So, blog post 2 of 3.
I really do hope no one is holding their breath in between these…
Anyway, I planned to use this post to discuss where my work is heading at the moment, but since I’m in the middle of a bunch of strands regarding my practice, I apologize in advance if it all gets a bit rambly.
Before coming back to Edinburgh College, I had a planned to use the time here as an excuse to pick up some threads of work and ideas that I’ve had for a while and for one reason or another, hadn’t gotten round to.
Whilst I’ve done that, being able to be in the studio as often as I have has also afforded me the time to break down my practice somewhat and really consider the what, why and where of it all.
There has always been a driving narrative in my work, the 2D work especially, although the sculptural and instillation elements are usually a direct reaction to that.
That narrative, along with placing a relevance on the titles of the work, or more specifically having certain words/phrases in mind when making the structures I do, and how that can play into the outcome, has for some time been the thing that pushes the work forward. Where these forms exist, and how they relate to each other whilst there, and the reasons for their existence there, has always been really quite important for me.
Work In Progress – Stairwell Relief
Partially as a form of justification I suppose, but it’s really served as the way for me to fold in the socio-political aspects of my practice, and all the facets of my practice that are far less visually quantifiable.
However this residency has really challenged the way I see that part of my work. I still feel the ‘Imaginary City’ that these structures, until now, have been made with the purpose of inhabiting is still a relevant thing in my mind. I just don’t feel the need to make forms that inhabit that space as much as I once did. I feel that, for the time being at least, it’s hit its glass ceiling.
As a somewhat cathartic culling, I present a badly taken photograph of a Topographical drawing of the ‘City’ in question.
Perhaps like any other city, it’s gradually re-developed and added to only when it’s called for. Or perhaps I could take a leaf out of le Corbusier’s book and demolish it to rebuild from scratch.
Either way, I feel as though that body of work has reached its own natural conclusion, and I feel somewhat freed up to be asking new questions of myself. So whilst the work that I’ve found myself producing during the residency still very much contains a strong narrative element, it’s more fractured, in a way that allows me to deal with a wider variety of topics. I’m essentially having my cake, and wolfing it down.
I definitely feel as though the residency here has afforded me the freedom to experiment with my practice in a way that, due to a string of exhibitions since graduation two years ago, I’ve thus far been unable to.
The outcome of that is some really unexpected pieces of work, which is really exciting.
I’ve continued throughout the process, producing the drawings and models that I have always done, as a way of reacting to the images I end up with from site visits etc, but because the work is driven by a more open ended set of questions, and without such a looming deadline, I’ve been able to produce responses in a far more organic manner.
The drawings currently consist of forms that exist much more on ground level, intentionally more relatable through physical navigation, instead of relation through socio-political experience, which was the case before.
POMO Investigation Maquette
The models have kind of splintered off into two separate lines of enquiry. Some of them started from the isolation of facets of real world structures, and growing out from that, incorporating pattern whilst continuing to use colourful facades to amplify the synthetic aspects of the work that I’m finding myself drawn to.
Whilst some of them are a little more grounded, and seem much more comfortable used in clutches of two or three, relating to each other and sitting on flat expanses, forming these odd landscape compositions. (The above image isn’t perhaps very indicative of that, but it’s the only image on my desktop as I write this and as I’m already two days late, will have to do.)
I’ve got a few other bits and pieces I’m working on, but they are all a bit new and confusing so I’d much rather talk about them when they are a bit more formed and make more sense to me.
Meet back here on Saturday for that?
Anyway I’m going to round up by doing the obligatory internet whoring of myself by linking to my Tumblr, Instagram, Blog etc, as I feel that would probably get my points across infinitely better than the 800 word I’ve just typed up can.