sampling for my final pieces and realise I’m virtually daring myself. If I think an idea’s too out there I must try it. For future reference the current example involves crystal organza and plastic horsehair inspired by an enameled copper work by June Schwartz. It’s not looking promising, but just maybe I’ll discover something amazing from it. The focus I’ve chosen for the assignment should allow me to keep experimenting and pushing right to the end – my main concern at this point is simply time.

As soon as I read the suggestion to make pencil drawings to examine detail of some of my prints I couldn’t believe I’d missed the idea. We’re learning that feedback loop, looking at and building on what we’ve done to take us further, looking at details for something unexpected or new. I couldn’t find a way to translate the prints further, but simple lines of selected areas… of course! In the last couple of weeks I’ve been focused on developing ideas for the final piece, but I’m now at a point where I should be able to try this.

I’m currently in the research stage of assignment 5 and can see that although I’m searching widely I probably haven’t focused in enough, really picked apart what I’m seeing. As Rebecca noted I learnt a lot from the Degas detail exercise. I’ve got a couple of ideas to try over this Research stage to push myself on this.

One suggestion puzzles me. “I suggest you continue to develop ‘how’ you think about your work, learning from this deliberation and feeding it back into your creative process.” I recently read The First Book I Wish I’d Had At Art College by lb Vindbjerg (available free on amazon – here, a link given by another student on the OCA forum). It discusses eight perspectives for approaching art, which I suppose might be useful in thinking about my own work. Or could it be that I have concentrated on materials and techniques, with only cursory asides on potential content? Any suggestions would be most welcome.

I’ve listened to some TED talks on where ideas come from and made a few notes in my sketchbook. Feeling somewhat flooded by ideas during the Review stage I haven’t made deliberate practical use yet, but I’m sure the time will come.

Finally I’ve printed Rebecca’s Pointers, slightly modified, and taped them above my computer screen to keep myself on track:
• Continue to take risks, learning from happy accidents
• Maintain your excellent working practices
• Add some more drawing to this assignment in the form of line drawings of your print work
• Try working a form around the page to see the effect on the total composition
• Continue to research widely
• Pick a part your research material to find what you can learn from it
• Continue to use critical reflective thinking to learn about your work and working practices

I originally penciled in 14 March for the final assignment due date and this is the date suggested by Rebecca. However given assignment 4 was delayed a couple of weeks over the Christmas / New Year break I’m currently aiming at 28 March. If I keep focused and work steadily I should do it.

T1-MMT Tutor feedback on Assignment 4
Textiles 1 – Mixed Media for Textiles
Tutor feedback on Assignment 4 Mono and collatype printing


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