Textile project. Day 1 & 2 ideas and changes to implementation.

Initial ideas of a figure constrained in the small space. The logistics of the space meant a different approach eventually had to be taken.

I was drawn to the idea of a figure once we had explored the space. The nature of the light and also the fact we were working in a confined space suggested a sense of claustrophobia to me. The figure emerged as not having much room or being rather trapped in the limitations of the surroundings. The windows in this area were small and stained glass which for me hinted at a religious scene particularly as they were over what appeared to be an 'alter' mid air, as one viewed the area from the bottom of the stairs.

There were several ideas spoken of and the logistics of construction were looked at in terms of how we might use the walls as supporting structures and also how we could construct something that wouldn't block the stairway. We discussed using the figure lying down but it seemed that it would then get lost visually, behind the banisters and so forth, so we had to scale down the idea to using small figurative elements and construct around this idea instead given space limitations.

The above illustration was a main drawing I did and something I felt represented well the constricted figure. I thought of using either bin bags or some other form of sacking for the figure as the material and allowing the lines (Wool was the main material used for straight lines of attachment.) to act as both a support structure and also to emphasise the element of restriction. The quasi religious feel of the space was clearly an artificial one for others but for me with a childhood dominated by the church I felt it did have some resonance and a sense of familiarity. I thought it might be able to represent either the spiritual self and it's struggle, or the bondage of dogma, however this seemed perhaps too far a theme for others and the drawn figure wasn't realised as a whole working piece. It was instead reduced to two small figures and other ideas were formed.

We discussed ideas of 'anti form' (Eva Hesse was an influence here) where we played with the nature of the materials used and thus allowed the materials speak for themselves as a free flowing form of abstraction. One idea was to tell a story of construction in the figures so that they would be the cohesive whole formed from the chaos of materials surrounding them. This idea also seemed to work with the notions of creativity itself where much is jumbled and then forms spring into and out of existence as we either seek a particular aesthetic or something we feel nears other purposes. This drove the creation of a world around the figures that was deliberately chaotic and at this point we had moved away from the original idea and drawing (above) and were now looking at a free form methodology used to surround the central figures and create a world that they would inhabit.

With the introduction of a 4th person to our group on the 2nd day we changed things again to allow their input and the project once again became a more geometric construction that had a lot to do with the previous 3D module and the ideas of energy in negative space. We created a much more formal structure and started to explore more the idea of suspension of a figure in an energy field, or rather the gaps that were left between the lines and the gaps that were between the lines and other surfaces.

In further posts I will discuss the outcomes and how the conclusions we came to were a result of circumstance and group input.

 

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