In the studio today, I focused on experimenting more than usual today. I have found a way of working that aligns to my vision of how I want the project to progress which is working digitally and I am happy with the results, but I did not want to conclude a solution for my project. I wanted to constantly experiment, and I wanted to re-work into my works and also find a new way of making.
I started with a simple idea that came into my mind. Instead of scanning my works, why not manually layer my works itself? To make this possible I had to make my works translucent, so I printed my works onto tracing paper. Then, I manually layered them and stuck them down on my sketchbook and even though it worked and designs could be seen through different layers, I did not like the outcome as much as scanning and doing it digitally. In my opinion, it just took away from the softness and delicate nature of the works because cutting it up made it look more rough and unrefined.
Secondly, I tried printing off my works then reworking on it. This was decided because I reflected on my progress tutorial with Emma, and we came to a conclusion that experimenting further with my digital work and somehow creating a subtle transition back into physical marks and making would be interesting to see. I simply took this idea and applied it quite literally where I just print my works and then work on top of it with a pen. In my opinion, I was really interested in the results that came out and I think that if I add minimal and small drawings onto my prints that works best and enhances the work.
Discovering Miho Kajioka's work and learning more about the wabi-sabi tradition had enhanced my views on my work and influenced it. I have seen my works as incomplete and many of my works are revolved around working in many steps, and not really leading to one final piece or anything, and I tend to just keep producing art without the intention to bring it to a conclusion. Most of the time, my digital works are from my physical works that could be seen as unfinished, but then I bring them through a long process of modification and keep finding a new context for it, therefore it is never complete and it is imperfect in every way.
I've realised that I have always sort of had this way of working, but now actually learning about it and seeing a term for it is quite an eye-opening experience. Today, I am working digitally and I tried different compositions of editing my work to create something new. I am also thinking about printing my work professionally to see how it turns out.
I have planned to make a painting in my sketchbook, by using compositions that I have created using tracing paper and the clone tool on photoshop to make patterns of my work. So, today I started the painting. I did not know how to mimic the textures of layered thread and yarn, but I knew I wanted to play with the technique of painting in multiple layers to create this sense of distance and blurriness. I took inspiration from Dee Ferris and how she makes her paintings seem foggy.
I tried to add in shapes such and circles and mainly just applied colour where it kind of resembles my reference photo of my scans. However, by accident I spilt water onto my canvas and as an attempt to "fix" it I used paper to scrape it. The results of that shaped my work and made me turn it into a completely new direction. That action left my painting with a light spot, where the water used to be. However, I found the technique perfect for layering and creating depth. So, I proceeded to repeat this process multiple times with multiple shades of colours and shapes. I found that this gave my painting more character as opposed to it being very flat and neat.
Overall I am very pleased with the experimentation with paint that I have achieved today and even though it is a bit different from what I normally do with paint, because I like to be precise and neat, this was definitely an interesting turn of events.
Because I am also interested in the idea of using digital tools to enhance my work I feel like my painting has some kind of graphic element to it and I am intending to use my painting again digitally.
Digital Vs. Analog
With my new idea of the digital vs. the analog, I wanted to further my exploration with photoshop and see if I can create larger scale prints and paintings digitally. What I have in mind is to create prints and patterns with my scans, then maybe trying to print it out professionally to see how it looks in person, transferring the digital back into real life. Neil Raitt gave me inspiration to play with the idea of tessellation and patterns to see how my work can develop into a more industrial looking piece, supporting the idea of "faking" the analog and artificially creating nostalgia.
Also, looking back at my work and shapes that I have created I have realised that it is quite hard to distinguish what I have stitched, eg. me and my friend's arm holding a book. The images are very personal to me and I doubt nobody will be able to tell what it is without me telling them, however I feel like it still produces a sense of shared nostalgia. I have realised that it does not have to portray something obviously related to childhood, but random and surprising images and actions can also trigger nostalgia.
I decided to work on a single outcome today, and I wanted it to be something of a larger scale than what I have produced so far. I made the decision to use the technique in my sketchbook where I use strokes of coloured pencil to create an abstract design/painting, now on an A2 sheet of paper. The first half of the day I was just concentrating on making identical sized marks of different colour. However, once it covered a large portion of the paper I realised that although I liked the way it looked it lacked dynamic and everything looked too identical. This was when I chose to switch things up a little and introduced different sizes of strokes into some areas of the painting. This was a decision that I, again, used intuition and then evaluation to come up with and it was a decision that in my opinion made the piece into a more interesting piece.
As I work with both physically making outcomes and also work digitally, along with reading "Television,memory and Nostalgia" I came up with the thought of
"Digital vs. Analog"
Nowadays, there are many ways that people seek to recreate something that resembles the old times. For example, when you take a photo on your phone, there are many different ways and applications you can edit your photos to make them look more retro and seem like they came from an analog camera. My question for that is "Why?" and "Why do people seek to resemble the time when photographs were taken by analog cameras, back to the time when everything was not instant?" Most of the time, the new generation who seek out this technique of creating the "fake" analog, they did not even exist in the period where technology hasn't taken over everything, and they, myself included, was born in an age where we do not remember a time without technology or the internet.
After trying out many ways of sowing onto tracing paper, and trying many ways to alter tracing paper I felt like I wanted to move on to another surface. I chose soft scrim as it was a very transparent and thinly woven type of cloth. I experimented with different texture, size and types of yarn and thread and I thought of moving forward with this idea by continuing to develop on this piece of cloth by stitching in layers and maybe even dying the cloth. As this would take a long time to develop, I was thinking of starting something else simultaneously.
I was interested in the shapes and forms of my strokes of stitching. I found stitching a very therapeutic and calm way of working and I wanted to recreate the effect but with a different medium. So, I chose to use coloured pencil to draw small, stitch-like strokes with different colours to create a "painting". The results were very interesting in my opinion, and I would like to try to work more on that on a larger scale, outside my sketchbook.
I have finalised my project proposal today. The final edits were to make my project plan and description more detailed and more technical. In my opinion, this would allow me more room for comparison once I have developed the project, to look back and see if there are any major changes from my initial thoughts.
Now, I am just starting off to work on my sketchbook with tracing paper and I have started to scan them in order for them to create layers. In my opinion I thought that the results were good in terms of giving a feeling of familiar shapes and form yet they are concealed in a layer which makes them distant. I would like to continue to develop this way of working and I would like to experiment more with scanning.
In this project I want to create both tangible objects using my technical skills but also want to explore the various ways I can enhance my work digitally.
I continued to work in my sketchbook with tracing paper and stitching. I really enjoyed working this way and I feel like the act of stitching and sewing itself is very therapeutic. When the act of sewing gives me a sensation of calmness, I feel like this enhanced my work even further to amplify the level of calmness and peace my work brings when people look at it.
Also, as I get more used to tracing as a surface to work on, I am now noticing and getting used to it's properties. I think that tracing paper is the perfect material for me to start off this project with because it allows us to play with the use of proximity and distance. When tracing paper is layered on top of another (any surface) it creates this sense of distance and it is like the object underneath the tracing paper is further away, and concealed, because of the translucency. This made me think about memories and how tracing paper has a similar effect because memories are kind of at the back of our heads and they are always concealed, even though they are a big part that makes us who we are today, just like how we can still see the things underneath the layer of tracing paper.
Today was the first day back in school to start part 3. Although the tutor did not have time to come around to check my project proposal, I have discussed with my friends about it and they thought that the ideas were clear and possible. It was also interesting to see how other people are planning to develop their works. In my opinion I was satisfied with my proposals and I thought that it was clear and had a purpose although it also has space within it for me to develop a broad variety of work.
I wanted to focus more on making and creating instead of taking a long time to finalise a project proposal, so I spent most of this day making. I followed my own timetable well and started the day off well with materials that I had prepared beforehand, and those were cloth, tracing paper and multi coloured threads. As I stated in the project proposal, I really wanted to experiment with different types of surfaces and mediums and one technique that I especially wanted to use was sewing and embroidery. Sewing somehow gives me a flashback to my childhood because I spent a lot of my time growing up with my grandma because my parents were busy. She was the one that taught me about sewing and I remember that it was one of the activities that I really enjoyed.
Maurizio Anzeri also was influential to my thought processes and my reflective process today. I had used him as an inspiration to use thread to create something delicate but instead of covering up parts of the body and creating new focus points I simply overlay my stitching to enhance the background and create a new context to the whole image.
Television, memory, and nostalgia
The title got my attention so I decided to read this book. I knew that I was interested in memory and nostalgia but I haven't yet looked deeper into it into what causes it. So, when I saw the word television I realised something. Television was a big part of my childhood, and most likely a big part for many people that are from my generation too. I find it interesting and funny at the same time that although it was a big part for me growing up, as it was a major source of entertainment, I rarely use the television now. In my opinion, people are now beginning to rely more on technology to bring them instant entertainment, and watching television sometimes does not grant them that. On the other hand, other platforms such as Youtube and Netflix allows people to only watch what they want, without having to wait or have to go through advertisement breaks, therefore this may have caused people to watch television less. In my opinion, watching the television brings me back memories of quality time with my family and random conversations that spark while watching, and to me, watching television is more of a social event than something that I would do alone. In contrast, watching Youtube on my laptop is something that I do alone, and therefore I think that the feeling of nostalgia that comes with television is the memories associated with the people I was surrounded with.
This thought aligns perfectly with the quote that I have found in chapter 4 of the book:
"The nostalgic is enamoured of distance, not of the referent itself. Nostalgia cannot be sustained without loss"
I found this quote very accurate, and this had lead me to think about the flip side of feelings of nostalgia, the melancholic side. Even though most people relate nostalgia to feelings of joy but there is no denying that there is that small lingering feeling of sadness that follows, because of how we are never going to be able to go back to that stage in our life.
reading week reflection
Also another interesting aspect that I have slowly realised throughout the entirity of this course is my increase in familiarity with different mediums. This may sound very obvious and straightforward but I have became more aware of what artists use to make their work. For example before I had this many oppurtunities to see artwork at a regular basis in London, I would have seen a painting as a painting and may or may not be able to recognise what the artists have used. However as I observed more and more work along with using more mediums myself I am now able to tell from a glance what the artists have used, and in Makiko Kudo's case I could tell that she had used oil painting instead of acrylic. This might sound very obvious but it was just a small detail that I have realised recently.
Today was the day before we went off on our reading week off school.
I have decided that I would call my project Fragments of Childhood. I have covered my vision for the project and my aims and intentions are, however I realised that I was a missing one big part of memories. The fact that they are very subjective and hard to trigger, and it is a complex process, and it is not something that can be straightforwardly dug up.
This project would definitely be a challenge for me as it would be an interesting process to discover the different ways a memory can be dug.
So far, in part two I have been working with a few concerns and areas of interests. These are:
- How people have different memories associated with the same objects, and how people look at the same objects differently because of the schemas that they have developed as an experience
- Working with intuition.
The materials I have worked with are:
- Cutting, folding, sewing
- wood panels, sanding my own surface to control how smooth my brushstrokes are
I have experimented a lot the past few months and I intend to carry this on to the final part. However I have noticed that although I let myself be experimental in terms of medium and surfaces, however I still maintain a sense of delicacy through out the entire part. It may be something that I do unconsciously but I like to make each and every work of mine precious even though I adapted an intuitive way of working I still make it remain refined. This is an interesting point that I would like to take forward because it relates to the idea of preciousness of a childhood and preserving nostalgia.
How I want people to engage with my work:
- I intend for my work to trigger the audience's memories in some way, hoping to achieve a rush of nostalgia and longing when they see my work and the familiar tones and colours.
- Also, I want my work to be very personal to me, but still remain relative to them in some way
- Make the work very delicate to make them want to interact and touch it, want to treasure it, as memories are precious. This could be done by the type of material, eg very soft material and small details.