I was excited to present my idea to the class for the workshop. I was also nervous, as I had not given a presentation since high school and did not know what expect. I really enjoyed making the illustrations for the powerpoint. I feel that I was able to clearly present my ideas without getting too much in my own head before hand, which is a big step for me. My idea was received well and was chosen as the workshop for week nine.
I started this week by thinking and looking back on what I have experienced and made so far. I want to reflect on what I have enjoyed doing the most so far and where my journey has taken me. I think reading and making poetry has been the outlet that has allowed me to express my feelings in the most organic way. I think this has just been the case for words in general so far. Sometimes I feel held back by my ability to express myself through pictures; drawing never quite meets my expectation of expression or how I envision my expression to look or feel. For me, drawing is like knitting and using words is like embroidery. I find words more precise.
This week I have been looking at poetry again, I have been looking on the Poetry Society Website which showcases a lot of modern and experimental poetry. This was a nice change from the older, more traditional poetry of the mid to early twentieth century that I have been reading thus far.
I came across the poem Grief Counselling by Ella Sutton on the Poetry Societies’ website.
I feel a real connection to Sutton’s words. It is as if she has reached into my brain and has been able to see all my cumulative thoughts over the past 3 years. This poem, especially the last couple of stanzas seem to totally encapsulate the feelings of my loss. Annotating this poem felt like a cathartic experience.
The rain has become a motif for not only this project, but also the loss in my life.
‘Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about dancing in the rain’
This line might sound cheesy, but it encapsulates a time in my life that makes this quote poignant. This poem by Sutton encapsulates the same energy as this line for me. I find it so interesting how words can do this. They have their fixed meanings but also the tapestry of meanings that they acquire through people’s lives. It is astounding to think about how many emotional meanings one word or phrase may have. Every word is reborn every time it is spoken or written.
This week I watched the film Perestroika by Sarah Turner for my presentation next week. In my presentation, I gave a metaphysical reading of the documentary. As well as thinking about the metaphysical aspects of this film, I was also thinking about how it would relate to my personal project. This film is all about loss and revisiting the places where you remember traumatic things happening. It is as if Turner has taken the same journey to verify that she experienced what she did- it seems like we are experiencing the final step in her grief ten years later with her. (If grief actually does have a final destination)
This made me ask myself: how would I feel if I returned to those places?
The distortion of time also struck me when watching this film. The shots are beyond hypnotic and the repetitive patterns of the dream-like landscapes suck you into Turner’s mind and memories. It is almost disorientating watching this film; as if you have stepped into a bad dream that has trapped you onto a moving train in no man’s land and all that you can see is the world passing you by.
Both Turner and Sutton encapsulate the feelings of grief so wholly and in such a use form. They explore their ideas in completely different ways, but they are connected somehow, in a heavy way.
This week, I wanted to write as much as I could to try and find the motifs in my work and and to prepare for week eight; in which I would like to make more fabric pieces to add to my tapestry.
I feel that if I write as much as I can this week (whether good or bad) I will be able to pull ideas from these writings to refine for next week. Below are all my writings for this week. I also found an old sketchbook with some short form poems on post it notes from during lockdown. I thought it would be valuable to include these to remind myself how far I had come mentally over just a six month period.
I was inspired by the Dada artist’s to make this piece. I used their techniques of cutting up words from a newspaper and making a poem out of the words. I then annotated the poem as if it were a poem that I had come across in an anthology that I had to annotate. This exercise made me realise that you can make nothing out of something so easily if you think abstractly enough about what you’re making.