Art · MMT - Assignments · MMT - Part 1 - Surface Distortion · MMT - Part1 - Assignment 1 · Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT – Pt1 – Assignment 1 – Sketchbook 

After I had finished the samples for each of the exercises I decided that I didn’t want to work strictly to the brief and review the stash to decide what to submit for assignment 1 instead I decided to make a small body of work in a sketchbook, inspired by Alison Worman‘s sketchbooks in Uppercase magazine and on her website. 

My intention was to draw together the techniques and their application that had inspired me and peeked my interest so far with some research that I’d done in my sketchbook during Project 5 – Ex2 – Stitching, with some photos and ephemera left over from the sample making.

Page 1

Oh those little balls, tied up in sari silk, they had such potential but they just didn’t work out but it didn’t mean that the photos didn’t.  

I’ve connected them together with stitch and a few words. I balanced up the composition with a bit of ripped paper and used scratching and colour to add some harmony.

Page 2

And back a step to a photo before the bouncy balls were wrapped up, I loved the contrast of the bright colours and the absolute circle shape against the more random and faded patten of the sari fabric.

There’s a bit more connecting with stitch between those defined focal points and the words I’d chosen.  And because nothing is left behind I added some of the fabric mounded with hot water and the bit of felt that kept sliding off the bubble fabric mould back in MMT – Pt1 – Pj3 – Ex3 – Using Hot Water.

To highlight the textures and ripples in the mounded fabric I added some coloured ink. I particularly like the edited version of this on my Instagram feed.

Page 3

I went back to Michael Von Hassel‘s book for this piece and did some distorting and messing with the image to add drama. I used the yellow thread to over emphasis the rays of the sun breaking through the clouds. I work very much with my gut when I make scenes like this, I tweak them until I get the jarring and feeling of interference to make me feel either harmonious or disturbed. 

It’s this internal gut feeling that’s so difficult for me to explain and express so that I can effectively demonstrate my ‘conceptualisation of thought’. I have to dig deep to find the words and face the feelings that influence and direct my gut. 

I also don’t think I would be able to do this without the learning blog, there’s something about typing the words and considering a wider audience that motivates me to think harder and longer about what I’m writing.

Page 4

It was the original Japanese ladies sample that started me down the route of using photographs in this part of MMT and I decided to revisit the original idea for page 4.

The incremental folding wasn’t enough this time so I added some connecting threads and words and it was the thread coming from the eye that made my gut kick in this time.  I added the words ‘timeless’ and ‘treasure’  because I felt the ladies had an almost haughty look about them as if they know they are guardians of this timeless treasure of Japanese culture and no one was going to tell them otherwise.

Page 5 

Lots more distortion and mixing up of the techniques with this piece. I’m loving cutting out circles and altering the rotation of the cut circle inside the outer setting.  I just went for a subtle movement and over exaggeration this time.  Less deal meaning here but just some playing around with colour and texture. 

I had some feedback on this photo on Instagram ‘The textural distortion really enhances the red depth’ thanks to @cbankssurrey, I think that pretty much covers it.

Page 6

Many of the images that had appealed to me when I’d done my research for Cutting Holes had included holes that had been burnt, I did have a brief go at burning a photo with the flame from a lighter but after a rather scary moment when I thought I might set my, super combustible, workroom on fire I decided I needed a less dangerous method of burning holes.

In the end I dug out a soldering iron that I’d bought years before and never used and put it to work burning a few holes into a photograph I’d taken of some cow parsley.

I then added some stitching working with the burn holes as a guide and found that I was definitely more drawn to the longer more elegant ‘stitches’. 

The composition was okay with the stitches but it still felt very empty so I added some of the failed and only vaguely mounded fabric from the Using Hot Water exercise and added it to enhance the dreamy quality of the distorted photograph. 

I particularly like the colour palette that was finalised by the intervention of the page colour.

Page 7

The photographs of the sari silk bundles had come out so well I couldn’t just leave them, so I did another experiment with the circle cutting idea. 

And because I was rushing and used a knife instead of looking properly for my circle cutting contraption my circles weren’t very good. So I found one of the less that successful pieces of sari silk and used the only interesting elements – the bits of stitch I’d added before boiling it in the hot water to fill the holes.

I then made a useful discovery, if you sand down the edges of cut out pieces of photograph you get a lovely white edge and those edges fitted very nicely with the white lines made by the photographed threads.

I feel that this composition is unfinished but I decided not to mess with it any further because I was in danger of destroying the original image. It looks better here close up than it does on my Instagram feed, which is unusual. Often the original is greatly enhanced by the use of clever chopping, sharpening and the application of the right filter.

Page 8

When I was doing the research before MMT – Pt1 – Pj5 – Ex2 – Stitching I had been drawn to the long threads found on the looms of weavers and my favourite place to see weaving is the Dovecot in Edinburgh. 

This page draws together and is my response to my 2 favourite exhibitions.

 I had originally intended to cover the work of Chun Kwang Youngin my research before I began part 1 because his work is all about surface distortion and he manipulates and works expertly with paper to translate his ideas. His work totally blew me away the first time I went to the Dovecot back in 2016

Page 9

The music festival season is back upon us and this year we’ve not been able to attend many of them but we are getting to go back to Looe Music Festival. It’s a great weekend and the first time we went we loved the stage on the beach and the flags that added the perfect interactive decoration.

At night the flags were often dramatic and thrashed about in the wind heightening the atmosphere surrounding the act on the stage at the time. And during the day the colours made them more serene and summery.

I’d used 3 of my photographs in the exercise and had played with the images. using my iPhone and a couple of photo manipulation apps. 

This pinky, purple one was my favourite, the app had added a couple of bit blobs of light and I decided to highlight them with scratches and colour. Then I found a scrap of a magazine article with some random words that I (and my gut) liked.  

I don’t have the vocabulary to explain why I bought together an article on post modernism and the current resurgence in music festivals attendance, maybe I should be doing a different degree!

Page 10

More balls wrapped in sari silk! I’m just not getting over the fact that this didn’t work and I just keep having to try and made a success from the failure.

This piece is a lot more messy, I was working at night and playing with some liquid gauche that I’d just bought. I was only going to do some painting but it dried so quick I decided to continue. Tiredness made me more random than usual.

I went for cutting some slits and threading with silk fabric rather than cotton embroidery thread, though I did add some later to pull down the bottom flap like an eyelid being dragged down. It gave me an unsettling, macabre feeling that I liked.

The idea of eyes wouldn’t go away so I had a rummage about and found this image on an advertising flyer. It was perfect for making another unsettling eye composition.

Faces had featured a lot in my research but after using the image of the geisha’s face I hadn’t really revisited it despite being fascinated by the work of other artists on Pinterest who make manipulated portraits. 

The words ‘remedy’ and ‘memory’ were chosen because I’ve been listening to a book (A Song of Shadows) that has the thread of finding and bringing to justice the last few Nazi war criminals running through it. It’s a piece of fiction but the author uses the story to raise questions about the validity of continuing to peruse these old people.  My choice of words is my response to that question, we have to keep the memory of the horrors of the Holocaust alive, but does that provide the remedy? Perusing and prosecuting war criminals for their acts of genocide continue as new atrocities are committed, it’s not stopping it happen, but does this public show of justice become part of the remedy for healing the people left behind if not the actual act of wiping out an entire group of people because of their beliefs. 

As you’d expect I got lots of gut feelings from this piece and I spent quite a bit of time moving the elements round to get the layout exactly how I wanted it.  And I was the only one, I knew my composition was working when I got this comment from my lovely friend @tesswyatt on Instagram ‘Those eyes are creaking me out – what are you tapping into my subconscious I wonder’. I had to admit that it was nothing subversive and maybe just a request for her to ‘buy me cake!!!!’

Now, that’s Part 1 of MMT all done, now time for a cup of tea and maybe a piece of cake ….. Tess!!

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