To begin with, in our tutorial session, we did a 60-second exercise involving image and word relation, in which we picked a word at random with a minute to create a drawing associated with it. I found this interesting as reflective work as I found both cases brought me back to my childhood when put under the pressure of associating the words in a short amount of time, leading me to contemplate my current state on the verge of adulthood, as I uncover a longing for time past.
Therefore, I can definitely see this as a useful exercise I would like to do again at the start of the project as a contemplative stage allowing clarity when beginning a new project.
Lunch Time, reminded me specifically of Primary School lunches, beans and chips which were always slightly cold, in a hall which never had heating in a school I find I struggle to fully remember positive memories, always feeling somewhat out of place there. But the lunch ladies were nice and always let me get dinner even if I’d already had a packed lunch.
One of them in particular, is Christine, she knew me before I was born, living on the same street as my parents when they were pregnant with me, she worked in the same primary school I went to and my younger sisters have been to. She even worked in the same pub as me at my first job. It’s funny she’s watched me grow and age since day one and to me, she’s always looked the same, I can’t perceive her looking any younger or older.
‘Time out’, reminded me of the carpet stairs in the old house I grew up in that my mum and dad say was falling to pieces but I have nothing but love for. The stairs irritated my legs beyond belief, they scratched my knees and made me itch and sometimes I think I was only ever on good behaviour because of that. And yet the same carpet was in my room and I’d often find myself sitting there instead of my bed, comforted by the solidity and feel of it. I even sometimes find myself doing it now I have carpet in my accommodation. The wooden lament in the new house was never quite as comforting or comfortable. My friends did the same thing, we joke and call it “floor time”. In a way, it was like my own moment of meditation.
These tangents may seem pointless, but to me, they’re an interesting look into the psyche in regard to the passage of time and the natural circle and repetition in life, with things growing from one’s end and nothing ever existing as a single fixed point but instead passing us by and existing with us constantly. Therefore, relating to my project in regard to life growing from decay.
In addition to this, we were given a second task to do in pairs, in which we chose a phrase and we then had 10 minutes to create a project. In our pair, we decided on the phrase “Hell of a time”.
After discussion, we quickly agreed on the concept of the phrase in relation to our project symbolising an act of rebellion in the form of a breakaway from society and time’s restrictions and routine. We then went on to realise the methods in which this is done are singular to the individual and their own pleasures, and so the conversation came to how we would portray that.
To begin with, we considered photography, in which we would photograph individuals on what they do on their day off, which they consider comforting or fun. However, this idea was quickly scrapped in favour of creating dioramas displaying scenes of acts/places/events of what people do on their day off. This led to the main issue being how we would display it.
Beforehand we had debated whether or not we would include people in these scenes, which led to the suggestion they could be removable. From there we were inspired to display the scenes like a dollhouse, as depicted in my drawing on the paper, in which each room represents a different person’s ideal day off, which they would consider, “A hell of a time.”
For my Painting module, we are currently doing printmaking with a focus on etching. I felt as though this was relevant to include as it inspired a possible project route with the aluminium prints we recently did, in which I chose to etch a tooth, referring to the concept of decay in which the bones are last to exist and the tooth exists as one of the sole forms of identification to a rich history of life, allowing insight to the fragility of time and the lack of attention the human race faces in the long run through the natural response of nature, utilising us to fertilise and feed the greater scheme revolving around the circle of life, of which nothing exists within the centre.
To begin with, we used a mixture of coffee grounds and water to paint our designs, which were etched into the aluminium, we then dried it, covered it in the ground, and dried it again. From then on we cleaned off the ground, which the coffee repelled, revealing the design, and then soaked it multiple times in an acidic solution which ate into the aluminium.
From then on we conducted a simple printing technique of adding ink, wiping away excess and rolling it under a press.
As you can see my design is of a tooth, relating to my focus on the body for this project.
I really love the graphic design through thick black lines and I definitely want to explore this method further by adding colour to the print in various ways.
In relation to my previous comment, I was reminded of the artist, Gerry Baptist, a printmaker who regularly explores layering colours, in varying ways.
Born in India in 1935 to Portuguese/British parents, he was educated there and in England. Claiming his education began at home, Baptist was greatly influenced by my parents who had a wide range of interests. His Mum cared for every single plant in her garden – “even the weeds were tended and the insects got on with life; Dad, who was a musician, writer and artist, seemed to have an insatiable interest in everything. The sound of him playing anything from the blues to Beethoven in Stride piano is an abiding memory.”
“Our home was just a chaos of music, books and art – it was like living in a wildflower garden where everything was allowed to thrive.” (1)
From this knowledge, it’s impossible not to see where Baptist got his eccentric personality towards his art that I admire him so greatly for. In contrast to other famous artists who are so set on tradition and encapsulated with one style, Baptist is quick to throw out one and embrace another in terms of technique and beliefs in regard to his art at a moment’s notice, with an apparent love for the challenges he may face as a result. ‘After an ash tree was blown down in his garden, he taught himself woodcut, using slices of the tree as blocks for his series The 7 Deadly Sins. The results are rugged but inspired him to refine his technique for his subsequent series of garden prints. In the garden prints, it’s possible to spot elements from some hard-won, Abstract-Expressionist-influenced drawings he’d made after leaving college (a foundation at Walthamstow School of
Art and Graphics at London School of Printing).’
“Being an artist means accepting that you may be embarrassed by what you produce sometimes and
not to give a damn.” (2)
For next week I plan to expand on my printmaking and begin exploring using oil paints in my project.
About | Gerry Baptist. https://www.gerrybaptist.co.uk/about/
PRINTMAKING TODAY SPRING 2018, Mike Sims, Cello Press LTD, www,printmakingtoday.co.uk