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!
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!
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.
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!