This year in subject can be broken up into two very distinct groups of time for me; before Field and after Field. This is because I felt almost like two different people.
Before Christmas I was working on BAMS and I enjoyed it immensely. I realise, when comparing these two lumps of time that this is because BAMS had structure and I like structure. I found that I flourished when I had a set brief and understood the parameters of the brief. With BAMS it was make a medal that was no bigger than 10cm wide/long, no thicker than 4mm and is ideally made of bronze. I also liked that there were weekly goals that were set, for example I knew by week x I need to have my wax mould ready so that I can do waxes and have the tree ready to coat in week y. That sort of structure was very useful to me and whilst working through the bronze I was also working on rendering my medals in other materials.
I wanted my medals to be pewter and light gathering acrylic because I thought it fit the theme of my medal better and I wanted to use materiality as a way to express the concept.
Whilst I did not enter the actual BAMS competition because my bronze pieces did not come out that well and I did not think the pewter and acrylic medals would be entirely eligible, I did submit them to Craft in the Bay which was a positive thing because I had never exhibited in a formal gallery setting before. I was also pleased with this because I had attached an optimistic and hopeful message to it and it is something I still believe in.
Once BAMS and Field had wound down and come to a close, it was time to start Make Your Mark and this is when things got very difficult and overwhelming for me.
I have always struggled with these projects where I have to choose my own project to do and that last a long time. I never have the confidence in my ideas, I end up discarding them and I lose interest very quickly in things. This project was no exception however the problem was exacerbated by ongoing health problems, namely my fatigue.
I initially tried to do a project based on people’s utopias and pre established political and philosophical theories, however I got very overwhelmed and so I changed it to making a costume for a would be adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. The thinking behind this is that I have been interested in the idea special effects and costumery and am tentatively wondering wether or not it could be a viable career path. However I am inexperienced and so I wanted to use this new idea as a way to develop my patterning and sewing skills. I was going to make a full costume however I was feeling very discouraged and so I only made the jacket in the end.
I also decided that I wanted to try more with my pewter because after doing BAMS I realised that I enjoyed working with it. I also wanted to practice my small scale sculpting and I was determined to find a medium that I liked. I realised that Pewter Live could be a good medium for doing this and decided that it would be good to enter. I have mixed feelings on my outcomes. I am not entirely happy with them although I do like the antelope skull, I think the carp was too chunky and I do not like the markings too much on it. However I am glad that I did them because I feel they were an important step in developing ideas for future pewter endeavours. I have some ideas for experiments I would like to do in the third year and I think I have made some foundations to do some interesting things, however I really think it was good to have gained those steps.
In terms of a professional practice, I must confess that this course is putting me off the idea of ‘being an artist’ by trade (I have no doubt it will always be a hobby) and I realise that when I visit galleries I do not see where my work would really fit. This is in part due to not having so much of a creative identity i.e. I have yet to find my niche and also because I do not have the sense of direction and self motivation that I would understand an ‘artist’ to need. My vision for my practice would be for it to be vocational my inclination at the moment is either special effects and costumery, something to do with computer games or art therapy.