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Katy Nelson – Week 3

Mierle Laderman Ukeles

Mierle Laderman Ukeles was born in 1939 in Colorado, USA and currently lives in New York. She is known for her feminist and service-oriented artworks, which relate the idea of process in conceptual art to domestic and civic “maintenance”. She has her first child in 1968, and as a married woman found it gradually more difficult to find a balance in her life between creating art and being a mother. Her most famous work titled ‘Maintenance’ began in 1969 when she wrote her manifesto, ‘Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969’. After this in 1973, she performed one of her most famous pieces, where she scrubbed the outdoor entrance and marble floors of the Wadsworth Atheneum museum in Hartford, Connecticut. This action was captured in a series of photographs, which almost seem to show her wielding her mop as a paintbrush as she tirelessly scrubs away the dirt. The aim of this was to draw attention to typically overlooked tasks and the people who perform them, who are too often taken for granted in society and may feel restricted as she did.

Lisa Milroy

Lisa Milroy was born in 1959 and is a Canadian artist known mostly for her still life paintings of everyday objects arranged in rows and depicted against an off-white background. Her work focusses a lot on the relationship between stillness and moving and I think that her use of colour is interesting, particularly how you can see a repetition of the colours yellow, blue and green in her earlier works. Milroy then moved on to painting landscapes and cityscapes, where repetition and pattern was central, and most recently geishas. Her recent work is reminiscent of the style that brought her to fame in the 1980s, with the everyday objects and scenery she is surrounded with continuing to be a main source of inspiration for her.

My Project- Me and Purple

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama was born in 1929 in Nagano, Japan. She is a contemporary artist who works mainly in sculpture, painting, drawing, installation, performance, fashion, videos and poetry. Her work is bright, expressive and colourful and shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, pop art and abstract impressionism. I found her work relevant not only due to her use of vibrant colours, but because of her ‘obsession’ with polka dots. Kusama said that when she was young she had several hallucinations that appeared as flashes of light and fields of dots, some of which took the form of flowers and spoke to her. These experiences have played a big part in influencing her work as polka dots are a reoccurring sight in almost all of her famous pieces. This relates to my own project as it explores my love for the colour purple and how it influences my everyday life and surroundings.

Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons was born in 1949 and is an American artist, photographer and filmmaker. Since the 1970s, Simmons has created elaborate scenes to photograph using dolls, ventriloquist dummies, objects on legs, and people, to create work that reference domestic scenes. One of the main pieces of her work that I am intrigued by is the ‘Kaleidoscope House’. The ‘Kaleidoscope House’(2001) was a collaborative project with Bozart Toys, a company that produces toys alongside leading contemporary artists. It was an interactive creative play environment for children with a 1:12 scale modernist architectural house, with sliding transparent colour walls and modernistic furniture. As the interchangeable exterior walls of the dollhouse slide open and overlap with one another, their colours change in hue and value. The ‘Kaleidoscope House’ was created at a time when the practices of home and family were changing, and both the artist and the company thought that a new style of dollhouse was needed and they hoped that it would ‘give a colourful view into new playful possibilities’. When I saw this, I felt inspired to bring this concept into my project, as the idea of making a scaled-down, brightly coloured rendition of an aspect of my everyday life seems so exciting and interesting.

This Week…

After my tutorial earlier this week, I decided to get started on building a small-scale version of my ‘dream’ purple bedroom. My aim is to create a 1:25 scale model of what I would want my bedroom to look and feel like if I could decorate how I wanted and buy all of the purple objects that I wanted to, whilst also incorporating a lot of the purple items that I have collected over the years. I am also planning on making a small version of myself wearing a purple outfit, with some changeable purple clothes and accessories as if I was a real doll. I want to do this to show how influential purple is in my everyday life- from what I wear to how I decorate my surroundings and how it makes me feel- comfortable, calm and like myself.

For my dollhouse-style room I am using foam-board as it is more rigid than thick card and will hold its shape more when I come to decorate the interior. I cut the pieces and scored them to make folds, before gluing them together into the shape I had imagined, and adding a base before leaving it to dry. This project relates to the skills I have been learning in my Scenography class and so I spoke to my teacher about my ideas for the project. After deciding on 1:25 being the best scale to use for my work, I will be redesigning the room that I had previously made to make it more suited for the size of furniture that I will be putting inside it(and to add windows and a door which I accidentally forgot about!). I am in the process of writing up some new measurements to use for scale, as well as a list of furniture items that I want to make for the room, as I will be using the scenography departments laser-cutter to create precise and neat scale items such as the bed, tomorrow in my lesson.

2 thoughts on “Katy Nelson – Week 3”

  1. A great post Katy, lots of research and a clear start has been made. Do include a personal reflection on the artists, what do you think about the work, how and why does it relate to you or your project etc. so don’t just give an objective account of the artist work. The research you are doing yourself is clearly guiding you and informing you and your projects development, excellent, the Laurie Simmons work helps me visualise your ambitions. I think the success of this project will be in the quality of the making, the standard of your crafting and cutting and modelling, so lets see how much care and attention you can bring to each element, I really look forward to seeing it all evolve, and to then discussing lighting and presentation nearer the end..

    1. Thank you, I am getting started on my 1:25 model today and should have a lot to show you by next Friday 🙂

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