3 weeks have passed since my report; it has taken me this long to formulate a response. Initial comments seemed generally positive, but then the phrase- ‘although there was not a clear resolution in terms of specific projects’ did start to ring alarm bells in my head. I know the path I have taken is probably more unusual than many who would be taking this module and I can appreciate that I have created in some ways quite a diverse body of work that needs to somehow be brought together. The collage piece M. refers to as being perhaps a more resolved piece of work came about very quickly in preparation for assignment 3. In some ways I think it was the first time I have made any acknowledge that the work might be about loss or absence. I think in my blog previously I have talked about making work, the importance of doing and the difficulties relating to reflecting too deeply and just wanting to get back to doing- even as I write this the tears are starting to flow. Many of the artists I have looked at- Hesse, Roth and Newling make the connection between art and life. Hesse focused on her materials and process, but felt it could not be separate from her life and for Roth his life became his work. Perhaps my work is about denial? I know that I need to re-write my artist statement, and it has been in my mind whether to refer to the loss of Jake or not in it. Lots of uncertainties swimming around at the moment and emotionally loaded.
I have however started to think about the growth cycle of the willow along a timeline and how it might fit with the notion of absence, and presence. In fact in a piece of work I did for Contextual studies about dialogue I found myself referring to the willow as having a presence- I did this piece into a voice recorder and I remember becoming emotional as I spoke these words, as if by acknowledging their presence, I was also acknowledging the absence of another. I shall continue to reflect on these things as I work towards assignment 4
There are a number of other things to follow up-
- Having talked about loss and absence I will explore further other artists who have made work about this theme.
- In relation to this M. suggested taking another look at Burgin’ essay ‘The absence of prescence’- she felt it may be important to my work, and to perhaps dig a little deeper into the time between Modernism and Conceptual art, in particular group fluxus and those using early performative work, eg. John Cage.
- M. suggested looking again at the work of Michele Brody– an American artist who also uses living materials in her work.
- Looking further at the work of John Newling ( I will do this in line with my contextual work)
- Thoughts on ‘bringing the process back to the work’.
- Trying out film
There are many practical things to consider with regard to work- in terms of how it might be viewed, addition of text, use of film, etc. My to-do list includes re-writing my artist statement, building my bibliography and list of resources- I have documented them (in my Contextual work folder) but just not filed a list on my blog yet. M. mentions tangential research around associated areas, perhaps botany or the science of growth- I have read quite a bit relating to the natural history of willow and trees- I intend to add these to my bibliography, and can see that it is important to document this too.
We did speak about when it might be appropriate to start the Professional Practice module and I think I would like to have at least got my first draft for my contextual studies module complete before I have more to think about.