Reflective Research Journal – 3rd Year – Week Thirteen

I am struggling with motivation this week. Have to keep reminding myself I am at university, as its easy to forget here at home with all the millions of domestic and outside jobs around me needing done and with my family here. It was so much easier to concentrate in Dundee. It’s really hard to care about my degree suddenly, even though I have cared very much about it every other semester up until now. 

That said, I am just getting on with it slowly. I have painted my birthing doll, plus baby and placenta and I have made a second stop-motion animation. Working on my ultra keying skills, not hugely successfully so far, but accidentally created some interesting effects. 

Tried to work on sound for it. Not happy with the results so far. I want to use subtitles or a frame for speech/text like in silent films…kinda stuck with how to go forward with this just now. My laptop dies very quickly when I am video editing and then I just have to stop till I can charge it in the evening when the generator is on which is very frustrating. 

Watched a film on UbuWeb called Beauty Becomes the Beast by Vivienne Dick, which was really quite inspiring. Slightly comic in an unnerving and disturbing way. There was an engaging narrative despite there being very little speech and any speech there was, was not cohesive in anyway. Mostly music and the strange and brilliant acting of Lydia Lunch.

The Wednesday talks were great, Alex Roberts interesting translucent watercolour techniques and Gair talking about archives and showing some film clips, some interesting thoughts on that, though Black board kept losing its sound every time I followed one of the video links, so it was quite frustrating. It made me think again of my role as the archivist of my families accumulated materials before the fire and the loss of. ‘Archives as a place of forgetting’ he said, I like that. But ironically, I can’t forget my lost archives.

Gair also quoted Roy Ascot; ‘Stop thinking about art works as objects and start thinking about them as triggers for experiences’. Thinking about this; my birthing doll stop motion, the first one I made is triggering a lot of response/reactions on Instagram. It’s an emotive subject and its making woman want to tell their birth stories.

I have now made a hole, like a vagina in an old canvas stretched with pink curtain fabric, and put the painted birthing woman through it. She is giving birth, while being birthed herself. Not sure where I am going with this.

Reading more fascinating stuff about our gut bacteria in 10% Human by Alanna Collen. Maybe the canvas can show all the good bacteria bestowed upon the baby during a vaginal birth. She could have white streams of breast milk, represented by white string stiffened with acrylic, coming from her breasts and into the babies’ mouth?

It sounds like I have lots of ideas, but I feel very lacklustre about them. I have decided, to try and kick start some sort of creative motivation/excitement, to do some painting this week, instead of video. I am so sick of starting at screens and the constant process of trying to find electricity to charge devices in the various freezing buildings. But my studio is so cold. The door is always frozen shut. Its minus 8 at night here just now.

We were sent an email by the uni, with a form to fill out to be given an appointment to go pick up materials from the studios, but it seems too difficult and dangerous with the roads so snowy/icy to drive 100 miles and to even think about the effort required. I think I will just have to manage with what I have here.

Spent Thursday and Friday doing more dissertation research.


My life drawings from Alex Roberts class on Teams.

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