The ‘Click’

I often talk about waiting for the ‘click’. That moment when it suddenly becomes apparent that you’re on to something. I think today I realised, it already clicked. While talking about my progress in our group crit, it came to me that I actually have a lot going on at the moment. There are three things I’m working on right now, and I feel they’re all about to take off.

A lot of the work is a continuation of my process from last year, perhaps this is why I missed the ‘click’, because it had already been. I was very happy with my body of work last semester and I’m enthusiastic about where its going to lead me in 4th year.

I’ve returned to the workshop this week, oh how I’ve missed it. It seems strange thinking back to second year and how intimidated I was the first time I was handed a drill. Now, I could live in that place.

In keeping with my work on the obsessive recording and presenting of nostalgic objects, I’m working with old glasses. I’ve worn glasses for fifteen years now and have accumulated a collection. Having selected seven of these pairs I’m working on a construction that will allow the viewer to perceive an image through the lenses of the glasses I wore between the ages of six and twelve.

I hope to complete it this week. Fingers very crossed.


Studio 606

New academic year, new white space. I spent a week last semester painting the walls and scrubbing the floor of 606, in preparation for the previous 4th years degree show, so it’s only fitting I should inherit the studio.

Here it is, my new canvas.

I’ve moved some stuff in now. The addition of some collected objects and a pot of coffee has it suddenly feeling more ‘Rachael’. Last week was a bit lacking in productivity on account of 21st birthday related excitement. It was a fantastic week otherwise though. And following that high I’m now ready to make a start with the semester.

I find it easier to think about my stuff when I isolate and arrange my objects into compositions. Things look better when they’re displayed more formally, objects begin to become artworks when they stop being used for their original purpose, so I spent today putting shelves up and playing.

This is what I do.

I’m not completely consumed by any one idea yet but I have that exciting feeling that I’m onto something.

Things I’m thinking about:

Empty jewellery boxes

Old spectacles

Collecting information


Obsessive sentimentality

Hyper recording of data


Make of that what you will. There’s a lot of little ideas floating around, I just need to grab and develop them.


Artist’s Statement

A wee bit of official stuff for you! This week there’s a Recorded Tutorial. Basically we’ve to present the current state of our studio work and talk about our progress complete with a written report on what we’re doing and intend to do. Its a bit wordy and maybe a bit too ‘arty’ for some, but thats art school…

This semester my work has taken the form of Assemblage Art. Having scavenged and collected a store of objects from human teeth to a pair of 1919 binoculars, I was drawn to the overall concept of ‘free association’, an unconscious associating of seemingly unrelated objects. In the summer of this year I began collecting old encyclopaedias’. These books fascinated me with the apparent jumble of issues; academic tutorials on physics would be followed by an article on ‘How to Bake a Chicken Pie’. I am interested in the idea of seemingly unrelated issues being channeled together and therefore being assigned a common theme. Although the issues in these books did not flow by subject matter, their common factor was simply that they had been bound together in this book for others to observe. This excited my interest in documenting and presentation, I have always been fascinated by the ability to simply change a setting and thereby completely alter a context; one of the most famous examples of this would be Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’.

When something is put into a gallery space, and even more so when it is put into an isolated framework, the level of significance and the way in which it is viewed is completely changed. In my artwork I have a great interest in framing and documenting smaller works, I enjoy the importance this isolation can bring a found object.  I have previously worked in photo frames and large boxes, I wanted to advance my study in third year by moving onto more solid capsules. The construction and form of these capsules is of great importance to the overall aesthetic of the piece and therefore a significant amount of time has been dedicated to making six circular wooden boxes. The technical structure of these capsules has so far been the biggest challenge this semester. I have been making good use of the advice and resources offered in the Fine Art Workshop and my technical skills have progressed greatly. Making the capsules for this project has been time consuming and challenging. However, I am happy with the final form these have taken and am now eager to arrange and assemble scenes within them.                                                                There is an intricacy to encasing logically unconstructed ideas within a solid structure. With the objects being seemingly unrelated in any other context, the viewer is given a freedom and opportunity to perceive their own relationships as well as enjoying the spontaneity of the visual itself.                                                                                                  I have found inspiration when creating this project from the works of Christian Boltanski and Arman (who’s work I was able to view at the Pompidou) with their ability to assign emotion to regular objects such as biscuit boxes and lightbulbs. Also, the work of Will MacClean was brought to my attention when visiting the City Art Centre earlier this year, out of the many assemblage artists I have researched his subtle compositions are some of the most affecting.

Having collected objects, text, photographs, printed images and produced drawings and mini assemblages over the course of the semester I feel my work is now at the more experimental stage of seeing what ‘works’ in my final capsules. The piece is centered on the action of storing and keeping fragments of objects and text, I feel memory is always a theme therefore that emerges in the overall concept. This idea of maintaining images and layering fragments is reminiscent of the mind and its ability to recall and retain. So, in their visual representation of free association, my assemblages are commenting on the unconscious mind as a collector.                                                                                             I have made plans of each box, each with its own identity, however, I prefer a more physical approach when it comes to this stage of the assemblage. When making the capsule structures, rigid plans were necessary for the success of the construction, but in the installation of the content within the boxes, I feel a ‘trial and error’ approach is more efficient.                                                                                                                                     I feel the concept itself allows for context to emerge and grow as the work does. When placing objects together, narratives and relationships are formed in a more natural way. I am on schedule with the development of this project, there is still a lot to be done, but I am confident and enthusiastic about the final outcome.


This is a follow up to a previous post ‘Work in Progress’. I managed to get my construction project finished in time for the Friday deadline. I was quite pleased with this piece. Its unlike anything I’ve ever done before and I got great feedback from the tutors.  Thankfully the tutor asked if she could hold onto it to show at the Open Day next week which means I don’t have to cart 12 phones and a heavy mirror back to my flat any time soon.

I don’t think it photographs well. You really need to be standing in front of it to make any impact.


There was also an A1 sheet to record it within the portfolio.



Now playing: Bon Iver – Blood Bank
via FoxyTunes


Art Art Art.

Thursdays are lecture days at DOJ, that means I get two extra hours in my bed. This was useful after staying up until 4.15 listening to one of my flatmates explain everything there is to know about wind turbines. It was surprisingly entertaining. And now I know the two ways in which a wind turbine can kill you, which is always useful to know. I couldn’t really be bothered with lectures today and the fine art womans sheer enthusiasm and overuse of adjectives such as ‘magical’ was distracting in the last lecture, funny though.

I got a fair bit done on my construction tonight though, I stayed late in the studios. Had a good time actually and it was a nice night to walk home when it was just getting dark. Finally they had my glue, the shop haven’t had Araldite in stock all week and I was starting to panic. The deadline is 2.30 tomorrow and I still have have a lot to do, so that’ll be fun.

I get to go home tomorrow though. Most of my family is travelling to Falkirk for the weekend, so it’ll be nice to see everyone again. Though apparantly we’re going go-karting which terrifies me.

I’m very conscious of my choice of words in this post. My brother showed me this thing that makes a collage of the most common words in a piece of text. He applied it to this blog. Take  a look.

I kind of thought ‘art’ would have been used more than ‘drawing’. I think the idea is that the words you use most show up in the largest text. I can just manipulate the system 🙂 Art Art Art.

I really should be sketching my Visual Journey right now. We have an ongoing project to do, regarding what we see and how we see it. I’m doing a lot of studies of the ground at the moment. I tend to walk with my head down so this is usually what I see most of. I think I do this just out of habbit. Although its still interesting really, the ground of a city actually has a lot to be seen. Maybe I’m just trying to justify a nervous habbit.

This has been a bit all over the place. I’ll shut up now.

Now playing: Beach Boys – God only knows
via FoxyTunes

Work in Progress

This week I’m doing Construction. I’ve been dreading this project since I found out about it, I’m quite inexperienced with sculpture and was panicking about how to go about the project. The brief instructs us to find objects and create an installation using these found objects to communicate an idea. This all seemed very intimidating to me.

I went to Tayside Recyclers looking for materials, with no idea what I was planning to do. After much haggling over the worth of objects, I came out with 12 broken phones and an old mirror.

A quick study of some of my found objects ^

I never really understood this sort of sculpture before when visiting exhibitons. However, this week has opened my eyes to how much meaning these found objects can have when arranged in a specific way. I criticised Yoko Ono for her ”Telephone Piece’, but actually although on first glance it looks so simple, the idea behind it is quite interesting and thought out.

“In relatively recent times, artists have liberated an immense vocabulary of materials, objects, environments, concepts, and activities from the non art world, for use as parts of a rich language capable of expressing the most complicated ideas and emotions.” – Tony Cragg

My piece is about confusion. The many phones and tangled wires represent thoughts, an overactive mind due to all the change thats been happening lately. If 12 phones ring at once, which do you answer? Theres just so much going on and so much to consider that it gets too much to process at once. I think the phones represent this quite well.

I’m still constructing it at the moment, the shop don’t have the glue I need and I’m quickly running out of time. I still have two days to go though so fingers crossed. I’ll post pictures of it when its all done.

Now playing: The Beatles – In My Life
via FoxyTunes