Thinking back to this time last year when I was just about to begin my activity with the support of an a-n Artist Bursary and to the steps forwards that is has enabled me to take. As well as developing my practice it has enabled me to pay other artist for their time and expertise, building my networks and contributing to sustaining other artists practices.
I have joined a performance group with Adrian Look as a dancer in a work he is choreographing for a public sharing on 11 April at The Place, London. I have created a number of solo, duet and trio works as part of the work.
A series of contact points with Eddie Peake have facilitated on on-going conversation with an other artist working in a multi-media way. It has given me a platform to pick out my stronger work and to think about how to present my practice to interested parties. It has also highlighted the slow progression of the work between meetings and the time that I need to make available if I am to scale up the ambition of my work. I have developed a plan to facilitate this and have submitted a bid to ACE’s Develop Your Creative Practice fund.
And deepening my acquaintance with Katja Larsson have allowed my to close my knowledge gap with the new materials I am making as well and building a new peer connection for talking about work. I am already starting to think about new ways of bringing together the flat shapes that I am making together with more three dimensional shapes, some of which I tried out in a pop up show in a tower block carpark on the invitation of Recreational Grounds.
The third component of my skills development project was to talk to someone who could help me move my making processes forwards and help me think through what the direction of this could be.
For a number of years I have been making sculptures in two ways – using large flat shapes cut out of wood and theatre-flats; and casting from plaster on concrete.
I have always been interested in the idea of the work being an environmental experience, with view points that unfold as you navigate it in space. Content being communicated through a variety of modes to give an overall impression or sense of something.
Alongside I have been developing a body of small works using casting processes in plaster, concrete and most recently Jesmonite. I wanted to get a sense of how I needed to adjust my making process with these in order to make large scale work and scale up.
These works have drawn on casting processes with flexible materials, such plastic bags and plastic tubing (packaging materials mainly) and I was having problems with work breaking- having no knowledge of what variations in mixtures I could get away with or how to shore up my makeshift moulds.
With my A-N Bursary I was able to get in contact with another artist who’s work I have been fascinated by Katja Larsson for some bespoke advice and a supported making session. She and I were in artist-led exhibition ODDS at Assembly Point Studios in 2017 and I have been following her practice since then.
Katja has been able to look at the work that I have been making and give specific advice around how much bigger I can go without breaks forming, identifying potential weak spots, as well as pointing out where my improvised moulds work and where they need more support. She has also been able to give me an idea of the materials I would need to make much larger scale works and work out a budget for up-coming funding applications.
As well as the technical feedback around a specific project, connecting with another artist around the work has given me the opportunity to extend my professional networks