Sunday, 8 July 2012


I've been having a think about what themes there are in what I am drawn to, so that I can put the images and thoughts and ideas together as recommended. (Instead of leaving them jumbled in my ideas drawer as they are at the moment.) This is obviously a useful part of the preparation for the next project, because it will inform which bits of fabric, yarn etc I put together in some of the bags.

ROOTS/ IVY - It's the tangled fleshy mysterious quality of them that I like. I made a soft toy heart with ivy instead of arteries curling round it.

Looking at that heart now, even so early in the course, I see that I could have made it so much better and more rich with meaning if I had taken some time to do some drawn or sewn studies/ try out some different techniques before I got stuck in.

SKIN - I'm thinking I would like to explore blotchiness, and the variations in colour of skin. The contrast between the hairy armpit in all its sensuality vs. plucked skin. Or the fragility and strength of bat wings.

There's so much cultural expectation about what women's skin looks like that it's an effort to actually see it as it is. An effort that I'm not sure I'm quite up to yet. (But can feel myself getting there more each day)

And also it's very complex texturally, which makes it quite ambitious to try.

From Mickey3D.wordpress
I want to try to capture the colouring/ texture of my children's skin/hair somehow.

And I am watching my own skin as I slide towards 50 and want to use it as a metaphor for that process of accepting and fighting the inevitability of physical decline.

HIDDEN: Something that keeps coming into my ideas is a contrast between clean hard plainness on the outside, (or perhaps a shell or spore covering) with something expansive, messy, burgeoning, crusty, colourful, meticulous, intriguing, unpredictable and intensely private on the inside. Someone is hiding their true complexity behind a shell or minimalist cover story. (Not hard to see the metaphor there!)

This one overlaps with AUSTERITY/ ABUNDANCE : This is a relatively new one for me. Not much coming yet, but it feels like a biggie. The visual /textural things that shout austerity for one thing. And the way society says abundance is more technology, but to me it seems so austere vs. natural abundance eg Crystal Palace radio mast hard and skeletal over a mass of fully grown horse chestnut trees along the edge of the park. Both designed to pick up energy from the sky.

DRIVING KILLS: Something about the sleek speed and aggression of cars, made into a visual impact. Almost advertising. Or the opposite, a government health warning. 'Driving kills you and those around you' cf cigarette warning notice. Lots of studies of silver, reflections, and depicting movement and recklessness needed for this. A bit futurist. Impetuous power = danger.

DURHAM QUILTS: Don't know what it is but I can't help being awed by these intricate quilting patterns on white cotton. Wondering if I can't use the technique and take it somewhere else. I want to spend some time trying out some different kinds of swirling intricate lines of white on white to see where it takes me.

OLIGODENDRONS: Mysterious fossil plants which have a very pleasing regular shape to them.

Lepidodendron from
Obviously rather more themes than I can reasonably spend the time developing. I guess I will work with these while I'm doing the course work and see where I end up.

So lovely to have permission to spend time pursuing these very personal areas of fascination.

No comments:

Post a Comment