Reflective Research Journal – 4th Year – Week Ten

Gone through quite a few technical struggles with how to install film in sculpture recently. I thought it would be easy but its not. Many of the ways I have tried have just not worked. The ipad is slippery, too touch sensitive, difficult to secure without obscuring or pressing the power and volume buttons on the sides. I did manage to secure the Ipad within the vulva (entrance) to the big paper mâché woman, with a hinged oval shaped framing door, but I ddnt like its flatness or the way it closed her up and hid the inside of her, which looks quite interesting with watercoloured words and bits of prints collaged on the interior walls. I tried securing it half way up inside, using the existing wire structure which she hangs by, but that was too difficult to get it in and out and to control the film playback. So I have at last settled on an old style, small, square, flatscreen monitor, which Adam Lockhart purchased and is not yet on the digital loans system as they don’t have the cable to collect it to a media player yet. I have only been able to try it out for size and not playing my film yet. I have booked it though, on the assumption it will all work ok. The monitor is on top of the sculpture, up high, where there is a bigger entrance (or exit) above her boobs, where her head and shoulders should be. I made a fabric covered cardboard and paper mâché oval ring to frame the screen and hide the edges of the monitor. The corners of the monitor show over the edges of the sculpture on the outside a little and need to be hidden and I am trying that out with different fabric arrangements. I had planned to have painted canvas cut out shapes couming out of the top of the sculpture anyway and several of the stuffed fabric worms/intestines, so these might be enough to obscure the monitor alone. 

I am finding the studios very cramped and overcrowded, there way too many of us squeezed into one end of our studio, especially as Laurie and I are making such large work. I keep getting more tables and rearranging, but it’s pretty difficult.

I decided the night before last, while unable to sleep, because of feeling a bit stressed and wired, that I don’t like the soft fabric landscape sides to my compost toilet now and that instead of always trying to restrict the materials I use by using only waste, I need to put that aside if it’s hindering the quality of my degree show. I decided to go back to the idea of plaster over chicken wire and so went to find out if that was possible, and its not. I am too late deciding this. The plaster guy Kris said they only have 2 bags of plaster left and no room in the workshop for me to do something big like this. So I bought some Modroc and a tiny bag of casting plaster and will attempt to play about myself in the tiny floor space of the studio and see what I can do…or maybe outside the art school somewhere. I am on my way home today for the weekend though and might see if I can get any plaster in Aberdeenshire and attempt to make some of it at Coldhome. If I make small modular shapes that will all fit together, then it might not be too difficult to transport down. Will need the car though, won’t manage by train! At my tutorial with Kate yesterday, she said I should make wooden frames to fit each side of the toilet to attach the chicken wire to and screw onto the sides of it. May attempt that at Coldhome too if I can find the right sized wood. 

I finished and submitted my Professional Practice Document (due today) in the middle of the week and have been working all week on two proposals; the RSA David Michie Travel Award (which I submitted yesterday – deadline the day after tomorrow) and have just finished the Satellites Programme (Collective Edinburgh) proposal today but may give it one final check over at the weekend, as its not due till Monday. Feels good to have got the bulk of that done through and be able to relax on the laptop work at least while home. It’s been a really full-on week of meetings, tutorials, solving technical issues, writing proposals and the PPD. Early starts and working all day and through every evening. Still a LOT to do but feeling momentarily less stressed. 

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