Rachel Whiteread

English artist who works with casting, often displaying the first cast itself. Effectively the negative space inside.

Famously giant cast of a inside of a house.


Rachel Whiteread.JPG

https://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/2018/rachel-whiteread.html   Viewed 28 July 2020

This artist uses lots of objects from the everyday and represent yet another way of looking at objects and the spaces in objects and to this end suits a lot of the work I do.

I’d like to make another cast or mould out of clay or polyclay of an everyday object that nonetheless has an evocative component.

rachel whiteread2

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/whiteread-untitled-stairs-t07939     Viewed 28 July 2020

Stairs are actually turned on their side but you can see how this sort of work gives an alternate view of the commonplace.

re-member at Contemporary Art Tasmania

https://allevents.in/hobart/opening-re-member-2020-cat-curatorial-mentorship-exhibition/200019898807144    Viewed 26 July 2020       I would have used CAT website to access this but it was down.

re-member is about imagining across the cracks, filling in the gaps and stringing these fragments together.

Artists know how to make, and with that tactile knowledge comes the understanding that things can also be un-made. Artists are able to collect and reckon with residue from the past through assembling, visualising, performing and vocalising. In doing so they are un-making history, they are refocusing attention on alternative stories and reinvigorating what has been lost.
– Caitlin Fargher, re-member catalogue essay


Went to this exhibition on Friday night. Quite a lot of people there and not very relaxing in this COVID time.

re-member at CAT 24 July 2020.jpg

This work appeared to be like a lump of old clay dirt with some rusted metal and old wallpaper embedded in it and moss growing out of it.

Loved the potential of this – assembling, melding and growing your own artwork.

Sculpture one first lesson – Impressions

I used home made dough to make impressions – hard, soft, smooth, rough, friable or fragile.

Had a bit of a problem because I made my dough with gluten, trying to be smart but instead it was very elastic and kept springing back and obliterating my marks!

Reflection on this activity:

Hard objects made the best marks as quite a bit of pressure had to be exerted to get a good mark. Others used hard objects to make repeated marks and patterns. I didn’t think of doing this but will in future as interesting patterns could be made from mundane objects. With my photograms I could do the same thing if I was prepared to do multiple exposures with one object or a single exposure with multiples of the same object.

Soft objects only gave a mark if they were also resilient and had a hard surface behind. And again the springiness of my substrate was a problem with these. Next time I will unearth my clay or I will make a lower gluten dough.

Smooth objects were boring unless you wanted to mould around them and get a 3 D structure, which you I did try and would be a way of creating a smooth 3 D surface. Difficult to get off though and there was talk in class about using releasing agents. Guess we’ll find out more about that.

Rough objects were interesting. My impression of bricks showed a lot more subtle detail than I was expecting. I’d like to make impression plates for printing intaglio, collagraphs or rubbings but I’m not sure of the best material. I have put polyclay through the press but it’s a bit expensive for larger size things. I did condition my polyclay yesterday thinking I might use it and I was pleased that it came up well even after years.

Friable objects crushed but did leave remnants which could add another dimension. As someone noted – if you then fired  the impression those traces would burn away and leave marks.

Impressions are another way of looking at my everyday objects but difficult to translate to solar printing which is my technique of choice currently for getting my imagery on to fabric, which is my ultimate aim.

I did bake my dough impressions yesterday and then stacked them up on to a solarfast primed piece of fabric and exposed. The impressions didn’t contribute to this at all but I was more thinking of future 3 D works being documented as photograms. If I had wanted to capture the impressions I could have photographed and then printed on to fabric from a transparency.

journal photo1.jpgjournal photo

Chiharu Shiota


Chiaharu Shiota.JPG

Uncertain journey 2019

https://www.chiharu-shiota.com/uncertain-journey-6          Viewed 15 July 2020

Installation made from wire frame and red wool. Lots of complexity and the colour really adds to the evocative nature of the work. Her works in black yarn have a different feel. This would be a mammoth technical task and the curvy nature of the final work must be from layers of straight threads at different angles.