‘What You Have To Do’ 1 contd……

Moving into the third week of the project – time for some further mind-mapping. Ideas are beginning to fall into place in terms of narrowing in on a focus for the scrap that book.

I have been considering my nearest and dearest – whether alive or dead: what are my special memories of them? What are my particular connections with them? To what do I owe them that I regard as ‘essentially me’? What would I say to them in terms of parting words or future greetings on ‘the other side’? Alongside these thoughts are considerations of home burial and my relationship with ‘the land’. I have found the old land deeds pertaining to where I live and may use them for printing on (photocopies of them that is! Some of the documents are 300 years old!!!!) I am thinking about printing the poem that is emerging out of these considerations and perhaps, developing a set of portraits in this week’s print workshop.

‘What You Have To Do’ 2: contd…

Thinking about end of life options – a little research about private burials inspired by the fact that a poem has begun to take shape in my mind while I’ve been driving to and fro from home to college and back.

The Natural Death Centre. http://naturaldeath.org.uk http://www.naturaldeath.org.uk/index.php?page=home-burial

It interests me that a ‘home’ or private (as it is called) burial is not beyond the realms of possibility. An important option for me to consider as I am so connected to ‘my’ land. Digging it, shaping it, growing in it, eating from it, keeping it fertile, loving its beauty in the changing seasons … fighting for it – these are entwined in the fabric of my raison d’etre.

Stobart, J. (2011) Extraordinary Sketchbooks, London, Bloomsbury Visual Arts. A collection of examples discussed. Many are traditional ‘explore and store’ type sketch books but some are ‘resolved pieces’ – works of art in themselves. I have particularly enjoyed studying the William Kentridge section. Again, the theme of overlaying – images with layers that variously expose-obscure information is interesting – the palimpsest idea again.

Overlays. Palimpsest ideas.

De Vires Sokol, D. (2008) 1000 Artist Journal Pages. Massachusetts, Quarry Books. A classification and exposition of artists’ journal approaches: sketched, doodled, mixed-media, fabric based, collaborative, graphic, digital etc. A dizzying array of wonderful examples and rationales!

‘What You Have To Do’. 2

‘Research the theme of scrapbook, art journal, memory album, mini book, and think about the event you want to record. …. You must show a wide range of primary research in a range of materials.’

Eldon, D. (1997) “The Journey Is The Destination”. London, Booth Clibborn Editions. A posthumous collection of Scrap/sketch books by Dan Eldon – war photographer, stoned to death in Somalia 1993 aged 22, edited by his mother. Dan’s mother writes about how some pages have dark papers pasted on top of previous entries which are scratched or torn away. This seems to connect with the palimpsest idea that has intrigued me from the vocabulary mind-mapping research I began with.

Technical Book vocabulary research. Studying bindings and signatures. The joy of Ephemera’s Vintage Garden Youtube channel!.

Wasserman, K. (2007). “The Book As Art”. New York, Princeton Architectural Press. Essays relating to the book as art – esp. from feminist/women’s perspective plus images and interpretation referencing the collection of books in the National Collection of Women in the arts.

Studying Krystyna Wasserman, M.L. Van Nice, Kazuko Watanabe.
Studying essays by Johanna Drucker & K. Wasserman and book examples by Julie Chen and Brenda Watson.

Also, following on from the textile workshops, and knowing that I want to develop pieces begun here further, I have been thinking about my late Grandma and her experience as a WI sewing instructor…… this has led to reading about the history of Denman College.

Meech, S. (2009) Connecting Art To Stitch. London, Anova Books Company Ltd. Analyses and explores the relationship between fine art methodologies and textile techniques.

‘What You Have To Do’ 1.

‘Create a comprehensive mind map or tangible evidence that you have explored a range of ideas connected with your subject theme. You should explore a comprehensive range of possibilities and limitations in response to the project brief.’

This is potentially a huge ‘question’; mind mapping will I hope, help to narrow a focus and a personal hook for my explorations. I have begun with mind mapping from a simple vocabulary based search for meanings and ideas.

Scraping around for layers of meaning. (scrapping).

While I’ve been thinking about all these words and drawing and cutting and sticking and collage-ing my mind maps, the TV has been on. Most inspiring and quite pertinent to developing a subject/event for my brief, has been Grayson Perry’s series of programmes about rites of passage.


I have already done digital scrap-books of my wedding and honeymoon – I don’t want to re-do these, and as a mature student on this course, it seems that many of ‘the events’ that others are talking about in terms of doing this brief, are ones, that for me, are passed and gone. I have strong feelings about ‘end of life’ processes and feel quite interested in basing my project in the context of ‘ars moriendi’ ….. a sort of expression of my desires for how I might wish the ‘end’ to be resolved. I thank Grayson Perry for this little bit of inspiration.