I’ve been reviewing this blog, and wondering whether I can still use its title, ‘Narratives and Spaces‘ to refer to my practice. When I began writing this, I was fresh from my collaboration, which involved site specific work that related to narratives, and my dissertation. I imagined physical space would inevitably arise as a factor in my work again. Site specificity is very interesting to me, and something I will still use in work if the opportunity arises because it is such a powerful tool. In fact the work I have been focused on since I began blogging deals with narratives, but also the different emotional and temporal spaces they occupy, rather than actual physical space. I feel the title still fits, but for slightly different reasons.
I assumed when I started my blog that my work would arise directly from the research I have done during my degree, in particular my dissertation. Yet, in writing all these posts I have had to accept that despite my attachment to the concepts I’ve learned about, my practice has found its own way. This involves elements I’ve researched, but is driven, at the moment anyway, by a more instinctive organic response to my sources that aims to reflect muddled human impulses, rather than clear conceptual thinking about grander subjects.
Am I distressed by this conclusion? No, actually, I feel I might even have reached a ‘tipping point’. I’m five years into my degree and until now have had persistent doubts about my work’s validity. I didn’t feel I had a particular idea worth pursuing, and would assume I could imagine the outcome, rather than take the risk of trying something out.
Writing the blog has forced me to reflect seriously on old work and the research I found most interesting, together with the work I have been making this academic year. Because this is a public format, I have made more effort to work through and pin down my conclusions than I would in a sketch book. This has paid off. I know there are gaps between my research and my practice, but that reflection has been an invaluable way to recognise that my ideas and my work are developing their own momentum. This is a big leap forward. I feel more comfortable and confident because I have analysed those gaps, or ‘spaces’. Experiences such as the excitement of projecting my images (when I believed they would look inadequate) have convinced me that I should take the risk of trying things in order to discover something new and useful. I’m starting to have a lot of fun and will carry on with my project and see where it takes me. Here’s a video to illustrate how I feel (huge thanks to Guinness for getting it so right.)
So, what next? My degree show isn’t until June 2016, but here is my plan for now:
* Make more tracing paper paintings from the damaged ciné frame images.
* Investigate the best way to frame/display/project these if they are to be shown together on a wall.
* Make more light boxes, and more permanent ones for a bigger display. My prototype was too small to relate to the social viewings of ciné films that give rise to the multiple narratives which are my focus. Also compare how this looks in a white or dark space for the most effective installation.
* Complete my harvest of ‘lost’ ciné frames and add them to my slide show. Consider adding sound to it. Then analyse what these say about the narratives compared with what the damaged frames say. I think at the moment they should complement each other, but ‘lost’, or abandoned/edited frames are different to frames that are damaged by repeated affectionate viewings, and anything I make with them could say something completely different and unexpected.
* Investigate work that deals with the visual habits of the ciné film makers. I began collecting frames that reflected one film-maker’s visual tastes, but could make more of this strand of narrative.
* Look out for exhibitions/artists/writing that deal with narratives/spaces in perception in a way that relates to my project as it develops and use them as springboards for more analysis of my work as it goes forward.