To begin with this week I finished the oil painting, spoken about in last week’s post. While I love the final piece, enjoying the lighting shift and how it blends together well while maintaining the solidity of the individual brushstrokes and I feel it accurately portrays my intended message for this project. However, as I predicted I feel as though the piece is missing a certain oomph from it that would want me to exhibit it in the takeover.
Based on my previous comment I’ve now begun to create sculptures made out of airdry clay, which exist as human features forming plants.
The petals off the flower are supposed to resemble humans asking with the centre where the pollen would be, being an eye.
The tongues are inspired by peace lilies with the actual tongues intended to be shaped to resemble the shoot-like structure of the flower.
I developed a passion for sculpture through the medium of airdried clay during my A-Levels and since when focusing on big projects instead of a singular piece it’s become my primary medium. I adore the hands-on approach during and after the production process in regards to the feel and weight of the clay in addition to it existing as something I can actually hold, similar to the reason I choose the technique I do for oil paints.
I’m extremely happy with how the sculptures are progressing so far and see this as a definite route to continue down as work to exhibit at The Takeover. Currently, my main challenge is deciding on how I want to design the stem with the initial idea depicting a bone, but whether that be a stem made out of bone or a full bone is still up for consideration. After finishing these 3 pieces I plan to display them in multiple, plant pots, hopefully with others, I’ve made if time allows it.
Research: The Magnus Archives – MAG 171: The Gardener
“The Gristlebloom has striking petals in shades of red and pink and brown around a pale bony stalk. While tricky to get right, this plant can grow massively under the right conditions.”
The Magnus Archives is a horror anthology podcast, written by Johnathan Simms which explores a world in which entities exist fueled by the fears of all living things. The specific episode I’m referencing is based on ‘The Flesh’, which is the fear of mutilation and having your body changed or destroyed as well as the animal fear of being slaughtered for meat. It is also connected to insecurity and self-hatred, specifically regarding one’s own body image.
Now while the initial concept doesn’t relate to my project and is not the desired message, the imagery of this specific episode through the concept of a human garden has heavily inspired the designs for the sculptures and wood print I’ve been working on this week.
In addition, during our Workshop we each brought in a personal item from our past, mine being the easel my dad used to paint with that I now use. In addition to this, we were shown dirt from 500,000 years ago from a project conducted by another lecturer and given seeds on the premise that they will grow into something in the future. With these, we were challenged to create something that connects both past, present and future utilising or inspire by the contents in front of us. To begin with, I focused on my easel with the context that in an exhibit the easel would be displayed in a case with my dad’s painting, my painting, and my child’s painting, all done with the same easel, a symbol of connection, family and love, considering I would teach my child art the way my dad taught me.
I further explored this in a poem i wrote during the workshop titled ‘Love’, with a focus on the love between parent and child that encourages a child’s passions, interests and confidence. In relation to the mood I focused on a common activity for kids, creating mud pies, which their mum happily indulges in. Next, I delved into the memory of sitting with my dad in the house i grew up in when I used to watch him paint and he’d explain what he was doing, further inspiring me to pursue art myself.
Afterwards, I contemplated the idea of having a kid myself in the future, integrating the seeds we looked at by deciding I would teach my son how to garden, further enhancing the idea of an inevitable future by comparing the flowers growing to my son growing up.
Finally, I connected the idea of the seeds and the future back to the past, implying how we’re all connected throughout time and how our actions may affect one another, centuries from now, similar to the butterfly effect, which refers to the theory that a small action can have a grandiose effect.
I really enjoyed this workshop as I felt it allowed me to explore deeper into a concept I’ve not only been reviewing in my project but in life in general, in regards to everything being connected and love and appreciation are the only necessities to a well-lived life not only towards ourselves and other people but every element of the universe.
This week we also took part in a tour of the arts centre, during which I focused on areas in which a warning could be provided in case some parents would consider my sculptures disturbing for their children. With these, I considered the music and dark room due to the setback position they maintain in the building.
However, the way in which I may choose to display them in these rooms I found difficult to decide until I acknowledged the various plants littered about the building and realised how, following along with the idea of integrating with the environment as Miranda advised, I can display the cultures as if they where regular plants, blending them in with the environments, instead of having them obviously on display, this also made me consider the bar as a possibility with the assumption of a more adult presence there, perhaps being placed on tables and/or at the end of the bar.
Finally over the weekend, for my printing class, in which we began the process of relief printing onto wood blocks.
Relief printing is a form of printing in which you etch into a material and ink over it, allowing the surface you haven’t etched into to print onto the paper, leaving the etched segments blank, and creating the image. Many dismiss this method for a process such as the aluminium print which I’ve shown in weeks 2 and 3, due to a desire for detail although I enjoy relief printing a lot more, preferring a graphic look when printing
As you can see I’ve repeated a design you may notice from the clay sculptures and my initial notes from week 1. While I’m focused on cultures currently and dismissed printing last week, now we’re exploring a new technique I don’t want to miss any possible routes due to a hyperfocus on using clay.