LIBRARY RESEARCH JOURNAL
As unnerving as today was I couldn't wait to just get down to it. I have waited for today for what seems like forever. The two fashion & textiles groups were clustered together as work flow was explained and when we were asked who had already created a workflow my hand was the only one raised. At first being told that all our research and reflective journal will be held together on this online blog I was a bit disappointed, I love writing pen to paper and feel that people get more of a feel for what you’re saying when reading your handwritten words. However, after some thought I saw the benefits of workflow and how exciting it is that my work is out there for the world to see at a touch of a button.
Shortly after then talk was over our tutors told us to look at the weeks brief which involved researching extensively: one practitioner, one material and one process. This is to be done using the library, museums and the internet to fine out as much as we can about each. Although before we started this task we are to research over the weekend: 5 different practitioners, materials and processes and collated the research in our sketchbooks.
To help our minds get into the groove of drawing inspiration from research our tutor told us to go take pictures of materials and processes from the list and bring them back to the workroom. After gathering these images we were told to pick twelve and do one quick sketch for each that related to the word and image we had taken. My sketches came out both literal and figurative. I enjoyed the simpleness of the task but at the same time how much to made me think in such a short spaces of time and the uniqueness of my sketches. This task really helped me so see that you can be inspired by anything around you.
Over the weekend i visited the V&A and the serpentine museum so to collate research for the 5 practitioners, materials and process I had chosen. The V&A held a collection of inspirational paintings, sculptures and objects that could relate to the words I had chosen. I spent a lot of time studying the stain glass windows they had begin inspired by the way in which the glass was cut, manipulated and fused together to create these intricate works of art, that related to my chosen word: glass. For this, I also drew inspiration from the things around me, such as buildings each with their different glass windows and of course the glass jungle itself, Canary Wharf. The V&A also held a lot of detailed ink drawings that reminded me a lot of the work of Kwangho Shin who I later researched in more depth.
Unfortunately, none of the practitioners that I chose to research had any work that was available to visit in London, so instead I relied on books and the internet. focusing a lot on their biographies and interviews I was able to understand the person behind the art, what inspires them, why, what message they are trying to communicate. In one way or another I could relate to all of these artists I was especially interested in the work of Gillian Wearing who works a lot with masking and unmasking looking at people’s interior and exterior. Which is something that I can relate a lot to in my own work as I am constantly inspired by people and their emotions, how they try to hide them but they always end up seeping though the cracks somehow.
After gathering a large deal of information I began placing it in my sketchbook and combining it with my own sketches inspired by the research I had found.
Today was the library research task at CSM. Our group had decided on researching the practitioner Liz Nilsson, the material plaster, and the process of obscurity. We decided that the most effective way to use our time was to split into pairs and take one word to research. I was given Liz Nilsson, luckily the night before I used the online library catalogue to look up what books the CSM library had on our chosen artist. The only book found was the Irish Craft Portfolio which did intact give us a lot of useful information on her choice of colour and material. I also visited the materials section in the library and found a lot of mesh materials that related a lot to Nilsson’s work.
We all regrouped and shared the information we had found out on our given word. Taking pictures of pages we found interesting, and discussing our thoughts, ideas and inspirations, we came out of the session with a bulk of research and plenty of ideas on how we could develop this further in our sketchbooks.
On returning home, I continued my research online and looked in-depth at the biographies of Liz Nilsson and any interviews she had taken part in. I learnt that she uses warm colours in her work such as red, yellow and orange due to them being more noticeable and how they even help improve the ability to recall. This ties in with her work with memory, she uses laser cutting and layering to explore ideas of memory and time, recall and habit and often incorporates used fabrics imbedded with her own family history. The shadows caused by one fabric being layered over another are reminders of the transience of memory and experience.