In this section I intend to consider Part 4 leading to selecting pieces that have really worked for me, continuing to be tight with my choices as per feedback previous to this part. Furthermore, I intend to clarify key influences for this section of my work.
Firstly, I made a dramatic change to how I record thoughts and ideas and turned to a journal. I wouldn’t say this transition has been easy and at points has marked a separation and discomfort with my process and progress. However, I can understand the need to simplify the blog for assessment purpose, but I have felt myself as someone cut off from the usual poetry and philosophy that emerges when I consider my thoughts through the medium of the blog. I would also say it has made the coursework seem somewhat impersonal and too consciously formed. Therefore, I continue to work on how to resolve a happy medium in this matter. Notably, I have found instagram a useful resource for brutally selecting which works I share with a wider audience and which remain for the blog/sketchbook/journal. It has been much easier to sort my visual responses with this tool. Now, I need to consider what resources might help me sort my written thoughts more concisely.
Commencing Part 4, I was able to put into use a very recent workshop on using the gelliplate as printing plate. I love this process. It is fluid, immediate, rapid, uncomplicated and immediate. I experimented with positive and negative images, a variety of found objects and early on I believe I was using the gelliplate to undertake collatype (more on collatype in a moment). Furthermore, over the course of this part I attended a workshop with Cas Holmes that again reinforced and introduced new ways of printing with found surfaces and materials and embellishing this with stitch (which I have loved and continue to investigate). It is important to add that I do recognise the key difference between the ex3 collatype is its ability to be reproduced – you are creating a printing plate from which many prints can be take – the collatype style process on the gelliplate is more likely to create monoprints – ironically at the start of this course I do not get the point of a monoprints – now (except for the painting on a plate which I still don’t appreciate fully) I most certainly do; it is this spontaneity, chance, fluidity and surprise that I search for.
In amongst the significant successes there has been monumental failure and I have had to work through the disappointment and disillusionment that accompanied Project 2: collatype using filler and pva. These methods did not work for me. As detailed on these parts in my blog they were an almost insurmountable dislike and I was confronted with a total inability to surprise myself – the unexpected being something that I look for in my work as necessary.
I think what was a blow too, was having to work through exercises just as I had found a combination of print and other processes which were enabling me to create intuitive and expressive work and thereby providing me with a fascinating line of enquiry. I very much hope to resurrect this abandoned strand of ‘Not All Wounds are Visible’ in Part 5.
The printing part has been timely in that my local area holds a print festival over the Summer, which enabled me to enrich my visual knowledge of this field. I attended a number of galleries to seek inspiration. As it was, the best inspiration emerged from my prints themselves.
The key question that I’ve been exploring has been a development from part 3 where I was asking: ‘What if I cast the inner surface of me – what would that be like?’ in this part I’ve modified it to ‘What if I print the inner surface of me – what would that be like?’
The first piece that begins to investigate this concept with the added value of ambiguity as well as developing in process skills, is the green heart that I posted for crit on the forum. After this piece and the pushing of it further and further for depth, the printing exploded as I printed using brusho on acetate combining layers- finding that the usual single layer for print surface did not offer me enough of a platform to say what I was trying to feel.
This was a joy. The work was evolving and finding its own momentum. New lines of enquiry in research opened up and coalesced – I learnt about visceral wounds, the impact of trauma on the physiology, Porges research into the polyvagal nerve and I was excited and animated and enjoying the experience of creating, then putting the work out to speak for itself and convey its own message interpreted by the audience at will. This work led into a far more in-depth study of the monoprints of Tracey Emin and she has become a significant influence as a result of this, her sketches have led me on to look at the drawings of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt as well as trying to redress my intense dislike of the prints of local-t0-me artist Billy Childish (unsuccessfully I may add). My other inspiratrice Elzbieta Kazmierczak continues to encourage and challenge me with my expression and healing. She has kindly responded to my work by email, exploring the concepts and conditions with which this investigation of my inner surface has taken me. I continue to respect and admire her work and words (thank you Elzbieta). Working alongside Cas Holmes again in workshop, has reassured and reinvigorated my exploration of the surface and I owe Cas a huge dept of gratitude for teaching me how to free-motion embroider on the machine and furthermore how to change the weight of yarn in the bobbin (thank you Cas) which I immediately employed in the next ‘wound’. As a result of being reacquainted with my machine and free-stitching with different weight yarns it occurs to me know that it might be possible to use this surface as a print base for further works in part 5. Lastly, Louise Bourgeois. Ever on the perimeter, ever fading in and out of focus in her influence.
I have tried to bring forward processes from previous parts to continue to explore them in different context: e.g. burning, suprasemic writing, use of the 3D printing pen, multi-layering surfaces, using a plaster cast form from part 3. I believe I will take these forward again from here. I haven’t included resin during this part but that does leave it open for exploration in part 5 if I wish.
Overall, if I were to exhibit based on this part I would chose the following pieces for their voice, use of printing technique and potential for development.
Although I had to end this part on a down note after struggling with exercise 3, by sorting through I can focus on the learning and progress that has actually occurred and which I will reflect on fully in Assignment 4.