Artists mentioned on Moodle in the textile module and their relevance to my thoughts

Pippa Andrews uses textiles to make sculptures derived from architectural and organic forms. Her structures tend to be not what one might define as organicly flowing in shape but rather more rigid and solid interpreatations of natural objects. I shared a similar interest in the organic but my thoughts were more concerned with textile objects in an environment. In one piece I directly constructed objects which acted as organic figures in the space and in the other piece I worked with nature itself as the container for the work and used it as a backdrop to reflect the intrinsic qualities of the material (wool) used as a way of attempting to derive an harmonious sculptural presence in the landscape.

I liked the reflective natural properties of Hsiao Ch Tsai's work and particularly the non western colourisations empathetic with Asian exotic plants, although there were aspects of these colours that perhaps, to a western eye, seemed to dominate too forcefully. I enjoyed the inventive collaboration with other elements such as mirrors which is something I find interesting particularly in terms of what appeals to me about the nature of time and the natural qualities of certain textiles. The mirror reflects moments of time back to us and used sculpturally is an interesting tool. I found Hsiao Chi TSai's work inspiring although I didn't include aspects of it directly in my own work. I was conscious however of elements of time motifs present that filtered through into both aspects of my sculptural pieces. The first suspended figure piece did have an awareness of a physical object marking a point of stopped time in that the figures represented an intervention but of course were immobile and static. In my second outdoor piece time was more to do with nature having an impact on the sculpture and time working through the piece and me being deliberately aware of that . I certainly am interested in the way Hsiao ChI Tsai uses textiles but perhaps overall they seem a little too decorative for my own taste.

I found Caroline Broadhead's work very interesting particularly in relation to the work that focusses upon manipulating spaces and exploring light and shade, and her interest in movement and the experience of a viewer passing through those spaces. In both of my large pieces I think that element of Caroline's work was present. I was always interested in how the viewer engaged with what I was constructing and how the sculptures existed in the space. In my first piece on campus I was focussed upon a more rigid architectural environment of closed internal architecture and in my second piece there was much more to explore for me in an outdoor natural setting, where I felt spiritually more in tune. In both cases however I sought to respond to the surroundings and the possible experience of the viewer. I think the interaction of the viewer was more relevant to my on campus piece although at this point Caroline wasn't an artist I was directly engaging with.

In my outdoor piece there seems to be be an easier communication channel for the ephemeral and for my interests in time and the nature of transience and temporality. I think Caroline works well with these ideas and I feel these are especially evident in her work with her ghostly dress structures that suggest ideas of a veil between one place and another. In my second piece I was working with thoughts of veiling or exploring the space through the sculptural piece as a conduit for the materials intrinsic qualities. Caroline seems to be doing this with some of her pieces or at least I took that as something from parts of her work. In my indoor piece the relationship to the environment was much more contained and I was more aware of how a viewer might engage with the forms in a limited space. This is why we went for height so the viewer could observe what we made from underneath. We also chose the stairs so it could also be viewed from above. I feel Caroline's work is more evident in my second piece rather than the first but both are very conscious of the viewer in a space and my constructions always started from that idea of how the viewer could engage with what I built.

I worked with ideas similar to Shelly Goldsmith's use of reclamation so that the textiles I used were partly obtained from recycling sources. This was particularly the case for my second sculpture. The provenance was not known so I couldn't directly engage with ideas of Goldsmith about memory locked within the materials but I was aware of that element. I could however work with the thoughts surrounding reinvention or a cycle restarting which was reflected in my large outdoor piece which mirrored the ideas of the seasons renewing and changing things. Shelly Goldsmith is more interested in this in relation to provenance particularly where clothing is concerned but I felt it relevant to what I was doing also. I wasn't engaging with the cultural parameters here as Shelly does but more taking the essence of the idea of reclamation as a metaphor that resonated in the outdoor space. In my indoor piece as I have stated in other posts I was working with separate ideas and other artists influences, whom I have named. Some crossed over into both as in the case of Pippa Andrews and Caroline Broadhead but others didn't.

I think Jac Scott was someone whose underlying philosophies were the most interesting for me in both of my pieces. I think his rigorous intellectual approach to his work and the wish to say something as commentary in using a variety of media was something that certainly was evident in my own work particularly in the second piece. I had more freedom to use the second piece to deliver my own thoughts rather than in the first piece and this seemed a place where one could really relate more personally and deeply with thinkers such as Jac Scott. There were artists I mentioned in earlier posts that were influential on my thinking in the collaborative on campus piece and I discussed these, however they are not on the list of artists provided on Moodle as these lists appeared on Moodle after the completion of the campus module for my group and therefore I could only engage with artists I had chosen myself in my own research. I was able to engage with the Moodle list more readily later on and this was the prime motivator for my building a second piece that had a broader range of artists whose work we were instructed to directly engage with. I think that evidences a commendable commitment to the module to revisit previous ideas and to go out and build 2 further sculptures. The seated figure and the large environmental piece. I think this reflects areas of deep interest for me in sculpture and the use of the intrinsic natural quality of materials in attempting to make something interesting and worthwhile.

I feel all of the artists I mention show a similarly profound psychological involvement with materials, with perhaps the exception of Hsiao Ch Tsai, and they use textiles as a means of conveying something that is deeply felt emotionally. I chose these artists to write about here as they echoed some of my own positions, particularly as they related to space, mood and environment. I found they were all using the delicate fragile intrinsic nature of textiles to quietly convey feeling, memory and ideas beyond the immediate senses. These are the most interesting areas for me in my own work.


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