Preparation for the Workshop 1
Preparation for the first workshop was a real challenge regarding the idea development, experiments, and finalisation of the workshop plan.
I realised that my routine at the Rochester Square studio follows the motto of my art practice, which is the quotation by Louise Bourgeois:
‘A determination to survive at whatever fragile level you can achieve’.
I was accepted to join a project space at the RS Ceramic Studio for a period of eight months. Since July, every day in the studio, I spend next to ceramists, potters, and artists. It is a challenging environment for me in connection to ceramics; everyone speaks a professional language, and I try to catch up with techniques suitable for the workshops concerning memory.
The processes I work on are far away from creating lines of perfect caps, geometrically excellent vases and bowls, evoking ceramic sculptures. I struggled to work on my research but not observe studio members. The whole environment is an art scene itself. They walk in slow moves, and they work with grace on throwing wheels. When bushing clay drafts, their movements remind the lifting of the rod, and when they work with glaze, one imagines magic to come after the final firing. I realised that the glaze process is even more unpredictable than printmaking. I witnessed perfect shapes were completely destroyed by the high temperatures. When the lot of bisque firing goes to the kiln for firing above 1060C, no one is sure what will come out.
The most fascinating feature of Rochester Square is that all members are extremely friendly and share their knowledge with dedication to skill improvement. I appreciate all the conversations and advice from every one of Rochester Studio’s residents. By setting up the atmosphere of my new creative home, I want to stress that my experiments look strange in comparison to pottery craft or professional ceramist routines.
My project research is dedicated to finding art techniques for clay and AR suitable for the recollection of memories from childhood.
For three months, I worked on experiments, trying to connect the tactile experiences in clay with the process of evoking memories. Currently, I am experimenting with augmented reality software on my phone to find connections to my memories in walking mode.
At this stage, I found that clay and AR could be assigned to two different modes of early development. The clay static creative mode is similar to a baby’s first months of growth, horizontal position in a cradle, bed and baby chair, being held in parents’ hands, on shoulders, and later sitting position. The development goes through observing, touching with hands and mouth, and subsequently rotating the objects available in a hand reach.
The AR creative experiences could be connected to the crawling and walking phases. The main element of the AR is to create digitalised lines, sculptures, passages, and tracks connected to movements in space. Both media could be related to experiments in the recollection of memories.
I started work on the project with experiments in mixed clay where lines of the preexisting pattern metaphorically connect to the preexisting setting of the family/adopter environment with a set of specific national and family culture, traditions and customs.
The next experiments focused on finding rhythms between my hand and my heartbeats. I worked on carving the bowl when listening to my heart with a medical stethoscope.
I created a life-size womb using coil-building techniques when listening to the records of my and my artist-partner’s heartbeats.
I found how difficult it is to search for the visuals of the womb’s growth, but not the baby, to find the womb’s outside colour and the inner surface look. Because available pictures are mostly B&W and are from scans of the babies’ growth. I also found that the human placenta is called ‘The Tree of Life’. I tried to mimic one and inserted it inside the clay womb. Applied glaze in three weeks. After firing, the glazed surface from inside and outside mirrors the real one. It looks like a real womb but was unsuccessful, and, now exists in two parts. The process of working on it and listening to the white noise from the womb brought a few ideas for the workshop.
I also worked on nine life-size hearts, considering the size of the heart and thinking about who might design our life-engine. The shape of the heart perfectly fits into the palm…