Just one more quick blog post about a new potential idea for the new year! Yesterday had a great lecture by tutor- Andy Pepper. He’s got a keen interest in holograms within art. The idea of using illusions/holograms really sparked something within my work. The phrases Andy Pepper was using to talk about these works were surprisingly relevant to my practice- “not there any more” and “trace of something that was there.” All words which have been continuing to crop up within my practice! The hologram seems to be the perfect tool to demonstrate that time gone by! The work will become impermanent. With the click of a switch the image I project will be gone. Could I project the image of a room onto a wall then as a projection this will be impermanent and as the projection turns off there is a magnolia wall as the background? Or I could wallpaper the wall which I plan to project on to? Lots of work to be done here but I like the idea behind it. Also a favourite piece of mine mentioned in a much earlier lecture by Andy Pepper- Paula Dawson- There’s no place like Home. Love it! Such great relevance here. http://nga.gov.au/exhibitions/Dawson/index.htm


The lights are on but Nobody’s home

I’m also continuing with the wallpapered plinths. I was really pleased with the aesthetics of the covered plinths so would like to continue this, however rather than just ornamental figures on plinths, experiment with other domestic objects- considering lamps, telephones photo frames etc. I particularly  liked the idea of the lamp. I was imagining the lamp covered in magnolia paint yet the light still shining beneath. The lamp, alongside these other objects, also covered in a coat of magnolia, will emphasize the forgotten objects left behind when one moves home. The objects remain within our memories of that previous home but in reality those objects, those walls have been forever removed from the present. They’ve been painted over and removed. The lights are on but Nobody’s home- a great potential title of the piece.

Setting up the Setting

What seems like ages ago now I started wallpapering to create a setting within the studio that represented a home like environment. I wanted to create a similar set up like last year with the magnolia piece I began with then. This time I planned to have the image of before next to space. I began the process of building a new set up or “setting” as I have started calling them. That’s when I began the wallpapering mission! I got a bit side-tracked by my grandmas ornaments during this process but at the moment I’m a bit confused with what it is that I really want to make; so I decided to return to this idea and try and complete it rather than leave it half way through- as I tend to do.  So at the back of my mind I’d been thinking about this setting and had come to the conclusion that I wanted it to take the form of a hallway- including coat hook, with coats, maybe a table and lamp, which I then scrapped to just a picture at the side of the coats. Yesterday I put the coat hooks up and asked to borrow a few friends coats- and well-ahh the hallway was made.

However it didn’t really have that effect. It was still just a wallpapered board, with coats, within a studio environment. I think that’s the hardest thing within my practice- replicating reality. It’s very hard. You can only really do that with a photograph. My mum made a good point though; that the photograph does do what it says on the tin. It does capture that moment; but does it actually say too much? It’s the art work supposed to question that reality. Creating this setting isn’t what I want to do. A setting is too much to replicate. Using forgotten objects provokes the memories of a time gone by without the need for a whole setting?

Crazy Lamp

Went a bit crazy with the making today! Originally I had intended to start a new piece using a lamp, with the idea of- the light’s on but nobody’s home (more on that later.) But when I actually got the lamp I’d bought back to the studio I realised the bloody thing didn’t work! So I took it apart to get the bulb out, once I’d done that I just thought I’d have a play around with objects I had in front of me- happened to be this ornaments head. I also kept dropping the head on the floor so slowly his hat disintegrated. It’s a bit weird but I kind of like it.

More Magnolia Ornament Experiments

Last week I had a go at dipping some more of my grandmas old ornaments in magnolia paint. I’m using this process as a way of of removing the remnants of a time gone by.  I still prefer the original magnolia figure but it was a nice experiment with which I may use these figures for future works. I also want to mention that I got a an amazing book out last week including a fantastic interview with artist Ruth Claxton. In discussion regarding her ornamental pieces I particularly liked these two comments- “They are seductive objects yet equally they are disturbing; they are not returning your gaze because they are in some way blinded.” and this simple but brilliant comment- “a mini utopia on your mantelpiece.”


Back in the studio today to check on the drying process! As its dried it’s captured all the details! I think it’s fantastic! I had a chat with my lovely friends today to see what they thought about the piece and what they think my next step should be. Surprisingly they liked it just how it was! They liked the white wallpapered plinth. I mentioned that I was thinking of painting over the wallpaper in the hope that this would portray what I’m implying with the figure- that time gone by. Helen said it looked like I’ve already gone over it WITH the white wallpaper so maybe that’s the idea. From this discussion and seeing the piece dry on the plinth today I’ve decided I like it too much just the way it is. So I will show this next week and see how people perceive it. Now I just need a title! Suggestions were made for Grandma or my Grandma’s name Kathleen but I feel this is too personal. Perhaps that title I used for the emptying process of my grandma’s house: The Home of Nobody? I want imply this time gone by, but without making the audience think of the objects in terms of fashions of the home, which I feel could happen with such a simple title.

Barnaby Barford

Was given this fantastic reference yesterday by Andy; one of the lovely technicians at uni. I checked out the artist last night and was amazed by the work. I also realised that I had actually seen one of his works at the Laing Gallery when I went up to Newcastle a couple of years ago.  Barnaby works with ceramics and porcelain figures creating a narrative and addressing contemporary life within that narrative. These works are a great reference to my current works! I’ve picked a few favourite works to show above, I think have a lot of relevance to my work currently, there’s a lot more to look at on his website: http://www.barnabybarford.co.uk/image_gallery/galleries 

Magnolia Figure

After using the wallpaper plinth with the ornaments as they were, I wanted to see how the wallpaper changed the perception of the magnolia covered figure. There was something just not quite right about the way they looked together, the white and magnolia clashed too much and the clean cut look didn’t match what I was trying to say about replacing that time gone by. I’m considering maybe scrapping the wallpaper partly away and then painting over this section with magnolia? Leaving it like a half unfinished effect. I really enjoy the magnolia covered figure and possibly seeing this piece as a piece on it’s own, but how would I show it? I feel I’m almost there with this piece but not quite.