Subject Evaluation

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.

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Setting Up the Exhibition

Today I had to set up my section of the exhibition. I was dreading this slightly because I didn’t know where I was supposed to go however I figured I would find somewhere. My main concern was inadvertently encroaching on some else’s space. (I don’t like dealing with stressed people).

This is how my space looks of course in the show it will be minus the sketchbooks.

I put my jacket on the chair as a way of presenting it so it would give some character and narrative.

I wanted to display my BAMS work because I’m quite proud of that work and it’s more representative of the sort of thing I can do than this term was due to mental health and physical health. I had made a new design however I hadn’t polished it up to the standard I would have liked and compared to the two I displayed it just looked a bit rubbish.

I also displayed my Pewter pendants so that I could show how my attempts at small scale sculpting went. I think the antelope is much better than the koi carp.

I would have displayed photos of me wearing my costume and I took photos but I hated how they came out. I also felt weird about it being an incomplete costume but I honestly just lost so much enthusiasm for it and I think it demonstrates that I can see things pretty well. I think I can still improve but this was the first time I’ve inserted a zip and inserted sleeves. It was also the first time that I made a pattern entirely from scratch.

My peices may not be all that conceptual (save for the medal) but my hope is that they demonstrate the beginnings of new areas of exploration (the pewter) and further practice and refinement of older skills that have been left a bit undeveloped due to them being purely hobbies and not having time (the sewing).

New Medals

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Since I wanted to display my BAMS medals, I figured that I would make a new medal to show a final piece of development for it. I designed this to be based on space ships and the solar system. I wanted the circle at the top to be almost like a viewfinder to symbolise the act of finding the future and then the triangle which resembles a space shuttle is also a bit like an arrow that points to this future.

I think my second medal definitely came out best because the mould was a bit warmer and I had more pewter in the pan and so it flowed better.

London Gallery Visits

Last week I went to London for an event but seeing as I was going to be there for three days I thought it would be a good time to look at some galleries to make up for the fact that I didn’t go on the other trip due to having sciatica (sorry but I REALLY didn’t fancy being stuck on a coach for several hours with sciatica, it would have been very painful).

The White Cube

The first gallery I went to was The White Cube. The White Cube is a strange one to me because I first went when they were exhibiting Cerith Wyn Evan’s neon scribbles and it was just incredible. The problem is that I was so blown away by that that every time I’ve visited since has, to be honest, been disappointing. It’s just been lacking that other worldly, ethereal feeling I got the first time. I was planning to go to the textiles museum which is further up the road but they were closed to set up an exhibition.

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The thing that I enjoyed about this piece by Lèon Wuidar was the illusory nature of it. I think that it looks like a road that I could walk into and just keep going. It appeals to my wandering and curious nature. I was glad it was displayed with so much space in front of it because it works to the strength of the painting. If it had been in a small room I really don’t think it would have worked very well. 
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I also like that the sketchbooks were on display. I liked how meticulous and carefully kept it was. I sometimes feel that there is a weird bias against ordered sketchbooks or least in my A level class there was and I was often berated for having too tidy/structured a sketchbook. I enjoyed that this went against that.
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This is Beatriz Milhazes’ Rio Azul. It is very dizzying to look at because of how tall it is and how much colour was crammed into it. The thing that I found most interesting was the floor. This is because the floor in this room was gold whereas the rest of the gallery his this sort grey coloured flooring. This interested me because it made me feel extremely uneasy about going in because the floor made it feel sectioned off. I thought I wasn’t allowed in and when I walked back past the room to leave, I saw people in the room and I was really surprised for some reason. It was really strange. 

The Tate Modern

I love the Tate Modern, it is easily one of my favourite galleries because of the variety of work inside, I especially love the Mark Rothko pieces although this time we explored the new parts of the gallery since we haven’t been since the expansion.

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This is my mum standing in front of The Passing Winter by Yayoi Kusama. I really enjoyed this piece because of how it feels as thought it tears holes in reality. I really love art with illusory qualities to it, to me it makes it more playful and exciting. 
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It was very fun looking into the box in order to see all the never ending reflections.
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Hélio Oiticica
Tropicália, Penetrables PN 2 ‘Purity is a myth’ and PN 3 ‘Imagetical’
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The main thing I found weird about this piece is that the description says that it encourages interactivity and yet as shown in the photo it is fenced off. It makes me wonder how much control the artist has what the decision making is behind this sort of thing. As it is the way this is displayed kind of defeats the purpose of it.
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Description for the photos below. 
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This was my favourite thing I saw. It was a terrifying puppet type thing. It’s eyes follow you around the room and it’s very loud with clattering chains. I loved how unnerving it was. I saw that in the description it says that the terror fades away however I never felt comfortable with being in the same room. I stayed for quite a while but I was quite nervous of it.

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Make Your Mark 5

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This segment is about actually making this jacket. I cut the fabric according to my pattern and then sewed it together just like I did with the draft only I got the sleeves right this time as well as fastenings.

In terms of how it came out it seems ok, I think there were places where the stitching might have been a little straighter and neater. It fits well which is good but I think the collar is just a little too high. I wanted it to be high and structured but I might have gone a bit much with it.

I omitted the high vis and logo element because I figured there was no point in trying to make this an adaptation or costume design anymore. I don’t think anyone really understood or I kind of got the impression it wasn’t something I should do within the course which confused me and put me off taking it any further. So I guess this was skills acquisition and practice since I have never drafted my own pattern or fitted a zip before so that’s something. I do like how it looks I think it does look cool but I feel so discouraged about its original intent that I no longer really know the purpose of it. Like I said there just seemed no point in having it as a costume piece since no one’s even heard of the thing I’m trying to adapt anyways. I have lost all my will and energy to do with this.

Pewter Live 5

These are my Pewter live submissions. These aren’t the photos I submitted but I couldn’t find the other photos. I feel kind of stupid for having entered because really these aren’t very good. I think maybe I didn’t really understand what they were looking for but also they just aren’t all that good. I’m kind of wondering wether I should continue with it next year or not I don’t really know. Obviously I didn’t win or anything and I think the work looked pretty crap next to everyone else’s but I tried I guess.

Here’s some photos of the work in the hall Rhi kindly took the photos for me since I couldn’t attend due to a prior commitment, probably just as well because I just feel embarrassed by the whole thing.