Project Work Investigating and Creating- Scale, Colour, Line and Texture through Context
An Extensive Body of Work Reflecting upon my Engagement, Experimentation and Realisation of Ideas regarding my Personal Specialism Proposal
Printmaking and Tapestry Weaving
Assignment 3 Learning Log in conjunction with my online blog www.weaveprint.com
Gillian Morris Student No 511388
Environmental Fragility- Investigation of Ideas, Processes, and Issues
Experimentation through Sampling-Changed Directions for the Personal Proposal
Introduction- Foundation Decisions
On reviewing the work undertaken for assignment two alongside my tutors’ feedback I was able to reflect upon what worked and what did not work and why. As stated in my blog entry and my response to such feedback I increasingly recognised where my strengths lay and what was in keeping with who I am and the way I work. I like to develop relationships with the materials I work with, to be in relationship at a deeper level through an extended investigative process to be more in tune with heightened degrees of personal engagement and reciprocation… as I relate and respond with the material I am working with I am led by how the material relates and responds back. That said larger scale screen printing has evoked such an emotional connection given the mental and physical engagement which was required with the heighted knowledge and understanding of the material which fuelled the depth of relating with the material. I felt the outcomes were successful given this process. Going forward I aim to focus on such processes with a range of material which best exhibit in print and through weaving fragility, fragmentation, and fracturing themes in line with the context in which I work. My review of the work of the fibre artist Eszter Bornemisza helped me to focus on meaning within the layering processes, of the personal and social narratives embedded within my work, to use more sheer materials within my creative practice to work with the fragility of the materials in print and to increasingly amalgamate weave with print.
Collage Sketchbook Work- Ink Jet Printing with White Cotton Muslin
Given the continuing lockdown situation in Scotland due to COVID-19 my larger scale screen printing processes have been delayed as I need to access hired studio space to work at that scale. Despite this I saw this as an opportunity to investigate another form of printmaking at home. While I liked some of the heat transfer printmaking I had achieved previously I wished to start to experiment with more delicate materials especially white sheer cotton muslin, to work with the fragility of the cloth, to use it like paper and material to increasingly illustrate fragility through print as with my screen printing processes. As a cotton its harmful properties for the environment can be acknowledged through its use in process and given its fragility of the need to handle the material with care, concern, and support like the environment.
In rethinking the way forward for the improved integration of print with tapestry weaving my initial focus was on sketchbook work to generate more ideas through drawing and collage work. The collage stemmed from the texture, line, colour and shape of nature. During this process I had watched the brief TED Talk by Dustin Yellin as part of the Textile Student Book Group. I was struck by how a chance coincidence had altered the artists creative practice. Dustin Yellin had started off exploring collage in resin when a bee stuck to the resin. Given the experimental nature of his creative practice he was sufficiently freed up to change direction and to incorporate animals into the resin within his classifications series.
Justin Yellin was influenced by and responded to what was happening in process. I was keen to incorporate an increasingly experimental approach to my own creative practice and to learn from this artist. While completing several collage pieces with cut up painted acrylic card and line using black marker pens I felt more able to see new options. As I finshed I could recognise all the waste pieces or negative spaces which I had left behind. Instead of throwing them away I started to experiment with the waste- all these odd shapes. In doing so I soon realised that I enjoyed this series of collage work more than my planned out series and I felt that I had achieved more impactful results for ink jet printing. This experience and the learning gleaned from it has reinforced the beauty, usefulness and preciousness of the environment and waste, of the increased need to see worth and value in all experiencing, to repurpose, recycle and reuse through every process of life and living. From doing so I was able to recognise what worked best in terms of the most successfully drawn line against the white space to painted acrylic texture and colour ratio through practice-trial and error, experimentation, and hard work.
Through such sampling I started to focus upon cotton muslin given my experience of the material and its history. I wanted to convey the materials qualities in print as well as communicate my context. I also anticipated that through using this material in print I would be able to consider further related options for weave through print.
Continuing Sampling with Collage Work Inspired from Nature with Mixed Media including Further Artwork and Photography to Embed Meaning into Print
Since the collage work was viewed as an addition to the layering processes either in part, in its entirety or to fuel further experimentation other mixed media sources were used including old and new colour, black and white photography of places which were significant to my identity and the environmental context, of coastal mill areas and fishing villages wholly dependent upon the sea. The intent was to imbue each layer with meaning relevant to the personal and social narrative, of long held traditions, of family livelihoods dependent upon fishing and the textile mills like my own, of a dependency upon the environment. The photographic imagery was manipulated through Photoshop and photo-editing software to achieve a range of effects reflective of dissolution…death, decay, termination coupled with fragility, fractured, and broken apart, disintegration and fragmentation. The idea being to integrate layering embedded in history, my history alongside a social commentary of long held traditions which helped to establish a process of using natural resources, of depleting without replenishment, replacement, and repair. This action…or layer then led on to further erosion of the natural resources which brought about extermination and extinction of many marine and coastal ecosystems which has been illustrated by a range of adapted imagery to suit the material and the context. https://weaveprint.com/2020/06/07/experimentation-with-ink-jet-printing-on-cotton-muslin-ongoing-sampling-processes-with-layering-mixed-imagery-and-text/
Through the early stages of inkjet print sampling I continued to develop my artwork, to refine my imagery and the layering processes with cotton muslin. I completed an increased range of collage work to enable greater experimentation in print and with layering. I increasingly combined and separated off colour, texture, line, and shape to enable more freedom to explore what was possible using mixed media and inkjet printing.
Through an increasingly immersive and involved printmaking process I was able to create a closer connection to and with the materials. In understanding the muslin more and being more responsive to each layer of printing I was able to produce increasingly unique and impactful outcomes. In being better prepared with my artwork and text, and trialling the layering in advance of the printmaking processes through transparent tracing paper I achieved improved visual qualities of brittleness and softness with aged effects which complimented the sheerness of the muslin, and amplified the overall context of beauty and fragility both in the print and the material. I felt excited about the results as the created effects did not represent an end to this printing process but the beginning of the next stage. From this process I have started to reflect upon the next increasingly focused stage of printing which will involve larger scale screen printing on muslin from within a studio setting. https://weaveprint.com/2020/06/21/continued-experimentation-with-ink-jet-printing-on-cotton-muslin-sampling-processes-with-layering-mixed-imagery-and-text/
Themes of Fragmentation, Disintegration, Fraying and Breaking Apart in Tapestry Weaving
Continuing Sampling with Tapestry Weaving on, in, around and through Inkjet Printing
From completing an increasingly resolved series of inkjet prints focused upon textural mark making and colour which I wished to take forward to screen printing I felt more ready and prepared to focus upon tapestry weaving. Given all my learning about cotton muslin and experiencing of this material ideas had been generated concerning the integration of weave within the inkjet-printed sheer cotton muslin given its loose open weave construction. From this realisation I started to experiment with inkjet-printed muslin using cardboard to support the fragile material. Once adequately supported I explored a range of ways of using weft and warp threads within, through and around the cotton muslin. It felt particularly liberating to move beyond the traditional confines of a wooden frame, to utilise the materials differently. I also played about with the muslin through removing areas of cardboard so the printed muslin could be seen in isolation and its actual brittleness viewed in its entirety. I used a mixture of linen, cotton, and silk threads which either complimented or contrasted with the inkjet prints. I liked the contrasts generated from the threads overlapping the cardboard supported muslin to the free-flowing areas of muslin without cardboard support. The unsupported muslin seemed to relate with the theme of fragility as it would be easily fractured and broken with too much touch. Such fine light weight unsupported muslin reminded me of the fishing nets despite its overall tendency to disintegrate and fray. I felt that such an approach to tapestry weaving related to environmental decline and destruction through too much waste and too little reuse. https://weaveprint.com/2020/06/21/ongoing-sampling-with-tapestry-weaving-and-inkjet-printing-on-cotton-muslin/
From such sampling larger scale options have started to be considered, to further integrate weave and print. The physical properties and qualities of sheer printed cotton muslin will be increasingly investigated through a more in-depth amalgamation of the materials including the deconstruction of muslin and the construction of weave. The visual appearance of such fine light weight muslin lends itself to further separation, disintegration and fragmentation, the fraying qualities will be used to highlight the materials beauty and fragility as it is transformed and translated into larger scale printed and woven textile narratives concerning environmental sustainability.