Single imagery

After hearing Matt’s presentation last week I was attracted to the idea of trying to produce my imagery of windows through the lens of a wine glass in a single image. I took a few photos of through the bottom of glasses and have printed up three. There is a lot of problems with them and if I include the source photos it will highlight the fact that the fabric prints are very soft and blurry in contrast so I won’t put them up here at this stage. I don’t want to confuse evaluation of the final prints.

I’d probably like to go with this because I think it will gel nicely as a whole work and less obviously contrived but more ambiguous. The two colours also seem to work better when I am using the same print only inverted.

Not sure about the wood strips. They might not serve to highlight the print as well as a solid dark colour would. Possibly plain black sashings would be better.

Trying to find relevant exigeses

This is an abstract from a masters exigesis by Sue Jackson.

ABSTRACT
Exploring the Interface negotiates the boundaries between the often‐disparate practices of art and
craft. The interface, as the point of interplay between these practices, is offered as a metaphor for
the negotiation of the physical and psychical boundaries of self. This project asks how these
practices can be navigated and if the interface can signify the spaces of one’s emotional and
corporeal identities. It also questions how the maternal relationship and feminine and domestic
archetypes contribute to the construction of gender.
The project aims to extend the traditional use of domestic craft while honouring the semiotic
potential of its feminine associations. I endeavour to create an expressive device from mute craft
materials and techniques using the language of the object and the poetics of metaphor. I seek to
evoke memory and the senses by activating the gallery space in a series of narrative dramas that
play out inside domestic constructs.
My artwork takes the form of a series of installations using various materials ranging from those
traditionally associated with domestic craft to more ephemeral organic matter. Handcrafted
objects reside with ready‐mades while garments and domestic artefacts nestle amongst furniture.
The project commenced with an investigation of various hierarchies pertaining to gender and
practice. An exploration of traditional craft materials and techniques led to innovative
approaches and a consideration of the maternal legacies of the craft tradition. The amassing of
craft materials and objects suggested a wealth of memories, histories and untold narratives. The
expressive potential of the craft object was explored and what emerged was the performative
function of the artwork as a means of activating senses, memory and space.
Artists who extend craft beyond traditional application, including Judy Chicago, Fiona Hall,
Freddie Robins, Anne Farren and Dave Cole, have influenced experimentation with the expressive
potential of materials and techniques. The maternal relationship is explored through the work of
Barbara Hanrahan, Lindsay Obermeyer and Kay Lawrence. Artworks by Anne Wilson, Jana
Sterbak and Magdelena Abakanowicz inform body‐specific work that focuses on corporeal
elements of gender. Mnemonic artworks by Louise Bourgeois, Tracey Emin, Magdalena Bors and
Doris Salcedo provide a reference for memory, narrative and domestic based installations.
Exploring the Interface focuses on negotiating various boundaries as a metaphor for the
construction and deconstruction of ideas of self. The work takes up a symbolic position swaying
between the physical and psychical spaces of subjectivity. Inner and outer domains manifest in
narrative constructs that inspire and are inspired by memory and lived experience.

Reference:

Jackson SM 2011, ‘Exploring the Interface: Negotiating the Boundaries between Art and Craft’, MFA, University of Tasmania, Hobart, viewed 28 September 2020, <https://eprints.utas.edu.au/12477/1/Jackson.pdf&gt; pviii

I have been looking for a website or recent work by Sue Jackson and couldn’t find anything much to follow this up with.

This publication explores the parallel between the interface of art and craft and the interface of physical and psychic. It’s not really what I was after but I am really looking for some idea about the question I can pose for my honours and also other artists that may be working in the area of quilts as fine art. I’ll probably look up some of the crafty artists she mentions 🙂

Photography tossing up

I’m not sure where to go now with photography. I liked the idea of combining the two images and then only printed once. So the view through the bottom of a wine glass would be just that in one image rather than constructed from a photo of a window view and a photogram of a wine glass.

So I have tried that and am slightly disappointed with the result. Not that it doesn’t look interesting but just that technically it’s a bit messy and hard to see what the imagery is. Not sure if that matters or not. Also only one colour is a bit dull.

The pale blue areas obscure the image a bit and I think are a result of dye pooling under the transparency.

So nine of these gridded together in a window frame like quilt could be quite interesting but I’m not sure. Think I’ll do three and put them up in comparison with the other style in diptych and see what the response is. I have all the transparencies so they aren’t wasted. The other though was that I could put some of this imagery up digitally. Even though I would make the quilt I could be assessed on the digital imagery as it will be a digital submission. So I don’t have to actually make the quilt. But if I don’t do that I feel a bit like I’m not being true to my ultimate desire.

Another thing I’ve done this week is a fixed some lumen prints. This is an example of pre and post fixing with editing to increase contrast. Also these are only photographs and not scans, which is much easier and for my purposes is enough detail. No point in having too much fine detail in translation to fabric because the process loses it anyway.

Left is pre fixing. Right is fixed. I have brought up the contrast and perhaps the saturation a bit but these are essentially the type of colours before and after fixing. I think contrast is improved if anything post fixing but Carolyn did not have that result with her paper.

This paper was in date fiber paper.

Might do a print of one of these next after I swap it in to black and white. This is a sanitiser bottle.

Joseph Beuys

Suggested by Colin as being an artist to look at. Most of Joseph Beuys work doesn’t really resonate with me but I had a look at specifically felt work this time , as I will likely use felt in my imaginary tool project.

Felt suit 1970

<https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/beuys-felt-suit-ar00092&gt;

Viewed 24 September 2020

The article associated with the above image and link states that Joseph Beuys was quoted as talking about felt as a warm sculpture and also looking at the link between everyday objects and art. Colin also mentioned that some of Joseph Beuys work was associated with healing and I can certainly feel the link between felt and healing and care. It’s part of the reason I use textiles – because of their association with care, protection, comfort and warmth.

Stressing over honours project

Once I know the question I’ll be able to focus on writing up the proposal. I guess what I want to do is make a body of work that is quilts. My criteria really is that I would like to make articles that eventually have the potential to get used up. But I also want to make work that is read as art. Basically I want them to be able to be repurposed as a household article once their time being revered on the wall is done. :). It also gives me something to do with all my art that fails to be recognised as worthy of exhibition. I have my entry in the art quilt show as a bathmat on the floor and I love it. Second year print project quilt is being used as an ironing mat. Lots of my quilts get used as tablecloths and rugs in front of the tv or extra warmth at night. But I’m not content with that. I would like to make artworks that are visual and appreciated as art and not combined with function initially. Function is my way of recycling art. Because let’s face it. There is a lot of art in the world and unless we start making it a bit ephemeral it will visually choke us. That is already happening with all the visual imagery that bombards us everyday.

So maybe my question should be ‘what is the extent and nature of the barriers to quilts being viewed as art, and exploring the artists pushing against those barriers’. The question sounds a bit clunky but maybe it’s a start.

Sue de Vanny didn’t get in to the Archibald with her mixed media painting. Not sure that it really is a quilt but I have written to ask her and see if she has tried to enter any quilts in art prizes.

Viewed 19 September 2020

Reference above looks a bit dodgy so I’ll tell you this is a screen shot from Sue De Vanny’s Post to Studio Art Quilt Associates facebook page. It is detail of her portrait of quilter Jenny Bowker.

Schadographs

Christian Schad did photograms of everyday objects and discarded items to create photograms which he presented cut to an irregular shape on a plain background.

Modernist painter and printmaker associated with Dada movement

<https://www.artic.edu/artworks/227828/schadograph&gt; Viewed 19 September 2020

This is a gelatin silver chloride photogram using dust and shoelace.

Photograms give new life to everyday objects and encourage you to look at previously unnoticed aspects of the everyday. Add mystery to the banal.

The blurb from Art Institute of Chicago talks about “ennobling lowly materials.”

Adam Fuss: Photograms

This information is from an exhibition brochure from 1992.

References:

Tannebaum B (Curator and writer of text in the brochure) 1992, Adam Fuss: Photograms, Akron Art Museum, Ohio

Image references – Robert Miller Gallery, New York

Brochure design Bruce Morrill

Content:

Christian Schad used photograms in 1918 for art around objects – need to look him up.

“Photogram is a conveyor of literal fact” but then author then asserts that Adam Fuss has gone beyond that.

Adam Fuss has created the photograms in this exhibition by hanging a light, swinging in a circle over and using coloured filter swinging over coloured paper.

A little bit similar to how I was thinking of creating a wind generated dyeing machine for sculpture and possibly to use. But I could also use light to draw. I would need something that slowly unveiled the work to the light rather than slowly exposing, or I could slowly expose with a uv torch I guess but slow exposing would take a lot of imagination to set up a way of moving the torch.

The photograms are large and evoke a sense of the sublime, colour and suggestion of the universe and orbits. Tannebaum speaks of a sense of mystery, spirituality and references mandalas.

I am using the circle in my painting work but more in its function as a barrier rather than as a spiritual reference, but it will read a bit like a mandala too.

Untitled, 1992 (AF#N92) From back cover of the brochure.

Troy Colby

http://lenscratch.com/2020/09/troy-colby-the-fragility-of-fatherhood/ Viewed 18 September 2018

This photo just came up in my lenscratch email and I find it quite an arresting photo. Thought I’d just do a quick analysis of why.

Colour – black and white suggests memory to me and also highlights the forms, tones and contrast without being influenced by colour.

Blurred – an air of mystery and ambuigity. Need to look hard to see what you are looking at.

Layered appearance – again helps with the ambuigity but also adds some depth. Originally thought it might be through glass but now I’m thinking a mirror.

Watery/Steam appearance – suggests a bathroom, an intimate space so adds to the intense personal feel of the photo.

Line – horizontal through the middle which highlights the boy and is also reflected in the line of steam. It suggests that the boy has wiped this at his height.

An annoying slight discomfort from the contrast of a naked child and clothed adult. Unfortunately this is probably more a sign of the times and I think this takes away from the family intimacy of the photo, where we are told this is a father and his son. Can’t avoid it now which I think is a shame.

Project two planning

Rather than self portrait, this project looks outward and is about place and your feelings or connections related to this.

My initial plan is around home. Fits with lots of my work that includes mundane objects.

Initial take was just to design a landscape of objects- interior landscape.

Whilst this looks quite interesting I think that they are a bit boring arranged like this.

I then thought that maybe I will explore arrangements that suggest contriction by the mundane objects in this time when so much of the outside world is shut off from us.

I printed this and took it in to discuss with Yvette. I think a circle works as both a barrier constricting movement but also a protective symbol like a hug.

My plan would be to have the objects forming an intact ring by cutting them as wedges. Maybe 12 wedges which would mean a 30 degree angle with a blunt bottom. We discussed what should go in the centre. I just picked this piece of fabric because it had quite a contained centre but Yvette points out that what will be in there will garner attention and need to be meaningful. I guess the circle is me, both contained and protected by the everyday objects of the home.

Yvette also pointed out the objects I have chosen also contain liquid and that the background here could be read as a stain spreading out and beyond the barrier. Really for my idea the stain should be seeping in from the outside, breaching the imperfect barrier of the mundane home objects. Yvette also mentioned blood – my favourite colour. She talked about the low immersion dyeing looking bodily and perhaps being distracting in the centre.

I am now considering whether I should have a solid centre perhaps dyed red, and then have the stain spreading out under the objects to partially reach the outside. Maybe ditch the low immersion dyeing which does give quite a suggestion of form to me too – often it reminds me of galaxies. Or I could use it to represent the world outside the home and just keep the central dyeing solid colour. It’s good to have lots of readings. I will need to dye some and test them out.

Another thought would be to use overdyed patterned fabric for the outside. Something nice like a floral with a small pattern. I’m not sure about the stain spreading out on to this. It’s an interesting idea but perhaps not right for this. I would love to repurpose a nice floral quilting fabric by overdyeing with the pall of fear of coranavirus. Perhaps my old blood colour. And perhaps the central bit could be dyed the pink of vulnerable flesh. If the balance of sizes was better I could still exploit the fleshy look of low immersion dyeing in the centre. Especially if I kept the tonal range very minimal. Like the colours that I created today in class for skin tones – dull pale yellow and dull pale pink. That would work with the strength of the solar fast colour in the objects.

Excited to get going with printing, dyeing and exploring my stash for the right stuff.