Monday, 23 April 2012

The Sketchbook Project

I can confirm I will be exhibiting in The Sketchbook Project 2013, as I did in 2011. My book for this year will involve documenting my environment and actions at the same time of day, every day, until the book is filled. I did this before as part of a project during my Foundation year, really enjoyed it, and was planning to do it again anyway, but this is an ideal platform. At the moment things seem to be falling into my lap, and opportunities keep arising to let me realise my ideas. It's great.
As well as producing interesting and varied results, working in this way also forces me to create work daily, even if it is on a small scale. I think that at this time, when I'm obliged to find a day job and bring some of my attention away from art, this is invaluable. Another positive side effect is that I want to create an interesting piece, so I'm encouraged to go out and do interesting things, not just create page after page about me watching TV and eating dinner.
When I worked in this way previously I used the time of 3pm every day. This guaranteed that I would be awake and out of bed, but was also a time when I'd be doing a variety of things, not the same thing every day. I've put a little more thought into my chosen time on this occasion, because I may well find myself in a situation where I'm working and cannot stop to draw or take photos. I'm thinking 6pm is a good time, as I'm more likely to be out of work, but still likely to be doing different things from day to day. Hopefully the time will not be a problem and the book can be consistent throughout, if it proves difficult I'll just have to change it.
Aside from that I'm finishing off my body of work on Finland, and details of the exhibition will follow soon. I'm just looking forward to receiving my sketchbook and working on this new project.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

New work to end this

I'm getting started on a new piece, which will be the final part of my body of work on my time in Finland. I've really enjoyed making this body of work, and I'm proud of what I've done, but I feel like it's time to move on. When I started this work the experience was really fresh for me, but now six months have passed and other concerns have come up for me which I'd like to work with.
Recently my work has become concerned with human experience, not just relationships, and I think the new piece is more reflective of this. I'm very interested in language, and whilst I was away I was very keen to learn and speak as much Finnish as possible. Even now I still try to keep practising with it. In London it's very normal to hear foreign languages around you, so I didn't find it too daunting to be surrounded by the Finnish language. Finnish is such a minority language that few people are familiar with it, so I thought it would be really interesting to confront my audience with it, allowing them to share my experience of being surrounded by it. I think it will be easy for an audience to relate to this piece, as viewers have likely had the same experience whilst on holiday abroad, or may have lived abroad themselves.
I've chosen to embroider a variety of stereotypical English phrases and concepts, translated into Finnish. The image is of a trial piece I did yesterday, reading "cup of tea". I'll provide a handwritten board with translations, otherwise no one will get the joke of the two cultures being mashed together, unless a Finnish speaker happens to see the work.
For this piece I'm using a style more reflective of handwriting than the block capitals I used previously. This adds to the human element.
I think my exhibition will provide a strong feel of my Finnish experience, and I'm very glad that I'm able to share this with others.
Additionally, I'm currently applying for an artist's residency in Turku for Autumn 2013. I might be back sooner than I think!