At the end of the first semester I feel as though I have a strong concept and research project now underpinning my studies. I have set myself a tough task, but one of my main aims during my second semester was to really develop and nail down the visual language and structure for my concept.
I kicked off the semester by unpacking and critically examining my body of work from Semester one. Looking at the quality, what was working, what wasn’t working, and why? I want to build real rigour and potential career longevity into my concept, and although this process was efficient and an excellent starting point to feed and identify problems to be resolved within my studio practice, it wasn’t answering the questions I was asking. So, I needed a fresh angle and I decided to try a new perspective, don my auctioneers hat and create my own mediating lens by cataloguing, detailing the condition and photographing my body of studio work, just as I would have done with objects that had come in for auction in my previous job. Two examples are featured below.
#10 – Two similar mild-steel portrait panels.
Two similar mild-steel panels, each of hand pierced scalloped outline, painted in layers of black and white enamel paint and applied photographs and diary extracts to both sides. The photographs include that of a wedding portrait circa 1945 and a diary extract of the purchase of a diamond engagement ring. Lengths measuring 3.8 and 5.2cm, weighing 6 and 10 grams. (2).
Of modern manufacture, superficially aged. Protective varnish overcoat present and seems to have preserved the photographic transfers well. Clear indications of provenance, possibly of interest to a social historian. Consideration has been given to both sides of the panel, therefore there is a possibility these could be used interchangeably or in rotation. Size seems to indicate jewellery.
#12 – A set of three geometric magnetic objects.
A pair of tetrahedral magnetic objects, formed of paper, internal magnets to each face, white enamel paint and applied with various diary extracts and photographic transfers, height measuring 4 cm, weight 3 grams. Together with a similar geometric example formed as two hexagonal pyramids to the central dodecagonal body, embellished and made in a similar manner to the tetrahedral examples, height measuring 4.5cm, weight 4 grams. (3).
The objects appear of modern manufacture, but superficially aged. Of identical form to the steel examples, just lighter. Of jewellery size and seem to attach to previous lots, see additional images. Origin clearly stems from a family game. Would benefit from a fitted box to house the set. Placement of imagery is crude and prevents the narrative from being understood. The positive and negative pull and push of the magnets is not always clear if intentional or chance. Pieces continue to resemble a dice.
What did this tell me? It was actually really insightful in further identifying design flaws and issues. But mostly in placing me in the shoes of viewer and how they could potentially approach and handle my work with a limited understanding to my context and theory. So, this really started to make me think about what I can do as the maker to influence or disrupt this interaction – a title, instructions, box and of course the staging, handling and installation of my work. This is certainly something I could aim to test out during the interim exhibition in a few weeks.
In photographing my work with this new perspective, it has really opened new approaches which I had previously overlooked in composition. The playful magnetic connections call out for interactivity, and working with a modular arrangement, the pieces can be built up and added to again and again. I have previously discussed the use of dice in my work, or the geometric form of a dice, and with many of the components resembling counters, could this be developed further into a game?
The same theory applied whilst preparing for my trip to Munich Jewellery Week. I needed to wear a piece of my own jewellery. I hadn’t yet considered my work to be wearable, so all of a sudden you look at your own work very differently. It was very interesting the simplistic composition I settled on, featured below. The only adjustment was the minimal addition of a brooch pin. I learnt an awful lot from that one little exercise, but mostly in not moving on too quickly from the work in front of you, but also in reigning in my usual need to overcomplicate the task in hand. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.