We’re coming to the end of week 5; already I can identify that my work has taken a new direction. I’ve realized that purely materials is what evokes and challenges me to produce work. My studio space has transformed into a mass of found or re-usable objects and materials that inspire me to experiment with form and process. The idea of impermanence in my work interests me, this idea came from the work of Eva Hesse; certain materials can not stand time and will deteriorate quickly. Is this on purpose, a certain choice of materials? Can this become the main methodology behind my practice? Do I want to produce works that can only last a specific amount of time? The next few weeks are important for development with form and the use of jelly and bread dough.
Repetition is an element that creeps into my work; repeating an object is an area of interest that has frequently been involved in my practice and thought process. When I have an idea and sketch, I always visualize multiples or a mass of materials or objects. Using repetitive forms in my work evokes the idea of how the viewer can perceive them; however they hold a sense of individuality.
We had an interesting seminar with tutors Juditt and Mark about artist statements with a series of written exercises relating to our practice, free writing and analysing other artist’s statements. It’s sometimes difficult to express your work in a written document/statement that will engage the viewer and intice them to read your statement. How do you want the audience to understand your work? An artist statement is the core to who I am as an artist. What is my practice? What is the process? What are the materials? What engages my work, my concepts?
After sitting and writing key points that continue to reoccur in my work I’ve realized that my work generates physicality and interaction with materials. Engaging with a range of materials, the rawness and potential that I can achieve to manipulate my work. Recently my main focus has been working with jelly and other organic elements, rubber, hessian, foam, wax and bread dough. These materials are a shift in transition from using traditionally associated sculpture materials of plaster and concrete that are hard, non-malleable and unapproachable in my previous work.
Claes Oldenburg, Rachel Whiteread, Eva Hesse, Richard Serra, Marcel Duchamp, Rebecca Horn, a few artists that currently engage and impact on my practice.
The work is beginning to progress and develop with my experiments with the jelly and most recently bread dough. The touch and nature of these materials suggest human flesh, this could be an area to explore further? Scale and space is the main element and factor that I need to overcome; slowly I’m beginning to produce the work larger than the previous ones but I have come across problems. The jelly and dough is placed in cling film to conceal the form, however to scale up I need larger sheets of cling film or some other plastic material, possibly industrial. Bread dough resembles human fat, this element lies with the human form, shape and size; the creases in the cling film and the bulging of the dough pushing, rising (due to the yeast) through the crevices. These forms are organic elements that I want to interact with the floor and wall of the space they lie in; also the possibility of them invading a small space.
I finally feel comfortable with moving forward and producing the work. After my tutorial with artist Holly Davey I had the reassurance and an extra push that was needed to produce the works. In discussion, the jelly forms were an interesting aspect to develop their scale and form. My previous work involved hard, industrial materials that were not approachable; the use of jelly as a medium involves touch and a soft aspect of the body. Nostalgia is crucial with these body of soft sculptures.
There is a shift in physicality with the use of materials; the work is entirely based on form and material. I’m playing with the manipulation of form and how the body reacts in relation to materials. The soft and sensual curves and bulges of the jelly is an innate sense of the body; however if they are scaled to a giant, monumental size then the work develops a wider narrative. Other elements I’ve began to explore is plastic tubing with human hair sat inside; exploring form and manipulation that can be forced of the plastic tubes. Future research directions are Claus Oldenberg for his scale of ordinary objects, Rebecca Horn and Meret Oppenheim.
We have weekly research and ideas seminars and the last couple of sessions have involved planning and emphasising how important it is to have a plan, even when more than likely that plan will change. I was thinking about time and how little we have on the course and what my objectives are for the remainder. What I realized was, was that I need space and large quantities of materials that will produce the work; both of which I’m currently struggling with. How can I overcome these obstacles? Space has always been an issue when making my work due to the weight and scale. I want to push boundaries and come out of my comfort zone; the use of new materials and the unpredictability of jelly as a primary medium will change the dynamic of my practice. Therefore I’m currently in the process of writing to hartley’s with the hope that they can sponsor my work with large quantities of jelly. The idea is crazy and could be a complete failed attempt but if they agree then the scale that the forms can be produced is monumental.
These works explore form and shape in an open space; I come across a shape or an idea in my mind and find the material that can achieve it’s quality and vision. I’m curious in how materials can be re-used, re-shaped to further develop and transform an idea or drawing into something visually inspiring for me as the artist but also for the viewer. What the work can become is in the eyes of the beholder. Here I am simply using basic, recycled materials to create minimalist forms that can challenge my way of thinking and making.
These are playful experiments with form using organic/ food substance materials; the pieces take on a life of their own and are placed in an awkward manner with the purpose intent of whether they will fall or remain in position.
The relationship that the works have with the floor is intriguing and inviting for a viewer. Their form is rich and the tension in the bends of the material is visible, using a soft, yet firm material like the jelly; this allows me to manipulate their form and relationship to one another. They become characters and take on a personality of their own; I want the viewer to interact with them in the space.