It’s been a week of gathering information and ideas to put together a manageable and exciting project for the next 6 months. As a person and artist who tends to spend most of the time spinning a lot of plates, its been a difficult path to navigate to find a strand of work to develop and work up to a sustained and in-depth research project for the final showcasing of the work I’ve completed over the last 18months. It feels like the degree show is the climax event in which I can share my outcomes with my family, peers and potential audiences and inevitably I want to be able to show everything that I can do and have the potential for. So to gather together all my ideas and attempt to work towards this has been perceived as overly ambitious and it’s only with letting go of some of it, new ideas and ways forward can evolve. Having experienced tutors, researchers and practitioners working in the contemporary art forums and having seen what others can achieve in the given time, I can only feel supported and guided through the decision making and narrowing down of focus.
I have reviewed my proposal and refined my outline removing almost half of the workload I was suggesting I completed. This does feel difficult to let go of, but it can just be for now, and there’s no reason I can’t pick up these ideas in the future and work on weaving the colours of my memories and life. After all, I have now purchased my own Saori loom and will be able to work with fibres as part of my design and Botanical Being brand. I love the potential of offering collaborative weaving sessions for families and industry and working with colour to create new fabrics.
So for now I will focus entirely on the botanical printing and natural dyeing work. Looking at local British plants that are near my home and working with the colours they offer through the seasons as they develop buds, leaves, fruit and seeds. Fostering a deep connecting with the natural environment and researching the potential for this emerging design work.
As there will be an element of waiting for the seasons and working with the cycle of growth- this adds a greater depth to the research and can pull on many aspects of other types of craft. Looking at sustainable resources and local resources and commenting on the global textile industry.
It will be interesting to explore how the work develops and include woven blanks which can then be dyed and printed onto. The challenge for me it to look beyond what is already happening in this field and research new possibilities and innovations for the direction of my own practice.
Collaboration is central to the themes within my work and I’m keen to actualise the second global collaboration. Focusing on botanical printing and bring those works together. Making connections, collections and communications through the narratives of the work.
I’ve begun to put out feelers for who might be interested in joining this project and so far I’ve got 70 botanical printers across all of the continents expressing an interest. Using the facebook forums I’m currently connected too and an active participant and admin on. This modern technology, bringing together a contemporary textile printing technique, which draws on ancient practice and has seen a return to natural practices and a slow movement in design techniques. Many themes to explore and evaluate.
I’m just about ready to get started – so lets see where this goes.