DJCAD Reflective Research Journal – 3rd Year – Week Eight

It’s been a bit of a stressful and depressing week, been feeling exhausted and down and burn out I suppose and not sleeping great. I expect to be able to work all the time and be continually energised by it and am always surprised when suddenly it feels like I have been over doing it. My plans were too grand for such a short semester and I don’t think I had realised that the work I am doing this semester can be building towards something bigger at the end of next semester. So I have relaxed a little bit and made decisions now, that I have been agonising and stressing over all week. I have decided to just bite the bullet and glue the collaged elements to the paintings, instead of all the complicated options of string and net and wire frames to have the pieces suspended in front of them. I am setting the studio wall up as an installation with paper elements, some art objects and branches in front of the two main paintings. And string with hanging elements on the wall, between the paintings. Struggling a little with what elements to use and how to arrange things, ascetically and with a point/meaning/purpose? Does it always matter? Do I have to justify every element I add? Many of them are abstract shapes, but they are in the place of brush strokes in some instances, and every brush stroke in a painting doesn’t have to be justified and explained surely…

So I have spent the last two days blue-tacking the elements in place on and around the paintings, while I decide on their final positions. Some of the shapes are newer figures cut from the green screen video stills.  

Had an online tutorial with Sion Parkinson on Wednesday. I sent him my film to watch and told him about the ideas behind it. He laughed at the video, which was reassuring and said he liked it generally. He didn’t like the text bubbles (which appeared in the painting layer) or seeing the wool of my costume. He said I could go so much further with the character I was playing. He also said there needed to be spaces in the video or else I should go completely overboard with the layers of noise and images and the speed and make it full on bombardment. He mentioned Ryan Trecartin’s films, who Erica had also mentioned to me and about him taking popular culture and vomiting it back up and that that was a little like what I was doing. I like this description. He described what I was doing at the moment as a kind of mulching and composting of ideas, waiting for something to grow. I wonder if this made me feel slightly deflated, I as I suppose I thought my ideas were quite well formed, but he maybe just meant, there was much further I could go, so the ideas showed potential. He talked about maybe using text as another layer in the video, rather than the speech bubbles from my paintings and that the font was important. 

CAP talk was by Mary Modeen, which was interesting and elements of it resonated and I liked the look of a piece of work we glimpsed briefly of what looked like abstract shapes cut out of photographs of flora and arranged as a painting or sculpture, I couldn’t tell which. I only just became aware that these talks have all been part of a series on nature, land art and the human and nonhuman which are themes that all run through my work I would say.

On Thursday I did some video editing in the morning and having worked up to and avoided facing the green screen footage for almost a week, I eventually tried the chroma keying (I think it’s called) and it was so easy! The possibilities are endless now. Quite exciting. I may not have time to do much this semester, but it’s another very useful tool to have. 

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