Making Day

Yesterday I worked on a long sculptural piece made from air packaging. Each “pocket” is covered with tissue paper and cut out images from medical books. The final material was  latex which gave the surface an overall skin- like feel. The images give clear links to the body.

My decision to use latex was partly because I had used it before and had enjoyed the transparent nature of the material. Also another student on the course shares some of my interests around her practice and it was suggested to us both to collaborate. So we both decided to experiment with latex on the making day.

At the end of the day we were all asked to share 3 words about each persons work.

This gave a deeper understanding of what messages your work is giving to the audience.

 

 

The words used to describe my work were air, layers, examination, medical, human body, disturbing, scientific, Frankenstein, manufactured, voluptuous, voluminous, visceral, bodily, internal, soft, spine and form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Maison Fragiles : Hauser & Wirth

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Eva Hesse : Inside 1 & Inside 2, 1967

Acrylic, papier-mache, sawdust, wood, cord, metal, paper box

Yesterday I visited the Hauser & Wirth exhibition “Maison Fragiles” an exhibition that explores the themes of fragility, vulnerability and protection in a variety of guises.

The artists included all share a common preoccupation with materiality. Louise Bourgeois’ sculpture entitled ” Maison Fragiles” confronts the deeply repressed issues of childhood trauma. For Bourgeois architecture functioned as a personification of the human condition.  The frailty of this  piece comments   on the tension between interior and exterior. The legs of the sculpture evoke the parameters of a house, while the empty interior reflects the solitude of domestic life. The structures are made in steel giving them a strength that appears lacking at first.

Eva Hesse’s papier mache boxes called Inside 1&2, 1967 have grey painted cord, wire and twine in the bottom. The smooth exterior contrast with the irregular interiors paralleling with the mind and body.

The work in this exhibition touched on themes of my own practice which is why I chose to see it. I felt slightly disappointed with the overall feel of the exhibition but resonated with the expressive qualities of the use of materiality by the artists. It has also made me aware of several artists such as Roni Horn and Fauste Melotti both of whom interested me.

Roni Horn ‘Two Pink Tons’ 2008, plays with the physical properties of glass. She explores themes of sameness and difference within her work.

Next door was a solo exhibition of the Italian artist Faboi Mauri where the artist confronts the experiences of being a soldier. He uses found objects such as a gas mask, a lamp, a compass and affixes them to impermeable sheets of iron, presented as a traditional painting on a canvas. This exhibition had more presence and coherence for me and again introduced me to an artist I was unaware of.

Afterwards I took myself to Shepherds a specialist paper shop where I bought several thin, transparent papers to explore and work on. This was the first time I had visited this shop and it was a true Alladins cave for paper!

 

 

Free writing.

The inside/outside dilemma of the body pre- occupies me. Edges, turning ourselves inside- out, flow and connectivity from outside to inside.

The scale of my work could be much larger so as to involve my whole self when working. Articulating my ideas involves finding a set of materials as a language and using processes that relate to my ideas. These processes are revealed through repetition.

I have bought some old books on the body and anatomy. The qualities of the pages and linear drawings are interesting me.

The lines repeating in folding and unfolding, enfolding and refolding are lines that divide and separate, they take us to unknown thresholds. Deleuze distinguishes lines as segmentary, molecular and transformational. The line can represent the fluid between space and the fold reveals that there is no boundary between inside and outside, but a lining, as each is folded into the other.

How do I show this?image

 

The Flesh Made Word.

imageI have been reading about how the female body can be re-represented . The mirror keeps cropping up as a way of distortion, surface, reflection and contemplation. Presence and absence is another aspect that re- cures for me. Lacan writes how a totalised body is inaccessible and that we can only construct ourselves as a body in pieces or a corps morcele. Therefore the outline of the body is constantly shifting,blurring and taking on a new and temporary form.

This constantly changing state is fragile and vulnerable and a quality that I would like to capture within my own work. I have started to enlarge photographs of the skin. Mainly of my hands and mouth and through enlarging I am gaining more ambiguous images to work from.

Geometry and folding

image image image imageI am currently folding pages from medical books. Using images of the inside of our body to show them externally. My thoughts are going towards DNA structures and other repeated structures that are seen internally and mirrored externally. The complex forms and shapes repeat and mirror themselves in our external surroundings especially in nature. I am reading books about geometry to help me understand these patterns.

Jaimini Patel lecture notes

imageI have continued to look at the fold within my work and want to relate it to fluidity of matter and the elasticity of bodies. Each body contains a labyrinth of passages that flow fluid around our bodies. Externally we have the folds of our skin that are divided into smaller and smaller folds. This fold within a fold interests me and the internalisation of the outside. The folds of our soul is another expression and chapter in Deleuzes book The Fold.

I have begun folding old sewing patterns; experimenting with origami folds. My thoughts are moving towards using transparent paper/ acetates to experiment folding with. The transparency of the material helping to convey this overlap between inside and outside?

Last night we had a hangout lecture by the artist Jaimini Patel where she talked us through a body of her work. Her interests were in the materials she used and space. She called herself an interventionist to materials and space. Her work was very much concerned with the processes of figuring out and not knowing. Her tutor on her MA at the Slade had been Phyllida Barlow of whom she provided a quote before the lecture. This quote discussed failure and striving in practice.

Jaimini came across as an artist who was passionate about materials and responding to a space.She uses everyday easily accessible materials where she incorporates an element of risk. She spoke a lot about spending time in the space where the work would be and how important natural light was to her practice.

Using needles balanced on their tip for a group show in Oxford she wanted the audience to experience the room in a different way. She also spoke about her fascination with the floor and how the light hitting its surface is used within her work. For another piece she balanced carved pieces of chalk in the cracks of floorboards. She wanted the audience to feel the tension of her work. All these floor pieces showed great determination and someone who wanted to exert control over the outcome of the piece.

For her final PHD show Jaimini used a mass of copper wire wool, blue carbon paper and grape stalks. She used each piece brilliantly in the space she was given. It was pointed out that a lot of us will not see our space before our show in June and how this could potentially be very difficult.

Jaimini explained that she applied for residencies that were fully funded as a means of continuing her practice rather than showing in gallery spaces. She explained the importance of modes of presence within contemporary sculpture and the intimacy an artist has with the materials. She is interested in what happens when the audience is included in the work. These two questions are important ones to keep in mind when making art. I do feel I need to be more aware of these subtleties myself.

References:

Deleuze, G. (2006) The Fold. Leibniz and the Baroque. Continuum, London.

 

Making Day 10th October 2015

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As part of the MA course at OCA we have set making days where a small group come together and work from 9 am -4pm. Today I had already decided that I was going to continue with a large scale drawing that I had started at the beginning of the week.

I decided that I would write my thoughts as I made my drawing in a kind of stream of consciousness. They went as follows:

Enveloping feeling of the fold, meditational focus of drawing, link with thought processes, uniformity of marks, Sol Le Witt wall drawings, hiding behind work?

Sagging folds of the body, drawing as an extension of the body/ psyche. Paper actually folding.

I did this for the first hour and then a book arrived in the post that I had ordered. Deleuze:(2006)The Fold. It distracted me and I began to flick through it, picking out words and names.

Deleuze discusses Foucault and Leibniz as his influences so they could be my next stop. He talks of folding as a form of doubling and thought as a kind of fold. He looks at interiority and exteriority , appearance and essence, surface and depth. He describes the fold of the inside as nothing more than the fold of the outside.

I realise that this book has arrived at the right moment for me. Deleuze compares our material selves, our bodies as folding of time or memory. This makes sense to me as my work concerns this relationship to oneself.

The day I felt gave me a structure to my work; I felt time went ridiculously quickly and I became lost in my work. Working intensely like this gave me an idea of how hard I need to work and to remain focused. We shared work at the end of the day which is interesting in that other people’s responses always differ and add to the work. I felt the day gave me a lot and look forward to continuing with my current drawings.

References:

Deleuze, G . (2006) The Fold. Leibniz and the Baroque. Continuum. London.

 

The fold

imageI am looking at the fold as a means of expressing the overlap between inner and outer. The fold brings form into being and shows the curve of a single variable. The ideal fold is called a Zwiefalt; this is a fold that ceaselessly unfolds and folds back from both sides and has been likened to the unveiling and veiling of being.

Baltrusaitis defines the fold by scission; a scission which causes each of the split terms to set each other off anew.

Being present…..

imageI am taking photos of my face mainly and making drawings from these. I am aware that I still need to feel more focused and present in my work. Each day I make small movements forward but am not feeling excited enough about how my work is progressing. Yesterday when making this drawing I realised I was constantly criticising what I was producing. To give time without distractions as well as working,teaching even though I am only teaching 3 days can be challenging.

I am reading ” The Pink Glass Swan”(1995) by Lucy Lippard as I really enjoy her writing; particularly her writing on female artists and their position in the art world. Exhibiting my work, when will I ever feel ready?

References:

Lippard, L :(1995) The Pink Glass Swan. The New Press, New York.

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