So the research begins for working class taste. Here I have taken some fantastic photographs of my grandma’s house. Like many of the older generation of the working class their homes are filled with various pieces of sentimental tat- sorry grandma. Some may think its tat or kitsch, or memorabilia, but my grandma likes it and it’s of real interest to me as to why. As I’ve said before I was shocked when my tutor remarked- “She doesn’t really have it like that does she?” when I showed him a photograph of my grandmas ornaments surrounding her whole fireplace. I’d grew up with it so taken it for grated, but when you move between classes and into the art world you find that not everyone agrees on the same taste.
My favourite photograph is of Grandma’s Fruit-bowl. An icon of her home. “Been with me since Ryan was born.”- referring to my uncle now in his forties. I really love the image, what it represents, what it portrays about ornamental objects and the table cloth surrounding it; the image of working class taste.
(3 Ornamental Figures and 3 Ornamental Plinths)
As I wrote in my previous post I had big decisions to make regarding the aesthetic look of the plinths, it just shows though that sometimes not every decision is final, because when it came to it, when I went back into the studio the next day I liked them how they were. I didn’t want to change them! So I kept them the same and I’m still nervously awaiting feedback to see the reaction. However regardless of the tutors reaction I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the piece. I love the details of the figures captured by the magnolia paint! I love the figures placed on the plinths just so and I’m increasingly liking the taboo subject of class that is coming into the works! As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts my previous piece seemed to evoke an intriguing discussion focusing on class. The plinths, it seemed, turned these aspirational working objects into something that the middle classes can appreciate. By bringing these ornamental figures into the art world I transform them into something of middle class value. The title reflects this attitude as it emphasizes the fine art setting that the piece is in; made even more so apparent with the use of the bracketed format. The title, along with the plinths belong to the art world: it’s middle class; it’s white cube; so why on earth are my grandma’s ornaments on display?
Now for some really big decisions! I feel like I’ve been going round in circles with it all day! There is A LOT going on with the plinths, I admit that, but I’m struggling to decide whether I like it with more or less going on. The original plan was to paint, then wallpaper all 3 plinths, then subtlety rip a small amount of paper off each plinth. However as I gradually decorated each one I began to like the contrast of the bare magnolia plinth against the flush wallpaper and the ripped wallpaper plinth. It was difficult to decide which complimented the ornament best, and it became upsettingly apparent that it seemed the ornaments weren’t so much needed any more; the 3 plinths work as a piece all by themselves. Having a wallpaper malfunction on the smallest plinth; meant I had to take the paper off prior to drying, this however left a rather nice imprint of the paste on the plinth- again something else to consider. With the 3 plinths all at different stages like this I really do think they work well together as a piece in their own right; however it’s still very important to me to use the ornaments at this moment in time. So for now I need to make a decision on how the plinths should look in order to compliment them. I think the right decision here is to continue with the subtle rip plan I originally began with- this way they will get the full attention they deserve yet the rips in the wallpaper will emphasise that the plinths are also crucial to the work.
Next was the decision on how much wallpaper I wanted to take off- Too much? Too little? As much as I like the complete rip effect I think subtlety might be more appropriate in this case. The more ripping there is, the more the eye is taken away from the figure.
Really proud of myself today making my own plinths! Involved a lot of clamping, lining up, joining up, routing and sanding but got there in the end and it was well worth it! Here’s a sneak preview of what going to be happening to the plinths this week too!