BA (Hons) Fine Art, 3 years
Opening night went well. I'd never been to an opening night before, and it was really busy. I managed to hear the prizes announced, and I went to see a couple of people's work, but didn't get round much more on the night itself. I did go round later in the week. It was really good to see other people's work – because we've all been so busy we've not been over to painting to see their stuff, and they haven't been over to see ours.
One interesting note was my with my table piece – it was supposed to have a real mess with your mind quality. Can I walk on the baize or not? Is it a perimeter or a playing surface? Wow, that really messes with my head, what an amazing bit of art, and so on. But there were so many people there that the baize just got trampled. I had to replace it with another piece the following day. It still gets walked on regularly, I have to clean it when I switch the video work on in the mornings.
Apart from feedback forms, several meetings and the actual event itself.
Got my baize delivered and cut – ellipses, ovals, circles and semi-circles. Got the black out blind over the video space, nice and tight. Tried out the tables – I made about 13 altogether and left a few out because they didn't look half as good as my drawings.
And then we got rid of the metal legged ones, got rid of the really big one with a concrete top, the small sewing table was the only one with a raised lid and that looked weird…
So we got rid of loads, perfectly reasonably, and ended up with about 4, and that looked strange too. Also, this was all done without the baize, because it was too dark, too rich, didn't gel with other people's work or the building.
So I'm showing one table, but it does have baize, which I'm pleased about, and it looks right, it works. But the whole process was really exhausting, dismissing so much work in such a short space of time. It's all worked out fine and it looks okay, but it felt strange.
And it's my favourite table, but I made it about 5 weeks ago. The final set up for my show is as it was over a month ago – I've got a photo of it all set out and I liked it then but thought I'd try out some other ideas too.
I need to order the baize, cut it and fix it to the floor. Before that I need to shift some rubbish, paint the floors, do a black-out blind for my video space, scrape the floor some more for the video space, burn off my video properly, measure and attach a floating screen, and so on.
We blocked in a doorway this week, smoothed off the space. The person who used it last year has been very tidy so apart from the doorway there's only minor work to do.
I'm making more tables when I really should be finishing the ones I've got. A few have turned out to be the same height which looks a bit peculiar – if I'd have planned better I would've seen that coming, but one thing that's been pointed out is that I sometimes plan too much. Instead of doing. But if I'd followed my plans on this one then I would've made just one table. Swings and roundabouts. Tables.
I think I only have one more bit of filming to do and then my video is finished. I didn't really storyboard this domestic one so there's a few continuity errors that I've had to edit out, or re-film a certain section. It was all filmed out of order but I've managed so far. Stuff like picking up my cup of tea with the wrong hand, and in particular, I take the bin out and then leave the door open when I come back in.
It's hard to decide what to concentrate on – we all get an assistant during the show, so I can let them paint walls and stuff like that. I need a lockable box and a hanging wooden board for my video projection, so I'm thinking about those, but also convincing myself to leave it for the assistant. I've had problems in the past being too 'precious' about some of my pieces, and I ended up having a lot of work to do, so I'm conscious of that.
The tables are coming along okay – I had loads of ideas at the start and then settled on a very simple design that said more than a lot of the complicated ones.
It's a similar idea to the video, about moving around a certain space, what activates the space and the thought process, and also what deactivates it. I'm trying to tap into the viewer's visualisation of a game's theory. Where things go, how it works, and then placing things to interrupt this thought process. These 'interrupts' are largely based on tactile responses and an inherent knowledge of simple games. Dice are to be thrown, tables have things on them, you sit up to the table to play, usually opposite someone, the boards are usually square, a dice thrown on the floor is usually deemed void, out of play, green felt is a common playing surface…
All of these elements can be moved around and by altering them or placing them differently, I can 'upset' this intrinsic familiarity we all have and hopefully stimulate some sort of response.
I had a massive gap while I got folders together for assessment and concentrated on the videos, so I've only recently made this table. I had the materials and also had more ideas in the meantime, so I'm just making them all and seeing what works. I might have one piece, or a group of 5 or 6, but it's good to have a choice. See what works best in the space.