Reflective Research Journal – 4th Year – Week Eleven

I have decided to paint the big paper mâché woman with shellac, a natural varnish which may make it look a little more like ceramics. I have made a plaster structure/protrusion to go on one side of the toilet and I quite like it. It’s kind of cocoon like, or like a giant poop, and I made holes in it, so giant worms/tentacles/intestines etc… can come out. I have no room to make a second one just now unless I take the table out. So I will need to finish the jobs that need the table first. But I am wondering if a plaster side and a fabric side might work quite well…what am I saying with that? Can I justify it?  They could both be considered domestic materials…to some extent….I could paint on both…and it would look different…there is also the fabric woman, who I am planning to plaster too and have either coming out of the plaster side or the fabric…I have the definite holes in the plaster which I like, though I could also cut holes in the fabric…to imbed the ceramics… I could coat the plaster in shellac too maybe. Though not the fabric… but I could prime the fabric/canvas and pain with oils…originally, I wanted the canvas protrusion to have tentacles or shapes coming out of it which then crossed the floor and joined the paintings on the wall. Theres still time for this to be done, even in oil if I hurry up…if it’s in oil it would have a slight sheen maybe to tie it in with the other materials…I could have colours painted on a creamy background which shows through, to mimic the ceramics and plaster…

I sewed and painted more giant worms. I have been worrying about how to paint them for ages, whether to go literal and do them pink, or green like plant shoots, or multi coloured to represent bacteria etc… but I have been going into the studio and working in short, focussed bursts recent, because there’s hardly anyone around, it being the easter holidays. So am getting lots done in 3 concentrated hours, where I don’t need to eat. I just started painting the worms intuitively and they are all different and I quite like them, though I am slightly concerned they will make the room look like an Ikea show room for kids…well one from the 2000’s at least, I haven’t seen one since then…this is something I have started to think about. My show is going to look fun and bright coloured and to some extent interactive… (I have made a big cushion with tentacles for the floor, for people to lie on, under the big woman to see the film inside her and I might make more) and will look, I think, inviting to kids. But I am also going to be required to put a warning of some sort on the door, though I don’t feel any of the content is not going to be kid friendly. It’s just scenes of natural birth, and peeing and fake pooping. Its comedic and light and wholesome…. I wonder if I can put a warning which encompasses all this? I am of course falling victim to exactly the sort of censorship I wrote about in my dissertation, so maybe I can make a point about this too…. the warning is going to end up an essay!!

I wrote a list of all that’s left to do yesterday and a timetable for the last three weeks before installation. It’s under control, but I can’t help feeling slightly panicky! I have been dreaming about having a degree show since I first heard about art school, more than 30 years ago, and now it’s about to happen and is it good enough? Have I done enough? Is it what I envisioned?

I am thinking of painting on the plaster, possibly strands/roots/connections/mycelium, in green or multi coloured. I am going to paint the grout with linseed oil and green oil paint too…and green lines could continue on to the plaster work. It occurred to me this could be considered drawing in the expanded field, which means maybe I could enter the whole structure into drawing-based competitions? But maybe it’s too definitely a sculpture for that… I have started to think about having a stock of work ready for entering competitions much like a file of ideas ready to use for proposal submissions for residencies/grants/awards etc… not sure whether to try to apply for anymore between now and assessment or not…might just have to see how much time I have. 

Was in the greenscreen/photography studio last week and am booked in again next week, to film any scenes I am missing or am not happy with for my films. I have begun the final film and am tweaking the other three films. 

I have been watching Laurie Andersons lecture series ‘Spending the War Without You’ and it’s making me want to include more spoken word in my films. I am also wondering if I can include more music. I had intended to release a second album at the same time as my degree show, and I have an album’s worth mostly ready. Maybe I could finish it between assessment and degree show and have it ready to release then. I have also been looking at Trulee Halls exhibitions for ideas of layout for mine. 

I could divide the space with a hanging canvas painting (swamp woman) if need be… or screen print on canvas strips, or muslin or calico…

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