I found during my tutorial, that it would be beneficial both to me and Hazel to do the blog, so as to give her more of an idea as to what I'm doing, otherwise it seems difficult. I have given in.
I began printing advice, but not onto toilet paper, onto ribbon. I quite liked the idea of "advice by the metre".
Week beginning 1/12/2008
Our Monday meeting talk was given by John Hyatt. He had a keen interest in the link between art and science - an interest I share - however I found the links he had made between his assumptions and work and other people's work quite weak, as if he wanted there to be connections where there weren't. The brief discussion about his earlier work was very interesting - trying to paint his shadow sounded fascinating - it was his later work which confused me a little. However, because he said to email him if anyone wanted to do some sort of collaborative project with science students so I did. I set up a meeting with the head of microbiology for the 12th of December.
Week beginning 27/11/2008
I spent the first two days of the week in Norwich, but then started to draw (again the doodle man) the same thing over and over again. I had been thinking about the connection between our mind and our bodies, and how we attribute physical qualities to our emotions - when I worry, I feel sick etc. I found this link very interesting, particularly that in death, people often separate the mind from the body, in saying there is an afterlife that our souls live on. I think the connection between the tangible and the intangible is very interesting, and in a biological sense that connection is the spinal chord and the nervous system. This connection then enables us to communicate, to form societies and relationships etc. I decided that connections would be very important within my work. I drew a little man onto each piece of a roll of toilet paper, symbolising this important connection. I then decided to take this further by letter pressing the phrase "this print is unique" (in relation to my ideas about the qualities of print and things being identical) onto each square of a roll of toilet paper. I also thought about printing advice onto toilet roll. I feel that advice is a good example of a link between what we think (intangible), what we do (tangible), and the connection between the two, and also then the connection between people, the formation of a society. I started collecting advice from people.
I also began writing a "book" in string - i.e. a long sentence with all the words connected. I did this for similar reasons to those stated above, but then I ran out of string and haven't been able to find the same kind so far. I will keep looking though.
Week beginning 17/11/2008
On Wednesday I went to see the special collections in the library. I didn't spend too long there, because I felt it was something I'd rather do alone than with too many people around. I really enjoyed it however, and vowed to find time to visit before the Christmas holidays.
Week beginning 10/11/2008
I had a tutorial on Tuesday, which I feel went well, as to begin with I was feeling a little stuck but by the end of it I wasn't. Hazel suggested trying to draw the same thing over and over again, seeing if I would get the same result. I thought about this for a couple of days before actually doing it.
On Thursday I went to the library to research the assignments, and then went to the journal day ran by Jon and Jane, which had the opposite result to the desired effect in that it only confused everyone further! I was very anti-blog at this stage.
Week beginning 3/11/2008
I did some more life drawing on Tuesday, thanks to my long-suffering boyfriend! I also decided to test my theory on reproduction and the impossibility of anything ever being identical by doing a handprint, photocopying it, and then photocopying the copy. The result was that the handprint grew steadily fuzzier, darker and veered up and off the page. I made two attempts at this, the first where my hand grew too dark too soon and didn't fill the page (I had to enlarge it), which is in my notebook, and the second, which is in my space, is much longer more successful as a representation of a concept, rather than a piece in and of itself. I photocopied my doodle of a man in the front of my sketchbook over and over again, and got some very interesting results. I did this as I found the result of the “handprint experiment”. I used one of the photocopies in the screen-printing induction I attended on Tuesday. The induction was very useful and I intend to use the workshop in future.
I also began thinking about sequences, and how prints etc. can be of the same thing, but be fundamentally different. This led me to think about whether the same could be true of the body. If I took photos of the same part of my body, say just my skin, and the cells were renewing themselves as I photographed, then every photograph would look identical, but be fundamentally different, as with prints. However, I soon realised that I don't have the scientific knowledge to carry out such a project, which was disheartening and caused my practical work to come to a standstill for a couple of days.
Week beginning 27/10/2008
During the Monday meeting Jon Biddulph gave a very enjoyable talk on our notebooks. I find books very satisfying as objects, and always enjoy taking time over doing a notebook.
The practical work this week that I did was writing words in string, as I was interested in the contrast between that which is handmade and that which is reproduced. I wrote words such as repetition in string. Text in art has always fascinated me, and I think this was partly inspired by the letterpress induction. I always find that merely the act of doing/making/drawing something can lead to other ideas, so often I try to occupy myself before I get stuck.
I also printed my hands over and over again, never managing to get two handprints the same. This made me wonder; if my handprint is unique to me, and will always leave the same mark, then why don't I get the same result every time? Obviously the amount and type of ink, the amount of pressure used etc. are all factors, but it lead me to question whether anything is truly identical.
On Tuesday we went on the Liverpool trip. I was very excited to see the Antony Gormley sculptures of Crosby beach. I particularly liked Yayoi Kusama's installation piece (a review of which can be found in the Exhibitions section of my source list).
Week beginning 20/10/2008
Since visiting the Francis Bacon exhibition a few days before returning to Manchester, I had been thinking about the first project we could set ourselves. The summer project asked us to develop a unique skill which we could then teach to others. This I was interested in the concept of 'unique', particularly in relation to people and the human form. I concluded that very little about our personalities are truly unique and it is only on a physical, biological level that we are truly unique. For the summer project I taught finger painting, as although the skill in and of itself isn't unique to me, my own finger print is. These ideas were the basis for my own project.
The artist's talk at the Monday meeting of this week was given by Steve Hawley, who talked about his video work, which was heavily influenced by his interest in philosophy. He mentioned the Barnum effect (also known as the Forer effect), which I found to be of particular interest. There is a good definition of this at http://skepdic.com/barnum.html; but in short it is the willingness amongst people to accept very vague statements about themselves as being accurate, when in actuality they apply to the majority of people.
On Thursday I had my letterpress induction, which was very useful and I planned to (and have) make use of this facility. This induction spurred my interest in repetition, reproduction, copies etc.
I started making "sculptures" out of string and wire, which were not of anything specific, but rather considering the way a space can be defined but not confined. They were along a similar vein to my drawings. Here's a picture of one:
Weeks beginning 22/09/2008 to 13/10/2008
The first four weeks of the course were taken up with introductionary talks and group projects. Having already been a student at the school of art for a year this part, for me, was not very useful. I found the group projects unchallenging, and didn't feel I could really take them seriously as I was more anxious to start the "real" work. Had I been a new student, or an international student, however, I feel my experience of the first four weeks would have been different, and I would have found the introductionary period more beneficial.
I started doing some quick life drawings, trying to draw the skeleton and the skin at once, drawing the body sculpturally, seeing both the outside and the inside, getting a sense that the body is a space, a centre.
I would still very much like to take life-drawing classes.