This is an update. My tutor report for Assignment 4 has arrived and encouraged me very much. I was delighted that my diversion into uninhibited collage went down very well, and the plaster infused blouse panel was also approved. My tutor made the point that I’ve previously learned from painting and life drawing classes, that it is useful to stand back, look from a distance (metaphorical as well as actual, I suspect). The collage shouts for attention (my words) whereas the blouse panel is rather vague and you find yourself sticking your nose right up to it in order to find a focus (my words). There is detail but no coherence. I think I’m so used to making small pieces where details seem perfect and now realise that large samples need more planning and consideration of the viewer. It’s rather like drawing; you can get away with a lot in a small drawing! So I think I need to make a final sample which is large, has interest both from a distance and close-up, and has directness. I was surprised and pleased at a comment from my tutor (about the collage) that I wasn’t “precious” about the piece, that I wasn’t afraid to cut it up, re-work it. I don’t want to be dainty, would much rather approach the sample with some passion.
I think Parts 1 (trying out different techniques) and 3 (working with plaster) will be most relevant to the final piece. Specifically, from Part 3, it is using a plaster mixture almost as a painting medium on fabric, to add surface texture. From Part 1 I would like to consider the “Detritus Book”, an old paperback of Wordsworth’s poetry which I filled with odds and ends I picked up during the course of my days. Train ticket, wrappers, receipts, bits of melted plastic.
My tutor saw these as individual ideas rather than a single sample and I understand what he means, but I really would like to somehow incorporate bits and pieces from daily life into a plastered blouse/collage. Perhaps the eye-catching part of the design could consist of an added panel of fused plastic which contrasts in texture with the fused plaster. A very significant sample is the tiny piece of stitched and fused fabric which reminds me of Jane Russell’s corset. Perhaps it is possible to make a large version of this.
I am keen to include some of the baseball stitching which has been a theme throughout the course for me; in particular for expressing the lines I saw on the beach at Marazion last year (My tutor asks me to look again at my beach drawings – I think that’s a big hint ..).
I like to think the fabric, which is loosely joined with stitching, may either be ripping apart or be joined together; the viewer doesn’t know – it’s uncertain. As is life. (and now I probably am being precious!).