Alaistair gave me a "PASS" for assessment
Alaistair gave me a passing grade partly because of the lack of specificity in my reflections, although I do attempt to explore abstract, narrative, and philosophical ideas in my reflections I also focus those ideas into descriptions and analysis of my process. I was also told by several tutors that the writing I was previously doing in my sketchbook should quote "be put on workflow", Im led into believing that Alaistair didn't thoroughly read my reflections as there were manny dedicated to very specific analysis of what I was doing on my projects at the time. In fact Georgia gave me a contrasting opinion after taking the time to actually read my reflections. I know that the criteria created to assess student work is there to even the playing field in regards to different tutors and pathways cross assessing each other but I think there is still a real bias in tutors of a certain discipline to others of another some students get this corse for free and perhaps they don't care but I am paying thousands of pounds and I don't think its asking much to have my work assessed by a jiffa tutor or at least Georgia who can assess work very comprehensively. Thats all I have to say on the issue I just mainly wanted to get this off my mind. I was disappointed in myself at first but I've turned that into a desire to progress into becoming better. I have a new fire and I intend to show everyone what I can do with it.
My last reflection was on my desire to take up the sprit of CSMs culture of experimentation and provide an array of different techniques and materials in my future work. Starting with this paper project I want to try out some new techniques to me, the first is the creation of my own paper from leaves that are boiled in caustic soda an alkaline that breaks down the cellular structure of the leaves and allows them to be pressed and dried to create a type of paper, the second is a technique that I came aware of through the work of Li Hongbo the technique is the carving of paper like how one would carve marble. I also want to introduce some steel/iron work into this project, mimicking the silver working techniques of the berber and bedouin tribes of North Africa and the arabian peninsula. I would also like to try out some etching on steel that could be accomplished through the use of drain cleaner which contains diluted sulfuric acid. I will probably use wax as a resist , I want a really deep relief form the etching.
Tuesday Thamsen is conducting a leather workshop and were told to buy some o rings, I presume to be used in the creation of some sort of linking leather with said ring. Instead of buying a set of rings I'm going to take this opportunity to make my own accompanied by a chain , all in wrought steel. After making the links I want to twist them to create a curbed chain. Ive been wanting to make a "fanny pack", sorry I forgot what its called in british english, Im going to run this by thamesn to see if I can kinda do my own thing. But of corse still learning as much as i can from what thamsen has to say.
Monday 19th -Thursday 22
Im beginning to experiment in the ways in which I develop my ideas while also thinking about the presentation of those ideas. like most things I'm starting by looking back through history and searching for ways in which past creatives developed ideas, one classic technique that might be looked at with contempt by the ultramodernist artists of today is the working out of three demential forms in terracotta. Not unlike the clay models of Brenini, I sculpted a model from terracotta. The clay was worked around an armature of my own design and fabrication, the pice that I was modeling is one that encompasses a large area of the body therefor it was necessary to form the entire body in detail. The working of the clay to render each aspect of the body forces one to develop a relationship to the anatomy of the body. Once the body is understood in an academic sense, that is its anatomy, the mind is invigorated to then confront design in a reformed way. There is a deeper level of thought invoked in modeling in clay then paper, the same thing can be said of wax, wood, metal,plaster, ext... clay is just particularly fast and takes form very well. I unlike manny in the art world am not ready to kill the old gods in pursuit of "modern ways" of doing things, the classicism of the past gave art discipline and purpose. I don't agree that all the classicalism in art should be discarded into the dust bin of history but I do believe that the current state of what we all commonly refer to as "art" should and must be reformed and redefined as the current state leads one to believe that that word has no meaning and therefor does not exist.
Having lost so much time this week to workshops, that to be honest although informative and stimulating were a slight bit of a waste of time, I now have today and friday to catch up on my project. Most of the day was spent in the workshop cutting out the brackets for my paper fibule body paneled pice, Im using steel sheet to work with it should take the sharp edges I want as well as polish nicely. I used the bandsaw to cut the pieces from the main sheet but due to the face that i am atrocious at cutting said sheets I will have to spend time grinding them all down to perfect edges. I also need to make a fine or sell fine chain to which suspend the plates. The weekend will be used to develop the paper pieces that will be encased in the brackets. I am a little worked about the lack of innovation in my pice but I think the techniques Im using for the paper and the overall appearance will make up for that. The class sat down after lunch and analyzed a personal statement from a foundation student from last year that got on the BA textiles corse. The students statement was in my opinion exceedingly mundane and mediocre and although it did not provide any comprehensive help to me, but the exercise the class did before that did help me comprehensively think about the planing of my personal statement. The class went over what the tutors of the BA courses are looking for, the list that was created is one I will reference when writing my own statement. I want to get a good rainy day to start it ill need to meditate before and smell an assortment of essential oils, to me it must be a spiritual exercise.
My paper project sucks !
I previously understood the way in which I tend to cling to ideas but it wasn't until today that I have found a way to remedy that problem. Often what happens is I will read the brief and almost immediately my mind starts rushing through the library of my mind eventually producing a narrative which I then form into an idea, the problem starts when I decide to stick with that Idea which stunts my development no progression is made. A solution that I think could actually change my behavior is to keep that initial idea as lucid as possible and constantly pushing myself forward, expanding the scope in which I'm thinking. I feel as if my project so far have continuously disappointed in regard to innovation, I have been drowning myself in the comfort of narrative and the techniques I am comfortable with. Now in retrospect I am truly disgusted with the lack of risk taking exhibited in my work, If someone gave me a pile of string on a desert island I would give them a world. I truly believe that of myself and with this paper project I feel as if I've hit rock bottom, I spend most of the duration of the project with my head down in the world of material forgetting to look up and place my work in the future using primarily paper. Consider this lessen learned I intend to almost holistically focus on my development. I also used the call form the tutors for more polished work as an excuse to justify in my head my own actions which could not be more dishonest, the least I could do is be honest with myself.
I dont hate Marion 27th nov
Marian taught a fashion illustration workshop last week, to be honest I found the techniques she used did not help me or get me to think in any new way. They are the same techniques my high school teachers used, so I found them to be quite juvenile. I would have found a comprehensive group discussion on individuals illustrative styles, problems the class feels could be improved, and talk of inspiring illustrators of the past and present. All of the work we were shown seamed to be very generic and one demential perhaps inspiring to marion but in my opinion for the most part mediocre, I feel as if the entire exercise was a waist of time I didn't fall in love with illustration that day. There was one illustrator that was interesting on the slide but they were very rapidly skipped over. like most things I think it would be best for me to discover my relationship with illustration on my own time and in my own way much like how I began working in metal. I would much rather study the old masters and how they depicted fashion and all of the connotations that they imbedded into there work. Illustration is an extension of how one sees the world as well as how one responds to that world. The best illustrators get others to perceive the world in the way they do which allows for a different perception of the world to take hold in that others mind forever changing there own vision. Im changing my mind, I actually do think the work shop was useful I gust wish Marion had showed us a few more techniques but we are meant to further explore on our own so I shall do just that. I started looking into illustrators that I think would best inform me on the qualities of illustration that peek my interest. H.R. Giger is one such illustrator that exhibits an understanding of narrative,mystery, and an atmospheric quality in his work, having begun in industrial design he also puts a strong emphasis on the detailed rendering of forms. He begun using a technique of air brushing as his primary medium for developing ideas, perhaps most famously in "Alien". I think the employment of that technique will catalyst that relinquishes me from my "heavy line" (that I am always reminded of ) that accompanied with further research into Giger and other illustrators that I hope will lead me to develop a style of my own conception something against the mainstream.
Also album covers are perhaps the best examples of an image that needs to convey extremely complex ideas and emotion, all due to the obvious relationship between the complex not even visual expression of ideas in the music juxtaposed against one single image that must be the image of culmination.
Giger in studio with his air brush
Its personal statement season dec 3
I am going to sit down tomorrow and form a list of everything I wish to covey in my PS. I want a ruff draft by wed so I can spend hours quadruple checking each word as well as developing it as far as I possibly can. After talking to Nicola and Tamsen I am going to apply to |CSM Womenswear| |CSM Jewelry| |Westminister Fashion| |CSM Fine Art|. I am applying to each of this courses for separate reasons but also for very similar reasons, I am going to justify each In an attempt to better reenforce my own decisions and seek out the weakest reason (kill my darlings). Before starting the arguments I would just like to premise that no matter where I go or do not go I will accomplish what I have set out to do in the world that is to bring forth a new age clad in the image of my generation.
I think there is a common consensus in the class that I am a good metal worker and that I cannot do anything else or that my repertoire is only filled with metal work. This could not be further from the truth, I treat materials as a base line something waiting to be manipulated my ideas dictate what that material is, metal has often been that material but if my mind dictated something else I would use something else and dedicate my time to learning everything I could about that material. With the current " Bespoke" project Im employing wood mainly because it is recycled and Katrina cares about the future of the climate, I know a little about the manipulation of wood Ive done some latheing work on some ebony to construct a pen. Hopefully the use of wood exhibits my willingness to use a plethora of materials. If I had an idea with no such existing material I would develop a suitable material perhaps even spending years to do so, my passing interest in chemistry should help with such an endeavor.
6th December Critt
Today was critt and Helmet gave me some appreciation for my work, I am always apprehensive to trust what helmet says as he is an extremely overly excitable individual and tends to react with out measured forethought. I really think he works off of other tutors energies much better tutors that can provide him with structure. Back to the project, I feel like I've made a well made prototype not a finished work. I think I want to re work the design and remake it for my portfolio. I will only have a few days to do so as the workshops will be closed soon for christmas and I have a good amount of things on my plate right now. I am so stressed Im going to take a few days and then work through christmas. I am just glad katrina seamed to honestly be happy with the outcome. I should have let out half an inch more on the diameter of the tiara to allow it to fit as I had imagined.
God bless the right honorable gentleman form Notting Hill gate Helmet for allowing a group of students to attend the white show. The show was hard to see over that mass of students in front of me despite me standing on the tips of my toes, but what I did see restored my faith in why I came here. I came to London to partake of the energy that flows through this city and which spews forth with great vigor from Central St. Martins. That energy is nothing less that the ambrosia of the gods and like ambrosia it has the transformative power to make one a god. I came here to do fashion and womanswear I shall do. The show also reminded me of why I love fashion so much, to me fashion is a highly intellectual exercise almost like a high were one can focus purely on the astral layers. I want to change the world here.
Critt was yesterday and I have been thinking about the coca cola girl Helmet tore apart and my place in the hierarchy of students in the class. Nicola remarked that I should have greater standards for myself and not settle when comparing myself to the subpar students in the class, there are a million other kids out side of these walls as talented and more than my all waiting with baited breath for there chance to usurp me( not that I consider myself king, although I cannot deny my ego which is ever present I'm my mind). I am always trying to categorize myself in relation to the other students calculating every meticulous movement and thought expressed seeking for someone I feel to be a challenge to me. Sometimes I feel as if I am in a room alone waiting for someone to speak a word of my language. The before said coca cola girl incident was something that drew a feeling of discouragement from me, when I first arrived at arch way I was expecting to come into contact with students of far higher talent than me I thought I would have to for the first time in my life keep up. I don't understand why so manny of the students that is the vast majority of them are so inadequate in both technical skill and ideological vigor. I think a greater emphasis placed on the exploration of ideas and the defending of those ideas would greatly help the student body, organized formal debate of topics such as the dichotomy between architecture students and jffa students could create a new personal perspective for many students but it would also establish fraternity within the respective pathways. It is my understanding that once an organized form of competition has been established in a market place of ideas that competition will benefit all parties involved by valuing great work allowing the students to chase the sublime in search of glory. Each pathway should be treated like a house (like harry potter), such a system would even instill the ability to spot greatness within cross pathways, one would have to if one would seek to be the best not in there respective pathway but with in 3dda and even the entire school.
Im juggling a few projects right now trying to enrich my portfolios. There is the oil painting of an allegory of intelligence which will probably be about something else when it is finished, I even had the idea of cutting it up in Tamsens Patterncutting workshop after break to make a jacket of something. Some other projects are the wax carving of my mother as a primordial goddess, a silver ring that holds a pendant of my mothers finger print, a series of fashion illustrations dedicated to the next project Hope and Healing, establishing two new sketchbooks one for research and one for development, and also a redesign of the Bespoke project crown I did I want to respond to the criticism I received on critt.
I am also trying to see more of London but its hard for me to take what I see as frivolousness journeys all over London with out a connection to a project or some relevance. I have been going to manny museums to do research though if not for the upcoming project than upcoming projects. I really need to spend some time to think about why I've felt so depressed recently I need some elevation. I will try my best to relax for a few hours.
thursday january 10th
Helmet says that I have a tendency to throw everything into a project, every idea is explored and every idea is layered to create as rich as a project i can possibly muster. I think it is my ego, my need to prove myself that makes me want to put as much as i possibly can into individual projects. I view every project as a magnus opus. Like clarity and simplicity of a consummé I need to strain out all of the unnecessary solids, Kill my darlings, for the clarity of universal understanding. I think my solution to this problem of an over dominant ego can be remedied by deep meditation and the freeing of thought through the employment of mind uttering substances (peyote) ext..... In the spirit of a true dionycian I must loose my self for the collective become the universe to see further.
Karla gave me my more formal tutorial and wow is she good at her side job, she told my what i think my subconscious was trying to inform me about. That is that the design I was going to go forward with was far too similar to previous projects establishing a history of similar forms and areas on the body that are worked with. She also questioned my suggestion to use steel agin as I have used it for every other project. I could not agree more with her criticism, In the moment I felt a true feeling of euphoric liberation as my mind began too re think about the project, It was probably because I was so tired but I wanted to hug Karla then I also wanted to cry but they weren't sad tears nor happy ones perhaps just my soul expressing a felling of emptiness. like a dry anxious mouth.
Friday january 11th
I think I have found my favorite part of London so far, BRICK LANE! I ventured there today in search of some scented wood and perhaps these Chinese nuts I've been looking for, I found neither but I did find some fantastic primary research that i think will lead me in that different direction Karla was talking about. The discoveries happened after entering each and every vintage shop on brick lane all of which are the best charity shops I've ever been in. The first epiphany was seeing a sweater (probably from the 90s) that was on a mannequin above the changing rooms. I was one of those loaded with color but what triggered the inspiration was the rope like structures woven into the knit they provided very linear structures that gave way to a fantastic bagginess. I thought that that would be a great way to integrate wood into a woven structure. After that shop and a few more I saw this leather belt that had similar undulation and ways of construction I saw in my mental vision of what my new direction in this project could be. On the way there and back I was reading a book on Greek and Roman myth after thinking about this woven metallic wooden tapestry like thing it dawned on me that the first illustration in the book depicted a baccanhette a female follower of the god Bacchus, She is depicted wearing a cheat or leopard skin around her body synched with a silk belt. I thought that would be the perfect form for my new idea to take. It was ceremonial and unlike previous projects and connected to the elusinian Mysteries and there for the taking of psychedelics to achieve higher states of consciousness and knowledge.
I had a Eureka moment when I saw this sweater as I saw it in polished brass and metallic weaving
Belt found on brick lane perfect representation of the forms I am interested in
The poem Leda and the swan by Yeats is one I have wanted to react to for a while as I believe it perfectly exemplifies who I am or at least comments on my work. The poem is like one thing on its surface but slowly unravels not unlike Leda herself to reveal the nature of subversion through a link from myth to actual real life history. I wish to do the poem justice in conveying that play with literality and myth, I want more than anything to make the physical representation of the poem. I think focussing on disparaging parts of the pice individually will be the best game plan to realize the poem. I want to use the motifs of feathers, flesh, whiteness as a representation of western culture, gold as a representation of divine intervention, and some sharp pointy bits maybe.
This morning I came into class first expecting a critt and second feeling defeated I had been up all night sewing leather with gold thread and making A2 sheets. I walked into class took the leather off of the molds and just started to play around looking for some phantom of a pice to finalize. I had the desperate idea of pricing the leather with the brass spears I had made as possible pieces in the whole ensemble. The pice than rapidly came together and I was shocked by what had happened, I believed it to be the visualization I set out for; A sort of translation from poetic language into the language of physical representation. I also think there is a certain amount of subtlety expressed in the use of color and form.