I’m Baaaaack

And it’s time to plan.

So I’ve been saying recently that the work was slowing down a bit. Well we’re back in business now. Thursday was a good day. I was on campus at 9.30 in the morning and didn’t get home till half past 8 that evening. It was one of those days where I just remembered how in love with art I am. And then consequently realised how sappy I am also… But sounding sappy aside, I do enjoy days like that. I spent the day on the floor of my studio working away, occasionally nipping outside to steal some sun, and drifting in and out of arty chat with my studio mates.

We’re at that stage in the semester now where I can confidently say “It’s all coming together”. The work is mostly done and the space is looking good. Theres a few things still to do, sketchbooks and organisational touches, but I still have three weeks to go and I’m not panicking yet… which is unusual.

Everythings very chilled and ‘nice’ right now. My work is progressing steadily, the semester is coming to a relaxing end and it is sunnysunnysunny. Things are looking gooood.




My studio is in preparation mood. Getting there though. I can see the end, and it looks alright. Deadline is 23rd of April. Wish me Luck.

The Push

Deadlines are approaching. Sometimes the panic becomes a background thing and all thats felt is a drive to finish. It’ll get done, because it has to. This past week I’ve probably done the work I’d normally do in 3 weeks. I’ve been up before 9 every morning and have been staying in uni til around 7. And it feels good. The capsules themselves took a while to make so its good to get onto more resolved work.

This was basically my blank canvas at the start of last week. It was a little bit daunting, the prospect of having to actually do something creative with these perfect circles I’d made. I was feeling a little precious about ruining them, which isn’t a feeling I often get in my artwork. I usually enjoy the ‘happy accidents’ and the unpredictability of experimentation. I managed to overcome the fear anyway.

Inside each box is a variety of typed text, assorted found objects, and histological images. Quite the mix. The objects range from some shells and an old boot picked up on Musselburgh beach last Winter, to some spent matches of my Grandpas, refound in our garage over summer. This variety links back to the mix of articles found in those old encyclopoaedias I read over summer, and also to the patchwork way our minds work. I like the way memory works, keeping fragments of events and giving seemingly unimportant things signifficance. I think the theme of memory and this idea of remnants of things lost, creeps up a lot in my work.

The histological images are courtesy of my friend Scott and his uni studies. I like that to me they’re pretty and look like planets but theres this whole other importance and relevance to human life that lingers. It seems to work with the layering of theme and different aspects of knowledge I’ve got throughout this project.

One of my six in-progress capsules. Still a bit rough in terms of finish but I’ve got the objects installed and the lighting pretty much sorted, so its on its way.

Bring on assessment, I guess.


They Liked It?!

I guess its normal for an artist to worry about the quality of their work. In a field that’s so subjective, exam time can be very stressful, there’s no right or wrong answer, you’re just expected to impress. I get a little crazy, allowing myself to be consumed by this fear of what people will think of my work. However, after the Semester 2 feedback meeting I feel like I should chill out and have more faith in my work. I walked into Arthur’s office on Tuesday to hear positive comments about my installation and encouraging advice for 3rd year. Why was I so scared? They liked my work and they gave me a B1 for it. I sound a bit braggy now don’t I?! Ohwell, 3rd year Rachael will be confident and driven…you’ll see!

Heres some snaps from my final installation and accompanying work. It ended up that the  box itself was not the main piece, but a means for other work to develop. A more ‘final’ result of the project was a series of photographs taken from the setup. I like doing work that has multiple elements to it, this semester I managed to incorporate installation with projection, painting, photography and some collage. 2nd year in general has been pretty swell.

I feel kind of sad saying ‘Goodbye’ to second year. I think I’ve developed more of a style this year with my art, and so much seems to have happened in such a small space of time. 3rd year seems a bit daunting but I’m up to the challenge and I have this unusually positive feeling that it can only get better if I really set my mind to it. Bring on the summer project…

Stressy Times

I’m wondering how long it’ll be until I throw something at someone. Apologies in advance, deadlines make me crazy. Its now technically the Easter holidays but theres lots to do. Assessments are coming up, so the studio has to be tidied, sketchbooks have to be organised and the final work needs to be properly presented.

Having got people to sit in my installation and write their thoughts down, and also having personally kept a diary throughout this project, I’ve collected a lot of text and photographs.  I’m planning to trawl through these this week and find some good excerpts to display in my final presentation alongside my sketchbooks and the installation itself. Responses to being in the installation ranged from “I feel like my world could collapse” to “I wish I’d peed before I came in here” so I’m looking at quite a range of material here. Hopefully I can present it effectively to look good in the final show and to adequately explain my concept.

The installation seems to be constantly changing and I doubt I’m ever going to be happy with it in one state. Right now, Im projecting some of my paintings into it. These are played on a loop and flicker quite fast, allowing a frantic changing of colour to occupy the structure.

Its amazing how a flat painted image can be so distorted when projected into an enclosed space and onto varying surfaces. The box is covered in tracing paper right now so theres a transparancy to it as well as the multiple reflections of the mirrors. I think I’ll have to record a film to document this piece, because photos don’t really capture it overall.

I doubt this rambling will make sense right now unless you’ve seen the finished projection and installation. Shall I come back later when I’m done? Right, I’m off to freak out over this deadline.


Goodbye Semester One

Things right now are very sunny. I can’t remember ever feeling this positive about my artwork in the last two years. Assessments were last week and I could have kissed Bob McGilvray when he told me I’d achieved a B1! He told me the tutors liked the way I thought about things and had all enjoyed interacting with my train piece. Hooray. So after feeling a bit like I was drowning in first year, second year has proved to be a lot more productive. This is the part where I get all soppy and proclaim how happy I am to be studying Fine Art in Dundee. Ever the pessimist, I never thought I’d make it into art school let alone be having such a good time here.

And now with deadlines out the way and most of the Christmas shopping done, its time to chill. I’ve spent most of the day lounging about in my jammies, watching crap tv and daydreaming excessively. It’s also been semi-creative though. In keeping with my new years resolution to try new things, I’ve started learning to knit. Yes, I’m aware its a bit outdated, but its all knitwear in the shops just now right? I just really like making things, so why not?

Well the answer to ‘Why not?’ is actually cause I’m finding it a bit impossible. I’ve knitted about two inches in two days and my hands hurt already. But it won’t defeat me. So wish me luck. Gonna start clicking away with the needles again now, while watching Walk the Line. I might even get some rhythm on the go…