I swear I didn’t take the entire summer off.. it’s just been a bit hectic and unfortunately my blog took a bit of a back seat! I completed a guest blog post for a wonderful female artist duo The Honeybees , so take a look on The Hive for a little taste of my summer and experiences of juggling the real world and art making.
Anyway, school is officially back in session and I am extremely glad it is. Despite my schedule continuing to be a bit chaotic (as it always is) I am excited to get back into my studio, continue making, and put together some work for my thesis which is just a short 7-8 months away. Over the summer I spent some time exploring a new paper making technique called Joomchi. I attended the Quilting Surface Design Symposium in early June and learned under Jiyoung Chung. She is an incredible artist, maker, and master of Joomchi techniques. For those that have been following my blog a bit you know I have been interested in making paper since my start at CCAD. My interest in this stems from wanting to print photographs on substrates different than traditional photographic papers, however, with handmade paper it can be quite difficult to send through water and traditional/alternative dark room processes. The water can unbind the fibers causing it to fall apart. With joomchi- the opposite occurs. Water is used within the agitation process to bind the fibers together so sending it through more wet processes essentially just makes it stronger! I am excited to continue to explore this process and see what it holds for my photographs.
In addition I have not forgotten about the crochet! The past few weeks I have been testing my pattern making skills and challenging myself to create multiple small granny squares that serve as “swatches.”
I’ve also been printing cyanotype photographs for a series I am working on and hoping to have completed for a small solo exhibition. Stay tuned for more everyone!
Until then, I am waiting for life to slow down, but hoping it never does.
Working through this creative block has been interesting but I think I am finally getting somewhere.
(In progress work below using finger crocheted wire, found objects, hand sewn curtains
I have been meaning to post on here with updates about my work for the past week and a half but unfortunately keep putting it on the back burner- but better late than never they always say right?
I had my first critique on January 25th, the second week of school. I was eager to be critiqued so early in the semester so that I could hear feedback from my peers and hopefully be able to figure out what type of images I wanted to make and the materials I was going to use. As I said in a former post, I wanted to continue with silks but I was really struggling with making the imagery on the silks meaningful and was hoping my peers could provide some helpful advice in regards to that issue specifically.
For my critique I printed a 6ft. by 10ft. image on silk hung on dowel rod with free range to move and be observed. The image was of a living room interior- still what I would say, a flat, boring image. Thankfully my peers agreed and came to the conclusion that I was trying to be “too nice” in my image making. My frustrations about the underlying expectations for women to work in the home are extremely apparent when I speak about it, so I needed to start to make the same sentiment in my artwork.
Looking back at some artists like Martha Rosler and Sandra Ogel, who had done performance/video pieces discussing this topic in a similar vain, my wheels really began turning. I started to think about some major chores or duties that women are expected to do within a home and broke them down to folding laundry, ironing, dishes, and vacuuming. Beginning with the laundry elements of folding and ironing I thought about making a work inspired by Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen. I have never done video work before so this is my first attempt, but so far, I am very excited about the possibilities it holds. I don’t want to get away from the silks completely, because I really enjoy the metaphor created between the transparency of the silk as a material and the transparency of invisibility of women’s work. I am working to figure out how to combine the silk printing with the video, possibly with projection or installed hangings with video projections coinciding with the fabric pieces.
My next critique is on the 22nd- just about a week away. I am looking forward to having a video completed as well as silk prints to have a nearly full installation. ‘Til soon!
Sneaky details of the back of some of my sewn images.
I haven’t posted in about two weeks.. whoops. And I also have realized a lot of my most recent work is not posted! Stay tuned!
Thanksgiving break has come to a close and with it has come a bit of anxiety with a side of stress due to time (or rather, a lack thereof). There are only 3 more weeks left of the semester- I’ve almost made it through my first trial of graduate school! (I don’t want to get too overzealous though, there is a lot of work to be done).
This weekend I also am participating as part of the on campus art show. I have been prepping like crazy for it, making scarves and other craft oriented things. As much as I am looking forward to it on Saturday it has been a major distraction to my current photographic practice and I am keen to get it over with and get back to my main focus.
This week I am going to be experimenting with some hand stitching on larger photographs that I printed last week on campus. During my critique, some of my peers suggested that within the work I presented that I should combine my notions of collage, large printing, and hand sewn/craft elements into one and see what I can come up with. I am excited to spend some time in my studio this evening and do a bit of sewing on some of the larger images. I definitely need to grab some more embroidery thread though.
While thinking about the digital collage prints, I was wondering how else I could incorporate craftwork into these images, different than that of the more rigid, documented interiors of the domestic space. Immediately my mind went to quilting. I quilted a photograph once before and I truly loved the process, as time consuming and frustrating as it could be. I’ve been thinking about printing these large domestic interior images on fabric and then collaging them in a manner similar to that of which I have done through digital processes but now with sewing. I am excited to give it a shot and think it could really elevate the imagery in a way that I have been hoping for. My main concern is finding an outlet to print them on. Because the images are all mainly at 24″ to 44″ wide, I cannot adhere the fabric to a piece of poster board and feed it through the Epson 9890 as I usually would. They’re just too large The fashion department does have a brand new fabric printer so I am waiting for an email response on gaining access to that as a resource. I don’t think outsourcing the prints at this point will work with the time associated with shipping and what not, but I may have to splurge on costs and order from spoon flower with expedited delivery.
Cheers to new ideas and exciting work to come!
This article I am reading titled, Tranquil Havens? Critiquing the idea of home as the middle-class sanctuary, written by Moira Donald has really got me thinking about the divisions of a home, and certain places in the home specifically feeling equivalent to a “work place.” At a point in the article she speaks specifically about the division of spaces within a home, based on gender as well as based on role within the home, i.e. servant versus homeowner.
She says, “when individuals crossed boundaries, their reading of the same space would have been very different. The role of each person overlaid the physical divisions within the domestic space. The feelings of the maid who rose early in the morning to blacklead the grates in the upstairs rooms would have been very different from those of the male house-holder first entering the room to the welcome of a blazing fire… the same space held different meanings for those whose lives were lived within it.”
Granted, this article is part of a larger book titled Domestic Space, Reading the 19th Century Interior, so one might say that the principles and focus of the article are a bit outdated. I would say, yes perhaps, but also, no. I’m finding this idea of separation of spaces and specific rooms within a home based on gender and work very interesting. I’m investigating and thinking about how this applies to today’s homes and domestic settings. What spaces in a home are seen as feminine, and which spaces are seen as inherently male? What objects within a home also create that same sort of gender binary or separation? One that immediately comes to mind is a classic recliner chair. What is more middle class american than Dad kicked back in his LAZ Boy watching football while mom does the dishes from a Sunday dinner? I mean, I know that’s what was happening in my house as I grew up. My Dad may not have been in a LAZ boy specifically, but he was definitely half asleep in his recliner 9 times out of 10. Even now, just yesterday I FaceTimed my sister while she was visiting my parents and as she panned around the space she was in, my mom was drying dishes, and dad was hanging out in his chair watching football. My sister lives with her fiancé and I see very much the same sort of happenings occurring there. My grandfather had a beautiful leather recliner in his living room as well that no one else really sat in, because of course, that was his chair. Funny how one object can be so universal in who occupies it no? Wondering when it will be my turn to sit back, relax, and fall asleep in my recliner chair… will it ever be?