I decided to participate in the DOK member show after joining. It was during the October break during the first specialism project so I thought I should keep the theme on the same track as my project. I knew I wanted to do some embroidery and to try and make a 3D object. I sketched out some ideas, considering what time and money I had to put into the project. If I was to make a 3D embroidered price I would need to think about structure as well as the design. I settled on an easier design that I could use the French stitching technique Sophia taught us. I chose the fabric because I wanted to create a cheap-yet-luxurious, stained effect, commonly associated with sordid behaviour. The maroon red thread contrasts well against the colour and adds the the effect. I had seen a tip about marking the design on fabric with coloured pens so that if the stitching separates the background colour fills it in. However the ink just started spreading, so I tried to erase it with bleach. This explains the bleeding red around the text, some of the stains and some of the smell.
I had planned to involve scent with this work, obviously relating to the text. I used what ever I had already, including men and women’s, oils And atomisers. The bleach offers something different to the mixture, a cleaning role.
The embroidery, I think, is pretty well done whereas the stitching is raggedy. It was planned but I think it adds to the effect.
Overall I’m quite happy with this as an object. I think the shape and text could be more interesting but I think as a soft sculpture it works. I priced it at £50 so no one would buy it. 😏
For my first specialism I’ve chosen to work in free practice. This suits me best as I work between 2D and 3D with conceptual themes. I’m continuing on the theme I developed in the drawing project, so I’ll be continuing to work on attraction. This week I’ve been continuing the embroideries that I started during the drawing week as well as gathering my thoughts on what I’m thinking about in this project.
From my notes my main concern is what am I trying to say in the project. I find the subject very interesting but I’ve been finding it hard to, at this point, define what I want a resolution to say. However I do know i don’t have to settle on things now and will let my research influence my concepts.
We were given the task of of organising and hosting our current first years. We sought to improve on last years induction by improving engagement between the classes, creating a stronger structure and hopefully giving a stronger sense of what the course is about.
We began organising on the Monday. First we brainstormed what we wanted to show the first years and what we would have wanted to learn. We agreed that we wanted to make them feel more comfortable and give them more of a clue of what to expect from CAP. We split off into groups to mind map activities. The other group created the general structure of the week where our group made more activities to engage the group. We combined the ideas to create a 3 day long task where we would group the first years into teams and they would go and collect materials off a brief and make responses in different mediums, with ice breakers and games peppered amongst the days. The initial timetable we scheduled was pretty easy going with lateish starts for the first years and mid day finishes.
The task was to work as a individuals in a group to collect responses to a set of one word briefs, which they would then use to make multiple responses in different mediums which would then be in a mini exhibition. Through out we would do mini crits so that could get a taste of criticising each other’s work.
On the first day we soon learnt that we should be having meetings before we start the session, so that we are all up to speed with what we’re doing. There was confusion between us as to the structure of the session. We managed it however and made seemed like the firsts years enjoyed the task of gathering materials and exploring the types of mediums they can use for documentation.
As we went on we continued the morning meetings which helped a lot, we tried to work on our engagement with the first years. We began sitting with them and not in front of them and talking to individuals. This and them settling in made them come out of their shells a bit more.
I think over all we did well but there was definite room for improvement. I admit I could’ve been more engaged with the planning process. I don’t think I’m suited to training roles, currently I think I lack the patience.
This week leading up to assessment I’ve just been focused on tying up lose ends with my development and producing my pieces for my installation. After discussing it with my tutors I decided to try screen printing onto the mirrors. I’ve never done it before so it was really good learning a new technique. The prints came out smudged most of the time but seemed easy enough to clean up with toothpicks for accuracy. I cracked of the mirrors I had picked to print on trying to get it out of the frame but thankfully I had a surplus supply. On Monday I will have to work quickly in tidying and then covering my booth it piles of jelly.
If I’m honest I had been feeling displeased with my final outcomes. I’ve been thinking that there isn’t “enough” to them. However I feel this is my own fault for not being willing to think about my concepts enough. Because I’m trying to stay away from the metaphor like mentality I’m ignoring thinking about my concept. I should have realised that metaphors are usually applicable to all conceptual art. After discussions with Coire and researching more on one of my artists Marianna Simnett, I feel a lot more confident and invigorated about my final installation. I’ve realised how much the jelly works with my theme and really how much it works with me and my style. I’ve had worries about being to basic, too simple. Although I was raised around livestock and mud, I have never really involved these things in my work. Nothing really that gross. Although the jelly is still quite simple I feel I think I’m heading in a direction of media that I’m happy with.
For my final piece I’ve decided to go forward with the mirror concept. I think that they convey my point quite well and will encourage people to engage with the work. When people see a mirror, especially in a gallery space, they will want to take a selfie in it. I want this so that people have a record of their reflection in the mirrors. They will be taking a record of the messages enforced on women.
However I think the mirrors by itself are lacking. Through out my development, the directions and artists I’m interested in aren’t reflected in my work. I’m interested in bodily aesthetics but I’ve never implemented this in my practice. To sort of combat this I’m going to experiment with jelly in the installation.
Late on in the project I was reminded of a makeup look I did for halloween one year. It was to look like my face was melting. I made a makeshift special effect mixture of gelatine, water and face powder in my shade so it looked realistic. I realized I could recreate this effect very quickly by using jelly. I didn’t film my process of making the jelly mask as it was pretty messy but I filmed me removing it which I then edited into this video;
As I took of the jelly I realized how interesting the jelly looked piled up and eventually dried out. Over the course of the week I played about with it, covered some of the mirrors in it.
Like the expanding foam I like the encasing and encompassing element to jelly. However I think jelly offers more levels of meaning that the foam couldn’t. I actually love what the jelly has to offer. To match the colour scheme that had developed from the planning stage I used raspberry and strawberry jelly which had a strong smell. Mixed with pure gelatin to make the final setting more rigid it became more pungent, to the point where when I was pouring it on my face I started to gag. This overwhelming sensation would be interesting to play with, the overbearing attack on the sense. The physicality of the jelly can also be grotesque resembling something bodily. It could even go as far as menstrual which relates back to the female perspective. Women are too often told that menstruation is something to be ashamed of. It is to be hidden. With my jelly is plain view it will confront the audience. Also it being edible adds another layer. The low nutritional value is exchanged for the joy of eating a sweet treat.
Combining all these elements together I will be aiming to make an installation for my final piece.
After reflection on the first mentoring session and my work so far I’ve decided that I’ve been too precious about my theme in that I’ve been focusing on trying to convey the feeling of dysphoria. Although i think its a feeling a lot of people can relate to I don’t think its very interesting to look at. I’ve decided to sort of change my direction from looking at women feeling dysphoria to WHY they feel that dysphoria.
The first piece I made on this thought was a video made up of my own footage and found audio.
The footage I used was some of the original footage I took during the first weeks of the project. It show’s me biting my lip until it bleeds which some find very uncomfortable. It’s also a symptom of Body Repetitive Behaviour Disorder which is linked to anxiety and stress. I chopped up the footage so that its more disconcerting. The audio is a remix of late night call lines from the US. I selected clips of the audio that are designed specifically to appeal to men and disregard women’s choices. They are there to serve men specifically and bend to their preferences. I think the combination is effective in creating a sinister and abrasive result that is very jarring.
The next video was a quick pairing of audio from the “Am I Ugly” challenge were young girls filmed themselves asking if their ugly and posting it to youtube. Being a young girl in this generation must be incredibly confusing as you are bombarded by images of the “ideal” by social media and more open to mens influences of what they want from you. I paired the audio with some found footage of women in the 80s/90s who seem to be enjoying themselves. I just wanted to make a quick contrast between the two.
What I’m quite excited about are the mirrors I’m developing. Through out the project i’ve mentioned mirrors but never followed through and my plans for them. However I quite like this one. I’ve said before that I avoided mirrors when i was younger because I didn’t want to look at myself. That thought been on my mind for a while. I’ve decided to print phrases onto asotate to place over the mirror so that it’s transparent. I want the phrases to have double meanings that can be interpreted by the individual. One side is the phrases men tell women so that they do not over step them, the other is what women tell themselves so that they are attractive to men
Myself, Coire and Niamh all visited Glasgow for the opening weekend of Glasgow International. We arrived around 6 and the first performance and piece we saw was Robert Mill’s “The Stories of St Mungo?”. He performed a spoken word piece from a boat on the River Clyde. I thought the piece was really thoughtful and reflective of his time in Glasgow.
As this was the main piece we came down to see we didn’t really have any plan of actions for seeing other work. At Robert’s performance we met Rachael, our past Artist in residence, who we joined for a bit. We went to transmission and saw the collective piece from the iQhiya collctive who are a south african based group of black female artists. Their work took over the whole space and discussed the erasure of women, specifically POC women, from art and from history. I thought the way they used the space so that they could collaborate openly and open a dialogue freely was really thought provoking and made me reflect on my own lack of knowledge of these women.
After this we walked south over the suspension bridge thinking we would get to Tramway but we were distracted by other work on the way. We came across another site specific event in a set of arches. Each arch held a different artist/s work. The one I remember most vividly was a projection onto a sheet held in the middle of the room. The film seemed to focus on the de-industrialisation of the Glasgow as wealth has moved in and kicked working class people out.
Since visiting Glasgow I have smashed my phone which I hadn’t backed up since December so I have lost a lot of photos, including the ones I took on this trip.
Today we went up to Dundee to install our group exhibition, Losing Sight of the Shore. I have chosen to show the flower pieces I made, which consists of a group of varying flowers that have been covered in expanding foam. I chose this as it was the latest large development in my project and I thought it was eye-catching.
I decided to hang the flowers as it seemed the best way to display them, I didn’t think having it on a plinth or on the floor was very interesting. I waited till everyone has had installed their work to begin mine as to not get in anyones way. I needed to use the ladder in the centre of the room and move it around so it was going to be pretty intrusive. I hung them in the centre of the room to work with the spacing of the exhibiton.