OCA Textiles 3: Personal Specialism Assignment Two- Response to Formative Tutor Feedback

Review Process of Textile Work Completed for Assignment 2 – What worked and what did not work and why?

Morris (2020) An example of collage work from a series of completed artwork in preparation for the next phase of investigation and experimentation with print and weave
Morris (2020) An example of collage work from a series of completed artwork in preparation for the next phase of investigation and experimentation with print and weave

From the tutor feedback received I reviewed all my textile work to date for assignment two of the personal specialism course. The three large-scale screen-printed samples in upholstery linen proved to be the most resolved which I recognised from the outset. I had initially intended to progress sampling with large scale screen printing, but I was unable to do so given the pandemic. In considering the lockdown due to COVID-19 and my need to access and use a studio which was out with the local area I was unable to progress with larger scale screen printing at that time. In process with these exceptionally large samples I felt fully immersed and engaged, in relationship with the material which produced a deepening level of enquiry and emotional connection. The mental and physical effort and exertion of the process itself created a closer affinity to what I was doing which I enjoyed and wished to replicate. In considering this I aim to continue to focus on larger scale screen printing with a range of repurposed materials when I can. Materials which best reflect all the subtle nuances of print to show the delicacy of every line, variation in colour and mark making will be used as appropriate to the ongoing artwork involving collage with drawing and painting alongside mixed media.

While aspects of the more textural elements of heat transfer printing worked well with the colour and line used, I struggled to reconcile all the imagery especially the more literal aspects. Despite this I learned a lot from the extensive experimentation undertaken which can be carried forward onto other forms of heat transfer and ink jet printing which more closely resemble the processes and outcomes achieved through screen printing. I aim to experiment more with my own artwork including mixed media but to refine my focus around process, of being in relationship with the material itself to enable deeper relating and responding. Such relating enables a more intense emotional connection and level of reciprocation through understanding and respecting the properties of the material and working with the cloth to optimise outcomes.

I was aware that the woven pieces did not have such a strong connection to the printed sampling as they constituted a series of separate and single projects. Going forward the woven work needs to be integrated within the print process with the same depth of relating and emotional resonance as the printed textiles. I aim to continue to develop such an emotional connection with the materials I use to generate imagery in print which reflects fragility, fragmentation, disruption, disintegration and fractured-broken themes in line with the context of environmental fragility. I have reflected upon using delicate, sheer and fine materials including cotton muslin both in print and weave given its history, origins and the environmental costs of producing cotton. While endorsing ethical practices within my creative processes, working in ways which support the environment including reclaiming, reusing, repurposing and recycling materials I recognise the need to develop my use of tapestry weaving to contextualise beyond more literal interpretations to increasingly integrate the concepts of fragility as applicable to print into my weaving. Through reviewing the work of Eszter Bornemisza I thought of experimenting more with delicate materials including paper with fine and brittle threads in looser warp and weft constructions and to use the same or similar materials in part for print and weave.

Eszter Bornemisza (2018) Objects: Fragile Gift Mixed Media including string and ripped newsprint
Eszter Bornemisza (2016) Wounded Gown (Detail) Mixed Media including newsprint and string

As recommended by my tutor Lizzy Levy I took another look at the work of Eszter Bornemisza and I am glad I did. Although I have researched this fibre artist through the completion of textiles 2 course work given where I am now in my own development I was better placed to see her work through fresh eyes and to utilise more of what she had to offer. Eszter Bornemisza has regularly worked with recycled paper, textiles and other found soft materials which relates to the context in which I work with textiles. Her wall hangings helped me to recognise the added worth of paper as a material to use through my own creative process and within finished pieces.

As a result, I have started to research a range of different paper types for both my printmaking and my tapestry weaving.  Currently I am investigating the merits of rice paper given its environmental significance and its overall fragility and capacity to be readily fractured and broken, to increasingly explore such themes. While the basic processes involved within her textile work include machine stitching there are additional elements of printing, dyeing, quilting and painting within her larger-scale textiles to create transparent wall-hangings, objects and installations using ripped, overprinted newspaper. I plan to extend my collage work to include different types of paper including newsprint and brown paper as relevant to my own context. More recently I have increased the level of my own artwork including the creation of a series of collage work which continues to help foster more ideas for print and weave within the layering processes.

Morris (2020) An example of collage work from a series of completed artwork in preparation for the next phase of investigation and experimentation with print and weave
Morris (2020) An example of collage work from a series of completed artwork in preparation for the next phase of investigation and experimentation with print and weave

I continue to use and update my online learning log frequently with blog entries especially pertaining to my artwork and related research processes. Given my inability to alter my WordPress online learning log into separate pages for specific blog entries I have been conscious of the need to improve access. Blog headings have been clarified to aid ease of access with more focused learning logs to accompany each assignment including links to blog entries. This is especially pertinent to evidencing some of my sketchbook work undertaken contemporaneously throughout my creative process.

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