After showing this piece in a Show and Expose situation; whereby the piece is scrutinised by my peers and then I give a short talk about the works motive, it left me with an overwhelming amount to think about. Beforehand I was feeling quietly comfortable; it was only afterwards that I felt the pressure of other’s opinions towards the piece. The experience has left me somewhat deflated, feeling on a high with the work, to coming down to reality to see the work needs a lot more attention. The title: Aspiration Between the Classes, was a big mistake, I should have stuck with my strategy of Untitling the work. The title immediately, too quickly, leads the audience to think about the British class system. Which in turn then lead the audience to believe that the three plinths placed at different heights represent lower, middle and upper class. They then battled with the décor I had chosen to place each plinth within a social class. The audience, not surprisingly had difficulty with this task, as my intention wasn’t for this at all- the plinths I hoped all possessed working class décor choices. It was ignorant of me not to see that the audience would interpret the three plinths height choices in this way. I had hoped the three plinths would give a hint towards the notion of the class system, but in the end the notion was made too explicit
The yellow plinth was given probably the most attention; being heavily perceived as “granny class.” The taste choices I had made were described as feminine, grotesque and tacky; the boarder especially tacky. The shine on the figures was noted as “too much” it’s “all over done.” These comments I felt as somewhat of a success within my practice. I had achieved the overdone working class taste. Many related this work to their grandma’s home- some remarking that they began making their own narratives; feeling a sense of nostalgia towards this work. This left me questioning the works motive. Someone asking whether it was more about my grandmas home than the class system itself?
Someone also asked: “How would the piece work if the plinths were painted in their usual white?” This was extremely insightful question for me. The audience seemed to disagree with the idea- saying that the wallpapered plinths were very much a part of the work. The wallpaper included the object; it brings in the narrative of the object and confirms the home and the domestic.
Another day painting and decorating! Still uneasy about that yellow, but embracing the taste style choice! Really pleased with how they all look together and the extra wood on top looks fantastic.
Deciding that the salmon pink was definitely going ahead, I plucked up the courage to get painting! It really did look good! Just like I’d hoped. It was just as I was packing away that I spotted this ugly looking fella on my desk. I wondered what this figurine would look like against the salmon pink? Would his blazer clash too much? Or be spot on? I’d been really set on the lady with her hands on her hips for this plinth but there was something about this figure that I really liked. The ornament itself is absolutely hideous! – Maybe that just acts as an extra bonus. Also how good does the white wood top look?! Very slick.
I realised I had to bite the bullet in the end though, colours would reinforce that working class taste I’m after, as well as bring out the colours of the figurines. I wasn’t going to jump in there feet first though; I began making samples using the colours and wallpaper coverings. Mixing and matching the order of the different colours with different wallpaper styles really helped! – Even if it did get a little bit confusing. The colours worked well together but there was something not quite right about that yellow. Originally the yellow would be paired with the boarder, but using the samples I found that the boarder worked much better with the salmon pink. I tell you what though I’m glad I didn’t buy that ‘coffee’ colour- that definitely didn’t wasn’t nice!
Once I had the stuff it was time to get wallpapering! I immediately loved the wallpaper I used on the smaller plinth, it reminded me instantly of my grandma’s and it matches so well to the boarder and figurine. I could see it taking form now, matching up the colours to the embossed wallpaper felt like I was getting somewhere. I’ve scraped the next plinth free of it’s former wallpaper ready for a re-vamp tomorrow and I’ve got the colours ready to go! I decided to scrap the idea of a 4th plinth, I went to get the wood cut today but just before my decision I realised there is no real need for another one, it may just look cluttered. Although beforehand I felt it would look too much like my previous piece, when I shifted the plinths around it didn’t feel like that at all. I did get some other wood cut though! For the tops of the plinths. This has worked out fantastic! By placing an extra piece of wood on top it allows the paper to fold underneath it, by covering over this with wood it covers the mess and makes the plinth look incredibly neat. I’m really pleased with today’s progress. The plinths are beginning to become; “architectural walls.” – and interesting I almost see them as the formations of tower blocks.
Having seen all the wallpapers Nottingham city centre had to offer I made the quick decision, following a Google search, to head on a bus to John’s Decorating Centre! What a good decision. Yesterday I was at a loss as to what wallpaper I wanted to use, and most importantly the colour choices that I knew were going to be essential for getting this piece right! And in the bargain bin at John’s I found them!