Our brainstorming workshop this week was useful and I felt like I came away from the lesson with a solid idea to be able to present to the class for week seven. I started off the workshop by drawing a sweet potato on my sheet of paper to remind myself where the ideas were branching from. I started by writing at the top of my page: ‘objects, like letters, only have definitive meaning when arranged into a logical order- or do they?’. This then started to evolve into other ideas like: ‘at what point is a word no longer a word anymore?’ Looking back this became one of my core ideas for the workshop. After getting all of these questions out of my head, I began to cut letters out of cardboard to make the word ‘what’. I took these cardboard letters and stamped them onto my page. I also had some wire and bent it into the shape of the word ‘where’, I then took rubbings from the wire with a graphite crayon. It struck me when doing this how easy it was to manipulate words into something abstract.
Following on from this, I still had the phrase ‘If a tree fell in the woods and no one was around to hear it, does it make a sound?’ in my mind. This phrase to me represents the idea of Null Island and a metaphorical/metaphysical type of thinking. I also noticed that I was leaving a lot of fingerprints on my page from the ink, which sparked the idea of using fingerprints or just hands in general for the workshop. I think fingerprints relate to the idea of Null Island also, as they are something unseen yet so present; although fingerprints are far closer to us than Null Island.
After an hour or so of brain-storming, I came up with my 3 key ideas/themes for my workshop. These were:
-IF A TREE FALLS IN THE WOODS AND NO ONE IS AROUND TO HEAR IT, DOES IT MAKE A SOUNDS?
-LETTERS, WORDS, POEMS
After I narrowed down my thinking into these three concepts, I placed them in a venn diagram to see how they would overlap with one another. At this point, Miranda came over and started to chat to me about what I had been up to. I found the chat with her very useful, as she allowed me to refine my ideas even further. I started the session thinking that I wanted to use the sweet potato to make letter relief prints. This was so that we could construct poems with the potato letters as a class. This also turned into thinking that I wanted to do a describe and make exercise where I would describe a place or a thing, then collectively we would make through different mediums in response to the different words.
After speaking to Miranda, we discussed combining these two ideas to create my workshop idea. The final idea became using the sweet potato to make the letter prints, to make a nonsense word that we react too as a class through different mediums set up as stations around the studio.
I am really satisfied with the idea for the workshop, as it incorporates my original idea of potato printing, as well as incorporating the ideas of Null Island. Most of all I loved seeing my ideas turn into something tangible as I moved them across the paper. I really didn’t feel like that I would come up with a practical idea for a workshop, but I managed to do it (with direction from Miranda). This workshop showed me to trust the process and allowed me to see how quickly you can come up with a fined tuned and multifaceted idea in such a small amount of time. I found this reassuring for my own personal project.
I have been reading Psychogeography written by Merlin Coverley this week. I am finding this book extremely interesting and it has brought me back to the desire to explore my memories. This was an idea that I explored in my first year project, and is something that I have tried to move away from. Throughout this project so far I have had the desire to explore my memories and my inner working more generally as they are such a large part of who I am and why I am. Like most people, I have been shaped by my experiences. Despite actively rejecting my desire to explore these ideas relating to memory, I keep getting dragged back to this exploration of my mind. I have decided that I am going to stop resisting and start incorporating these practices more.
The terminology in this book put some of my abstract thoughts into words, and I particularly connected with the idea of a ‘genius loci’. Genius loci is the Roman idea of the spirit of a place; this is supposed to be a religious idea but my interpretation is more of the energy of the places that changes as you move through the world, rather than the same religious entity existing in multiple different places.
My Dad came up to see me this week which has also sparked my desire to explore my memories. We talked about a lot of things, I hadn’t seen him in a while. We spoke about a shared loss we had and how it still effects us both deeply. It was interesting to see how going through the journey of loss has shaped and disassembled us both and the ripples it caused in our lives.
In light of all of this, I wanted to dedicate this week to processing and reflecting on this loss through making and writing. I carried on my theme of using fabric as my support to make on. The first piece I made was on an old black t-shirt of mine, on which I wrote the lyrics of a song that reminds me of the person. I also sewed a poppy onto the shirt and I finger painted a message around the perimeter of the shirt- just in case this person could feel me.
I also made another piece that was on fabric, I felt I wanted to draw rather than solely write so I scribbled with markers over the material as I thought back to the conversations and thoughts that I was having when speaking to my Dad. I felt like a child defacing my Nan’s favourite tablecloth when drawing; I liked the naivety of this feeling.
I have been thinking about how I would exhibit my work this week and how I would share it with a wider audience. I would like to create a performance out of the pieces that I have made so far and those that I will make in the coming weeks. I would like to hold an exhibition within a natural environment, either within a pop up building in a forest or just out in the open if the weather is fine. In the performance I would like to sew together the pieces of fabric together that I have made/ will make to form a large tapestry of my memories and experiences that I will have had over the 11 weeks. The word ‘tapestry’ is also very representative of my loss. This tapestry will show the journey of my thoughts throughout this project and the themes that often reoccur within my day-to-day life; (grief, rain, words, expression). In addition, I would like to invite members of the public to join in to make their own thoughts on a fragment of fabric that I can then add onto my own tapestry.