Rain

Yesterday was my degree show. Today I am allowing myself to have a non day, I am tired, body and mind deserve some rest. It is raining, a lot, thunder and lightning too.

There’s something really comforting about being in your bed listening to a storm. I am interpreting this one as a washing away of the old and welcoming in the new.

GROUP
My college family

 

I have many things to attend to, home, family, finances, a possible house move etc and am looking forward in engaging in some crafty activities just for the fun of it. It would be foolish of me however not to continue this journey into art which has been so beneficial to my mental and social health . I have made some great contacts and there are opportunities for me to continue to make work and share my passionate belief that creativity is good for everyone. I just have to make myself do this and not allow myself to revert to the way I was before I attended Art Matters all those years ago.

 

But today I am very content to be in bed, with the dogs, listening to the rain.

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Stuff

I have long admired the work of:

Emma Cocker – Textile Art

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Bryony Rose Textile Menagerie

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Mister Finch

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Annie Montgomerie Artist

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I worked with textiles a lot before studying art, all my skills were self taught so had absolutely no idea how the above artists created their lovely textile pieces. So I was really pleased this evening to come across this image………

Lainey Whitworth Mixed Media & Textile Artist

……..it has shed some light on how to go about the process.

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After Uni

 

My final hand in was on Wednesday 18th May. I did it. But now I’m left feeling deflated and depressed despite predicting this some 3 months ago and making plans to avoid the low. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself and it’s ok that I’ve pretty much slept ever since.

 

 

We have 4 weeks until the degree show and I have plenty of tweaks to be made to my work as well as preparing the space and installing the show. So it’s not all over yet.

 

 

We also have the Free range Show in London in July. Exhibitors get an online portfolio on the Free Range website so I need to do that too.

www.free-range.org.uk

 

 

In August I am going on a  Mediterranean cruise for a week with my good mate Louis which I’m really looking forward to and is much needed. I have never been on a holiday where I haven’t had to cook. I shall return fat as a barrel, 24 access to food!!!!

 

 

I am also planning on downsizing and swapping my 3 bedroom house, Steptoe’s Yard, with my nieces very nice 2 bedroom flat . It will be easier and cheaper for Callum and I. I’m a bit worried about the dogs not having access to a garden but it will encourage Callum and I to get out more often which can only be a good thing, better for the dogs too.

 

 

This will force me to face all my possessions and get rid of many as they’re not all going to fit in the flat. The thought of this is quite overwhelming but I’m determined to do it, slowly and surely. I need a skip  – no pennies for a skip unfortunately. Umpteen trips to the dump and charity shops will have to suffice.

Whilst I do not see my current work as fully resolved I do have some ideas for another topic for research – hair. The next blog post will be about that.I  hope to keep the momentum going where art is concerned. I do not want to return to being the hermit I was.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/may/24/tracey-emin-the-stone-i-married-is-beautiful-and-dignified-it-will-never-let-me-down?CMP=fb_gu

The stone, she says, is “beautiful, it’s paleolithic, it’s monumental, it’s dignified, it will never, ever let me down. It’s not going anywhere: it’s a metaphor for what I prefer to live with. I prefer to be single, doing everything I want to do and how I want to do it.” Better than that, it cheers her up. “If I feel really low – anything from ‘I shouldn’t have said that’ to ‘I don’t feel very well’, to ‘I feel a bit lonely’ – I think about the stone and it actually makes me feel better.”

 

 

 

Manifestations of madness

I am seeing a link to the work I am interested in making. It makes sense to me that when no one else is experience what you’re experiencing inside your head that some sort of physical manifestation should take place, behaviours that people can see to show how you’re feeling, OCD, self harm, hoarding etc.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/objects/T-CNu-EuS3mX38Ee649_cQ

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800px-Courtyard_with_Lunatics_by_Goya_1794

Yard with Lunatics (Spanish: Corral de locos)

Artist Francisco Goya
Year c. 1794
Type oil-on-tinplate
Dimensions 32.7 cm × 43.8 cm (12.9 in × 17.2 in)

Francisco_Goya_-_Casa_de_locos

The Madhouse (Casa de locos) or Asylum

Artist Francisco de Goya
Year 1812-1819
Type Oil on panel
Dimensions 46 cm × 73 cm (18 in × 29 in)

https://www.magnoliabox.com/search?q=insanity&type=product

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Unrelated although one could argue that he is a bit mad, I need to see this –

http://www.timeout.com/london/art/jeff-koons-now

Hair

Hair and mental health. ” I feel like pulling my hair out “. I did once, well not exactly, but I cut it all off with nail scissors. Not recently but in the past I have felt that my hair was too big a weight to carry, annoying, feeling ever aware of it. I also pull my hair out by the strand, a bit like nail biting, an activity I subconsciously engage in when anxious. I used to twiddle my hair when I was very little, I still do now if it gets too long,  and I also brush it against my lips.

There is a name for this -trichotillomania.

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/trichotillomania/Pages/introduction.aspx

Introduction

Trichotillomania is a condition where a person feels compelled to pull their hair out.

They may pull out the hair on their head or in other places, such as their eyebrows or eyelashes.

Trichotillomania is an impulse-control disorder, a psychological condition where the person is unable to stop themselves carrying out a particular action.

They will experience an intense urge to pull their hair out and growing tension until they do. After pulling out hair, they’ll feel a sense of relief. Pulling out hair on the head leaves bald patches.

Trichotillomania can cause negative feelings, such as guilt. The person may also feel embarrassed or ashamed about pulling their hair out, and may try to deny it or cover it up. Sometimes trichotillomania can make the person feel unattractive and can lead to low self-esteem.

Impulse-control disorders are more common among teenagers and young adults. Trichotillomania tends to affect girls more than boys.

untitled-article-1455633724-body-image-1455640826

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/feb/20/gender.music

But in women it’s seen as being out of control because it’s outside the normal distribution of hair behaviour.” In other words, baldness is still relatively rare in women, and is generally treated as a sign of crisis or stress – or if it is known to be self-inflicted, a sign of madness.

 

My final hand in was on Wednesday 18th May. I did it. But now I’m left feeling deflated and depressed despite predicting this some 3 months ago and making plans to avoid the low. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself and it’s ok that I’ve pretty much slept ever since.

 

 

We have 4 weeks until the degree show and I have plenty of tweaks to be made to my work as well as preparing the space and installing the show. So it’s not all over yet.

 

 

We also have the Free range Show in London in July. Exhibitors get an online portfolio on the Free Range website so I need to do that too.

www.free-range.org.uk

 

 

In August I am going on a  Mediterranean cruise for a week with my good mate Louis which I’m really looking forward to and is much needed. I have never been on a holiday where I haven’t had to cook. I shall return fat as a barrel, 24 access to food!!!!

 

 

I am also planning on downsizing and swapping my 3 bedroom house, Steptoe’s Yard, with my nieces very nice 2 bedroom flat . It will be easier and cheaper for Callum and I. I’m a bit worried about the dogs not having access to a garden but it will encourage Callum and I to get out more often which can only be a good thing, better for the dogs too.

 

 

This will force me to face all my possessions and get rid of many as they’re not all going to fit in the flat. The thought of this is quite overwhelming but I’m determined to do it, slowly and surely. I need a skip  – no pennies for a skip unfortunately. Umpteen trips to the dump and charity shops will have to suffice.

Whilst I do not see my current work as fully resolved I do have some ideas for another topic for research – hair. The next blog post will be about that.I  hope to keep the momentum going where art is concerned. I do not want to return to being the hermit I was.

 

 

 

 

72 Days- 1

I have neglected the blog! Some of what is about to follow was drafted weeks ago but I haven’t processed any of it so it’s all a bit random and higgledy piggledy. The plan is to just post it anyway so I can move forward. 

 

Idea 1 ,  Children Should Be Seen & Not Heard, Putting Your Foot in Your Mouth – Tilt furniture with a flat surface by creating a ceramic thing to place under one leg. Maybe a babies head, stick the foot in the mouth. 

 

Idea 2 , You Can’t Fit a Square Peg in a Round Hole ( or in this case, vice versa ) . Stool seat, inspired by polka dots and foam thing to protect camera equipment; square holes, marbles in the square holes, sheer fabric to prevent them falling through. 


 

http://diyeverywhere.com/2016/02/16/how-to-turn-cement-lace-into-unique-home-dcor-items/?src=cba_49511&t=syn

I found this tutorial online. They use concrete. I am wondering if something similar could be done with clay/slip? 


 

William Adolphe Bouguereau

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William-Adolphe_Bouguereau

I chanced upon this artist today and felt an immediate love for his work. I understand why his work was not held in high regard by other artists, he’s not pushing any boundaries or saying anything new, but I find it beautiful despite its sweet, sickliness. I think I am drawn to images such as these as an escape from the darker aspects of life of which I have seen/experienced more than my fair share. I have long had a preoccupation with all things “pink and fluffy”, a survival technique I guess. In this instance I am aware that it is the idealised notions of childhood and motherhood which appeal to me. I think I have a very warped sense of what is “good enough” in terms of family and home because I had no realistic models to aspire to.  

 

He also used some of the religious and erotic symbolism of the Old Masters, such as the “broken pitcher” which connoted lost innocence.[14]

This is interesting. I wonder what other objects have connotations in 
paintings? 

The idealised world of his paintings brought to life goddesses, nymphs, bathers, shepherdesses, and madonnas in a way that appealed to wealthy art patrons of the era.


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Over the past four years studying art I have identified a number of 
repetitive themes, aesthetics and sources of inspiration in my work. 
My work is always rooted in my own personal experiences.
Previous attempts to deviate from this has resulted in work which I am
not proud of and do not engage in with passion. 

            

Polka dots, mushrooms, ( fly agaric ) = my nan
Dolls = me
Torn seams "Coming apart at the seams", as an aesthetic and a metaphor
for an emotional state 
Fraying fabric
Fabric
Furniture
Home
Abandonment
Not being appreciated or respected as myself
Imperfection
Worn, used




Tessellation Experiments for Ceramic Tablecloth 
 
  • Thinking of ways to disrupt flat surfaces. 
    
  • Vintage table cloths 
    
  • " Coming apart at the seams " Torn seams   

 

 

Montage Tesselation Colour

Montage Tesselation Grey


 

http://www.juxtapoz.com/news/illustration/a-collage-of-nudes/

 

I think this aesthetic would lend itself well to my ceramic stool covers with the babies heads.

Kim Joon 6


 

https://news.artnet.com/people/yayoi-kusama-quotes-birthday-447770?utm_content=buffer75912&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=socialmedia

“Andy [Warhol] copied my ideas such as repetition and accumulation for his work.” (source)


http://www.theguardian.com/stage/theatreblog/2016/apr/07/playing-up-haphazard-tate-modern-children-theatre-play?CMP=fb_gu

 

“Perhaps adults are simply broken children who need help and permission in learning how to play again.”

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G09aIKMBNhE

Great little video about collecting.

11 – Concept development

Concept Development

Structure

P.E.E

Point – example – explain

Broad statement of desired outcomes/the general intentions of the visual outcomes

Emphasize what is to be accomplished/what you are intending to explore as your theme/subject.

What am I making?

How will it look?

What am I trying to communicate?

relationship between space, objects and function.

 Fragility of relationships.

 the fragility of this relationship in a particular domestic environment

 A project which sets objects in dialogue with each other and with the spaces around them

A CONVERSATION between furniture and ceramics

Poetic connections between everyday objects

Found object/made object

Microcosm of the wider world

Incapacitate the function of the furniture.

Confronting strangeness.

Forms not associated with an obvious use (ceramics)

fluid meaning

Produce a response through its form and material

Encourages a certain type of interaction/ shifted to emotional response (viewer)

evokes an emotional & aesthetic response in the viewer

Cause and effect

Function/efficiency

The effect of one thing on another

The aesthetic and psychological dimensions of collecting

associations, nostalgia and elusive meaning

Representation of pain, distress, dysfunction. *

How does this relate to previous work undertaken?

Fetishism – an object which takes the place of normal human relations

Hoarding

Identity

Coping mechanisms – Sophie Calle

Objects I own are often a starting point – visual language

Accessible to others

Mushrooms, polka dots, dolls, objects from childhood, ceramics, retro, vintage

Nauman’s square depression – spatial construction of a psychological state

Encourages a certain type of interaction/ shifted to emotional response (viewer )

Walk in object

Objectives – subsidiary aims

Steps you are going to take to answer your questions on a specific list of tasks needed to accomplish the goals of the project.

Emphasize how aims are to be accomplished

Must be highly focused and feasible

Finer details

The visual representation of the space between visions and thoughts – Richard Billingham tested by poverty, addiction and being sold short of the better things in life

Recreate feelings of nostalgia, safety, innocence, warmth and love experienced in childhood or as an escape from uglier aspects of life and human beings.

Social isolation

Disabling

Scaled down the original idea

Focus on the relationship between the ceramic and furniture

Furniture compromised by made object

Disguise furniture’s use

Domestic objects isolate in gallery setting/ context

Space – group? Alone? Consider

 Stand alone or part of a larger structure

Exploring the medium

Forms not associated with an obvious use

Retro feel, soft geometric forms, pastel glaze.

Handles

Inspired by textiles

Repetition of motifs

Key visual motif

Variants on a single idea

Emboss

Draped ceramics

Edges/fragility, imperfection

Aged patina

Concept

What ideas are driving the project?

Concept (wider framework of the work)

Historical/Political/Social/ Psychological etc.

What is the context you are working in?

Who are the most relevant thinkers/artists etc to your project?

Theory (wider framework of the work)

What are the bigger ideas supporting your project?

The effect of environments on the individual

Gaston Bachelard poetics of space – 1. Home x 2

*Hoarding

Treasure

The system of objects baudrillard – symbolic meaning/ function

Once precious fragments of other peoples lives

The aesthetic and psychological dimensions of collecting

Dysfunction, space, behaviour – effect on the individual

Consequences

*Environmental Psychology

Behaviour settings, places that encourage specific patterns of behaviour

The direct relationship the environment has with the inhabitant and how it      affects behaviour ( perception of space – Osgood, suci and tannebaum )

*Attachment theories

Early attachments were the result of receiving care and comfort from a caregiver

Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life.

Unhealthy attachments

Perception of space

Identity (mirror)

Time, narrative, self-portrait

Media

What is the medium?

Why is this medium appropriate to the concept/aims of the project?

How will you develop this media?

Old furniture

Visual language

Clay – earthenware, semi porcelain, porcelain

Versatility, light, fragile, heavy, reference to china collectables and functional ceramics domestic setting

Microcosm of the wider world

Fabric

Technical Issues

Identify what you may require in order to complete your project?

Do you foresee any problems with what you are proposing?

Time

Size of kiln

Limited knowledge and experience – learning/ problem solving as I go

Sarah

Draped ceramics

Production

How do you intend to carry out the project in the time allowed?

Have you created a timetable for the completion of work?

What are the likely costs of the work and are they feasible or prohibitive?

Many simple or less but complicated.

Less is more

 

Proposal for FRA600

I intend to present a visual representation of the aesthetic and psychological dimensions of multiple objects in conversation with each other and as metaphors for coping mechanisms and the fragility of relationships.

This will take the form of a found and made objects in close proximity with each other. I intend the effect of these objects on one another to suggest dysfunction and evoke an emotional response in the viewer through their own associations with the objects.

The familiarity of the found objects, pieces of old furniture, was chosen to stimulate a narrative of home, time and memories. In relation, the made objects, hand built ceramics with fluid meaning, are intended to incapacitate the function of the furniture, disrupt that narrative and introduce ideas of fragility and dysfunction.

The concept for this proposal was inspired by my own experiences and use of objects as part of my visual language. It came also from research into Environmental Psychology and my experiences of Hoarding Disorder. I am interested in the direct relationship the environment has with the inhabitant, our perception of space and how it affects behaviour. (Osgood, Suci and Tannebaum)

The previous objective was to create a walk in piece requiring physical interaction. In Square Depression, Bruce Nauman encourages a limited type of movement with his spatial construction of a psychological state. In initial experimentation however my focus shifted towards objects, our attachments to them and evoking an emotional response from the viewer. Experimentation with clay and furniture produced an interesting aesthetic which I want to pursue further.

In The System of Objects, Jean Baudrillard agreed with Roland Barthes that objects “say something” about their users.
Unhealthy attachments to objects are often a result of unstable attachments to caregivers in childhood. Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. This can lead to fetishism of objects in place of normal human relations. Human fragility and dysfunction occur when the value making processes as identified by Baudrillard become confused and objects become a coping mechanism. In The Birthday Ceremony, Sophie Calle exhibits strange ideas about the functional and symbolic value of objects, displaying gifts as a reminder of the affection felt towards her.

I have resolved to create ceramics as a direct response to particular items of furniture. I will continue to explore the aesthetic of draped fabrics, aged patina, imperfection, texture, fragility and soft geometric forms. I propose a repetition of key visual motifs or variants of a single idea to communicate a coherent idea and not overwhelm the viewer.
I will develop my ceramic marbles idea using porcelain and test how they can interact with the furniture. Further work is needed to consider if casts of dolls faces communicate my aims. Once those issues have been resolved I will decide if items of furniture will stand alone in a gallery setting or become part of a larger structure.

Old furniture and ceramics are appropriate as an accessible reference to domestic environments. Second hand furniture can be collected cheaply or free. Clay is inexpensive which will allow for my limited experience and knowledge of ceramics.

Clay is a versatile medium, used historically and to the present day for functioning and decorative objects. It can be manipulated to suggest weight and solidity, or conversely something flimsy and fragile. Stoneware, earthenware, semi porcelain and porcelain have different properties which I shall explore to create forms not associated with an obvious use but focussing on how they disrupt the intended function of the furniture.

The lengthy process, the size of the kiln and the availability of technical support may limit me. My current objective is already a scaled down version of a previous idea; I am prepared to refine this further to achieve a quality aesthetic that communicates effectively. I can either simplify my designs but make a greater quantity or create more complicated forms in fewer numbers. I am open to the idea of less being more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 – Collate language

 


INCAPACITATE - prevent from functioning in a normal way
Value. Aesthetic beauty/ appeal. Worthless Self - portrait. Textiles.  Furniture. 
Children’s toys. Identity. Vintage fabrics. Safety. Warmth. Security. Comfort. 
Maternal deprivation. Social isolation. Attachment. Separation anxiety. Distress.
Frightened. Proximity. Protection. Dependable. Secure. Object. Real. Useful. 
Nan’s old sheets. Space, Order. Chaos. Boundaries. Overcrowded. Dense. 
Camouflage. Possessions. Purpose. Rescue. Despair. Loneliness. Self induced. 
Repress. Intimate connection. Consequences. Disarray. cobwebs. Dust. Stacks. 
Piles. Clutter. Unorganised. Time Capsule. Treasure. Conflict. Escape. 
Environmental Psychology. Proxemics. Crowding. Personal Space. territoriality. 
Mushrooms. Polka Dots. Privacy. Solitude. Control. Claustrophobia. Anger, 
Frustration, Immobility. Torn. Crumpled. Domestic. Oversized. Undersized. 
Walk-in object. Helpless. Recycle. Useless. Waste. Conserve. Function.







These things have to come back to life. 

My collection isn’t structured. It’s drawn from things I come across, as opposed 
to things I hunt out.

You’re spelunking  through people’s subconscious. 

You can never deny that initial  thrill of when you pull up to the car park not 
knowing what you might find. 

The  desperate regret and feeling of loss, the memories are all I have left, 
that feeling of comfort and joy I felt at owning such treasures. 

I just see myself as the curator or collector of  the work. I’m not the author.

These objects provide insight  into the inspirations, influences, motives, and 
obsessions of their owners.

The  aesthetic and psychological dimensions of collecting.

Items which transport us back to childhood.

The relationship between objects, space and the way that makes one feel.
Early attachments were the result of receiving comfort and care from a caregiver.

Demonstrated how such bonds emerge and the powerful impact they have 
on behaviour and functioning.

2 or more things together create something bigger than the sum of their parts. 

Attachment theory is focused on the relationships and bonds between people, 
particularly long-term relationships including those between a parent and child 
and between romantic partners.

“Lasting psychological connectedness between human beings.”

Attachment is an emotional bond to another person.

Bowlby believed that the earliest bonds formed by children with their 
caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life.

He suggested attachment also serves to keep the infant close to the mother,
thus improving the child’s chances of survival. 

Born with an innate drive to form attachments with caregivers.

A conversation between objects and space. 

Form unhealthy attachments to objects. 

A project which sets objects in dialogue with one another and with the spaces 
around them.

A fetish, in particular the sense of a technical, psychological explanation, is 
an object that takes the place of normal human relations. 

It’s a predisposition, sensitivity or an emotional vulnerability in a person and 
if that person is brought up in a harsh environment soon the fetish world comes 
along offering a solution.

Transported back to childhood.  

The visual representation of the space between visions and thoughts.

“tested by poverty, addiction and being sold short of the better things in life.”   Richard Billingham

Able to imbue domestic objects and processes with value, and power. 

Surrealism, with its interest in hasard objectif, and found objects, opened up 
art to the everyday (think of Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’), taking it out of the closed 
world of the male-dominated studio. 
To me it's all beautiful and useful. En masse it is neither beautiful nor useful. Trying to retrieve one item from the hoard is like searching for a needle in a 
haystack. I know it's there, I can see it glinting, but I cannot reach it to see 
its' beauty or to let it fulfil its' purpose. 
To me and others the barrier created is obvious, visible, tactile. But the 
barriers in my own mind which prevent its' removal are only apparent to me. 
It is a direct study of the relationship between an environment and how that 
environment affects the behaviour of its inhabitants, with the aim of maximising 
the positive affects of this relationship.
Arranged "to move the viewer through them and through the space surrounding them" 

Collected one by one over many years the works in this apartment take us on a 
journey through one man’s life and spirit. Like a private diary so intimate and 
personal, this collection is a mirror of the man. It calls into question what 
collecting really means in today’s world.’  

It is about the formal qualities of space and the vanishing point; at the same 
time Square Depression represents the spatial construction of a psychological 
state below the level of the vanishing point. 

the role of the body as a medium, and space and the body's interplay with it. 
Nauman's architecture-related projects anticipate and incorporate the movements 
of the viewer, who reacts to the projects. 

ability to make a decision, to face the situation at hand, and to assume 
responsibility for themselves.
“We comfort ourselves by reliving memories of protection. Something closed must 
retain our memories, while leaving them their original value as images. Memories 
of the outside world will never have the same tonality as those of home and, by 
recalling these memories, we add to our store of dreams; we are never real
 historians, but always near poets, and our emotion is perhaps nothing but an 
expression of a poetry that was lost.”
Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space


“Of course, thanks to the house, a great many of our memories are housed, and 
if the house is a bit elaborate, if it has a cellar and a garret, nooks and 
corridors, our memories have refuges that are all the more clearly delineated. 
All our lives we come back to them in our daydreams. A psychoanalyst should, 
therefore, turn his attention to this simple localization of our memories. I 
should like to give the name of topoanalysis to this auxiliary of psychoanalysis. 
      Topoanalysis, then would be the systematic psychological study of the site   of our 
intimate lives.”
- Gaston Bachelard