From all the skills learnt in the workshops the most interesting one is learning that you can create plaster moulds of the drypoint plates.
Initially, I thought there wasn’t much you can do but then I began to experiment with the plaster.
By creating this cast, the plaster was able to absorb the ink creating the impressions and patterns that they were on the plate. By allowing the plaster to do this the black slightly changed into blues and greys and these castings became more interesting than the prints on paper.
To take these further I wanted to combine the techniques already learnt (drypoint, chine-colle, mono-printing) with the plaster casting. To do this I begun to submerge the prints into the plaster before it dried. Once this was done I begun to scratch away at the plaster to reveal the prints. It was a way to contain the experiences together and not lose them essentially.
Chine-collé was used as another technique to introduce colour into my work. Again another technique learnt in the past however, I was made aware that this technique can also be used to introduce imagery into the print to add another layer to the mix and create new textures. To experiment with this technique I wanted to add a lot of colour to one print and on another just a singular colour. This was to find which worked better and why.
This soft pink creates a subtle contrast between the drypoint marks and doesn’t create a strong friction between the colours.
This print is slightly different. The colours are too overpowering and the original print is beginning to get lost in the bleeding of the colours.
Both prints create an atmosphere whether that be a calming one are slightly aggressive. They both also create a sense of depth in the print. Also, due to the bleeding of colour, the image is allowed to escape from the rectangular barriers that are created from the etching plate. To take these further I will begin to play with imagery and introducing it into this particular print and how it will manipulate.
Drypoint is a printing technique that I learnt as a skill in the past, however, I believe during this project I have been able to develop this technique and take it further with other skills and knowledge. An example of this is combining mono printing with drypoint. This enables you to give a flat block colour on top of the printed black etch. Also using mono printing with the drypoint, you are able to push mark making and create surfaces through an illusion.
I find the plate more interesting than the print, and this is simply because it holds all of the marks and shows a journey that it has been through. The plate below has gone through a series of processes, beginning with drypoint, than mono-printing and finally, it was used to create plaster casts. You can see marks from all three of these techniques on the plate.
The addition of mono-printing to the image really enhanced the drypoint and creates a new depth/layer to the print.
Constellation is constantly excelling in terms of teaching new theories and how these theories help myself understand not only work for others but my own as well. Using the column analysis to unpack an image helps create an understanding towards the visual representations in the work and also help decipher the theories that have been taught. I believe that it is an easier way to plan a piece of writing as it is a stepping stone for you to write the text in an academic way. The only difficulty I find with the column analysis is the theory part, this is done to me being lazy when it comes to reading texts and also pairing the quotes up with the statements. Overcoming this, I chose a topic that interested me within the study group ‘Goddesses and Monsters’ and this being the supernatural and how they achieve both elements of the study group. By doing this I was able to research into books, essays, journals and all other forms of text, that interested myself and also put me down a path where I could possibly apply these theories and tools that academics spoke about to my own practice. The tools that I have gathered will be able to strengthen both my practical work and written work as I will have a better understanding and the concepts of glamour and the grotesque and how they apply to the celebrity cultures.
Theorists like Barbara Creed, have had an influence on my written work as I was able to engage on a level that I understood. As I have become rather passionate about her work I believe that I will be able to deal with other academics and decipher their theories and apply them to either my practice or written work. Eventually, the two should work together and both practice and written work will bounce off one another to create a coalition. Approaches such as column analysis can be used on my own work and this will give the help that is needed to pull the work apart and figure what components work and don’t work, what needs to be changed and what needs to be added in. From taking apart theories stated by Creed, Freud and Kristeva I am able to have a stronger response towards glamour and its components and what materials and techniques need to be used to create work in relation to this. If the response needs to be strengthened then to take it further I will continue the research in more depth by reading books that influenced academics like the ones mentioned.
When it comes to producing written work like the formative assessment notes taken from the sessions were just as important as the analysis of the work. I believed the notes I had taken from both lectures delivered by Cath and also notes taken from my readings helped build upon the understanding of the theories and also my work. When taking notes in the future I need to condense them and make them easier to read and this being the way I present them to myself. Making them easy to understand is a skill I need to achieve as it will help me prepare notes for my dissertation without re-reading them and being confused. This way of tackling a piece of text and theories i.e. the column analysis and note taking is a technique I will use for my dissertation as ways of working as it helps develop and push my thinking.
Writing about work of others has helped create a way of working that can be applied to my own. This playing with all the other techniques and skills I have learnt during constellation in Level 5 has been beneficial. The way in which I work has improved since level four and this is down to time management and engagement with the subjects. By having this discipline in Constellation, I will be able to apply it to both the Subject and Field modules and plan a constructive and manageable timetable to complete work.
As my experience and learning from Constellation have been a good one, I believe it has helped me realise the passion I have for cultures and perceptions on stereotypes in societies. At the beginning of the second year, I have begun to change my practice to be more experimental towards materials and explore them through abstraction and process. As enjoyable as this has been, it is not what I want to express in my work. Being playful with materials can still be present in my practice, however, I will consider doing it in a way where I can create juxtapositions between the glamorous and the ugly in the celebrity world and how creating these juxtapositions can toy with the mind. To do this, the exploration through materials that are not traditionally used in a fine art practice will need to be used and create the characteristics of glamour and grotesque that I have learnt throughout my research during constellation. Overall, techniques, skills and theories learnt in all three modules can interact with each other to strengthen all work and this will be present in the rest of my studies and especially in the body of work that will be produced for the final year and my dissertation.
From the collection of drawings, we were asked to cut the drawings machine roll and organise into different categories. These drawings were then be developed into patterns/ motifs of imagery that reoccurred in the drawings. These motifs will then be taken into etching plates ready for etching.
The majority of the patterns are organic which again came from the responses during the drawing exercises. There is one motif that is figurative and is weak compared to the other three. As the three abstract motifs are stronger these will most likely be taken further. Why are they stronger? They are stronger because they capture the elements and the phenomenal and sublime experiences.
The first trip involved a wet and muddy walk in the Neath Valleys to experience the phenomenal waterfall in horrendous weather. This trip began the drawing machines.
By visiting in heavy rain it made the psychogeography drawings that little more special as they captured the weather as well as our drawings. The sublime experiences that we have led to both abstract and figurative drawings. The abstract drawings seemed to have an organic and feminine quality to them. Maybe this was because of the natural responses I had encountered.
The final adventure was one to Port Eynon down in the Gower and it was a beautiful place to continue the drawings ready for development. It was a week-long trip however, I was only able to stay for a day.
The activities that were planned involved four panoramic views of the environment which would then build a 360-degree view, and also continue with the psychogeography drawings. From completing these tasks I wanted to construct drawings showing movement and fluidity in my surroundings and this evolved into drawings that responded to the movement of the water and the different sounds that I could hear. Being in the environment that I was in I was able to use all of my senses to create work that would benefit my next step of the project.
As I was only able to attend one day this wasn’t beneficial for myself, however, I am able to continue the psychogeography drawings this weekend in response to the French landscape. These drawings will again be in response to the experiences I will have and how they create an atmosphere, an aura for myself.