Crit with PAC Home
Having completed the courses in natural dyes for textile and digital textile printing, I’ve been exploring how the processes complement other ideas that I am working with. I felt that there were a lot of different elements going on and so to help me make sense of it all, I arranged to have a crit at PAC Home, a network for artists, curators and writers based at Plymouth Arts Centre.
Since I completed my MA last year, PAC Home has been really important both socially and by offering practical support and opportunities. I’ve only been in Plymouth for 3 years and have found PAC Home to be an inclusive and engaged way to help me embed myself into the arts community in Plymouth. As part of the membership, PAC Home can facilitate events like crits or presentations on request. I wanted to talk about my A-N Professional Development Bursary and felt that a crit format would be most beneficial to the stage I was at in the work. The following are some thoughts that came up during the crit.
One of my aims of this bursary activity was to develop work and imagery around my research on the landscape as experienced by walking. The relationship between body, breath and place are central to all the work I make. Having worked with certain processes of making photographic images for a while, I wasn’t feeling excited about them.
I have been working on variations of these images for a couple of years. They are created using extended exposure times whilst walking through landscapes. The landscape itself becomes abstracted due the the time and movement, showing the movement of my body through the landscape. I find that when I work on certain pieces in isolation for too long, I have a habit of not necessarily losing interest, but more of a sense of losing confidence in it. Being able to show a couple of these images to a new audience helped me appreciate the work more and has given me a renewed purpose to continue working in this way.
I still want to do some further development in printing these images on textiles. I have produced some small scale samples and and looking for funding to scale this up. For me, printing on fine silks works on multiple levels: it allows the images to be affected by bodies as the move through the space, the fabric also has a translucency that allows light, bodies and other images to be seen through the printed image on the fabric.
Working with natural materials to dye fabrics has been a very different process yet like the images, has a strong relationship with time. In this case a longer period reflecting cyclic, natural processes.
Interesting points were also made on the scanned images of the dyed textiles. (See images in July post). The scans enhance the detail of the fabric weave, the vibrancy of the colours and the creases in the fabric.
Dyeing fabrics and digitally prints to go are very different processes that I was unsure if they fit together. It was useful to talk this through. Increasingly I have been thinking about this work as an installation rather than a series of pieces which is the way I am historically used the working. In working with these new techniques and materials, the idea of creating an environment that can respond to people (or breeze/air) is something I feel strongly drawn to explore. The group suggested continuing working on the individual elements and when further developed, approach the installation format more intuitively. I’m really excited to see where this can go.
The ritualistic and tactile process of dying fabrics also intertwines with other ideas I have been researching on pilgrimages and sacred sites. I’m going to keep developing the work using this research of pilgrimage and places considered as sacred as a framework. In other further developed works, I am working with gold leaf. I’m excited by the ideas of merging more materials together.
So I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came to the crit. It was such a great help to clarify some ideas and untangle and separate others. Also another thank you for all the pointers of artists to look at, books to read and funding sources.
Working from home for the past few months has been limiting at times and so I am exceedingly excited to be moving into a studio at KARST on the 1st November. I’m going to use this new phase to begin a new blog to keep track of the work as it continues to develop beyond the bursary activity.