Unit 6 Self Evaluation

The Key achievements of your work on the unit:

In Unit 6 I have widened my knowledge of art as a form of activism through research, mainly books and artist installations. I have also been able to learn how to body cast using alginate as a mould which I look forward to do more of in the future. Using DIY materials and learning their processes as part of my art work has also been an achievement in this unit, as it is a skill I am only able to progress with and can use outside of my art also.

The most useful things that you learnt:

Now I have learned how to crochet, I feel that I am able to look more actively in to the craftivist community and potentially join in with any projects they are doing. I also feel that learning how to crochet has been a gateway leading in to the use of more DIY materials in my project. Learning how to body cast using alginate has also been very useful, as I now understand what type of materials may be more appropriate to make certain sculptures or 3D artworks.

The issues that you found challenging and how you set about overcoming them:

A big issue I found at the beginning of the project was the making of the sculpture. As I was most familiar with modroc, I began with that as my main material to try make the sculpture out of. After many attempts and trials and errors, I realised the material I was using was not appropriate nor presenting the detail I desired to achieve. I overcame this issue by attending a session in the sculpture workshop where the technicians were able to assist me and teach me about materials more appropriate for my idea. Also, when I first began learning crochet it was very difficult to understand from video tutorials and books what stitches they were going in to etc. Luckily I was able to spend some time with my mother who was able to give me some pointers as to where I was going wrong. From that point, I was able to continue with my plan to crochet around my sculptures.

List what you now consider to be the main areas for development that you intend to focus on in the next unit:

In the next unit, I will look in to casting other body parts, such as heads, so I am able to experiment with more DIY materials. I also wish to perfect my technique in body casting so I am able to avoid little hiccups such as air bubbles. I will research in to how my work could be put in to a public space – like the bronze sex slave statue in Seoul – and how it could make a social impact. By doing so, I will look in to DIY materials, embroidery in particular so I am able to incorporate text in to my work but also participate in projects going on in the craftivist community and understand the progress of stitching to presenting in a public space.

Lumiere London

Lumiere London was an installation across central London in mid January. All installations used lighting – lumiere being the French word for light. I enjoyed looking at these pieces as it reminded me of Jenny Holzer’s use of light in her work.

The Arts festival has also shown success in Durham, with projections up on Durham cathedral.

lumiere durham

George Segal

George Segal made sculptures using casting plaster bandages on models and using the hollow shell as the final outcome, rather than using it as a mould to cast from. I found this inspiring as I was familiar with the process I immediately thought this could be a way for me to create hand gestures. Eventually, Segal began making his sculptures out of bronze but painted them white to resemble the original look and texture of plaster bandages.

Segal also made sculptures for parks and trusts, in memory of events happening in the world. The image on the right shows his sculpture in memory of the Stonewall Riots. This has been the first piece of public art donated to LGBT rights. I feel inspired by Segal’s use of art to make or highlight social change.

Hand Gestures

The ‘Middle finger’ : Offensive gesture in most western cultures, equivalent meaning of ‘fuck you’ or ‘up yours’.

The ‘clenched/raised fist’ : Symbol of support, strength and resistance.

The ‘fig’ : Offensive in Italy, referring to female genitalia. Also offensive in Turkey, symbolised as a rude gesture to deny an offer.

I have chosen to cast my hand positioned in these three different gestures. I decided to look in to hand gestures as I was focused on the idea of human form in 3D material from my project in Unit 3. Also looking in to craftivism, I felt it was important that the hands were able to communicate and make a stand in something coincidentally working with the use of wool and the crochet process.

John-Paul Flintoff: How to Change the World

‘How to Change the World’ is a book I thought was appropriate for the content I was looking in to. My housemate had also read it and had recommended it to me, with brief understanding of my practise. I feel this book is crucial to my practise, as it discusses how you, as one person amongst billions of others, can actively do something to change the world. Whether is getting more exercise or protesting against capitalism this book takes you through steps and teaches you how you are able to do such a great thing. It teaches you to overcome defeatism, what it is that drives us, strategy and so much more. By pure coincidence, one of the photos on the double page spread (above) is by Sarah Corbett of the craftivist collective. Art and textiles are discussed in chapter 3(1): Add Beauty – And Fun.

The ultimate crochet bible

utimate crochet bible  ‘The Ultimate Crochet Bible’ was lent to me by my mum who has always been very good at knitting and crochet. So when I decided to get involved with the craftivist movement in my art work, she gave me this book so I was able to start learning the process of crochet straight away. From the very basic beginner level to expert stitches, this book has been important towards the self-learning process of how to crochet.