process: 'Common Ground' event (iii) - unthinking, thunking


Life Drawing class - charcoal drawing


So after a slow start, igniting the creative switch, things started to get going particularly after a day trip of a walk around the botanical gardens here in Glasgow and the Kelvingrove museum where I did some brief sketching. This was followed by an evening session of life drawing which was great as it enabled just pure flow without having to worry about content. 






Sketch of glass sculpture

Another thing I have to remind myself when working on a piece/project is to actually go do some other activities if the brain cogs just don't want to turn. I often find if Im directly thinking about the piece i.e ruminating constantly over 'what i should make', it rarely ever comes which in turn stresses me out and then the cogs really get stuck. At times, as mentioned before you just have to let it go and perhaps do an arty activity not necessarily directly related to the piece. 



Sketches at Kelvingrove Museum

So these were my initial quick ideas whilst in the museum drawing objects in the glass section. With the parameters of having a screen and plinth which I requested when submitting the proposal I started to think about integrating the screen and plinth somehow - like of fusion of two different objects/materials. I then started to think about how to do this and a textile related idea came to mind. Drape-age!

Whilst in the studio previously, I had come across a male mannequin torso and then started to play around with the idea of bringing in that somehow, perhaps under the fabric.

I also started to play around with the ideas of glass discs integrated into the fabric somehow as I had a stock of glass discs which I used for my 'o0o' piece from summer 2014. I often like to reuse-recycle old works partly as a result of my thoughts on material accumulation, waste as well as notions of continuing a piece of work to see how far you can push it. I also often feel that with many ideas/pieces you rush to make/create/produce (possibly part of the neo-liberal ethos embedded into our lives) and think that it is finished when really it's probably just a starting point. Speeding time has become the essence of modern life and the act of creation has not escaped that. 

On a slight tangent but related I was watching a programme called Forest, Field and Sky about land art. The infamous British sculptor David Nash who's primary medium is wood, is featured in the show - in particular his piece The Ash Dome which is in effect a work which never ends (until the space ceases exist by some effect of external factors - human or environmental or otherwise). David Nash continues to tend the piece which is almost 40years in the making. 

In addition to this, I suppose fundamentally Im interested in the continual transformation of material which is not only the subject of my work through algae - oil - plastic narrative but also the materials of the work themselves. Something for me to think about and expand on more!!

Back to the piece, I eventually decided against the glass discs as they would be too weighty for the fabric and I wanted the fabric to be draped over the torso to give an idea of some human form and the discs could also be tricky to affix to the fabric. 

Whilst undertaking these decisions, as part of my experimenting and playing around I started sewing the algae cell in gold thread onto found black plastic sheets (basically packaging).


Algae cell sewn onto black plastic

I was toying with the idea of photographing each stage of the sewing and then do a kind of stop motion GIF animation of the sewing in process - ie the algae cell in formation. Again I wasnt sure but kept going. This in turn gave me another idea for the fabric embellishment - using gold thread to outline the venn diagram - a sign of common space. 

To highlight the actual common space in the centre of the 2 circles, I decided to cut the shape out and attach plastic paper (found! in a previous life it was plastic wrapping for flowers!) which had prints of algae/human genetic visuals on it. 



For the moving image piece for the screen, again I had to realistically think about time and also what I was capable of doing. I initially wanted to some kind of film but really this takes quite a bit of time and experimenting (Im not a filmmaker primarily) and also needed to be wary as to what might sit well with the plinth sculpture thing in order that it doesn't become too busy.

With the ever approaching deadline, I decided to see what I already had and reshape it into a new digital form. Lo and behold I had a a set of slides based around the algae alphabet but had to rethink how to present it rather than simply presenting the slides in exactly same way which wouldn't have worked with the idea. 


Example of one of the slides from old slideshow

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