Friday, 26 October 2012

I couldn't believe it ...

when T sent me the link for this work; she had been with me when I was dipping the pre-formed spheres (so much better than 'balls'!) into cement.  To dip them and set them up for drying, I used cocktail sticks and then stuck them into wax.  We had a giggle about cement lollipops etc, and then she found this:

Secondary Structure (Undifferentiated),  Michael Joo, 2007

I mean, come on!  What do you have to do to make something that's original?  I despair - even concrete balls on sticks has been done! Not sure about the skeleton though, but it did make us laugh ... in a wry sort of way! :)

Balls! (Seriously...balls!)

I've been thinking about where I want to take the work with concrete and was playing around with a bag of cement and some bits and pieces and ended up dipping some pre-formed balls into a pot of cement.  I really liked what I came out with but... there are so many balls out there already!  Here are some (rather poor sorry) phone shots of before they dried out.

They dried out much lighter and the top one almost looked like a planet; it was well received at my first viewing.  However, I only used cement so it was pretty fragile and cracked into several pieces.  Without thinking, M flatten one of the pieces and lo and behold... it looked great:

Problem is, when they saw them most people mentioned the same name - one of last year's graduates who made these beautiful hand compacted sphere (from soil collected from the physics department of Glasgow Uni)  which dried and cracked over the period of the degree show:
Sam de Santis, Hand Compact Sphere, 2012

Another of last year's graduates also worked in concrete and had balls, so to speak!  I think his work was my favourite in the show (other than T's of course!):

Jerry Dowds, Suspended Ball and Concrete on Mirror Plinth, 2012

I think it's one thing to reinterpret something that's been done before, but another when it was only just done at last year's degree show!!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

It's all been done before...

I think one of my reasons for struggling to get started is that the things I'm interested in have been done in abundance by lots of other artists, including some in last year's degree show at GSA.  And despite having gone through this whole 'nothing's original' issue lots of times before, it's still stopped me from trying - again!  So, I was reminded of this quote from Jim Jarmusch and I'm going to post it here, my studio, my study, my bathroom mirror, my forehead if I need to, to remind me to just get on with it, I haven't done it all before!!!

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.”  

When you haven't posted for a while, it's a struggle to know where to begin.  Usually, I've started a new year at GSA with a new post "And so it begins" etc, but I can't be bothered with that this time, and I can't be bothered with a catch up post either!

It's been a difficult start to final year - I'd gotten myself into a bit of a state about it and the pressure that is heaped on you when you first get back, didn't help.  Unfortunately, it's all self-imposed, so I only have myself to blame.  The reality is that yes, there is a lot of pressure this year - we all want to make good work and have successful degree show - but we also have a great bunch of tutors who are being extremely supportive.  There have been plenty tutorials available and the 2 group sessions I've had already, were lively to say the least - fab stuff.  The pressure was lifted when I decided that writing the dissertation is not for me and have settled on the extended essay.  Thankfully, that meant that I'd already written enough material during summer to take the essay from.  It's almost there ... or thereabouts!

Part of the pressure was that I really felt 'interrupted' by the summer break - I felt I had been on to something at the end of 3rd year, but it had to stop for summer and catching up on work and writing the essay etc.  I'd wanted to write the dissertation, just to say I'd written one - part of my ambition about being at university - but also because I had a self-limiting belief that 'I'd probably never be an artist anyway'!  So it came as a bit of a surprise when I really started to panic about not making any work - I realised I want to be an artist more than I think I'd let myself admit to.

Pretty early in the term to be having an ah ha moment, but a really good one - and good timing!

That said, I still struggling to find focus for what I want this year to be about for me and for my work; I'm struggling to focus at all if I'm honest.  However, am determined to get there and so picking up this blog is part of that process.  Watch this space!!!