I have resumed physical work after making the symposium video. The sculpture is nearly completed in its raw stage waiting to then be finished in detail before the first firing. I have regained a rhythm and resolved how the underneath works with the parts above. A layering of scale and detail, manner of making and process.
It will have to be dried very slowly to minimise cracking and mitigate those that will appear after the bisque firing.
It is clear to me that the process, the making and the outcome are one and the same thing. There is no separation, there is no instructional illustration, I imbue myself into the work mentally and physically. I also have to keep a certain distance, which is not easy, to reflect and to evaluate: that is why the work takes time, particularly since I have not worked with this complexity in this way. While I work I reflect in one way, when I rest, I reflect in another. The first is absorbed, focused, unseparated, the second detached and emotional or perhaps more accurately psychologically.
I do not finish a session. It is best to leave things unresolved or when things are going well. This is a tried and tested methodology: the brain continues to work when the body turns away. I think about other things and do mundane jobs so that the process can become unconscious, uninterrupted by doubts, fears, ambition, and attachment.
I should finish this stage in the next few days and move onto the defining of forms and selective finishing of surfaces. Then the slow drying to minimise cracking which will have to be dealt with after the first low firing.
This was the state of the work two days ago. I have started some detail as I continue to work on the large areas. I have to continually look at it from all angles. It would be so easy for something to go awry in terms of composition. It is high relief, but in the round; a spherical or ovid frieze.
My mind is buzzing with so many ideas. It is frustrating to work on things which take so long. I have to choose carefully what I do and not be swayed by whims of the moment. I need to think a) how does this tie in with my work and ideas, b) does it take things further and or add depth c) am I merely responding impulsively to something I have seen or heard?
Today (4th) Janet looked out of the window at the apple blossom and saw the porcelain piece reflected in what she saw. There are so many things that connect, often in unexpected ways. It is a form of poetry, and from such tropes and metaphores ideas spring into plain sight. Some persist others fade and become irrelevant. This is why experimenting is so important, I throw things in the air and see how they fall allowing my agenticity to come into play. But this is not a senseless or arbitrary process. It is one in which I have learnt through practice and research to recognise patterns and understand structure. It is the way I have been able to seek clarity, simplicity, and depth.
Three forms under wraps. Threes witches, three muses, three blind mice. Fine works hidden or veiled, an interesting proposition. A reciprocal exhange of experience. The artist is often rended mute of their work and intent by the noise of opinion and perception, what if the viewer were to be deprived of site of the work and were able to listen only to the artist? ….. One caveat with this idea, is there anything worth listening to, or looking at beneath the veil? Prior knowledge of the area is a useful thing in the arts. Even the ‘shock of the new’ comes with some of that.
The piece is set up on its new work stand. I am pleased because it is remarkably stable and easy to turn round, just what I wanted. It also proves that the scaffolding components can be used for stands of all sorts… and furniture. This was the system I was going to use for the physical show. So it serves as proof of concept. And there are two added bonuses, dismantlable takes up little room.
Using my previous turntable idea, instead of putting the stand on a moveable piece of furniture which makes the sculpture vulnerable to knocks and movement, I have put it on a platform with castors. This makes it much more stable and manoeuvrable on a stable work bench.
Made this stand this morning. It will help support the sculpture and give me access to the lower parts. It does not rotate like the turntable (which is not built for very heavy works) but I have placed it on one of the mobile worktops which can I can walk around and also easily turn on its castors.
Yesterday I closed the circle on the armature. I now enter into a slightly different phase of completing the figures and starting to work downwards to enclose the whole form. I need to build a stand so I can get underneath and find a way of making that stable while I work. It needs to by so because I will not be able to move it until it is completed and hard.
I had already made a stand and it is dry enought to support the weight. But I am not sure if it is wide enough to make the whole structure stable while I work. I could add to it or make a new one. I shall deal with this matter this afternoon.
As I continue with the work on WITD, I also continue with other aspects of the project and the blog curation. The latter is a lengthy matter, to collate and organise the information, re-read the posts and look at how my ideas have evolved. Regarding the former, I am working on, amongst other things:
the narrative prose;
finishing as far as possible Logos and Enshrinement;
constructing the models;
planning the videos,
and accompanying soundtracks;
building the virtual space;
rendering the visualisations of the Camberwell show.
drafting Symposium 2
rewrite Project Proposal with respect to twin trajectory
Closing the other side will take a little longer than I thought. This is the stage when I have to pay particular attention to balance and rhythm in relation to the areas already set down. Yesterday, day six was slightly disrupted so I did not get as much done as I had hoped, but I am able to keep to some sort of schedule.
It is so tempting to start with the details, but I feel that I should complete all the areas before I place the extremities. It is all how one part relates to the others and this can only be done when all the parts have been roughed out. The character of the work will change when I enter the next phase.
The surface is starting to fill and soon I shall reach round completely. At this point details start to suggest themselves, but I must always keep in mind, the big things first. There is a lot of work involved in completing this. The setting out of the composition is perhaps the shortest phase. Many things suggest themselves as I work, ideas that can be applied to future work.
Clinging to this mass of life, of ceaseless movement, love and loss, encounter and recognition, how is each one to measure the solitude of existence against the weight of one another’s proximity?
I finished the essay Cat today and sent it off. I also worked on WITD and managed to get to the top more quickly than I had hoped. I should finish the other side by Tuesday and complete the underneath by Friday as I had hoped. Then I can add the extremities and start finishing. In the meantime, I have also continued working on the virtual space with Aristotle. I now see how Cables might be useful in the future.
Reflecting on the essay, I can see how keeping this blog journal has been one of the most important aspects of doing this MA. It has led me to develop my writing skills which in turn has helped me find my voice. But I am not constrained to only one style or approach. I feel I have acquired a flexibility and methodology in writing that allows me to write pretty much about anything, even when I am not ‘inspired’. I am surprised how easily the essay came to me, particularly when considering that I would never have chosen to write about cats. However, now that I have written about cats and art, I find them really interesting. Moral of the story, never dismiss a subject when you know little about it, the inspiration lies in the doing.
NB I have been reading some of the posts I have written as I prepare for evaluation and assessment. There are pieces of writing I should like to work on and develop as well as those that stand on their own. I have my work cut out for after graduation.