Reflective Research Journal – 4th Year – Week Six

Worked some more on my ceramics, painted, and glazed the urine separator, got the first lot, finished out of the kiln, and was really pleased with the way they look. They are getting a good response on Insta too and it encouraged me to make some more to be part of the compost toilet install but also the other birth themed part. I thought I could make the invisible woman, ceramic in parts on the floor. Does using ceramic in some ways make them more invisible? Fragile certainly…disposable, not as disposable as paper… but the shiny clean surfaces could be representative of sterile hospital environments…? Or does it suggest a domestic environment more? Doing them in separate parts, could suggest the fragmentation of mind and body and body parts. The way women are treated as lumps of meat during their pregnancy and births…I made some mini flat women, to try out the idea and some more poop to plant sculptures and some ceramic cushion like objects mimicking the soft, stuffed, fabric, painted objects I made last term, that are like distorted chunks of women with missing parts.

I also did some woodwork, well, talked about woodwork, with Malcolm, in the CAP workshops. I’d made a newspaper template of the top of my compost toilet and drawn a design for the base. Malcolm cut the top, I drew the hole and as I plan to make ceramic tiles for the top he suggested I make them before we cut it, because of shrinkage etc… and he will start the base. So I have booked in next week to start them.

I had a tutorial with Delia and followed it up by noting down the ideas and suggestions which came from it and printing out pictures of my progress so far and lots more artists research and updated my sketchbooks with them. I talked about my painting idea and said I had been stuck on the idea of a big grand oil painting, but that I was going off the idea. She suggested cutting up canvases and making a collage with them. She also suggested draping the painted cut out things around as pieces in themselves. When I am home this weekend, I might look for old canvases to cut up…Delia thought the watercolours I had done from the photo shoot of Guen and Laurie in birthing positions, worked as pieces in themselves, not just development pieces, but agreed they were maybe a little delicate and pretty and not quite as raw and in your face as I was going for. I also decided while we talk that doing a big print of some sort might be fun and that it might satisfy my need to go through a whole fiddly process to produce a spontaneous looking work, which the watercolour didn’t satisfy, because it was so quick.

After a third week of staff strikes affecting our studies, with library closures and other staff shortages, a few of us decided on Thursday to try to organise a protest action of our own, and also to complain about the non-functioning surveillance SEAtS App. Having run into the strikers on Perth Road, they said to make any difference we needed to joint them the next day (Friday), so a lot of Thursday was spent writing an email to send out to as much of DJCAD as we could. Then today (Friday) we gathered at DJCAD reception at 9am and marched to the Tower building to join the picket line there and we remained there shouting and tooting with them until the COP 26 march came by and cheered them on too. In the afternoon I managed to work a couple of hours on the armature of my huge woman sculpture before getting the train North.

And finally, we started a new thing on our Original Copy Collective Instagram, which is a member’s perspective, where each of our members shares moments from their practice in story. I was first, so have been documenting my work and activities over the last few days and trying to remember to share them, 3 or 4 times a day.   

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