The method and ideas behind the ‘suit’
For the suit I chose latex not for it’s sometimes direct sexualised connotations, hence the reason I didn’t apply the mixture straight onto the body. Initially I wanted to create a form with no real sexual identity. I casted the body applying cling film first to flatten and conceal female associated areas. However the mod rock and clay did not work efficiently with the cling film.
I attempted the the mould again without cling film and applied plaster on the inside of the mould in four particular areas eliminating lines and shapes. Although essentially the shape of the breasts is still apparent the nipple that we usually associate with breast-feeding, porn, feminisity and sexulatity was illuminated and through that it allowed another alternative perspective as they no longer have a sexual/reproductive purpose… The latex was poured into the cast, which created organic formations on the inside of the suit. I felt tested to turn the suit inside out but provided myself space to think, by taking a step back and ‘really looking’. ‘I realised markings were very important like the mark of a woman/or a man, the idea that a creature could be so close to human but born from a different nature was something that the marks revealed. The textured markings created through the process of making became it’s new ‘birth rights’. The mod rock left a square imprint, and chest bones between two lumps that are no longer recognisable on the human body. Other marks such as pealing, areas that looked like pores, but more protruded, as if there is a potential for other feathers to spout from.
The idea of a subtle armour also occurred to me like a beetle shell . The aim is to create a form that has an alien appearance, not an angel as we might perceive, but a form of one. The being to have black eyes, although after much investigation, black eyes are mostly to do with evil, in other cultures however grace, the devil is perceived to have black eyes, ghosts that have been blind-folded/or blinded in some way before death and other malevolent forces to have these connotations. I also thought there was room for a being where the lines are blurred to whether the thing is ‘good’ or evil’. Which in some ways are reflexive of the ‘wastelands’, in the sense of its crazy mix-matched beauty. I had often fought with myself to whether such tragedy, could be beautiful. The thought of blindness resonated blindness resonated with me. Lemon Man has greatly influenced me especially with the creature . Mike Stone is partially sighted, I would never know whether this has an impact on his writing but somehow I think it does. Stone has an edge on other writers, its as though he has discovered a dimension that is vacant in other works that apply similar methods. I believe Stone in some less obvious ways has provoked me into applying the use of portals through my ideas and video work. His unique approach to writing, taking the formality of consecutive narratives, written in building blocks one after the other, yet, these narratives magically could be happening at the same time. The characters are mirrors of each other Russell John Lemon man. Its quite odd and not at all repetitive, and at the same time natural even though he also covers a supernatural element. Similar to the human body, like the relationship skin has with hair or a mole. That’s probably a boring comparison but when looked at in the idea of things the hair and mole accompany the same vessel being that of the skin, and although there can be oddness to a mole it seems to be a natural object on the skin even with its potential to morph. When morphed becomes an object of fear yet our associations are still attached to the skin, and at the same time removed, it becomes alien, even with its removal, it leaves a mark.
Sealing two halves of the suit together and finishing baby heads…
Just the two halves of the upper legs to sew together now . My intention is to sew the legs tightly so that when I apply latex in layers tomorrow over the rest of my legs that the two will knit together. I didn’t originally chose to cast lower legs as I thought that the latex wouldn’t give enough whilst suiting up. But on reflection I wish hadn’t casted the top legs so that it would fit into the natural creases just under the bottom. But I can also consider a granary stone to blend the rim that finishes on the top of the legs, with my skin by making thicker areas thin, then apply latex in thicker layers on my lower legs. I noticed in the performance the upper leg of the suit lifted revealing ‘ knee high socks’ but also playsuit connotations, which I didn’t think worked well. I knew the actions would reveal me as human somewhat because of the wear and tear of the performative acts. And this is something that interests me. The tearing and revealing added to the piece however the stark lines that showed up on the footage and photographs in later scenes weren’t working and appeared amateur. However through the first of I hope many series of pieces regarding an idea of a black eyed, pigeon feathered angel, I think its important to allow trial and error, otherwise nothings learnt. What I have learnt is that I should have applied body paint everywhere before putting on the wear just incase of exposure. And If I were to keep the suit as it is, triple stitching to prevent the suit from loosening and spend more time on the leg area with gold body paint then apply latex in layers.
Today I went on a small adventure in search for clay that is naturally sourced. I found a block of red clay , somewhat, ironically mixed in with the soil at Wedgwood’s car park. But I had learnt that there were quarries such as Knutton. On the outside Knutton quarry welcomes visitors but I knew when I saw the barbed wire and metal fencing it wasn’t for explorers, explorers are clay thieves around here. The security is probably for insurance purposes as well, because of large vehicles and the height of the mount of soil, clay and mineral. I naively thought that there would be a way around this, as the council won’t allow the extension of the quarry, therefore the other side of the quarry shouldn’t be prohibited. However the whole island was secured.
With the clay that I picked up from outside Wedgwood I intend to make the rest of the baby heads , in relation to the solid plaster casted heads and the shell-like plaster heads. I have over sixty plaster heads 75 to be exact. In relation to the 2,000 -2,200 kilns that Stoke-on-Trent had thrived with to its now 74. I have worked out the ratio of clay heads to plaster in reflection to this percentage above, having three clay heads. Unfired so that they can return back to the earth. I intend to use the unfired clay baby heads accompanied by the plaster heads in a performance piece. That relates to the current divide over the aspect of a regeneration program here and how the money is being spent on the wrong (?) things. Within the performances I intend to swim through the baby heads and reflect on how I had incorporated the props within the performance.
Whilst driving past I noticed a recycling place Biddulf who look at the more construction side of recycling, I thought, there, just might be clay here. I spoke with the land owner, he mentioned that the clay was/is stokes, and that I could take a bag full for free. As he was closing for the day, I didn’t stop to take pictures. But funnily enough the clay and blue bag form , looking at their own properties make an interesting sculptural work.
Picture to follow…
Image of an open but shut door. The photograph isn’t great in itself but I kept the reminder for later, as food for thought.
Although I have been baptised, I wouldn’t regard myself as being religious. But, honestly, my heart sank in a way that wasn’t teary but strangely gutting – similar to when I was 9 years of age and the classroom assistant at St Laurence stamped on some caterpillars, that she claimed were maggots. When adventuring into the city this evening I noticed St Johns Church. I previously looked up the building online and was intrigued by the thought, that even if I couldn’t get into the building, that the outside might spark off a few thoughts for me. I noticed how the supermarket strived, golden. And that they had navigated the supermarket around the dying church. I noticed how ironic ‘Kingdom Security’ felt. I noticed how concrete blocks had smash up grave stones, I the thought of bones underneath, and the relation these bones had with fired discarded clay, and the sinking economy in stoke and the privately owned ‘clay farms’ that were specialised for brick making. Bricks for what? more buildings? for cheaper made ceramics to fill. In this one instant the world seemed to fall ontop of me. I thought of Wedgwood once more. I thought about this as I took the snaps, I circulated the thought. What is a gravestone? A reminder of a person once lived? a stone in which to remember someone by? A final head rest? the finishing post? As much as I tried to demean the stones as just objects that sell on death. I couldn’t detach the sacred element from these stones. Maybe these were the caterpillars that had got away. I could look past the commodity of these resting places. For me unless there is great cause to move a stone, it should not be moved, as it is essentially a burial site surely even if there is nothing underneath. And then I thought of America. If I ever believed in anything it would be the spirit of things, Tonga being the treasure or gift, maori being the spirit and hau being that of the returned spirit. I have no doubt that the restaurant will be built on bad grounds, just like I had no doubt that those caterpillars were green. The very soul will be gutted in order to fit the wants of the market.
The sighting did propose the idea of such cleansing rituals within the space of the ‘wasteland’ , but this ritual it would seem could be done anywhere here. Stoke seems to speak of a land that fits between the gift , the commodity, the church and the supermarket. The gift dwindling by it’s seams.
The idea of baptisms especially arose with my plans of the bath being that of a portal within my intended film.
The journey continued I was after some footage that incorporates fleeting beauty, I only seem to see it when I have either lost battery on my camera equipment, or with the intention of just popping out the studio to get a drink. So today I thought I’d wear my head cam all day, and have the other battery fully charged.
my aim was to walk as or further than my legs would take me, and when and if the camera ran out of space to write or draw my sightings. I witnessed a few pigeons it was the order and placement of the birds that generated a feed . I thought about my previous footage regarding people and the order in which they navigate within the frames of the architects and the council. Coerced into walking certain ways, doing certain things, reading generic quotes carved in stone as an attempt to gain a stronger form of unity in Hanley. These quotes I found to be dreadfully undermining. These quotes are coherently placed from stone benches to pathways.
What interested me about these birds is the positioning, the ritualised stance, the way they gradually shifted from the space, one by one. However as I was filming a car pulled up a man asked why I was filming pigeons, which added nothing to the scene.
Time for a reflection, so far I have neglected this particular blog at my own peril. I usually work with the work in front of me and spread across the wall so that connections are made easier for me. And from a sketchbook. I think it’s time to get analytical about fresh work before it starts to slip and slide in the mind. Before good ideas become frayed and morphed and/or forgotten.
The image has been casted away from the light, sun behind the lens, which casts a heavenly glow on the land. This provides a double-edged image for the abandoned post, one of a crucifixion and another that responds to no parking ‘At any time.’ The space appears to be over grown and unkempt, which would suggest that it has been forgotten, however not by all.
The more I walk past this part, a space between Tesco’s and the Church, the more the place seduces me especially under a low sun. Although I (hate) fly-tipping. I have shared a few houses I even hate it when people do not recycle. This land although abused by whomever choses to dump rubbish in it, has a compelling appearance. I say rubbish I have seen bags of clothes dumped. Some of the clothes it would appear as though the dumpee has even kept the black bag. In my head I’m screaming charity shops!! Nature fights this abortion of human chaos, with its powerful gaze and will to exist. I have never seen such a contrasting, contradictory area of this kind. Or maybe I have but have not recognised it to this extent. I did make the comparison of Wedgwood and the ‘Wastelands’ and how they were reflexive in many ways. That’s an active thought that is still circulating. However I find this place slightly more honest and grotesque, beautiful in many different ways, ugly in others.
This spot especially intrigues me, the smashed titles appear like autumn leaves. I intend to place the found bath within this space or the overgrown ex road, as the yellow lines form a proceeding present yet the weeds puncturing the earth reveal a past not too long forgotten. The space is for me surreal. And I intend to film the golden creature within a domestic bath filled with lemons uncut in water, so that features such as a nose rises up like an abstract pink/nude triangle, as the figure rises up from the bath ‘it’ is then in the waste land as the golden creature, with its oddly shaped, grey feathers sticking through a the bath of white feather. The creature rises from the bath. My aim is to successfully seamlessly thread the two footages together, so one action slips into another. Similar to the image of ‘sally’ in the further away shot. She will be used as an indicator into the newly inhuman creatures eye. These certain objects will be used as portals influenced by Mike Stone’s Lemon Man. Stone has a gift of being able to write about three persona’s/ characters , these characters are reflexive of one another in the sense that they are the same person, but fragmented like a mosaic. I also aim to slip in and out of reality/realities. And play with the reality we believe we already know, using everyday materials candidly. Some of the ‘natural’ findings in the ‘wasteland’ have these properties already. They just need to be carefully crafted into position and identified sufficiently through trial and error.