Some of the folds & Anthropocene Polyethylene
At the beginning of July we had an end of show group crit with visiting artists Joanne Masding and Leah Carless, and our tutor Mark Essen. I was the first up. All in all I found it a very useful exercise and I hope we can do more of them next year.
Much of this post was written shortly after the crit and I've just tidied it up for a blog post and added some later realisations - always the duh moments!
Since the work was about hand to material relatability - investigating timeless human experience in holding things between finger and thumb, I needed to make the tool more touchable - a sign to pick it up and no method of holding it in place.
People really wanted to touch this work.
If my work is going to be about the change in how humans relate to touch and material I need to enable touching, or explain the thumb / hand / mark making relationship better / in another way.
I should get the tool dated & report it as a find.
Note: a report has been filed with Scottish Treasure Trove.
Some of the Folds.
The found aspect of this work is interesting to people, although many were stumped or didn't want to engage to start with - I'm wondering if this was due to their unfamiliarity with crits (mine was the first we've had in months and months) and being afraid to express opinions.
My choice of materials and the inclusion of made pages with found pages was found confusing. This sounds negative but inducing a state of questioning confusion is actually good I think - the difficulty is getting people to look and think, and if you struggle to get fellow students to do this then there is a problem I think, but Leah and Joanne did manage to extract some opinions.
Note: 'Pages' is my term rather than one that came up, and I need to look into what I mean and how I could incorporate it. Maybe in a bound edge, or joining the pieces.
The triangular shape made it have more upwards momentum than I realised - it has changed shape since I installed it - which I need to be more aware of. The heat rising from the radiator maybe helps to give it this upwards momentum.
Note: There are formal considerations and material meanings and I oscillated between these as I made it and neither has primary importance. I am wondering now how to, and whether to, make this oscillation more obvious or just accept that it is part of my working process.
Other useful comments:
'Your art is about actions - pulling, scraping, pressing, folding' Yes - these are the ubiquitously recogniseable human actions. Note: I hadn't thought of my work as embodied but now I see this is entirely important.
'You can follow just one thing' - and I thought I'd edited pretty robustly already! This was probably the hardest thing to hear but at the same time most useful.
Note: I think this is where the majority of harder work will lie. Ideas of what to do next are already flourishing and there is no way I can do them all and allow them to materially intuitively develop as I work on them. It will be a case of editing and simplifying ruthlessly.
The works read from left to right as Future, Present & Past.
Lots of questions about whether they can be read together or are different works - to which I answered both. This shows that I need to press for my work being shown in different places unless reverberation is something that enhances its meaning.