Semester 2 week 1
INRODUCTION LECTURE 1 (mon 25th jan)
Thoughts,feelings, pondering on todays lecture week 1. Initially I thought this semester title was animals not animal which is much broader so I’m happy about that, although projects would still undoubtedly be far broader in topic for the summer show if the winter show and the starting point of the acorn is anything to go by. I may still use my bird as a starting point though because I like the metaphor that represents for this semester too, freedom flight, exploration.
Todays introduction for me, really drilled home the importance of documenting as I go along rather than letting my bits and bobs of experimentation and research etc accumulate, so then getting them on the online notebook becomes a chore. It was great to hear 1st hand how some people in my group had such a different experience with their notebooks and how to use it as a tool and aid for getting ideas just out their and also for reflection. Looking forward I’m excited for a fresh start, staying on top things with some valuable lessons under my belt for a stress free and enjoyable new chapter.
Initially I thought today’s tutorial may be a tad premature, what will we discuss? we haven’t had the lecture yet? however now being in group 1 rather than 3, where the 1st tutorial is a few weeks earlier, I found it to be really helpful at this time. Reason being that I have now cemented an idea at from the beginning which I didn’t do last semester, a big factor in why I struggled in weeks 5-8 as I still hadn’t whittled down to a specific enough topic with which to run with for the exhibition. Overall the best piece of advice I have noted and will be taking much heede of this semester is to ask for help when I am unsure, seek help from Phil for anything practical and equipment etc and to ask Miranda when I get a little confused or unclear about anything. I will keep the faith and stay connected rather than bury my head in the sand when I feel overwhelmed.
I will be sketching my canary from life rather than photographs of him, numerous times daily, frantically where necessary to capture his life and energy. Having abandoned my idea of matching a found poem to go with each sketch as the 2 ideas where far too seperate, I have a clear guide and focused intention of where my project is leading.With repetition and dedication ‘my 9 week box'(a shoebox in which I’m putting all my sketches) and I look forward to seeing the growth of my project over the weeks. Throwing all the bird drawings into the air, recording it, to mimic the flutter of feathers through the sky?
WORKSHOP 1 Animal-Stream of consciousness
“That year when all went quite and all we could hear were the birds” Grayson Perry- Art club sun 31st Jan 2021
I have done some little sketches of my Bird, including studies of parts of his legs and feet and wings to try and understand his anatomy better. I have found however that I feel stilted by using a pencil to mark make appropriately, my bird in flight. I think brush strokes are more similar to feathers and as for which paint to use, I think water colours. As they allow for an immediacy of human reaction that only water colours have the quality for, catching, fleeting, liquidity of the moment can be captured through this medium.
Lost and Found
After reading over the lost and found presentation, I found myself once again, as in the last semester, in the habit of collecting. Birdy is currently moulting so I have decided to keep all these beautiful, soft, buttery yellow feathers and see what I could make with or use them for.
I am finding myself in the same predicament as last semester in which week 5 is approaching, looming it feels like, as I am yet to come up with a concrete idea of where this will led, what will I propose?. It feels the more research and experimentation I do, the broader my project ideas become. Fortunately I have a tutorial today and will ASK FOR HELP, something I didn’t do before. Im trying to understand why is it that I find this stage of a project so difficult? why is it that find it hard to whittle them down? possibly because I’m reducing my options for a successful project from fear of failure? why can I not settle? what is with this constant seeking for better and more? to be perfectly honest I have no idea, but this internal self work alongside this project, does very much and unintentionally remind me of innate animal instincts, those of basic fear, seeking and curiosity.
An invaluable discussion on my practice with Miranda, what I’ve taken from this is, my project will not come to any sort of fruition without actual dedicated practice, practice, practice! why should I or why do I really deserve or expect a meaning to my project to emerge without dedication? without hard work? so honestly I need to stop allowing other difficult parts of my life take precedence over the only healthy outlet I really have.Creativity, expression.
Congratulations Anna a beautiful idea for us all to endeavour with especially since going over your pp, also everyones else’s where equally as inspiring…cell division twins I will add to this and update as we go…here is my research for my chosen word for next weeks workshop.The wonderful Singh Twins.
Playtime and experimentation
Roped my son in on 75 metres of wall paper lining to express flight , be wild, free, stretch , no better example of an untarnished soul to accurately express flight and freedom , flight in motion is far easier to depict than the red kites soaring without flapping their wings, so very calm and spellbinding to witness ,suspended so gracefully on the wind ,in the air ( red kites being the national bird of Wales and largest bird of prey present in urban areas, 12 inch wing span)
Some explorative marks we came up with…
the bird sculpture
Vogue (march 2021 edition)
I came across these images in Vogue (march 2021 edition) I often buy it simply for the beautifully crafted advertisements rather than the articles themselves, each glossy page selling a dream. I found these images to be particularly full of movement and light, especially in the wisp of the curtain in the image to the far right, how is this light and movement so well captured? what is it about it that comes across as so fleeting?
What struck me about Sacareno’s Moving atmospheres mirrored spheres is that they come as a result of Saraceno’s time honoured and enduring enquiry into this ‘lighter than air movement’ that looks into utopian ways of existing in the sky, much like birds. I thought how wonderful and free that would be I like his vision.
Semester 1 Week 1
There are no examples of waste in nature. Only what we perceive to be waste. If it is not of use to us as humans, it must be? No waste, only cycles.
Each morning I wake; I slice a lemon, immerse in hot water, sip, then discard the slice.My daily practice in waste. So I decided to behave like nature, use this ‘waste’ somehow, enter it into a cycle. Beginning with documenting it.
Thoughts and feelings when photographing these.I’m not at all interested in the ‘fresh’slices.Rather the unexpected beauty of the fizzing, fuzzy inner worlds of the bacteria laden slices are far more entrancing.The shades and shape formations of the blue growths.The black ‘spray paint’ seemingly delicate breeding grounds.
What is happening on a molecular level ?
Why the different colours?
What can I control externally to orchestrate a tailored scene, temperature? Moisture levels? Playing different types of music to different batches?
More decay collections…
So after tending to my lemon slices throughout the week I started to notice other little ‘decay collections’ and particularly liked these rotting apples. I found them to be almost other worldly, fairytale like. The gruesome side of fairytales that were read to me from the pages of Hans Christian Anderson, darker more sinister fables design to teach you a lesson or make you aware. Not reminiscent of the Disney princess stories of today.
I found to be absolutely transported to another world again by these rusting relics, beautiful molten coloured trails, off in the direction of the harsh winds and crusted sea air that’s weathered them. So brittle yet noble somehow from the knowledge they have witnessed. The sounds the wind has carried pass them and now through them. Jagged pieces of history just out in the open.
I can think of no better way to start a lecture or day for that matter, than a guided meditation ( entitled ‘Mycorrihizal meditation’ by Fiona Robinson) to broaden the mind for what is to come. I felt engaged, enlightened if not a tad vulnerable afterwards but definitely ready. I found ‘Ice watch’ London very calming because of the dripping sounds, yet oddly confronting -such large inescapable mounds, like a physical statistic. During some of the other videos and sound pieces on a whole I noticed myself feeling frequently infuriated and then soothed which was uncomfortable at times. There was a particular video that struck me which showed a vast amount of vultures clambering to eat from a table,I was initially concerned about the food going to waste and then the vultures came which I felt relieved bout, this again got me thinking about waste in nature a reoccurring thought of mine.
I adore Kathleen Ryan’s large semi-precious gemstone sculptures, both intricate and decadent, they are a clever commentary on inequality in the world. Because while her ‘fruits’ are opulent, they are still souring, reflecting the state of the economy and rich poor wealth divide. They relate in subject matter to my work but also in this concept of ugly-beautiful art. Something I am interested in exploring further for the coming weeks. Inviting people to join me in embellishing the forgotten and adorning the decaying. To highlight these unconventionally beautiful scenes or objects , to make us question what it is exactly that makes something appealing visually to us? Does this then become a question about our our identity or an exploration into something wider?
“Creating ugly-beautiful critiques of excess” Alice Newel-Hanson for The New York Times .
“These sculptures are beautiful…but there’s an ugliness and unease that comes with them.” Kathleen Ryan.
“Though the mould is the decay, it’s the most alive part.” Kathleen Ryan.
Watch “The Simpsons – Lisa’s Tub Universe” on YouTube considering Ryan’s ” The most alive part…”
Week 2 Repetition
The definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” Albert Einstein
In the process of photographing my lemons I decided although I have no interest in the fresher slices of lemon, I will behave like nature and not allow them to go waste in my project. I will try and gather some meaning from these through a repetative process. Mimicing the repetative daily process in which I acquired them.
Printing with Indian black ink initially, experimenting with pressure applied and the amounts of ink- rubbing ink along the inside peel alone or just the flesh. Produced some rather ghostly images with the lighter prints.
Adding linseed oil to the ink to see how the citric acid of the lemon would react with it. Some of these saturated prints reminded me almost of blood spills.I also did some horizontal lemon ink and oil ‘draggings’- unsuccessful, and just oil and lemon juice prints which left some little lemony whispers “we were here”.
Some of the blue wash prints in which I printed the lemons on top of a page already washed in blue. Left some pillowy, ethereal marks, sky mountains. The darker blue prints mandala-esque in which I painted directly onto my lemon tools, moving and twisting and experimenting with pressure, the ‘veins’ revealed beautiful, intricate patterns, like blood capillaries or trees branching out.
What to do next…forage, collect, above all pay attention.
Notes and Refections
Look deeper into external factors that cause decay, what other external factors other than weather can I explore? what other materials should I cause affect to?
Week 3 The Audacity of the imagination.
“Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of the imagination” John Dewey
When attending this weeks workshop I was invited to become the forager and the farmer. I absolutely loved this workshop, it felt good. Not only the whole practicalities of getting muddy, going out to the woods and planting these little gems of such great potential. But the idea behind it I found so simple yet effective. Often it takes the actual action of doing something, in this case planting a seed, to really consider the effect of doing so.. like planting the seed of a thought in your mind.
When planting was over I had two things I kept going over in my mind. What about the acorns that were suitable but weren’t chosen to be planted? Will they be wasted? What will happen to them?
and secondly and most predominantly…
Who’s of these acorns will actually blossom into a great oak? Does it depend on the mood of the person sewing the seed as to who’s will sprout? The persons individual energy /vibes /frequency they are operating at? Are these little seeds, much like children, far more susceptible to these external forces that we cannot see? How could I prove this?
With regards to further exploration of these unseen external forces I found the above quote by John Dewey to be very true of Monica Gagliano, a woman who, out of sheer ‘audacity of her imagination’ created a whole new field in science called bio-aucoustics. The thrilling idea that plants too, have imagination and memory (and far more besides). So I returned to Monica Gagliano as she has a particularly interesting presentation on ‘Plant intelligence and the importance of imagination in science’ https://youtu.be/90BUQoLu_Hg
Starting to consider metaphysics in the terms of the relationship between mind and matter and the effect of the mind in creation of matter. Outer unseen factors that are in fact transcendental rather than those which can see and so rely heavily upon for explanation in creation. So I started to read what I would consider one the first published books of this type of philosophy written by a very forward thinking man Wallace D Wattles author of ‘The science of getting rich’ and although this title is a little misleading the book itself is life changing, spellbinding. I would highly recommend it .
“There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made and which in its original state permeates penetrates and fills the interspaces of the universe”. W.D.Wattles ‘The science of getting rich’.
so our thoughts quite literally create our relatlityour thoughts a re a thinking substance and are the sole master of creation of each our realities. And with this epiphany in mind I’m now seeking to unveil this through my art starting quite simply and most importantly believably for a wider audience with the humble imagination.
I most enjoyed printing my lemons and am grateful to them for leading me to my new project from which they have inspired me. here I will leave them as I have lost momentum for this process particularly however have found great excitement in the challenge that lays ahead. I am off on the tail of these with too many crowding thoughts, ideas, possibilities and tangents to run with for the next phase of my personal project. So thank you and farewell.
Week 4 The Green thread
“An invisible thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place and circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle.But it will never break.” Ancient Chinese proverb
For this week I was unfortunately unable to attend the the workshop. I did however have a look online at what was done during the time I missed and to be honest would have benefitted greatly. I believe it was about getting your idea for continuing your project really pinned down and specific. Something I struggle with. I feel the reels of paper used were a great idea as visually you can see from one end to the other your thought process from a mass concept whittled down to a singular idea and project to actually go out and do.
I pinched the name of this weeks title from a book I have been looking into entitled the same ‘The green thread: Dialogues with the vegetal world.’ Edited by Patricia Vieisa, Monica Gagliano, John Charles Ryan. “An interdisciplinary collection of essays in the emerging field of plant studies. The volume is the first of its kind to bring together a dynamic body of scholarship that shares a critique of long standing human perceptions of plants as lacking autonomy, agency, consciousness and intelligence.” Books.Google.co.uk. Plant studies here I feel are still relevant as thought imagination memory and thus metaphysics is also proving to belong not only to humans and animals but also plants and to ignore the broader picture or not to do things thoroughly will hinder my project. I must consider all thoughts in all life forms especially considering this field is now gaining recognition and from my own personal view from the research I have done I am definitely swayed and changed for the better in the knowledge that plants too are sentient and thoughtful.
In keeping with my new theme of trying to materialise the unseen somehow, I have to say I really struggled in trying to define my idea and choose precisely what it I was going to do or even start set about doing it. So to clear my head I took and walk and quite instinctively started to collect the seaweed I was passing along the beach. What I was going to do with it ? I had no idea. But went along with it regardless as I am quite naturally inclined to want to make use of things that tend to be wasted and like the idea of using a natural material. Although I wasn’t going to eat it as I read there’s a poisonous type on these shores and didn’t want to risk it before properly checking it out, so I decided to set about washing and drying it out in my garden, which I had to do a few times as they kept getting rained on.
As you can see from above as I was quite clueless as to where to start I thought to dry out the washed seaweed and from it make string or a green thread if you like (entirely coincidental ). From this I decided to just go with something I enjoy doing and as knitting is one of those I thought what harm can it do? Where could this lead?
From collecting the seaweed; to washing it, drying it, cutting it up and tying it into string and then finally knitting. I found I really enjoyed the whole process, as time comsuming as it is, which I feel may be a constraint I will have to really consider when taking this further. As much I enjoy it I feel it must be (and I really want it to be) on a large enough scale for it to have any impact. Because only as the piece gets larger are the knitting patterns in it actually identifiable. But a problem still remains how can I derive meaning from this in relation to metaphysics? Back to the drawing board by which I mean research research reseach!
the wood wide web..almost weblike
Weeks 5 and 6 ‘Disseminate’
- spread (something, especially information) widely.”health authorities should foster good practice by disseminating information”
- MEDICINE spread throughout an organ or the body.”there is a subset of these low-grade tumours that can disseminate and migrate”. Definitions from Oxford Languages
From other research I was undertaking I came across Hibakujumoku (Japanese: 被爆樹木) also known as The Hiroshima survivor trees or A-bombed tree. Hibakujumoku is a Japanese term to describe a tree that survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. I found these tress to be absolutely fascinating, light amongst such destruction, and to survive for so many years on.These trees survived because of things we couldn’t see beneath our feet and still are strong pillars, beckons of hope. With thanks to The Green Legacy a group of dediated people that work tirelessly to collect the seeds of these tress so they can package them to be disseminated around the world. What a beautiful word I thought ‘disseminate’. Here is a link so you can see the majesty for yourself. http://glh.unitar.org/
Again these roots, like thoughts holding so much power.
While at home on reading week I again got into a process of some sorts scooping, defleshing, washing salting arranging baking pumpkin seeds. not particularly relevant I jut feel this notebook is somewhat of a diary and as soo I was doing it I decided to document and share it because I have to note that its these sorts of rpeptative processes I enjoy and it was fun and tasty
Presenting our idea/proposal for group project.
anyway back toeing serious this week was our chance to present our ideas. a task I found quite daunting but necessary, definitely something I want to improve on, the skill of speaking clearly in public and giving a good presentation and I guess with this practice will make perfect. Upon reflection of my presentation I realised I should have prepared moe thoroughly with memo cards to read from at least as I had completely missed an essential part of the water experiment I proposed to do in the culmination of our findings. Which was to project our ice images onto the walls, include sounds such as words we had spoken to our jars or pieces of music playing simultaneously that incited the feelings the words we had chosen . In thinking that by combining the visuals and sounds in an exhibition of sorts, this would provide us with a completely immersive experience in the words and feelings and energies we had expressed upon theses water jars and so enable us to fully select upon how our thoughts and words hold such immense power.
I have decided to do this water experiment separately in my own time along with our painted mask project and will post pictures as soon as the experiment is complete.I have also decided to rope in my twin and son (age adapted version for him) to see how these play out, which I’m very excited about.
As had said I’m my proposal I had stumbled across dr emoto throughreaserch I do that I don’t always put up n notebook as its fleeting or unnecessary although sometimes it emerges, as with dr emoto in this case to be completely
I had decided that with my seaweed knitting’s and other found materials I am going to do a series of ‘imagination required’ sculptures. After considering what Miranda once said to me in a tutorial about doing what you actually want to do on a day to day basis. I will sculpting with he view the idea of using only very slight suggestions of form and the very least I can et away with in order that the imagination MUST be used, subconscious powerful thought will unintentionally come about as the mind had a tendency to find form and meaning and will use whatever given to do so. I will use as little to do so as possible and see how far I can push this unit the slightest of suggestions will not suffice. In order to plan my sculptures to start with I will explore mark making, just with pencil and paper to get an idea .
This week we had a mask painting workshop for the found masks we had collected as a group. I really enjoyed painting the images on the masks. The pleats made it a little difficult but after having not painted in a while I found it very therapeutic and was disappointed when we had to switch to painting the slogans, which wasn’t quite as much fun. Upon reflection of this, I want to start painting again more, I used to paint daily but opted for sculpting more and more frequently in replace of painted works over the years. So all in all a very valuable workshop and I thought the images on the masks turned out even better than I thought they would on a blue background.
seaweed drying pics insert here experimentations with the needles and wrappings ect,
research book too far looking into Piero Manzoni
This week I had my personal tutorial with Miranda and it was as invaluable as always in helping to pin down precisely how my work would feature as a part in the exhibition, including some technicalities I hadn’t thought of, such as live streaming my sculpture or it being pre-recorded and also booking out the project room before it gets too busy. I went further into the idea of the project room itself being the mind space in which my ‘seaweed synapses’ if you like, run along the ceiling, hang from corners and interconnect with a sculpture hanging in the centre of the room like a culmination of many thoughts. These patterns of thought filling the space, drawing with my green thread, experimenting with light and shadows and how I can use these too in order to change the dynamic of the room and enhance the piece.
These new ideas too led to questions arising about what form my sculpture should take, if any? is it in fact more satisfying if an obvious form, cant in fact be pinned down?
What do next :
-Make more thread, make ferociously, make enough!
-Contact Chris about booking out the project room asap
-Get lights, hammer, screws, step ladder, a decent camera, wire, sounds of the sea possibly.
-Most importantly get in there asap and play! the material will tell me.
So my proposal for my project is as follows( 100 words):
A paradoxically simple commentary on the complex matter of our minds patterns of thought. The synaptic connections that are responsible for our conscious and subconscious thoughts that affect our choices and so directly our creation of reality. Seaweed being my language of choice. A malleable, pure material. Much akin to the neuromuscular junctions we use 60-80,000 times daily (although disputed to be as little as 6000). We use these to function but also subconsciously in constructing our futures. My intention being to highlight the severe importance of monitoring these (the most difficult of all endeavours) each of these ‘junctions’ and in adapting them so we can wholly and positively affect our current lives and futures for the better.