I thought that our first workshop was thought provoking and interesting. I really enjoyed how lateral the thinking was and how each part fitted together, even though they were seemingly random. I really enjoyed the idea of Null Island and how metaphysical the place is; the fact that it exists yet does not at the same time. It reminds me of the phrase: ‘If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?’ This is a very human thing: if we can’t feel it, see it, hear it, does it even exist without explanation? I also felt inspired my Null Island as it can show how a mistake can turn into something intriguing.
I was surprised when I found out that we were working with sweet potatoes, and I had a lovely time with mine. I felt a connection to the potato by the end, especially due to learning how underrated and sturdy the potato is.
I started by drawing the sweet potato and I asked it questions such as: how do I feel to you? Do you have a heart like me? Where have you been?
I scribbled texture onto my drawing, and I realised by the end that I had drawn something resembling a map on the inside of my potato. I think the original texture of my sweet potato looks like the topography of a ridged and weathered mountain side and less like a map.
After the drawing, I wanted to work with some clay that Miranda left in the studio. I started to make some leaves for my sweet potato out of the clay, as I wanted to propagate it when I got home but I didn’t want to rely solely on my poor gardening skills for it to have leaves. I gave the potato some artificial leaves so it had some chance to feel like it had grown if I ended up killing it. At first my leaves were clunky, but after Miranda’s advice to make the leaves more of a part of the potato, I took the clunky clay leaves off and replaced them with a more delicate version.
When I returned home, I placed the sweet potato in some water in hopes that it will grow. I hope it isn’t too cold in my room for it to root.
This workshop made me think that I want to turn my potential week 5 workshop into something that will anthropomorphise my sweet potato or other object, from something ordinary into something sculptural.
I wanted to start to work on fabric this week rather than paper as I feel that the flexibility of fabric will work better for my project. I think using fabric will also be more practical as it is easier to transport a larger surface area than paper and you don’t have to worry too much about fabric ripping or getting ruined by the elements. I want to start by using some of my old t-shirts and whatever other scrap fabric I have to hand to start creating. I like the idea of recycling, which is a journey in itself. I am going to write and draw on my fabric like I would on paper and I also want to sew found objects and natural objects to the fabric as well.
I found an old tote bag in my wardrobe, and I decided I wanted to use this for my first experiment. I wanted to have a starting point before I went out with my fabric so that I wasn’t fazed by this large empty square of material. The only words that came to me were:
CARRY ME THERE
I’m not sure what this meant but it felt right. I wrote these words onto the tote bag in black paint.
I started to think about this phrase ‘carry me there’. The ‘there’ is a huge question mark. It is indefinite.
I have also been reflecting on why I feel I need to go out of my way to find the unknown. The biggest unknowns are just things that happen as you live your day to day life. That’s why I decided to carry my deconstructed tote bag around with me over the next few days. The aim is to write something as it comes to me, the things that throw me off or just thoughts that I may have. I want to fill this fabric up with my thoughts and then take it for a walk at the end of the week. I think this will be a nice quiet performance.
I think this piece of fabric will represent a small chunk of my life and the thoughts that I had within this time. This preservation of my memories is a vital part of me. I constantly feel as if I am standing still whilst I am looking at life like it’s a cinematic picture. I like to treasure the small, but joyful, unexpected thoughts and journeys in my life.
I have carried my bag with me throughout the last part of the week and it felt quite comforting to carry something around with me as constant in my life. I took the bag with me to the library, out into town and to the bathroom. I also carried a pen with me so that I could write down my passing thoughts. I managed to write quite a few messages onto the fabric, but I would like to build up the text more next week. I also really enjoyed sewing on my broken lace; I like the idea of collecting ‘things’ as well as words over time. I want to keep pushing to keep making in public, as I felt that I went back into my shell too much this week.
For my research this week, I read some poetry. I read quite a few poems, both out of books from the library and online, but not many really stood out to me. I felt they were all quite dated and in places, cliched. I need to search for more modern poetry. I did however read this poem by Willard Maas called ‘Journey and Return’. I find it interesting that this is poem set in the memory of the poet, which explains the orderly structures of the stanzas with full stops at the end of each; showing three separate but relating memories being recalled by the author. I feel that this relates to my project this week as I am piecing together my memories into one orderly collection on my bag in the same way that Maas does in his poem.