It looks like things have been quiet here, but that is not the case. Unfortunately ‘Shinrin’ isn’t through to the ‘Landscape prize exhibition’ but, in truth, it doesn’t really speak of ‘British’ landscape so I am not surprised. I think Hubby is more disappointed than I am. My main task in recent weeks, has been completing my M.A. application and producing a portfolio. I am working on updating the Lowforce website and …. just for a sense of completeness – now that Foundation assessment has been done – I have been mounting projects other than FMP on this blog. It has been an interesting reflective exercise but, I have tried to keep the posting true to the thoughts, experiences and feelings that prevailed at the time the work was done rather than to compose with an ‘editorial’ hindsight. Mainly, I have just posted images from sketchbooks and added extra bits here or there from my written journals and notes. I can now use this ‘back story’ to compile a blog index for my portfolio which, as soon as I got the prints back, I immediately wanted to do again ….. BETTER! I am happy with it as a first ‘edition’ though. I used ‘Newspaper Club’ …..
and was very happy with the service – REALLY QUICK- even though there have been mixed reviews from other people who have recent experience of using the platform ie doing ‘zines’ for FMP. Speak as you find! Anyway, I ordered bright and newsprint versions to compare (preferring the former, now that they have arrived). …. too expensive to amend and order new ‘brights’ right now so my second edition can evolve over time. (Polite way of remarking upon the fact Hubby is now (again!!!) 2 months behind in getting paid!) I chose this format – newspaper with a sort of journalistic thread throughout the text – as an alternative to a traditional A1/2 portfolio with work in, mainly because my practice has become a thing of three dimensional proportions and I think a book of pictures of those things looks, in itself, like an attempt at a photographic portfolio and that is not what I am trying to present – I am not a photographer! It is a really interesting expressive exercise I am finding. The newspaper format, I hope, suggests ‘this is about Christine’s practice’ rather than ‘this is Christine’s work’????
One improvement would be such an index as I mentioned above! While I am working out exactly how do make that a useful tool, I have made some category and blog tag suggestions about where to access posts relating to the portfolio spreads pictured below ……. it is a work in progress! The first edition can be downloaded/viewed from the link at the bottom NB it’s in a tabloid format.
It was so funny, towards the climax of the Choice Project – ‘Scrap That’ (Ars Moriendi), when, glancing over my shoulder, my husband saw his image (collagraph print) on the internet. He immediately set up an Insta account and followed the foundation course. Equally funny this evening then, when he turned to me and said (showing me his phone) ‘Isn’t that yours?’…….
Who captured that picture with that chance lighting I wonder? It wasn’t me! The whole project has been about chance and I have enjoyed it enormously! I understand that it was conceived as a way of “getting Fine Art pathway ‘moving and making'” instead of just sitting around contemplating things. I am not a sit-arounder in that sense…. I like to just get going and find where working and making takes me so, perhaps I didn’t ‘need’ this project as such but, I have learned a lot throughout it. For example, I hated the idea of working with ‘plastic’ at first but have ended up rather pleased with the ‘Neuroimagining’ outcomes. On the other hand, I adore textile work and have some uncomfortable feelings about the final outcome of ‘Me And My Friends’ that I can’t quite explain except by reference to Bruce Mau’s ‘Love your experiments as you would an ugly child.’ Speaking of Mau, I can add that, running alongside the practical work we have done in the Dice Project, I have really enjoyed the Dada oriented contextual studies input we have had. It has been fascinating to learn about (and research deeper) into Mau, ‘The Oblique Strategies’, Lomography etc. Also, we have looked at ‘Early Experimental Film Makers’ and I have rather fallen in love with Marie Menken, Hans Richter, Lotte Rieniger and of course, Jonas Mekas and John Smith. The Girl Chewing Gum is refreshingly hilarious but, in my YouTube playlist it is ‘Associations’ (1975) that I keep going back to. I’ve put quite a few examples on the playlist (particularly Mekas interviews) and will look forward to watching them all over the Christmas break.
A busy few days finishing things off and doing some playful extension pieces before final group crits for The Dice Project. Next week we move on to a new Pathway project. Next week also includes a day trip to Glasgow galleries and museums and the start of UCAS personal statement tutorials following the trip most people went on to the UCAS fair in Manchester on Tuesday. Rather than doing that, I had a quiet day in the studio completing ‘Neuroimagining’ and doing some research about M.A. courses on the computer.
Cutting perspex is an awful chore! However, I resolved the piece eventually, finding some smart nuts and bolts to put through both layers of plastic and hold the sculptural pieces in place. I did some PVA experiments on some of the perspex off-cuts and decided to add some into the ‘Neuroimagining’ composition to add a different ‘plastic’ texture – I like the way it puts a bit of punctuation between the polystyrene elements and sort of bridges the materials gap between that and the flat perspex layers. Final refinements included cutting and carving a polystyrene border/frame to fix between the perspex layers that will hopefully seal the piece up and help to prevent dust getting in – it has a huge static charge and attracts dust like a magnet!
Printing with the polystyrene practice cutting pieces.
Finally, use photographs I have taken throughout the Dice project to do some image manipulation….. rather nice surface pattern results I think.
A trip to where you get perspex sheets from – horribly expensive stuff! Nevertheless, materials have been purchased for mounting the ‘Neuroimagining’ piece. While I am contemplating how to accomplish this …. more work on ‘Me and My Friends’ dual brain textile piece – it’s hand in next week so there’s a lot of finishing off to do!
I have experimented with a variety of arrangements of the bowel, brain, microbe and neuron motifs before attaching everything to the hessian backing fabric. The pieces are appliqued to the backing using the sparkly thread that represents the vegus nerve connecting the gut and the brain. Little shiny french knots help to secure everything and represent the ‘communication’ through the system …. the electro-chemistry of the neuron-bacteria link sort of idea.
The Finished Piece – except for working out how to mount it. Photographed with different lighting effects.