Semester one complete and much work done too. And I am not stopping just because I have no access until January. There is sketchbook work I want to do, reflecting on practice, and I can prepare new work stencils etc.
Students came in during the final week inviting me to see their work on display in another room ready for assessment tutorials. I talked to a few students about their work and found much of interest. So I guess I am settled in and established here in the residency, a very enjoyable new venture out of the print room. I also met Vicky Cull who is leading the fine art now and building the program a bit more for next semester. I was asked to give a talk, probably in week 5, along with providing tutorials and talk of an exhibition. I will look forward to the talk and tutorials, because after teaching in further education for so long on BTEC and Foundation courses, it will be interesting to find out more about what the students at this level. So far students visiting the print room have been very thoughtful about their work. I like the level of engagement students at this level have. Fine art and graphic students have discussed their work with me in the print room. Many students from the graphics course talked to me in the print room last Tuesday about their work, as they were completing printing for final pieces. Too many to mention, but the student making a set of cards to promote fungi made some interesting designs, another took painkillers for a subject; really, some unlikely but interesting ideas.
My Simulacrum Series is building up well, though I did have problems with one of the screens. Must sort that problem out.
I have uploaded a double image here of work in progress and a single image completing one of them. I have several ‘secondary’ series now with no collage fragments all in blue and my first ‘Devices’ print using the reporters notebook stencil printed in transparent green, is nearly done. I think that I can rework that idea further and make a series from that as well. The Devices stencil worked also in another application with the photo-screen newspaper image which fixes the signification more than the main series of simulacrum.
I will reflect in my sketchbook and clarify ideas over the next couple of weeks, and upload that, while also doing prep work for January. I have the original print installation series on track and can envision the way it will work in exhibition, and I can see how the secondary series of prints will relate to each other and the main series in exhibition. I think I will start designing layouts quite soon as the concepts are established and I think that a dialogue can be woven between each different series.
Progress is good. The Simalcrum series is about halfway through now. And interaction with students is good.
Earlier this week one of the students I had met earlier came in to discuss our attendance patterns and use of the vacuum screen printing press. And talked about paper as well as our work. Apparently there is a paper very like fabriano but not the same price, . . . Awaiting more information. . . .’
Another student, Jan or Jenny, I missed the name so apologies there. Enjoyed a discussion around the similarities in both our work. Both using found images and allegory. She explained her use of the Last Supper as a base for allegory. So it will be interesting to see where she goes with it as she develops her ideas, working out how it will read differently with different audiences, especially after hearing all the background to it.
There is a definite a change in interactions now. I think they are used to having me around and I feel more included and it seems more open, with students finding me and sharing more. So the residency is more interactive than parallel as it was at the start. Good progress in all aspects.
As for allegory, my interest stems from a use of found images and materials in my degree with a very direct connection and signification to subject matter, to a very different approach by the time I studied for my MA. I started to define, or is that realise? Maybe a bit of both; what that interest is while researching for writing my thesis. I never really wrote it, though, although tutors said that I must have toiled over it. But well, all I did is typed up my notes, printed and handed in. Teaching commitments got in the way, so I never really defined and argued the points in my discourse. Who knows if it would have been significant. But there is something I find significant about allegory that didn’t seem to have been written amongst the theory I read. I read Eco, Barthes, Derrida and other theorists and key things like intertextuality, which came up in relation to photographic images and writing. What seemed unresolved was whether we could say that the original story or references on allegory could either remain intact or if they could be altered or left behind. In metaphor the signifier may not be the signified and in agreement in language we all assign the meaning through contexts which somehow locate that meaning. So can we think of allegory in a similar way? Something in the general signification brings the context into play and we can work with that and steer the meaning somewhere else. In the simulacrum series I am working with ideas about the copy, but also steering the photographic references.
Enough for now.
This week, or very nearly last week, having been too busy to post a blog entry until now, was very interesting. I am back in residency tomorrow, but still thinking about what was talked about last Tuesday.
One of the level 7 students came into the print room and she opened discussion about the use of digital in art, and the perceived validity of laser cut against hand crafted lino prints. We looked at my Transition piece as I have now titled it, and Glen the technician opened a book to look at Barthelemy Toguo and Christoph Loos who both display the print and the means of production i.e the plate.
And also we looked at some printing using laser cutting and some print work that was digital in appearance. Interesting discussion I thought, and the work of those printmakers interesting too. In the case of my work, though, I have not made the plate into a sculptural form as those printmakers had. In my piece the plate is also part of the work, but is still essentially image. The plate is also an found object, as such, although altered; and an image in its form as it preceded the stage of modification to become a printing plate. I like it the way round. It has an existence in the real world outside of imagery but it is denied that independent existence as it is interdependently merged physically with the printed element. I suppose in some way I am holding on to some aspects of a practice using collage techniques and material, but it is also the copy/original relation, and it is about allegory and it is about language and also about issues of a technological age.
I remember discussing Paul Virilio’s writings about the technological age with Dan Hayes at a symposium last year at the University of Suffolk. He takes a different route in his work to explore the digital and technology but those ideas still influence me. Language is also very much an influence, and I came across a new reference from a piece of writing coincidently relating to one of my tutors at art school, wherein J.R.Sumner wrote about a literary aspect that is part of the nature of the human mind. The reference argues from a paradigm in cognitive science and psychology, and resonates because it discusses ‘the gap’ between the incompleteness in writing, stories and art imagery, and real experiences and meaning. And particularly when images are made to deliberately leave the viewer with an incompleteness and the viewer has to engage in filling in the gaps. I think I will research the references a bit more, as they do follow my train of thoughts.
Any more prep for tomorrow.