Week 2 CSAD MFA
This week I am close to being broken. The weekend before I started my course broke my car (now fixed) and next week is going to be mental. I have taken too much on, but it is a fine line between being bored and overwhelmed. I am neither at the moment, but I do need to prioritise and although my friend Dick Lucas is playing in Cardiff with his band Subhumans today and there is a sewing action in the city I have come home to relax and recuperate before the marathon that is next week. But that is next week.
Week two of my course has been great. I am getting to know the other student, making friends even. Meg and I have volunteered to be student representatives for the masters course, she is lovely and knows her way around. Meg makes carpets, or uses carpet making techniques to make Art. I remember her work from the degree show. She is looking at Still life and manipulating materials in unconventional ways, I talked to her about Katy Hessel book and the tradition of women doing still life and we talked about the irony of being women working with textiles. Ellie is a collage artist who was using a computer but has now gone back to paper and glue and loving it. Paskaline is a figurative painter and Joe paints too, he is in a band I over heard. Daniel hasn’t moved into the studio yet as he is waiting to hear if he can change to part time. He is a sculptor who has been working in a foundry for a year making moulds and he wants to work in the foundry here too. I told him about Vic and Mutoid waste and Mucky Mark after he told me about his collection of scrap metal at his Mums. When he does move in, he will be joining me in the end space replacing Charlotte.
Charlotte has been on a fellowship at CSAD for the last year but we have met before. She recognised my voice. We walked up a hill together to visit a cave with Rachel Dunlop, Jenny Cashmore and another Artist who went to Venice supporting the Sean Edwards show at the biennale. It was lovely spending time with her as she prepared for her solo exhibition which marks the end of her fellowship. She is interested in Introvert and Extrovert art and I am really looking forward to seeing the show. She has made these lovely wooden tubes which she will be playing sound through and she has made film too. There are also these tiny frames which will be housing work all yet to be seen by me. The opening is Monday so I won’t be able to attend that but I will seek it out when I get back at the end of the week. Charlotte had a visit from a mentor connected to the fellowship and what I overheard of their conversation was interesting. Apparently, she had commented on my work and was surprised that a masters student had produced so much already, at least that was the impression I got. I said to Charlotte that I wasn’t your average masters student, I’m not straight out of the BA, she sarcastically said “Thanks” I backtracked saying I was ‘desperate’ which she admitted she couldn’t argue with. Thinking about it later, not happy with the word desperate, I decided the real difference between me and the others is that I am short of time and very aware of it. In their 20’s they are in their prime with their whole lives ahead of them, where I probably have 20 years left and I want to make the most of that time.
Thursday was my first timetabled day. André was there when I arrived setting up the big telly. He gave us an introduction to the “Positions” module and talked us through what was expected from us and talked about getting access to the various workshops. He was impressed that I had got my induction to the textile print so quickly. Fridays are open access days.
The Position module will help us to "identify a professional position through our practice". There seems to be three parts to this
Experiment Explore Test
We met Laura officially and she talked us through what she expects from us while working in t(her) studio. She is proper on it. Sustainability and environmentally conscious. She is a printer and a sculptor. She does freestyle screen printing sessions on Fridays. She has everything so well organised and is trying to get compost bins so she can make compost for the DYE GARDEN!!!! There is a DYE GARDEN!! Laura is my new favourite person.
Next week we will be doing our presentations, but we will be doing it differently to the set summer task. We have to upload two images to our Teams page, one of our own work and one by a contemporary artist that relates to our work. I have uploaded ‘Maiden, Mother and Crone’ to represent me, as it shows where I am and has both recycled materials and natural and I used sewing patterns to make the Crone, etc. Then I shared Yin Xiuzhen’s “Nowhere to land” because of her use of domestic materials and clothes as well as the environmental/climate crisis narrative.
Next week we will do workshops on Artist Statements and I think we need to select a statement as an example??
We have dates for the exhibition. There will be gallery visits on November 10th, then we will be hanging starts on 14th November, opening on 24th November. As well as asking Meg to join me as student I also suggested a group chat which she ended up creating. I pointed out that Lucy thinks we have ADHD so if I get too much to just tell me to “calm the fuck down Jane!” Meg and Ellie both have ADHD so I am in good company.
Andre gave us a talk about his work which was really interesting. It filled in the gaps between the performance and the painting and I know understand his paintings. He is interested in architecture and has done lots of interesting work around new towns. There is one in Ireland I would love to visit.
I wasn’t as organised this week and I didn’t get to park in the collage carpark so had to find somewhere else. The walk was lovely on Wednesday, but it was a long way and the car park was expensive. I found somewhere closer on Thursday, still a nice walk and free. I knew these first few weeks would be challenging, balancing home and Uni and getting set up on site but I’m getting there and by the end of October work will ease off.
While waiting for the session to start on Thursday morning I did a bit of reading and started to write something about my practice. I don’t know if I will ever use it but here it is.
My beginnings are materials. Materials that attract me. Materials that are just there.
“…being an Artist means to see, to observe, to investigate…”
“Materials, 2 points of view-
The next stage is the manipulation of those materials. What can I do with them? How can I change them while maintaining the characteristics that attracted me in the first place or make them more attractive and give them new purpose.
Then comes form.
The sphere is my favourite form, my go to.
“It is Unity’s perfect symbol. Each point on its surface is identical to every other, equidistant from the unique point at its centre.” (Cairo 2001)(Platonic and Archimedean Solids by Daud Sutton)
I love the universality of the spere, from planets to molecules, to the rounding of pebbles by the sea or in rivers..........