Today ive been drawing more landscapes in carcoal to then be edited on the computer and either etched or printed onto a translucent material. This will then be mounted onto my curved boxes.
I really enjoy working this way for many reasons: Firslty, there is a freedom to working on paper that i miss when working directly on the computer. the lines feel more organic and natural. and secondly, it allows me to compile several real landscapes into one fictional one.
This is something i picked up on in my FIeld Module in Year 2 – Beyond Fiction. Making ficitional works from taking fact beyond the truth. I really enjoy this becuase it creates a picturesque ‘ideal’ landscape without referencing any particular place.
Here is me drawing one of my images ready to be put onto the computer and edited.
I’ve mocked up a light box in card similar to the construction or the modules that i aim to create for the show. Just so I can start playing around with how the light interacts with the visuals ect.
Im starting to really see this project come together. this construction is too deep and “box-y”, but in making this I can automatically see this.
Over the coming weeks I aim to create lots of mock ups of what I intend to create so I can get the curve just right, the lighting focus because I really want to create a piece that creates awe and looks magnificent.
We are ordering in some higher powered LED’s so that i can create this effect, as it has to be an intense directional light for this to work.
Here is one image of what i’ve been playing around with:
On our London visit yesterday, where our focus was professional practice, I took a visit to the goldsmiths centre. I was very fortunate to be able to talk to someone about post-graduate opportunities at the centre. They have several very interesting opportunities which I will look into in more detail.
The first being a summer course to refine skills in fine and small metals. Usually this is for people applying on to undergraduate courses but they said that they often make exceptions if the occasion permits. I think, if I could get the funds together, this might be something worth looking into as it will mean I can enhance current skills and learn relevant new ones.
Second, is a studio space to aid setting up and business or practice. This could be very useful as it offers support as well as space. However, as there is a programme much like this set up in Cardiff (the inc. space) then I would have to consider if there is benefit in moving to London to undergo this.
Today, I broke open my bronze cast which I poured last Friday! Started to cut them off the lump with the angle grinder now to put in the hours of working it until it amazing.
I really like the raw bronze on the top, mountainous side. There is something almost primeval about it and speaks to the raw nature of landscape.
The back of them I think should be finished, whether that be polished to a shine of patented. I can use these first attempts that I’ve cast as test pieces to see which of the finishes are most effective.
The word “dissertation” haunted me for a while; But, I can proudly say that my dissertation, as of 9:34 this morning, has been finished, bound and submitted! Its not that writing has ever been a huge struggle for me, but then I have never wrote a paper of this length or nature before. And not writing a full blown essay since first year, I was a little out of practice!
I’ve known what I’ve wanted to write about since second year, something that has always interested me – The Grotesque. It has intrigued me ever since my foundation diploma, basing my final major project around the subject and creating a grotesque sweet shop that users can interact and walk amongst. However, when undergoing my subject project in second year, I drew a connection between the grotesque body and how this is particularly emphasised within wearable sculptures.
So I started to research the area trying to find case studies and images to analyse. I was looking into exhibitions I’ve been to and research that I may have touched on during my other projects that featured the grotesque. I remembered that in first year I had attended a contemporary jewellery exhibition called Unexpected Pleasures at the Design Museum. This exhibition was a showcase for jewellers that experimented within the realms of wearable sculpture.
I then looked at how the grotesque has been used in contemporary art off the body, the way it was used was dramatic, but I could see that there was greater impact when the works were on the body. This lead me to think of a structure to the dissertation. I would first discus the characteristics and key themes of the grotesque, then how they influence contemporary artists and move on to the works having a greater impact when they are placed on the body.
This went into my dissertation proposal, alongside a justification for this research and my aims and objectives. I was very pleased (and fairly surprised) with my feedback from my proposal and it set the bar really high for the dissertation, hopefully achieving somewhere near that.
After my feedback from my proposal I started to look more into the theorists that explored the themes of the grotesque. The main theorists I looked at were – Creed, Kristeva and Shildrick. I benefited greatly by taking Cath Davies option in the second year discussing Goddesses Vs monsters – and how they are not as dissimilar as you would first expect. It allowed me a stepping stone so I could research these topics in more depth.
Even though these theorists often discussed different themes their was still underlying similarities to the theories. The fact our bodies were uncontrollable and the tension between the inner and outer.
When analysing my images I did a three column analysis taught to us in our first year study skills sessions. Its so useful! I use it across my three modules all the time. This helped structure my argument and found it a very useful tool when trying to gather my works in groups to fit under sub headings. I enjoyed this part, reading and analysing images and I really liked how clusters of my analysis and theory started to clump together.
However, As I started to write it up I came across a stumbling point. It went a lot slower than I originally thought, considering I had most of the research and image analysis already done. I found it a struggle to coherently get my point across. This could be due, like I mentioned before, that I was a bit out of practice in essay writing. I was reassured by Cath (my dissertation tutor) in one of my supervisory tutorials that this was normal and that I had plenty of time left, it was only late October after all!
I also lacked a bit of motivation over Christmas, I think this is probably because I was working so hard at it and not really getting any where. I picked myself up in the new year and latter part of the Winter Holidays getting the bulk of the writing down on paper. I felt a lot more confident in it when I had the bulk of it written and I could just edit it and shuffle things around so that it made more sense and expressed what I wanted to say in a clear way.
When I returned to university after the holidays, it felt like everyone was on Dissertation crack down! I was trying very hard within these two weeks to not let my subject work slip and get dragged into continually editing my dissertation. I fell I could of managed this time better but think I got a good balance of pre-hand in panic and continuing with my subject work.
After all, my dissertation and subject work are strongly linked and this dissertation has informed my own practice immensely. In particular, my last case study and the theory discussed within my conclusion; I start to look at how artists are now using the grotesque to show the body as something to be marvelled at – something beautiful.
I can honestly say, now that its handed in that I am proud of what I achieved and (in the most part) enjoyed my experience. To me this project isn’t finished, I will carry on this research as I continue to address some of these themes in my practice, even if it goes in a different direction (as it often does). There are many skills I have taken from writing my dissertation, and from my three years in constellation as a whole. My research skills being stronger, my time management is much better, I’ve learnt how to coherently construct an argument and I’m so much better at referencing!
I would therefore like to revisit my acknowledgements and thank the constellation team, and specifically Cath who has been my tutor through the three years, for helping me!
Handed my dissertation in today!
If I’m honest! I’m so proud of myself for finishing, to the quality that it is. I think I’ve constructed a well formed thesis, which is coherent and puts my point across.
Can’t wait for the next stage of this journey.
Here have a selfie…
Made good progress on my wax tree to transfer it into bronze soon. I feel in undergoing this process again I have become much more independent and confident within this skill. Now being able to position and construct the tree start to finish unguided!