Post exhibition thoughts

I am so happy with how my degree show has gone.

My organisation paid off, I hadn’t forgotten anything. The work was installed smoothly and looked as I had envisaged.

  • Marked – This piece was difficult to envisage before the exhibition. My concerns were whether there was enough ribbon for the piece to feel substantial. In the end I feel that this ended up looking one of the strongest pieces visually. The work did however seem to need expaining for people, most viewers didn’t get close to the work without a prompt and at a distance it wasn’t possible to see that the labeling had words on it. I don’t think that there is anything else I could do, the booklet and the mounted title on the wall both explained the work.
  • Sum – This piece is one that I feel does, to some degree, speak for itself. All viewers grasped the visceral element of the work. Some viewers thought that the work suggested birth to them because the skulls do look rather like prehistoric eggs and the fibre optic suggested looking to the future. I am not as pleased with this piece in situ as I felt I would be, I think only because it perhaps isn’t quite as large as I wanted it to be. More skulls would have helped fill out the space a little further.
  • Lay Waste – After having created a visualization image within photoshop for this, I felt it absolutley worked as I had expected. Initially I had planned to have 3 framed ink paintings though and the week leading up to the exhibition the glass in one of the frames smashed. Actually though I feel two work really well, the number wasn’t actually that important. The space I chose to exhibit this piece in felt particularly right because it felt like a discovery by turning a corner and coming across it.
  • Weight – This just worked, I don’t think I needed to explain this piece that much to viewer and of the visitors who were moved by my work I feel that this was the point where that level of engagement happened. I would like to have developed the pewter element a bit further to achieve a slightly more complete impression but one viewer mentioned that the lack of impression in some areas relays ideas of broken memory. I am pleased with the placement of the fabric strip and how I dressed it. I had a section pulled taught from the breeze block, then a section of crumpled fabric, the final section was laid neat and flat as if smoothed and made good. Several viewers commented on references to stages in life and dealing with difficult times and how they grasped these references to the fabric and the piece.
  • Momentary – This piece has been difficult to deliver. The essence and ideas were effective, alot of viewers were fascinated with the materials used and how the visceral nature came across. A couple of people commented that it looked very like a snake skin, which I hadn’t considered. I do feel that this could have been executed slightly better somehow. The impressions look great at the time of making but deteriorate the more it gets moved. In some respects that does add to the deterioration in memory but visually it takes some thing away.
  • Evaporate – many people said that this was their favourite piece. I think, for them, it did visually support their experiences of mourning. The piece had changed in colour and had continued to change after I had initially photographed it. Again this helps toward ideas of deterioration but my origonal vision was for it to be jet black and sparkly, the light catching the crystals adds an element of hope.

Overall I think I placed each, in spaces that worked individually for them. I had spent alot of time in advance planning the placement of work and the only piece that needed consideration on the day was sum.

Of all of the work I have done during the process of my degree this body of work feels the most accomplished and complete. All of the pieces work well with each other and add diffent levels of support to each other.

The reactions and support from others has been amazing, seeing people visibly moved by my work has been ery special. The importance of art within society has been further reinforced to me through the whole process. The subjects I deal with are part of all human lives and the creation of this work for me is very cathartic, a way of working through fears of death and my experiences of it but art allows a platform for discussion that allows for engagement with new groups of people with many ideas and topics.

I would like to continue to explore these themes going forward. I’m interested in exploring the moment between a pocession being mundane and everyday and becoming poignant and charged when someone dies. I intend to develop ideas surrounding these themes as soon as I have finished my degree with OCA.

Future

I fully intend to continue my art practice after my degree, I would like to seek out as many opportunities as possible, including residencies and exhibitions. I have applied to The Ruskin School of Art to continue my studies with an MFA and  I also intend to apply to UCA Farnham for their Textiles MA. My dreams for the future are to seek possibilities to collaborate with science departments to explore possibilities of collaboration and engagement. Art is a powerful tool that opens minds, conveys knowledge and ideas to new audiences and this is something that I find very exciting.

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