In April 2007 I attended a 5 week residency at the Sanskriti Foundation in Delhi. The residency, funded by the Arts Council of England, was to research new ideas and gain fresh inspiration.
I am now back in the studio working towards an international exhibition. I intend to return to Delhi in Autumn 2008 to the exhibit the finished work at the Sanskriti Foundation.
The last six weeks have been pretty manic in the studio hence my blogs have become less frequent.
The AA2A scheme has now finished and the project is moving into the next stage. The AA2A residency at Hereford has been a great opportunity to try out new processes, work with porcelain and explore new ideas. I have also made a few new friends along the way which is always good!
I have also been able to iron out a few of the issues surrounding the presentation of the work, particularly the placement of the pieces and the lighting.
I am planning to be exhibit with the charity Oxfam at their headquarters in Oxford in September before the work goes to Delhi in late 2008.
Obviously like all these things I need to secure some additional funding for the shipping costs etc but subject to funding it will be really good to see the work back in Sanskriti.
I have been exploring different installation ideas over the past few weeks and also looking at the scale of the pieces and differing ways of lighting and installing the work.
I am concentrating on the porcelain pieces for the exhibition. Experimenting with LD lights with the work. I am aiming to make around 100 individual pieces for the exhibition. So am fairly limited at this stage with time on the project.
I have continued to experiment with the glass casting although not really got any good results yet. Had various challenges with the wax I was using to cast with and also getting the right temperature in the kiln for the glass.
Great to be experimenting with new materials though, one of the real highlights of having new facilities to work with.
I hope to make at least one or two small pieces of glass if possible. Casting some of the combs and one of the baby pieces.
Since returning to the studio I have been casting some of the objects collected from my time in India as well as casting new forms found back in the UK.
India has the highest infant mortality rate in the world for children under the age of five, particularly amongst girls who have a lower status in Indian Society than their male counterparts. Infanticide and sex selective abortion account for an estimated half a million female terminations a year.
I want to use objects to contrast the statistical research I have collated, exploring the juxtaposition of beauty objects and their cultural, gender-based social issues.
I am particularly interested in using everyday objects, including ornate combs and intricate women’s hair ornaments.
I am currently using porcelain and experimenting with new materials such as glass. I am also interesting in using light and exploring how this might be used with these translucent materials for the production of a finished installation piece. Other elements for consideration for this project include the use of projected image, in particular still images or graphic text and how they can be used to layer the finished pieces of work.
Well I am in the studio after a chaotic and busy six months or so. I am based in Hereford for the duration of this production phase of the project under the AA2A scheme at the art college. I first did this scheme about three years ago after my MA, It gives artist access to facilities and also provides an opportunity for more interaction both with students and other artists on the scheme. I have started casting some of the hair ornaments that I brought back from India. I also want to explore some new materials over the coming weeks, both glass and porcelain. I am really interested in experimenting with translucent materials and incorporating other elements such as light and projected image with the finished work. I plan to go back to the Sanskriti Kendra in Autumn 2008 to exhibit the work.
Well finally arrived back in the UK!
The last week in India went really quickly and much of my time was spent cramming in last minute trips and working out what I could bring back with me to England, 20kg is not a lot!
I am yet to digest all that I have experienced. Going to take a while and a good few weeks in the studio to unravel the sights, smells and experiences of this Indian residency.
I have come back with an interesting collection of objects, some women’s ornamental hair pins and ornate handmade wooden combs.
I am particularly interested in using everyday objects in my work, the seemingly mundane and everyday things. I intend to incorporate some of these everyday elements in my work back in the studio.
This has been my first experience of an international arts residency programme, and I have learnt quite a bit a long the way.
India itself did not disappoint.
In some ways I feel I have only touched the surface of this vast country. The very nature of this kind of short residency experience is that it opens up so many more potential possibilities and avenues to pursue.
I suppose in many ways that is the point.
I am looking forward to exploring and interpreting some of this research over the coming weeks and to see how this experience might impact on my practise in the longer term.