Saturday started off really great. I had a rugby game in Cincinnati (our biggest of the season and we won 10-0). For those that don’t know rugby, a 10-0 score in an 80 minute game is pretty low scoring and can attest to the physicality and competition on both sides. Anyway, post win, I was set on hitting the studio, printing some cyanotypes and really catching up on work that I need to make for this show I have coming up on October 16th. A productive and well spent Saturday.
Things started off really well- the arc lamp was cooperating, I got some test strips exposed and was moving right along into the real prints. I rinsed my test strips, took them out of the tray to dry, and left the hose of the sink on what I thought was low enough pressure so that it could continue to fill the tray I was using for when my prints needed to be rinsed. I left the back coating room to go print some transparencies that would be needed for further printing. (I really thought I was killing it here, multitasking and getting a ton of work done). That was a pretty short lived confidence boost.
About 5-8 minutes go by and I go to check the arc lamp only to find that the sink hose has made a jump out of the sink and has been spraying water all over the floor for the entire time I have been away. About a 1/2 inch of water flooded the space into the darkroom hallway and what was even more concerning was that it had flooded it’s way also into the arc lamp room, where the entire power unit for the arc lamp rests about 2 inches above floor level with all of its wiring nicely placed, you guess it, on the floor.
Luckily I was able to turn the arc lamp off, safely get all of the wires out of the way but I then spent about an hour or so mopping up the water because unfortunately there was no maintenance staff that could come help me at 9:00pm on Campus. What a nightmare.
I have since returned to the darkroom this evening and gotten right back into printing. The water is dry- no more floods, thank God and I will no longer be leaving sinks running at any point in time.
Overall I have some pretty mixed feelings about the upcoming show. Not necessarily related to the content, but more in relation to the space and the size of the photographs presented. My show will be in the Byers Gallery on CCAD’s campus. I requested this space because it’s one of the smaller spaces on campus but as I approach the upcoming deadline I am concerned I will not have enough work to fill the walls. Not to mention my sister is getting married this Friday, so I will be away from Columbus starting Wednesday and not returning until the day before my install (Sunday). (A joyous occasion that I am very much looking forward to but just unfortunate timing). As I sit here and think about the time I plan to spend printing over the course of the next two days and all the prep work going into planning for the install I hope I can make it all come together to look professional and complete. Hoping God will bless me with some real time to focus, work, and figure out the best format for the display of all the work- although I know He will. I’m also hoping to be able to get into the gallery space tomorrow and Tuesday evening to start planning some of the work’s layout given it is patched and ready from the previous artwork that was installed.
Cheers to year 2 right?
Welp, my final critique with a small group of faculty is a short 10 days away. I am anxious as I have a lot of work to do, but also keen to get the critique finished so that I can then focus on really preparing my work for final install for CHROMA.
I am currently TAing a photography course, Material Studies, and we were just recently introduced to a very interesting alternative photo process called Mordant printing. Essentially a photo sensitive liquid is made from a mixture of Potassium Dichromate and water. The liquid is applied to fabric, dried, and then a large negative is sandwiched between the fabric and a piece of glass and exposed to UV light. This produces the image directly on fabric. The image is then rinsed and the final process involves hand dying fabric using natural dyes- synthetic dyes do not work for this process.
Since I have been using the textiles printer a lot to print images directly on fabric- this method provides an alternative avenue and also incorporates an interesting piece of domestic work that I think could be a very interesting process piece for my work. Let me explain…
Lately I have been using my images from the textile printer and finger crocheting them into large crocheted photographs. The images themselves aren’t totally recognizable, however, I am interested in the idea of breaking down the domestic space through ripping and cutting of the image, and then reconstructing it through the crochet process. This is fairly simple but makes slight reference to a domesticated craft or work process through crochet that I find relevant. With the Mordant printing I can take it even a step further. By printing images on fabric through this alternative process there is hand washing of the fabric involved- similar to when I use the textile printer, but then the last step- hand dyeing- is where I believe my process can really also speak to the content of the work. In order to use a natural dye,
I can buy them online, OR I can take actual existing objects and “cook” them in order to prepare the natural dye. For example, onions skins are great for fabric dyeing, avocado pits, flowers, carrot tops, leaves, insects, roots, etc. In order to create the dye the aforementioned objects need to be heated to a certain temperature and “cooked,” in which then the liquid produced will be used as a dye bath. The idea of having to complete the domestic task of “cooking” in order to produce the work creates a compelling layer in relation to my interests of woman’s work and domesticity.
I have some concrete ideas that I am going to pursue this week and really hit the ground running. I almost feel hesitant to make something that I want to without having run the idea by someone yet- which is odd, because as an artist I have always made things on my own but I think a little part of grad school has embellished some sort of need for approval into my thinking- but not today! (And no one at CCAD has ever said to me that I need their approval to make something, to be clear). I am excited to really grind things out and get the week going!
On Wednesday I met with my mentor Danielle Julian Norton. Together we spoke about the direction of my work and brainstormed through some potential ideas I was creating. I felt a lot better as we spoke and as our meeting concluded. She really gave me some excellent advice in a way to think about working and art making in general that I hope will help me not only now but further into my career.
Today I also had the pleasure of meeting with Curator Amanda Hunt. Unfortunately I missed her lecture last night because I had work-upon meeting her and seeing how down to earth and awesome she was, I was even more bummed that I wasn’t able to attend. We had a quick 30 minute discussion and she was able to give me some artists to consider and some advice in regards to where I am thinking with going in my work.
Don’t be too literal in what I am thinking of referencing.
Be aware of the spectrum of experiences that could be applicable-not just my own.
I even briefly spoke with her about what I am thinking about for my possible thesis work and her intrigue was encouraging. It was wonderful to get some time to speak with someone outside of CCAD and have them talk through my work and ideas with me. Time flew by unfortunately but nonetheless it was a great opportunity.
This semester has been really wonderful and chalk full of studio visits which has been so helpful and eye opening. I realized last semester I had not really taken advantage of visiting artists and opportunities like this and so I made a promise to myself that this semester I would make sure to really take advantage of visiting artists and lecturers who were willing to meet with students and do my best to meet with as many as possible. So far it has served as a really positive avenue to understand my work better and get more of a holistic insight. I am so blessed to be at a program that offers so many opportunities for growth and exploration.
Also- Amanda was the first person to ever ask me if I was a feminist and in the moment I was almost startled by the question. I felt almost nervous or unsure but proudly answered, yes.
The last two weeks have been quite a whirlwind. I had a studio visit with photographer Laura Larson prior to her artist talk and it was refreshing to have someone with no prior knowledge of me or my work look at what I am creating. Almost objectively she provided me with some great feedback, questions to think through, and as always, artists to look at. Her visit was a great precursor to my upcoming critique.
Prior to that meeting, I met with CCAD professor and staff member, John Cairns as well as my mentor and CCAD Professor Danielle Julian Norton. John and I met to discuss some technology troubleshooting and the content/concept of my work. As always, he was encouraging and uplifting. Prompting me to push further within the work and continue to make it stronger with its content. Danielle likewise has really been pushing me to further my concept. There is one piece that she believes is missing that could really build the concept and fully flesh out the work.. a piece I am still looking to develop. She also is very encouraging about the discussion points of my work and the development of the language around it. Her questions, curiosities, and points always leave me with more to explore and investigate which I very much appreciate.
My critique the following week was equally as constructive as these two meetings. Leading up to the critique I was excited for my peers reaction and really looking forward to hearing their feedback and their thoughts on how I could continue to move forward. I presented two video iterations of myself ironing in a variety of fashions. What I mean by that is that in one video I am in a way going through the mundane task of ironing in a bored uninterested manner, seeming slightly frustrated. In the other video I become a variety of characters. A woman dressed for work, a woman in lounge clothes, a woman in pajamas, and a woman who has just come from the gym. Within this video the task of ironing is much more apparently frustrating. My motions are much more violet (if you can imagine a violent way in which to iron), and my frustration with the task/notion of the task is much more apparent. Both videos were projected onto a gallery wall, the first one projected through a silk print of a video still taken from the actual video. I also presented 4 photographs in which I was basically overtaken by the clothing that I was ironing and presented the ironing board with the mass of shirts in the corner of the space. (My peers felt these were both unnecessary additions- the videos served enough purpose and I don’t necessarily disagree).
I am keen to continue with the video work and perhaps really take some time to develop these female characters more thoroughly with really thought out and intentional costuming/dress. As I move forward I plan to continue to use the task of ironing as a tool to create discussion and bring to light the oppression of women within domesticity. I hope to develop my video work further and really broaden my skill-set as an artist within this realm as well as really be able to develop the language and intentionality between all of my choices and decisions aesthetically moving forward.
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!