In this course, students have to undertake a parallel project of their own devising. The remit for this is pretty open and I want to set my own aims and objectives. The course sets the following framework: the project should use the ideas of the course, can focus on any subject, in any style or materials to produce a body of work.
Following my recent workshop at West Dean, I have been inspired to draw my garden in a new way. I have always investigated my garden through photography and microscopy. I am not a great gardener, more of a plants-person, and my garden is rather chaotic and over-mature. I go on safari in it looking at beetles and seed heads. I often draw it but have found it a very difficult subject with the towering trees and complex layers of vegetation but now I feel I have a new way in to drawing it. The expressive drawing approach of Emily Ball, whilst firmly grounded in observation, is about an emotional response to the subject, capturing the feeling of a place rather than trying to produce a directly realistic representation. It is also about responding to and developing the marks and shapes evoked by place.
I try sketching my garden regularly but have always felt, up to now, that my sketches are weak and fiddly. The garden offers several advantages beyond my physical and emotional involvement; it changes through the seasons, it can be explored at a macro and micro level, it is always available.
I have now tried interpreting my garden with new eyes and ideas and feel inspired and liberated.
My personal objectives for the project, whatever the subject, might include:
- experimentation with media, mark, scale (both of subject and support)
- push myself to do things I wouldn’t normally do (but I am very experimental, so I will have to think about what this means) colour? paint? stitch? wire?
- think beyond the flat support
- drawing on the subject, with the subject, the subject as installation
- explore texture
- produce muscular work, simple, strong
- produce some sort of record of process beyond my sketchbooks, perhaps an artists book, scroll or video?
- produce related research into artists embedded in place or drawing trees, say – does/can this link to the critical review?