Part 5: Stage 1: Review

Returning to the earlier parts of the course has been quite a journey. I started with looking through all the images and selecting those that still spoke to me the loudest. I ended up with 70 images. What was fascinating was noticing how the most recent work has a clear line of development from the very first work of crumpling the paper.

I’ve printed these images off as tiny thumbnails so that I can trace this line and analyse what interests me, so that I can then decide what and how to push the work. I would also like to refine this large volume of images into a few. I need to think, what would I exhibit to explain my enquiry. Part of me thinks one entire room, bare, empty, echoing except for the wounded shirt hanging from a simple wire hanger. Nothing else. No drama. No explanation. Just presentation. Here it is. You can see this.

After looking at the images I charted the most interesting lines of research. These seem to trace from Michaux (asemic text and poetry) to Matta to Kandinsky in one direction, then Louise Bourgeois to Tracey Emin to Egon Schiele, to Gustav Klimt and Elzbieta Kazmierczak to the German Expressionists. I have also been considering what elements of these works and the processes and philosophies behind the work particularly interest me. I’ve come up with a list (Julia I’m trying to learn from your organisation skills):

experimental, expressionist, distressed surfaces/process, expressive, gestural, tensions, line, layer, motion tracing/sensing/tracking, emotion, giving form to interior language/surface/life’, not predictable.

Key words that emerge in my thinking on this: raw/passionate/vulnerable.

I thought of the processes that have spoken to me: layering, back-printing/monoprinting/3D printing writing, crumpling, distressing, denaturing, contrasting, complex, tearing, network, map, binding, wrapping, concealing, revealing, holes, wounds, suprasemic text, transparency, soldering, scratched, pierced, burned, stained, scarred, stitched, visceral.

Then in my on-going reading on Tracey Emin I discovered this concept introduced by Roland Barthes: the ‘grain of voice’. Which means the ‘materiality of the body speaking its mother tongue’. And lo! I have my answer!

How do I, Lottie, give materiality to my body, my inner language, what language does it speak in: pain? poetry? emotion? gesture?

This seems an interesting line of enquiry. How do I externalise the inner language of my concealed surfaces?

2 thoughts on “Part 5: Stage 1: Review

  1. Great discovery – I love that concept, ‘grain of voice’. I’ve just been trying to look at my work for Part 3 in the same way as you are doing here and achieve some clarity; your ability to see threads of development and to integrate your research is inspiring (I use that word advisedly, not lightly). I think it reflects the inner cohesion underlying your work; it seems to me you are tapping into a very rich source of energy inside you which is speaking in a very true way even when you have those moments of frustration as with collotype.

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