Preparation Continues

Development continues with painted figurines, more plinth painting (extremely bright pink) and more casting, using resin this time, pink to match the plinth!

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Titling

Since the uneasiness of the Untitled format used in previous works and then the too literal format I chose for the show and expose, I’ve been unsure as what to name this piece. In my head I’ve just been calling it The Collection. I want the title to talk of my collection of making, and the idea of collecting within the home, those belongs we keep to reflect an image of ourselves. I suggested during a tutorial the formal title of “A Collection of Appropriated Objects.” But as I thought, it just seemed too serious for the work. I want to play with the idea that these are my grandma’s figurines so why are they now in the art world? it was suggested I look at the base of the figures to formulate a title- finding one that read “The regal collection” as it’s stamp. I quite liked this idea of using this process to create a title. We spoke about where these objects came from, could that be referenced in the title? The Royal Kathleen Collection maybe? Or perhaps The Fenwick Collection -which I particularly enjoyed as it spoke of my own collection of making and my grandma’s collection for her home.

Planning My Collection

After I’d had my fun sandblasting I moved onto the next step, planning the plinths! I wanted to get the wood cut ready to start building them today but thought I need to take some extra time to really think about this decision. The sizing, arrangement and quantity of plinths is going to be really important during this next stage of work. I needed to get the image I had in my head down on paper. I’m still unsure how this collection is going to work in practice outside of my head but planning it out today really helped. The arch way in the middle of the paper is how I imagine the viewer will enter the work. I want them to walk through the plinths down the central walkway if you can imagine that? I enjoyed experimenting with the different designs on different plinths to work out the positioning of the collection as a whole. By photocopying the original plan I was able to add in extra plinths and change the designs quite easily. I can really see this coming together! So with the plan as it is, that’s 8 plinths in total, so 5 more to make! I can always make more!

Matthew Darbyshire

So the idea of the collection begins! Like I said I’m really excited about this idea. I hope to make a multitude of plinths, their décor style will each be different; some may be very minimal, some over exaggerated and some will show the traces left behind after my decoration. The plinths will range in height. Some will host my grandmas figurines, or casts of these figures and I may even include some of  the magnolia figures I made earlier this year. I hope to leave some plinths without figurines- establishing the idea that the plinths resemble architectural walls.

I also want to mention here the work of Matthew Darbyshire. A big influence in terms of the collection that I’m intending! After being recommended his work I instantly saw the potential of my work being seen as a collection. In the piece above titled- “Exhibition for Modern Living.” Darbyshire accumulates a multitude of modern objects,  The audience is allowed to explore each object, taking in their purpose or lack off it and discover their ultimate tackiness; all the while they are being made aware of consumer capitalism and our taste choices as individuals and collectively.  I’ve also noticed in this image the layout of the piece; the viewer is allowed to step into the space, weave through and come out at the other end. This is the affect I hope to achieve in the layout of my plinths- enough room for my viewer to walk around the figurines and explore their secrets.

Breakthrough 121

I had a breakthrough 121 tutorial with my tutor Ben Judd this week, we began by discussing my disappointment and my struggle to continue forward since the Show and Expose. I explained how I felt that the title was too explicit and was forcing an opinion of the British class system upon my viewer. As I spoke Ben informed me that it wasn’t just the title he could sense I had a problem with being too explicit, it was the work itself too- Ben confirming that- “The work itself felt too literal.”

The discussion lead to where I am now with the work- casting some of these figurines, I explained I wasn’t completely sure why I was developing the work in this way but felt it had some relevance to the work of Jeff Koons and his casts of “proletarian luxury” objects. We then began discussing the strengths of previous work- the way in which I transform the objects. This is a key aspect of the work, the way I have transformed the objects in the past using magnolia paint and transforming them by re-contextualising them in an art space is a real strength of the work. Ben felt that casting could be another element where I can transform the objects. Suggesting matching resin dyes to colour choices of plinths.

This is when Ben had a sudden realisation towards the work. Explaining that it is the process of my making, the transformation of the object, that’s interesting to the viewer. Previous works where I have included the processes of my work-  when I left traces of wallpaper on the plinths for example, they were a huge success. Why then can I not combine these different approaches to make one collection? A collection of my making.  A lot of different elements and concepts have evolved from different works, so by compiling all my making methods I hope this will encourage the audience to talk about all the notions of my work not just directing them to think about one aspect. I don’t need to push ideas of nostalgia, class, and traces of time, explicitly to my viewer. By touching on all aspects of these through my making, the viewer can make their own opinions of the work.

I am really intrigued and excited about this new  idea! It seems this could be the missing link- a collection, or humorously as Ben referred to it as “a greatest hits”, of my making. This idea of the collection also fits in with the notion of the home as a space to collect. Through time we accumulate things. Through my making process I have made a collection. The Show and Expose piece was focused, but it was limiting my thinking- transferring only one element of the works content.