Week 4 and our first ‘Crit’. No need to get in early Wednesday so plenty of time to load the car and make sure I have everything.
I’ve got two panels of the ball finished and I took the green milk bottle lid tendrils to go with them. Meg say’s André may expect us to set our spaces up to present the work as best as we can. We are the only ones in the studio. Joe turns up eventually. He has been busy. There is a large painting on the wall. Canvas, gaffa taped to the wall. But there is no one else there. I expected a hive of activity the day before our first crit but no.
I hang my work and clear my space.
I went out with my mate Kelly to see Attila the Stockbroker and he was brilliant.
So, Crit Day comes. Kelly’s cat attacked me in the night then pissed on my top, so I go into collage wearing the Demented Slagz shirt I slept in and I'm not hung over but I am tired.
Everyone is there, even Inez the new Mum but no Daniel. Everyone has work, it’s great.
Andre asks us how we want to do this. Do we want to talk about our work and get feedback or do we want everyone else talk about the work and then join in later. I ask for the later and everyone agrees. Meg steps up to start.
I really like Megs work and I’m excited about where it’s going to go. Feminism, craft, domesticity switching up textures. Meg handles it well. My turn next.
It’s hard to keep quiet. André talks about the chain I’ve used to hang the ball and the gaffa tape that is holding it in place “You’re not meant to look at that…” Everyone loves the tendrils. André tries to blow up the ‘tubes’ expecting them to be hollow and not knowing what they are, allegedly. They discuss the materials and what they potentially mean to the viewer. They talk about it being floral and saving the planet. So, can we save the planet by making Art? When I’m asked to speak, I ramble on about the work, how it’s not finished and what plans I have. André talks about the work being figurative and I am surprised but realise that I am becoming more figurative because I am using the platonic solids to create a “fashion” silhouette. Deconstruction is suggested, playing with things, spreading the CDs on the floor getting a different perspective. Walking through the bottle top tendrils and creating a more immersive experience. It’s what I’m here for and I have a long way to go and a lot to think about.
I am not going to go into details about everyone else’s crits but there is some good work coming through. Drag queens and Cos play, interior design, exploration and satire.
Rosie speaks so well, and her work is exciting. It is tactile and explorative, experimental, process driven and philosophical. I like Rosie a lot. She suggests we have a meeting about the exhibition after lunch.
Also, after lunch we meet the new tutor, Jenny Keane. She was late coming in so comes round and meets us all individually. While she is with me Rosie gets everyone else organised and they set themselves deadlines for title and poster design, it’s great, really positive and proactive. This is more like it.
Talking to jenny was tough. I really struggle talking about my work and I have spent the last few days trying to get my head around it. This is why I am here, to work out what I am doing, why and how what I do fit into the Art scene in Wales.
André said at one point “can Art change things? I don’t know? It’s not something I have researched” or something like that? I decide that I will try and find out. Does looking at, experiencing or making art change the way people view the world? Can we save the planet by making Art?
So, we have deadlines for title and poster and talk about a publication so we can have our statements in hand rather than on the wall. We talk about titles relating to beginnings. I suggest Rudimentary but it doesn’t go down well. ‘On your Marks’ is the favourite as we leave for the day. I make sure I have everything I need to finish the panels of the ball and head home.
Saturday, I catch the bus back to Cardiff to see Charlotte Graylands exhibition and I print reading material for the journey. I read a paper about an art project about how climate change has affected sea birds. The paper examined how the project affected the participants and the people who came in contact with the work but also talks about how there isn’t enough research to say if Art changes things. This reminds me of one of the questions I asked myself when preparing my presentation as part of the summer task. Can Art be an agent for change? And I decide that this is what I should be researching.
I want to focus on my sculptural work, and I want to do that without having an agenda, but the question why is hard. But this is why I am there to find out why and to learn how to articulate it. Do the reading and the writing and practice talking about the work confidently.
So here I am, Sunday evening and I’ve sewn all the CDs onto the fabric panels for the ball and made a load more CD flowers to play with. I’ve reserved some books and done some reading about Arts political impact, and I have uncovered the ideas I was working on before I started. I want to develop a project which will highlight the affects climate change and western societies over consumption has on the planet and our future and then analyse whether the project actually achieves any real change. My goal is clearer I know what direction I am going in, now I need to put in the work.