After the first of three Saturdays doing a course on mixed media textiles ("transform, change, disintegrate") at City Lit with Louise Baldwin, what lies ahead?
It was "disintegrate" in the title of the course that caught my imagination, given my theme of loss of memory, loss of language. The first session was such a whirlwind of possibilities that I had to hang very tightly on to my intention, rather than spin off into a frenzy of wanting, needing to try out this'n'that ... even so I felt a bit adrift at the end of the day.
Louise brought in many samples of possible techniques, and I'm trying to stick to just one - washed paper, which can look like this -
|Machine stitched, then washed (by hand!) to help it fall apart|
Again in the interests of simplicity, I'll be using black and white. (Limitations are good when you're easily distracted!) As a follow-on from the sponge printing in ceramics class ("if it works, do it some more"), I printed on tissue paper and discovered a way of getting already-falling-apart letters - the photo shows a layer of scrim laid on tissue paper -
For next time - some inked papers (will the ink be permanent when washed) -
Fortunately at the end of the session Louise gave us some bits of paper - "It's a good idea to think about what you are trying to achieve from this work in order to evaluate how successful you are being." Indeed! And here are the questions we are to think about:
What image am I going to use to explore the theme?
Why have you chosen it?
What kind of change do I want to see being visualised?
What do you want this change to suggest to the viewer?
What techniques do you think would be useful to work with and why?
What visual research would be useful to inform your work and make it richer? When can you do this?
Through the process of exploring your theme are there things that you particularly want to explore like techniques, effective use of colour, invigorating your design process....
Are you working towards a finished piece or are you happy to explore the idea through sampling and testing?
The first question, what image, stumped me, so I quickly decided on Letters, and have spent some time since looking at Denise Lach's calligraphy book. I've chosen letters because they can become unreadable, and this could convey to the viewer frustration similar to that of the person who is searching for the words or can't even articulate that they have forgotten the words.