Continuing Themes of Fragility, Disintegration, Fracturing, Decay, Wear, and Tear
From the tutor feedback received for assignment 5 I was really pleased with the scale of acknowledgement of what I had achieved. Lizzy Levy stated that I had realised some very strong and aesthetically pleasing outcomes. The tutor noted that It was evident that I have a deep personal connection to both materiality and process using these to create expressive and meaningful work. Lizzy Levy said “It is clear you have refined your work, resolving processes, techniques, materials and colour, ensuring that the translation of your ideas & concepts have been realised. You have discovered this as part of an ongoing process, especially due to the way in which you work: It is refreshing to see such an intimate relationship with process & materiality that has been nurtured via consistent reflective analysis. This methodical analytical approach has not restricted your creative output – it has in fact enabled and initiated deeper personally powerful, responses. This process is summarised beautifully within your evaluation: “I continued to reuse materials which promoted environmental sustainability and reduced waste to continue to encapsulate related themes of fragility, disintegration, fracturing, through material use and printing ink. The relationship between material, print, imprint, and resist was increasingly investigated on a larger scale to explore the related themes. I focused upon developing my creative voice, on capitalising upon what I have learned previously, to utilise my increased understanding of a range of materials to good effect, to use such knowledge of the materials qualities and properties in process to create very personal responses to environmental threat”.
I also liked that the tutor always challenged me to go further, to extend my learning and creative practice. While the use of a well-worn fisherman’s sweater with scrim alongside the 8ft x 4ft printed MDF was not completely convincing given my narrative and context I acknowledged this and set out to do further experimentation with corrosion and rusting. I increasingly investigated ideas concerning a range of materials being degraded, fragmented, worn with shredded and unravelled repurposed scrim as suggested by my tutor. I spent some time experimenting with different materials including several sheer muslin types and many used papers. Due to the varying timescales for paper to corrode there were some mixed results. That said when copper filings were weathered and exposed to the air and seawater over time on rice paper a beautiful array of Verdigris was realised as the natural patina contrasted with the unchanged copper elements. Given the impactful results, the requirements of increased scale and the restricted timescales corroded salvage was sought. From a range of sites several pieces of corroded metal were found and used to adapt Resonance: A Woven Response to create a more resolved outcome. In the first instance I sampled through weaving some of the cut corroded metal pieces to get used to the material. Many mini sculptural arrangements were composed through this creative process.
I also played about with corroded metal objects found on beaches covered with other materials including barnacles to add additional areas of interest. The level of corrosion including rust and weathering created interesting contrasts of form, shape, colour, and texture alongside the deconstructed scrim. I felt that this creative process suited my relationship with materials and context with increased aesthetic qualities and added meaning within a contemporary frame of reference. The sculptural forms created through years of weathering and the build-up of layers of shells including molluscs and barnacles on these originally man-made metal objects illustrated key environmental themes.
From the initial mixed experimentation with materials, I was better prepared to create Resonance: An Adapted Woven Response using corroded materials which were mainly found on beach locations in Fife. The repurposed scrim readily fell apart through its loose construction and prior use so acted as an ideal material to use. The placing of the scrim was based upon the MDF printed backdrop as much of the scrim proved to be transparent through its degradation as it was also worn down by the natural elements.
Through an extended process of deliberation and reflection concerning material structure and placement eventually a preferred sculptural arrangement for the selected corroded metals and loosely constructed scrim was finalised. I liked how the materials related to one another and inhabited the space around them. I enjoyed how the degrading scrim was further fragmented by the ripped and torn corroded metal pieces which were woven through the scrim. The corroded edges of many of the pieces of rusted metal were used to good effect. As always through being engaged within another creative process many more ideas have been generated within the use of print and weave. The process of corrosion using different materials including metals and the handling of different found corroded metals continues to inform my creative process going forward as I like the juxtaposition of corroded metal and textiles especially sheer muslin and scrim within my artwork. I enjoy the use of contrast with the amalgamation of increasingly unexpected materials from a range of sources as appropriate to environmental sustainability and the reduction of waste.