I feel that I have achieved a lot this year and have a good balance of work to show. Everything works really well together which I am proud of. My waistcoat came out exactly as planned, if not better and it works really well with the colours in my paintings. My original plan was to display things on the floor again like my pop up exhibition but it did not work as well. I feel a more formal approach was appropriate for my assessment and the white of the walls makes the colours really stand out.
I did not achieve everything that I wanted to this year, I still have 2 big embroidery hoops I would like to work with. However, I feel this is a good thing as I am able to continue this style of work and really develop everything in my 3rd year which I am excited about. I feel that this style is something that I have been working towards my whole art life and I am really happy with it. In the future I would like to convey more of a newer version of 60’s ideals and comment on things I feel are wrong with the world. I am also going to continue developing my textiles and painting skills, there is always room for improvement.
The massive influence for my waistcoat is the dress I saw at the V&A by Marijke Koger. The mix of colours and embellishments are things that spoke to me on another level and I spent a good 20 minutes staring at the dress. The description next to it at the museum was a list of words that I have researched and been inspired by for years now: “gypsy, magikal, folk heavy, escapist, hand crafted”. Koger also made the dress for herself which is one of the main reasons I made the waistcoat; for myself. To wear but also to prove to myself that I can create things that even impress myself.
After looking into Koger more, I feel that she is an artist that will stay with me and continue influencing my work. Her paintings are a level that I would like to get to in terms of crystal paintings and she is also known to have done live painting which is something I would like to get into. There is a modern an American internet artist that I have followed for a while, called Elle Paisley, who reminds me of Kroger’s work, which is reassuring to know there is a niche for this kind of work in the modern world.
^ Elle Paisley Marijke Koger ^
I had a feeling I would be able to successfully make the waistcoat design in my head because of how successful a waistcoat I had made a few years prior had been but the template was to reassure myself. My waistcoat design had been stuck in my head since the beginning of 2nd year but I decided to explore other things during the year because of the route I had gone down with regards to my Field work. I had, subconsciously, begun to collect material over the Easter holidays and previously bought 2 big embroidery hoops that I had planned to make bigger versions of previous work with but once I sat down with all my ideas and material my mind went back to the waistcoat idea and the dress I had seen in the exhibition ‘You Say You Want a Revolution’. My mind had been on textiles for a while because it is the topic of my dissertation and I was bored of the conventional ways of exhibiting ‘Fine Art’ thanks to research I had done this year in regards to exhibiting work. Creating wearable art is something I love doing as clothing is a massive part of how someone portrays themselves. I wanted to create something better then my waistcoat before so I decided to make a longer, dress-like waistcoat.
^ photographs from 2015 of waistcoat made in college
My work benefited lot from the work I did during my second Field module, ‘Art and the Conscious mind’. The theories we talked about during this module helped to push my down a more spiritual route that made me think about the direct link between what goes on in my head and art I put out into the world. The crystal paintings are a way of representing emotions and thoughts because of the meaning that they are associated with. Each colour and form of crystal and geode meaning a different thing. Looking into other artists who have taken a crystal route, I found Alexis Arnold and Elyse Graham. These two artists works are different in style but both explore themes of time and discovering something unexpected. Arnold uses crystals to freeze books in time, removing their content so that we have to look at the object as non-functional and appreciate the beauty of nature taking over something man-made. Graham’s work explores time through its process and the discovery in the reveal of something beautiful in, what seems like, an ordinary object.
My decision in exhibiting in Welcome House was largely influenced by the artist Paige Smith. Smith works with sculptures of geodes made just from paper and resin casts. This series of street work is called ‘Urban Geode’. Smith chooses places like cracks in bricks and abandoned phone booths, everyday forgotten places, in an attempt to challenge people to look and discover. I am a fan of how she copies naturally beautiful things and places them into such man made places, it really creates a different kind of world, a magical one where beauty can be found in the everyday. This is something that I strive to do with my own artwork, create something beautiful and bright in such a negative world.
If I had had more time in the abandoned house I would have loved to played around with representing crystals in a 3D way like Smith has done or like the work of Roger Hoirns. ‘Seizure’ is a commissioned piece by Hoirns where he transformed an everyday council flat in London into a beautiful blue crystal world.