The most important part of my practice is the making, it has become a fundamental element. I learn through play and the possibilities of the materials; how far can I push them? What forms can I achieve? Will they develop into further work? This work happened by accident and was an experiment with scale using jelly. I documented the jelly slowly seeping through the crevices of the cling film and onto the floor. I left the piece over a period of 3 days and the jelly engaged with the floor, leaving a residue and mould on the surface.
These bread forms were draped over the chair within a controlled manner and left in a vulnerable state. The dough begins to expand and invades the space, causing the cling film to burst and the forms to loose their shape and fall from the chair. I have no control of this; both myself and the work have control at some point during the process. However gravity, due to the weight of the dough will eventually have full control and dictate the forms. My next step is to play with height and take advantage of the elasticity of the dough and play with the material as it stretches from varied heights.
It was a positive feeling today to get back into the foundry. As I am in a new environment you learn new ways or methods of completing the same process. Casting has always played an important role in my journey so far as a sculptor; the opportunities I’ve had, the people within the casting industry that I’ve come into contact with have shaped my practice. The process has always been the exciting and liberating element for me. Although I don’t find that metal casting is involved in my work or practice at the moment it is still and always will be a passion of mine. My training and background is mould making and foundry work and as a traditionally trained sculptor casting will always be an important method of making and an interest of mine.
The seminar this week with Judit Bodor was about opportunities in the art world; there are opportunities out there you just have to grab them when you can and if there are’nt any then create them. We had a discussion about our aims after the MA and what we’re hoping to achieve. I personally need to build a studio space; this is a main focus due to the nature and scale of my work. So far, having a studio space of this size has been fantastic; however I’ve already outgrown the space. Artist residencies are a particular interest of my mine that I wish to pursue not only when I finish but also throughout my career; it’s important to develop relationships with other artists nationally and internationally.
Group crits are always an interesting learning curve and point of contact with both tutors and peers. After the discussion on my work, the feedback I had was that I need to learn more about the material, experiment with object; the dough forms leaning over a chair or slumped against a wall. Using organic materials is challenging, the dough rises and changes size over time due to the yeast; it was suggested that perhaps I should be filming this process. The issue I have with this is that yes the process would then be visible for the viewer but my work isn’t about that. The process and materials are based on how I interact with them as the artist and the relationship that I develop with the work. I become the work, I am the materials. Judit mentioned that you should be asking is ‘how does the work, work?’ instead of ‘what is the work?’ This is an interesting concept and needs more thought on my part, because i always tend to explain what the work is but never how it works or even if its working as a piece.
So far, this week feel’s busy and hectic. I’m currently researching for my PHD and the whole application process, finding information and contacts of supervisors that I can contact to whom have a connection with my areas of interest and proposal of study.
The whole aspect of play and experimenting is the core of my practice; it’s what engages my work and allows me to develop ideas through purely materials alone. Working originally with jelly was challenging and still continues to prove this, especially to work on a large scale. Recently I’ve started to use bread dough which I find easier and malleable to create forms and on a larger scale; it has a firm yet squidgy consistency and the yeast causes movement and elasticity. The folded form is a reoccurring subject and repetitiveness is an element that engages the work.
Took some time out of the studio on Friday and went down to Cardiff Bay to catch the Diffusion exhibitions that were exhibited in BayArt, Cory’s Building, Third Floor Gallery, Wales Millennium Centre and Norwegian Church. The quality and concept of the work was fantastic; to see some unused buildings being re-used as an exhibition venue was inspiring and brought the work to life. My favourite work was Unbroken Down Detroit by Dave Jordano, exhibited in Third Floor Gallery; again a lovely, quaint venue that had great character, this added to the quality and subject matter of the work.