This year has made me think about ways to exhibit art and how art pieces do not have to be displayed hanging up as a painting in a gallery. My waistcoat is a piece of art that can be appreciated displayed on a mannequin or worn by someone in the street. It is completely handmade by me and I have left stitching and overlapping of material visible to showcase this. The waistcoat pays homage to the dress of Marijke Koger and the stylings of the Fool art collective. It comments on how I would like these kinds of skills to become important in the modern world, instead of mass consumption and textile waste.
My crystal painting series follows the same 60s/psychedelic vibe. They are something that has come directly from my consciousness and are a reflection on emotions, physic waves and crystal healing. They are an attempt to keep things light and positive in a negative world. I feel that is important to react to the world from a place of love and this is something that crystals help me to achieve. My paintings are about visually sharing this message through colour, glitter and all things ‘kitsch’.
Once I had my template down I started to cut up square of the fabric I had collected. I had been buying fat quarters of fabric from every fabric store I went past. I stuck with floral, paisley patterns I felt were bright and quirky. I had to make enough squares to make patchwork square big enough to get the template out of for the back and two sides. I chose to create a lining to the top half as a way of getting even more quirky fabric into the waistcoat. Once the template was re-cut out of my patchwork pieces I pinned everything down to see how it looked/fit. I had to make a few adjustments and kept going back to it everyday after work. Once I was happy with the everything I begun to sew it all together. The top of the waistcoat took me a couple of weeks to do with intervals due to doing more shifts at work.
Once the top was done, the bottom only took me 5 hours to do. By now I was quick at sewing squares together. I don’t even know how many squares are in the final garment. I did the skirt to the waistcoat in quarters to break up the constant patchwork and add square of tie-dye fabric I had found in a fabric store back home. Originally, I planned to just sew the skirt on as a continuation of the top, however, once I had pinned the two parts together I really liked the way the fabric created the gaps that I decided to keep for the final design. Happy accident. Adding embellishments to the waistcoat was easier because I’m a hoarder. I collect things that I don’t need but somehow want. The sun and bells hanging from the waistcoat are from a broken wind chime I couldn’t part with and now add the weight needed for the fabric to create the gaps I liked so much. Plus, now the waistcoat jingles.
Before I started my waistcoat I wanted to make sure that I was able to create a top half that would be able to fit because I did not have much of a template to use. I created the template using an old cut up t-shirt and transferred it onto plain white cotton. In then began to pin everything together to make sure I could remember how to create something wearable. Considering I had not made a waistcoat in a few years and could not find my old notes to follow, I feel that I did really well in remembering simple textiles techniques. After I was happy in my skills I decided to crack on with the making of my 60’s influenced, psychedelic waistcoat.
I have carried on with my series of crystal paintings because I enjoy making them and get really positive responses online. These paintings are different from the others because I did no planning on how I they were going to come out, they are straight from my head, drawn directly onto the canvas. I actually prefer these outcomes to the paintings I had planned. I feel that this is a series that has not ended and I would like to continue in different ways. I want to add portraiture and landscapes into the paintings in order to give something really a fantastical approach to convey my idea of finding beauty in the mundane that I have touched on previously. They are definitely something that I would like to make better which I can only do through more painting and experimenting.
The small pop up exhibition we all took part in at Welcome House allowed me to my paintings in a different way to how I displayed them for Spring assessment. We only had a 2 hour set up in the abandoned house which allowed me to get out of my head a little bit and think of the quickest, most effective way my work could be seen. I had really wanted to put the four paintings up on a wall and continue the auras on around the paintings. Lack of time meant I ended up displaying the paintings on the floor, with enough room to walk around. I feel that looking down on the painting gave a new perspective, almost like the paintings had opened up a door to another dimension. I thought this to be interesting and fun. I liked how, even in a dark and dingy room, my paintings were bright and stood out. It proofed to me that theories looked at in Field were true; that inanimate objects can give off their own presence. My paintings demanded that you look at them as soon as you entered the room. Also that art can really portray an artists personality through an emotional connection. All of my work really stood out against the dirt and grime of the abandoned house, I feel that the opposites really worked well.
small stop motion video showing my process whilst painting a four piece painting.
I got the idea for this painting from my many crystal sketches and drawings in my sketchbook, my influence of psychedelic art and one of the photocopying processes we were introduced to during one of the zine workshops.
This term has made me think about all the different contemporary that artwork can be seen and shared with the public. To be honest, isn’t Facebook the new art gallery? You won’t get paid but posting pictures online will definitely give you exposure.
It has also made me think about how I’ve put my work out into the world without even realising. My link with textiles means I have be customising and making small pieces of artwork for a while now. Maybe it’s not conventional but to me my dreamcatchers are exhibited on children’s walls, constantly protecting them; my customised jackets are being exhibited everyday on the back’s of people, some of them are even people I don’t know.
I wear a crystal round my neck everyday, and with the beginning of this crystal project, I made my own rose quart necklaces that I proceeded to sell. To me they are tiny pieces of art that can now be worn around people’s neck, exhibited proudly on their chests but I didn’t see that until I spoke to James about his Key Concept lecture.
In regard to the pending exhibition I had thought about displaying my more conventional ‘fine art’ work as a pop up exhibition in the empty/spare room of my house. I was planning to hang textile pieces in the big bay window. There were some other girls interested in this. I wanted to create a really personal feminine exhibition, however, there were some complications with the owner of the room. I would still really like to do this kind of exhibition but would need to look for a new place.