week eight

WORKSHOP:

I felt far more comfortable and confident presenting to the class this week after presenting last week. I actually found it quite enjoyable, I really love Sarah Turner’s work to I was more than happy to share my findings and opinions on film her Perestroika.

PROJECT:

I have started this week by thinking more in depth about how I would want to my present my final project in a wider context (in an exhibition). I started by looking at the Folkestone Triennial as I knew that I wanted to incorporate an outdoor space or the feeling of being outdoors into the showcasing of my work. I also knew that I wanted my fabric pieces to be incorporated into some kind of performance that involved me sewing the pieces together. I also want to display my poems in the installation and maybe even some photos of me and the person that this piece would be dedicated to. I want it to be personal.

I came across this piece by Sarah Staton named Steve. Steve is described as a ‘people friendly sculpture’ and you can really feel that from his open structure that invites the public in. I really enjoy how Staton has personified this steel structure, it makes him feel approachable.

Sarah Staton. Steve 2014. via the Folkestone Triennial: https://www.creativefolkestone.org.uk/artists/sarah-staton-artworks/

Steve inspired me to think about having a structure in my own work. I think I want a wood structure in the middle of my exhibition where I would sit and make my tapestry. Around the structure I would like display my poems potentially on the walls and I would like to have trees all around the structure so that the consumers would have to walk through an artificial forest to reach the structure like they had found it in the woods.

After my meeting with Miranda, I have decided that I don’t need to make my own structure in an unrelated gallery, but instead I am going to stage my hypothetical exhibition in Steve. Doing my sewing in Steve will be the perfect place to stage my performance as it perfectly represents my process of hiding and emerging that I have been using throughout the semester to push myself slowly out of comfort zone when it comes to performing in public. Steve represents this process of me being partially exposed and partially closed, as the structure itself is built to be slightly transparent so that passers-by can see through and into Steve.

My final project idea for my hypothetical exhibition will be to sew the pieces of my own work together inside Steve that represent my joinery of grief and discovery throughout the last 10 weeks. I will also be inviting members of the public to come into Steve and make their own piece of fabric that can then be sewn onto the tapestry. This will be to show how you pick up, adapt and bond with people in your life and sometimes strangers over these feelings of loss. I really enjoy the idea of the tapestry evolving as time goes on, like how your feelings of loss evolves.

I think my performance will fit in well with the Folkestone Triennial as the relaxed atmosphere of this non-resrictive environment would help me feel at ease whilst performing. I also really enjoy how accessible the exhibition is, as I feel strongly that art should be an accessible discipline and that art should be for everyone. My themes of loss and grief, although personal to me, is an universal experience that every person will have come in contact with on some sort of level in their lifetime. This will allow most people to relate to my work in the exhibitions and be able to ask questions. There is such a variety of artworks at the Triennial that I think my performance would fit in well. I think my work would align the most with the work of Tracy Emin, who often makes her art around her own serious personal issues such as mental health and her artworks are often exhibited at the Triennial.

FINAL PIECE:

I started to finish my final project this week. As previously stated, I wanted to create a base for the tapestry that would be the core of the project, that I would then take to my hypothetical Triennial performance for the public and myself to build on through making new pieces of fabric and sewing them on.

I started the week by counting how many pieces I had for the core of my final piece. This is what I had to work with at the beginning:

I placed all the pieces on the floor and I really enjoyed how they all interacted with one another. I could see how each week week of this project had influenced from just these five pieces.

I decided I wanted to make nine pieces so that the core would be square, this was just due to practicality so that the other theoretical pieces would fit neatly around these original pieces. I also wanted the tapestry to look as if it was complete, like I had taken a full cycle with my feelings and thoughts throughout the semester.

I started to make my last four pieces – I did not really have a plan. I kept referring back to the prep work in my notebook that I had been doing over these past eight weeks.

I thought about my poems, the murmurations, the rock that fitted so perfectly in my hand on the beach, the conversations I had with an almost friend, the hiding I did, the exploration I did, the piece of fabric I turned into a bandana, the nostalgic songs that played during my making, the nightmares I had, the sweet potato that may or may not be growing, deadlines, the rain and my mom, who passed away in February 2019. This project has been and is dedicated to her.

I wanted to keep making and making, I wanted this process to be messy and spontaneous like how my life has been for the past three years. I wanted to muddle through and not hide my mistakes.

Reflection was also something I wanted to focus on. I was spilling over with thoughts so I recorded some of them.

I sewed, painted, scribbled, wrote, smudged, and cut to make my pieces.

The second evolution of my pieces- above
Time-lapse of making- finger painting piece

I am happy with how all these pieces look together, but it never really mattered what the piece looked like. I enjoyed the process and the time it gave me to think and reflect about the last eight weeks and how far I’ve come with my emotions over the past three years. These pieces represent a time in my life and how my grief relates to that time only. This shows a small snippet of a whole lifetime of a journey for me. If I had the same idea a year ago the pieces would look completely different; the whole project would be different most likely.

I like how I’ve captured this time in just nine pieces of fabric, but each one expresses an outlet or something that happened over this short eight weeks. Below is a break down of each piece and how it has related to the journey of this project.

The next step is to start sewing the pieces together. I think the final piece will look more like patchwork quilt by the end rather than a tapestry. My mom would always talk about how she went to a patchwork/sewing class when I just just born. I remember a pillow that was patched worked that always sat on our rocking chair along with her dusty old teddy bear.

Miranda suggested that I should sew parts in my own/familiar spaces e.g my bedroom or office so that I can enjoy the process of putting the tapestry together and then sewing parts outside on the seafront to simulate the hypothetical exhibition. I like this idea as it goes back to my push and pull technique of making in public; which also relates back to Steve.

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