My work in level 5 was mainly focussed on traces. This lead into traces that people leave by walking. This can include physical traces such as their footprints or the non-physical traces such as memories that we make, journeys that we take etc.
Over the summer break I went travelling to India, where I lived for a year in 2012/13. This is what has inspired my work for level 6 work. I am inspired by the colours, festivals, textiles of the places that I have travelled to, but I have also been inspired by the insight into women’s lives that I had whilst living out there.
In the last semester I have worked with the laser cut, to help to design some woodcut prints in the style of traditional woodblock printing. With these prints I intend to carry on with these to try different techniques. I have cut out a block using the laser cutter and I have cut out a block by hand. I want to try the differences using different techniques. I am expecting the laser cut print to be much more defined and accurate, as you can get a deeper depth and accuracy to the block when cutting it. However in traditional woodcut in India the blocks are cut by hand and for this reason I want to try to print from the hand cut block. In India the traditional method of block printing is being over taken by machine and factory made items, which loses the authenticity.
I have also developed some techniques and designs for screen printing. This will be a good way of developing my idea of making a large-scale fabric piece, which will also be wearable in a similar way to the traditional sari. The piece will have layers of design on it with different images of women and also traditional decoration. So far I have cut out my stencil for a large scale screen and printed this onto A0 fabric and paper. The technique worked well but there were areas that I was not happy with. Due to the size of the screen and the stencil cut the print did not come fully through the screen meaning that parts of the print were missed off. To develop this I am planning to make the stencil and the print smaller and instead of just using one layer, use multiple layers. This technique of screen printing has become the more prominent area in my work and the area that I wish to continue with the most in my upcoming work.
For me the element of trace comes into my work, as I am using images and photographs taken from my memories and my travels. They are traces of my journey and also traces of the lives of the women that I have met. There are also elements of trace in my work through embracing the naturals marks and mistakes made in my print. I think that these are something to be embraced and not ashamed about, as they are a sign of the process and the authenticity of the work. You can see these traces of process, quite predominantly in the left image, where I have printed the screen onto fabric. Due to the tautness of the screen and the looseness of the fabric some areas around the edges have failed to print leaving behind traces of the ink.
In the current work that I have been doing with the screen-printing I have been inspired by many screen print artists. One of these is Helen Marten.
“Helen Marten uses sculpture, screen printing and her own writing to produce installations that are full of references, from the contemporary to the historical, and the everyday to the enigmatic.” (Marten, 2016)
I went to see the turner prize exhibition in London and this is where I came across Marten’s work. I particularly enjoyed the way that she combined sculpture and print within her work, which is something that I have used in my level 5 work and is something that I would like to include in my on-going practice. With Marten’s turner prize exhibition I particularly liked the way that she juxtaposed big bold screen prints with the small everyday objects. This in itself posed questions to me as to the story behind the object and the meaning. The traces and memories that these objects held and their relationship to the prints and the artist.
Other artist’s works that particularly inspire me are Christopher Loos and Barthelemy Togue. I take inspiration from both of these artists in my work, as I am interested in the way that they display their print plates alongside their print, adding an element of sculpture or installation to their work. I am really interested in this combination. In level 5 I displayed my prints with a plaster of Paris sculpture piece. In Level 6 I wish to do a similar thing with my work, if this translates to block printing then I think that I would be interesting to display the printing plate alongside the artwork. This also adds another element of trace and process to the work, allowing the viewer to be able to see the process used.
The techniques that I want to develop through my upcoming work are printing; mainly screen print, I plan to use layers and a wide variety of both silkscreen printing and hand cut stencils to develop a more bodied print, that contain more depth and trace of process. I also plan to work into these prints more, using other mediums and techniques. I plan to sew into them and also paint and draw into them. Whilst developing these prints I also plan to work on my wood cut designs, developing the two different methods from the laser cut method to the hand cut method.
For me working onto fabric is a really important aspect of my work as it links into the context of my work. My work is about women and Indian culture. For women in this culture the way they express their personality is through their clothes. I think that this is something that is true all around the world throughout many different cultures. This is why I wish to make my work on fabric and also make the fabric so that it has a wearable quality. I may also choose to add some elements of my own personality, my own journey and my own experiences whilst travelling and experiences these other cultures.
Marten, H. (2016) Turner prize 2016: Helen Marten. Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/turner-prize-2016/about-artists/helen-marten (Accessed: 5 February 2017).
Martin, R. (2000) Sculptural printmaking. Available at: http://www.robertmartin.biz/printmaking-art_574/sculptural_printmaking.html (Accessed: 5 February 2017).