Stage 3: Sample making

It is with such excitement and relief that I can share…I’ve found my line of enquiry for the Final Piece of Part 5. Its genesis is owed to the astute wisdom and questioning of Inger and the support and understanding of my Clan. I cannot thank you all enough. To learn that others can know you and it’s safe… that others can know you and it is good…this is Significant.

Three things were pointed out to me and I considered them. I played with them, rolled them around in my head, then walked round to the village shop to get some milk. There were leaves on the floor. Ping. Leaves are the way a tree gets rid of the stuff it no longer needs, its form of excretion. Then I considered the 7 characteristics of living things. Is my art living? Does it breathe? Does it reproduce? Do I nurture it? Does it show sensitivity (which brought me to look at my tutor’s points from a different and very much critical and necessary angle).

Sensitivity…how do we receive the world… through our skin, through our hands. Then I investigated every saying I knew on hands: pushing for depth here. Many many ideas but none that sparked. I weighed up making plaster cast hands, finding lost gloves, staining silk gloves… all possible lines of enquiry but all feeling somewhat over-thought. I went back to those leaves. Turning over a new leaf. The leaf being stained with all the colours of the chemical that would poison the tree if they were left in situ.

I considered resin capturing the gloves stained with the poison of hurt. But there was still no click. I knew the bloodiness could not be abandoned. I just had to make it more subtle, more of a surprise, more selected, more sensitive. Then it came to me in a flash. People don’t want to see hurt. People don’t want to know that if harm can happen to me it can happen to you, or next door or your family. None of us want that to be a reality. Even if it is. It’s not my harm, the projection of my hurt, the realisation of my pain that was too explicit in my work with the bloodied clothing, it is that it is too ‘in your face’. None of us really want to see it. And then Bam! Blind. Blinding, Venetian blinds to shut out the sun. Blinds concertina, they shrink down and expand. I had unnecessarily worried that I was being asked to condense myself on the blog. I was afraid I was being silenced. That is my hang up. My issue. I’m willing to take the risk, even though my tutor must see the brick wall I’m hurtling towards… I have to speak, I have to write, I have to say what I need to as I will never be silenced again.

The needing to be blind made me consider how blinds are made and work, made me reconsider what the pleating and folding of part 1 said. I looked at it again through my hands.

There is twice as much under as there is over with this type of pleat. Another ping! I love this, that the surface that is seen is half the size of what lies beneath. So, the surface seen has to be girlish (like Emin according to my tutor) and reading my feedback the lace print had these qualities. I brought out the gelliplate again and tried various medium and papers including yupo paper. The top surface will be a beautiful ‘handmade’ traditionally feminine textile printed surface, the underside will be the bloodied surface. Then I’ve got to work out how to engineer the expanding (the breathing out) and the condensing (the breathing in)… drawstring holds a fascination at the moment.

I cannot show Sample 1 that is so deserving of its title here as the blog will not allow me to upload the video, but Instagram does the honours:

The relief to have found my line of enquiry is second to none.


What I’ve been up to…

Experiments and samples:

Trying out the ‘blood’ brusho mix on different surfaces for the homely designs that are growing in my brain. Some mini canvas – very simple but very realistic bleeding colour and stain; two acetate layers – 3 days on they still haven’t dried. I love the still fluid look but wonder what will happen as it dries. Bleeding onto dry khadi paper (not effective) onto wet khadi paper – something altogether wonderful.

Is this part 5 or am I kidding myself and actually does it sound as if I care?!!

Images from the garden:

And Estuary 16 which is calling for me again this weekend.

It doesn’t matter how far away I go, I could not live without my Estuary. It is the underbeat of my heart.

Part 5

Is this it? Is this my final piece?

It’s been evolving today. I’m not sure whether I’m doing it in a purist way to satisfy the discrete parts of the course, but it is evolving. I do a bit. Change a bit, stick with a bit and move forward.

I found the mattress springs and a rusty nail and wrapped them together with thread and different gauge steel wire and copper wire. I found three tiny black cable ties that I used to represent the black swash of ink from the soundpainting I was using as a source.


The oddest inspiration today. I was sitting contemplating how to move the sampling forward and as I was doing so I was watching a roly-poly (pea bug/pill bug/ cheesey bug/ woodlouse!). It sent me off on a bit of a wild goose chase which I noted in my journal. I kept trying to hunt deeper and deeper for something that would spark an idea. In the end I pursued the notion of the Armadillidion type having the ability to roll up and explored making a shield for the energy sculpture. I wrestled with how to create this covering that could open flat and close in a circle and tested ideas.

In the end I settled on a segmented form which I then disassembled and constructed out of the old ohp sheets.

This created some reflection but didn’t correspond to the effect of the acetate sheet siply being a cylinder. I therefore scrapped this idea and went back to the cylinder which I enclosed in another cylinder of khadi paper having learnt from previous samples that this provided the reflections and distortions that interested me.

I loved how this worked when I held it up to the light. How the lines and light re-energised the form. I was also really pleased with how the sculpture still retained the look of the original sketch and still felt like the music that I was originally listening to when I created the sketch.

To work this piece needs light but also needs shielding. This speaks to me on a number of levels. It needs the protective layer of the khadi, but it needs the acetate inner layer to reveal its energy. The asemic layer of the nail, mattress spring, wire and thread offer the gestural response to the psytrance music. Yet, to reveal itself fully the kaleidoscope has to be held up to the sky, but even doing this it picks up the greens of the garden and the oranges of the wall. I solved this inner reflection of outer entities by cutting a circle of translucent very thick paper like tracing paper (it was a donation and it comes on a huge roll and has pencil tracings on it- it is some kind of setting or layout planning paper). now only the light can get inside…if only life could be like this … we could put on some kind of filter that stops all of the external world creating a distorted reflection or colour overlay within us.

This now feels complete. Do I push it further? Do I just deliberate about what I would do – create it on a giant scale using welding and pipes for upscaling the form? Do I contain it within a box cutting a hole for the audience to peep into is and reveal the kaleidoscope? Do I make a series? Or do I leave this be here and just develop it for myself?


It’s a funny junction I’m at. The course provides me with direction, stimulation, challenge and questions – yet the work I’m now producing has set its own enquiry which is equally arresting yet disparate to the demands of the course. It’s like a new language I suppose. The course is the Mother Tongue which I mustn’t abandon too soon else I’ll have no coathanger for the new language; yet the new language is from within, it is not learnt. It has a feeling of being RE-covered rather than being dis-covered.