Dissertation Done

The 14th of January has come and gone. I never imagined a life after this date. And here I am.

And here it is.

I ended up enjoying writing it… I think. I like writing in general. And it has kind of motivated me in the area of practical work too. There’s so much going on this year already. Expect lengthy blogs.

The Christmas holidays were a little bit anticlimactic. I spent my weeks off either working, ill in bed with flu, or writing the dissertation. However, I managed to get my annual painting done. A great benefit of being a creative person at Christmas is that even when you’re skint, there’s gift ideas.

And now Christmas is done, and I’m into my final semester at Duncan of Jordanstone.

So 2013, lets have you.

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.

Multiplying

Plaster Casting is fun. Having made a clay replica of my binoculars I then had to build a wall around them and melt some rubber to make a mould. (Stirring melting rubber really made me want melted chocolate… even though this mixture was red and had a strong distinctive smell.)The process of making the mould all went a lot smoother and more quickly than I imagined. Happy Rachael.

I made it on Tuesday and spent the rest of that week mass producing my binoculars. Each cast of binoculars took half an hour to set. This was ideal, I’d go down to sculpture and mix the plaster to pour into the mould and then run to metal with a set block of time to continue my other project. I like having targets and deadlines, it motivates me to keep moving. Structure seems to give me a buzz… that sounds weird.

           

I like having my space looking semi-formal, it allows me to view the pieces more finally and see if every things working and how they compliment each other. So I got shelves put up as soon as possible to keep the binocular project moving. I can’t function in a messy space either, so its important having some order. I’m becoming a bit obsessed this semester… Structure. Multiples. Order. Timing.

So now I need to wrap up the binoculars and get this part of the project finished. We had a group crit yesterday, this is when a group of fellow art students circulate the studio and talk about each others work. It’s insightful to hear what viewers are getting from it. My feedback seemed to be pretty in line with what I’m thinking. I’m starting to become aware that there are only 5 weeks left, I’m ‘on track’ but I think that pressure wave is gonna’ hit soon.

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.

 

Eh?!

I think this must be the first time I’ve ever finished an art piece before the deadline – two weeks before the deadline. Which confuses me. But I really do think I’ve taken it as far as I can for this brief. Hmm.

So I have three of these constructed cases with the inserts I’ve made and collected for them, plus a little sketchbook/photobook showing the process and outcome.  There’s a lot of work put into each case as well. And I feel I was quite resourceful, I’ve spent hours hacking up old wire coathangers, photocopying scraps of books and attaching hinges onto photo frames. Yep, I think that’ll do.

I’m pretty happy. And now I can relax for two weeks and enjoy my return to Dundee and the start of 3rd year. The prospect of 3rd year is frightening. But I’m just gonna dive in and make it work. Because it has to.

I’ll leave with mah bones 🙂 Got some pretty nice close ups of the detail on this project. There is some intricate stuff going on inside each case.

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.