And then the biggest risk of all, probably the most exciting one, was the blue drip! Hoping to make the plinth and the figurine become more of a sculpture as one rather than two separate pieces I’ve continued the dripping process onto the plinth. Dunking the object into the paint at first, then pouring paint directly onto the object from above it flows onto the plinth and creates this beautiful fold upon the figurine. The paint is allowed to pour freely which creates a pool on the floor. This was extremely successful! People walking past were mesmerised by the process- I only hope tomorrow the paint hasn’t cracked as it’s dried!
It was a really exciting day today, getting the plinths all ready and aligning them in their correct position, starting with the original plan at first,then slowly adjusting it to fit with the space. The magnolia pair needed to move to create a larger walk way, then the blue and pink ones needed to be adjusted and separated further. I played around a lot nudging the plinths to different angles- creating a new outlook with each movement. I moved around the space considering each perspective of the viewer. Considering the heights of each and ensuring that no plinth was blocking another. The pairing of the plinths was really successful! They played out a narrative reflecting the story back to one another. A huge success was also the space surrounding the plinths- it really feels like the viewer is able to move freely inspecting every element of the work- like Matthew Darbyshire’s piece- the viewer can weave in and out of the plinths!
I have to say I am extremely proud of these beauties! All the hard work put into the mould making has paid off! Using a clear resin, I’ve poured this into my mould then added two different pigments to each cast- opting for a brighter look the second time round. Adding the pigment at the end of the pour I then drip the colour into the mould from a height. The height at which I pour determines the depth which the colour can reach. The way the colour almost just stops at her skirt I think is just beautiful.
This week has been a fantastic week for lectures! And for my very last lecture I was honoured to hear the wonderfully humble Richard Wentworth talk about his life as an artist. Richard Wentworth is sort of like Tom Jones is in the music industry to art. He constantly named dropped as these were his friends. He taught Damien Hirst and many more of the Young British Artist’s. And in a conversation with my friend he mentioned going to David’s party and the David he was referring to was David Hockney! Incredible. The talk he gave was extremely wise- he said he’s never seen himself as clever but maybe he’s smart. Here are some of the lovely insightful words he spoke:
- Life is long and weird.
- My son is 34 and that’s a piece of space that belongs to someone else.
- The sixties weren’t like people said- but it was nice, it seemed timeless then. It was very cold.
- Children live in the crotch zone.
- English pop art desired America.
- I’m interested in why things look like they look, what things mean, what we take for granted.
- Artist’s see that the world is sad before most people do.
- In London (where he has lived for the last 60 years) everything is someone’s decision. Nothing is natural. We make the world the way it is.
- I am the past- at the edge of a culture.
He really was insightful, here’s an interesting quote I found from him answering the question; What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you? “Have an interesting life.” Lots of people have said that to me, and I think it’s the most important thing to know when you’re young. If your life is completely boring, and you’ve got a nice swimming pool, then I don’t see the point.
Preparations are well and truly on the way with the degree show piece. My collection of plinths and figurines are coming along nicely! There has been a few alternations and a few decisions that still need to be addressed during the process but things are going well. I had a tutorial on the Wednesday and at first this made me panic slightly as there seemed to be a lot of things I’d yet to consider. But it opened my eyes to new possibilities and I’ve now started to think about these things for example; the positioning of the figures- could having them all central to the plinth be been as boring, too standard? I also expressed that I see the plinths as though they are mimicking walls- so I need to enforce that. I was encouraged to use skirting and dado around the plinths. I’ve been saying myself, that both the object and the plinth should be seen as one together, however my making isn’t expressing this. I’ve now extended the dripping process to drip onto the plinth, making the piece much more sculptural. (The photos show my practice run) I’m also considering having more than one figurine placed on a plinth. Lots of possibilities!
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.