After Tuesdays Site Venue, it became apparent to me that the project should be used alongside subject and should link into your practice. As a group I feel like it is very hard to put forward any ideas, and a lot of people don’t turn up or can’t turn up as they have work. Its frustrating and stressful trying to plan the week that we have the shop for.
Davida pointed out that if we have a separate idea to the group that will help our subject work to just go for it. As my subject work is based on maternal bonds between a mother and daughter, and part of my field module I taught pupils at secondary school level, I am thinking of doing an activity based on children’s crafts. It would have to be aimed at 0-4 year olds as the shop is being run during school term time. I also want to have the experience of working with very young children, as I’m still unsure of what age group I want to teach.
Rachael, a friend and fellow student is also interested in doing this children’s craft idea. She wants to teach children and is a mum of 2. She is basing her subject work on her children so it would be helpful for her to also get experience.
Jasmin is also helping. She is really interested in having the shop to allow the public to get involved in making art. She also wants to teach when she leaves uni and is unsure of what age she wants to teach.
We are planning on having a day of crafts aimed at young children and their mothers. Their mothers could help join in on the crafts which would help my subject. It would be difficult to document the children making the art as we’d have to have permission from their parents and blur out faces. This is definitely something to bare in mind.
We would also have to advertise to get the word out to mothers/ fathers with young children. Hopefully this will be a success. Using posters and social media to bring people to the event would help a lot.
This is a very rough idea and the site venue proposal will need to be filled out and the idea will need to be passed through the group for approval.
To help with my subject work, I decided to screen print. The screen printing process is fast paced and would allow me to create a lot of work in a short amount of time. I used the same shapes that I made when observing the artwork. They are simple, feminine looking shapes that represent me and my mother, or female breasts. The screen printing process is documented below.
I used red and pink to screen print, similar to my previous subject work.
I especially like the pink and red prints. The red is a much darker colour, to represent the dominance and importance my mother is in my life. The lighter pink represents how I am her daughter, a similar version of herself. Like pink is a colour made with red and white.
I was given the task of making a costume, an artefact and a currency in 2 weeks for Site Venue. They all had to be physical things, it didn’t have to all link.
I decided to connect it to my subject work. I am looking at the bond between a mother and a daughter. I have also been stuck with my subject work, so I wanted to use this as an opportunity to start my ideas flowing again.
I spent a lot of time thinking of an idea, I didn’t know how to show a bond between the mother and child. Apart from the physical bond of the umbilical cord.
I decided to start off with the artefact and go from there. The artefact would be a child/ doll. I wanted to make the ‘child’ look like a doll to reinforce the stereotypical image of a female child mothering their dolls from a young age, mirroring the bond between mother and daughter.
I made a small mock doll to work out how I would make the actual piece and stitched one arm and one leg. I like the stitches as I think it looks more like a doll.
Making the real doll
I used a template and made the doll a little bigger than the mock doll. I used pink material as pink is stereotypically linked to the female and I have been using a lot pink in my subject work.
I used the sewing machine with a little help from my gran. I used to use the sewing machine a lot when I was at college however haven’t done any sewing since, it was nice to get my gran to help and reinforced the bond between the generations.
Before making a start on the doll, I made a mock basket for the doll to fit in. The basket represents the womb, but also a cot for a baby. I will make the actual basket out of red material, using foam padding to ensure it will hold its shape.
It reminds me of a Moses basket.
I will now do a separate post on how I make the costume and the currency.
I decided the artefact would be the ‘mothers love’. I thought this would fit in well with the costume as the umbilical cord says ‘love’. The mothers love for a child is unconditional. You don’t have to have a child to have love for a child, for example, adopting. I think the currency could have been made better as it’s a bit basic. I cut hearts out of red and pink foam. I feel like this was a much better material to use than card.
Overall, I think the concept of the costume, artefact and currency was a good idea as it is all separate, but it all connects.
I didn’t think about how it could be functional in a shop. If this was taken into a shop environment, the customer could interact with the costume by wearing it or giving their input of what a mother means to them.
Following on from my blog post on the artefact, this blog post will talk about the costume.
I wanted to make an umbilical cord somehow. I wanted to attach the umbilical cord to the mother (person wearing the costume) but also attach it to the artefact (the baby doll). I also thought about creating bending the umbilical cord so it would spell out a word. I have been seeing recently on Instagram that mothers are getting their babies umbilical cords made into hearts or to spell out the word love. I thought about adding something like this to the umbilical cord. It would also fit well into the meaning as the mother and daughter share a loving bond.
I used some wire I found in the garden shed and attempted to spell the word ‘love’. I wanted to keep the umbilical cord long to allow it to make enough impact. I used a foamy material to wrap around the wire, I was originally going to sew material around the wire however I felt it looked fine without it. From looking at reference photographs on google, I realised I was going to have to make the umbilical cord look slightly twisted. I did this by adding string and wrapping it around the material to create the twisted look.
I tied the letters together to hold them in place. I think the umbilical cord looks pretty realistic already, I now have to paint it to get the colour realistic. I am thinking of using watered down acrylic paint to add some colour.
The photograph above is the umbilical cord in the process of being painted. I had to do it over the sink as I found just painting it didn’t work very well so I added paint and water and squeezed the water out of the material to let the paint dilute and spread throughout the material.
I will add velcro to the doll to attach the doll to the umbilical cord. The umbilical cord will be attached a t-shirt. I chose a white t shirt, I did a lot of research into the colour white. It means: purity, innocence, protection, safety to name but a few.
The costume is functional, however, the way the umbilical cord was sewn into the t-shirt makes the material twist.
I have previously made some abstract clay figures out of air drying clay. I really found the clay difficult to work with. I wanted to add colours that I’ve been using in my subject work.
Pinks and reds. I think the clay figures look much better painted. However, I think that they still aren’t that amazing. The clay has cracked a lot, and they just blobs of clay.
The largest clay figure is a representation of my mother. The 3 small blobs of clay representing myself, my sister and my brother. I think I pair them together because they are similar colours, but if it wasn’t for that I don’t think I would match them together because you can’t tell that the smaller blobs are figures.
This was a task to get my work flowing again and to help me get inspired to do my subject work. I now want to try soft sculpture as the original piece I chose to appropriate was made with clay. I found it useful to go back and use clay in my work to move onto new ideas.
I have been a bit stuck with my subject work since coming from the field module, I felt like I needed to just try something out and get making again. I found air drying clay to try out. I imagined a figure of some kind, to represent a mother and a child. The clay wasn’t amazing, it just kept cracking and was very difficult to hold and add detail.
Im not planning on using clay for any of my final pieces because the original artwork I chose was a sculpture using clay. I just wanted some inspiration.
I created some blob like figures, it really didn’t work as well as I was hoping it would. I imagined it would be easier to make a figure, but it was so difficult.
However, in a way, I quite like the blobs of clay. They represent my relationship with my mother I think. It doesn’t look perfect, it looks quite ordinary, which I think sums it up. We have quite an open relationship, which I think I could go back and try to replicate.
I want to add paint now, maybe pinks and reds. Maybe it will look slightly better with some colour.