T1: MMT; Pt1; Pj5: Ex 2 cont.

Taking yesterday’s sample:


I worked on these in my sketchbook, trying to look again. First in orange ink:


I shouldn’t have started shading the tube area – this really spoilt the line that was emerging. I decided I’d lost my eye so went for a blind drawing next to liberate my anxiety and free up my hand and eye.


This really helped me focus on the line and movement within the piece. It provided some interesting etching marks were I to consider taking this into a print.


I think it’s clear to see how much more I was looking at the piece when drawing blind and how much I was sketching what I thought I ought to in the ink sketch.

Finally I slowed down and rotated the sample for a different interesting angle. I am pleased that there were a selection. The one quiet area that has less still life interest I think still works on the sample because – like a piece of music- the form needs some place of pause – when stitching there is a moment of stop when the thread has been pulled taught just before you change direction with the needle.


I was going to call it a day at this, then I remembered some feedback from my previous tutor on ATV about working over and into sketches that haven’t been seen as successful. I decided to photograph the orange ink sketch and then import it into the drawing app that I use and play with it in this format.

This left me with the original preserved in my sketchbook but also enabled me to work in series and print off the process.

I have one last experiment I wish to work on tomorrow before I sort the samples for posting and write up my reflection. I have some lining paper rolls. I’d large to try to create a large scale flapped tunnel wherein one can sit and see the effect.


Because I’ve been pondering exhibitions. My tutor put a thought in my head – at some point this course and my work cannot remain a secret. At some point I will need to consider exhibiting. I ignore the laughing derision of my inner critic at this suggestion and just take it a face value. If I were to exhibit, what would I want my audience to experience?

I know for certain I want my work to be an interface for change. I know I want my work to be interacted with in more ways than looking. I am afforded the luxury of feeling and seeing and holding and touching and smelling and hearing the work I create. What craziness to deny this of my audience so they are left to interact with my work behind a glass screen, or a ‘do not touch’ sign. What would be lost if I deprived my audience of the sensual experience I have in the making of my work. This gained me some clarity today.

I hadn’t quite understood the distinction between Textile Artist and Textile Designer. In my ignorance and prejudice I had seen a Textile Designer as someone who created  fabric or yarn, or the design for these. I had removed from this role any sense of communication of meaning – I had seen the role of designer as ‘meeting a customer’s brief’ creating something that would be a product, be a constituent part of something greater – e.g a fabric design used by an artist in their e.g. installation (see Yinka Shonibare) but I had my epiphany today in the car park. A designer makes things that people interact with. It is their artistic vision that brings this to form. A car designer meets their audience first  in the poster, the conceptual design preview, but it is only when the audience gets in and drives the car that the full interaction between designer and audience takes place. So too with a fashion designer – the artist in them develops the concept, the vision, what they wish to communicate – the designer in them devises the garment. It is again at the moment when the audience wears the garment that the circle is closed between designer and audience. Yes, there is an element of functionality. A car park designer may have an artistic vision and design brief, but the final success of the work is in its effectiveness and impact on audience (the car park user). Likewise diagrams – a designer has been successful conveying their meaning when communication occurs…again I feel I’m tiptoeing around the rim of that great big pot full of my potion – semiotics.

Where does that leave me? I know I want to make work that people interact with in a very physical way. I know I want to design creations that have an architectural nature to them. I know that nothing would make me sadder than hearing someone go into an exhibition of my work and say, ‘I wish I could touch/hold/feel that… I wish I could step into that and see what it looks like from the inside out – or what the world looks like from inside there.’ I recall Pippi Longstocking  when in chapter 5 of the book by the same name, she hides in the trunk of the tree with her new play friends:

“Annika,” she heard Tommy’s voice say,  “you can’t imagine how wonderful it is in here. You must come in too. It isn’t the least bit dangerous when you have a ladder to climb on. If you only do it once you’ll never want to do anything else.”

Imagine if I could create something that paid homage to the vision of artists like Takashi Kuribayashi, who create such interactive works like the ‘Forest from Forest’ installation. Imagine if I could take my audience inside the tree like Pippi – giving them the best adventure.



‘Pippi Longstocking’, Astrid Lindgren, OUP, 2002, pg 53 & 54



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