I have discovered a love of sculpture…

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I went to Spain last summer. We got shown around a small village called Ilora and taken to see the cemetery there. On one mans grave there was a cabinet which fascinated me and has stayed with me since. It was not filled with flowers or photos of him but rather filled with miscellaneous objects that seemed to be completely random. A small photo of a young Elvis Presley, a small plastic figurine of a spanish guitar, some jewellery and various other seemingly random objects. His stuff. The stuff that represented him.

As a starting point for this sculpture I knew I wanted to create a wax head, I wanted to make a cast of my face. Not the most creative place to start but it was indeed very fun ( although I did end up with a very big bruise on my nose..). I wanted the rest of the head to be a crazy collection of ‘stuff’ but I didn’t know what ‘stuff’. It was going to represent a shrine of some short but I didn’t know what sort of shrine.

Then a conversation conveniently came about in the studio about working looking after older people who need to be looked after. My dad had to visit a man every week who used to be a lawyer. He also used to race fast cars. None of this is anything to do with the fact that later in live he became obsessed with covering himself in germaline and purchasing Fray Bentos pies. My great aunt obsessively buys tinned peaches and humbugs. And another family member is addicted to bulk buying kitchen roll.

It fascinate me that as peoples brains deteriorate, somewhere they can get stuck on a loop of something they need, no matter hoe relevant it is to them or their life. The things they leave behind are not always sentimental or beautiful or even at all relevant to the amazing life they may have had. But could instead just be a pantry overfloeing with tinned peaches..

Questioning an artists ego..

We were asked to come up with a manifesto. One of my points was ‘I am for thinking without an ego’. As this was a quick task I didn’t really get a chance to think about what i truly meant by that. Since then I have come up with a huge amount of questions for myself. I have discovered that it is a much for complex statement that I originally intended it to be.

EGO – your idea or opinion of yourself, especially your feeling of your own importance and ability.

How important is your ego as an artist?

When does ego become arrogance?

What comes first the ego or the art?

Is the artist more important than the art?

Do male artists have bigger egos than female artists?

Are male egos seen to be more negative than female egos?

Can an artist without an ego produce good art?

Can intent be more important than skill?

Does having a big ego create good art or does creating good art give you a big ego?

Is your ego as an artist the same as your ego as a person?

In art is ego a good thing?

Can an artists ego get in the way of their art?

Does familiarity with the artist take away from how you perceive their art?

What role does alter ego play in art?

Are artists with bigger egos more successful?

Does an artists ego count as a form of performance art?

Does an artists image count as a form of performance art?

Can you make your viewers your art?

Is that the secret to modern art?

Could the same piece of art be presented by two different artists and be perceived differently based on the artists persona?

If as an artist you have no ego can others validate your art?

Is validation of your your own art enough?

Does art depend on the time and place in which it’s presented?

If you start acting like a successful artist will you become more successful?

Does art need to be technically impressive?

Does art need to reflect life?

Does art need to have meaning?

Does art need to be made by the artist who presents it?

How do we measure the success of art?

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My space

I love my space. Its not the most organised but it makes sense in my head.

People have started telling me that I look like my art, that the way I style myself fits in with what I make. I love colour and bold clashing prints and patterns and I incorporate that into my life wherever I can. Especially the space in which I work.

Every time I make a piece or an experiment I like to keep it where I can see it. Even if I don’t like it at the time I will probably refer back to it and take inspiration from it or even use it as part of a new piece.

I like to think of my space as a piece of art too. It’s constantly changing and developing and is a representation of the ideas and concepts that are developing in my head at the time.

Site specific

I decided to site my piece in the balcony of the reading room. This is somewhere that people rarely go, the whole room is quiet and smells like books. It is a place where I feel calm.

I began to think about the things that make me feel calm when I am overwhelmed or stressed..

When I was a little girl I used to struggle sleeping. I used to make up scenarios in which I would wake up and everyone would be gone. So my favourite thing was when my mum had friends over and I could go to sleep to the muffled sounds of them talking downstairs. Due to the balcony being upstairs and separated from the rest of the room I decided that this was something I wanted to recreate with my site specific piece.

Another thought that immediately came to me when originally sitting in that space was when I was recently taken on a tour of students studios as part of a university open day, I saw that in one of the completely white spaces someone had painted the word ‘MOTH’ in dribbly mauve paint. This image for some reason stuck in my head and was something I held there throughout creating this piece. Although I didn’t directly reference it I took a lot of inspiration of the dusty comforting imagery that came to mind. It to me seemed like the sort of place a moth would live, in amongst the books and dust.

I created a cocoon inspired den/tent out of blankets that had enough room for one person to sit. The aim was to create a cosy space for someone to go and feel calm, safe and comforted.

Although the experience on the balcony is for one person to enjoy at a time and is a very personal experience it is designed for a group of people to be involved.

Downstairs in the middle of the reading room I set out small cups of and a pot of camomile tea. So that it became an opportunity for people to talk and get to know each other. Once you had a cup of tea and were ready you could go upstairs to the balcony one by one and sit in the safe space I had created with the muffled calm voices downstairs as a reassurance.

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