Art making as enquiry

Jon has been writing a book for the last four years. It has finally been sent off to the publishers . During the last few weeks he has been reading sections to me, I have read bits and become immersed in the words.

He has written about ‘writing as inquiry’ ( Richardson1997 ) before and I reminded that I could substitute ‘art making’ or just ‘making’ for ‘writing’.

It’s how I think through my process. My art making could be an seen as an inquiry.

Recently I have been sewing into my mandalas this seems to form its self into definite, purposeful shapes, engendering in me a sense of solidity (Wyatt 2019, forthcoming).

Collaborative piece – my sewing into Jon’s writing

And there is a pulsing between the lines ( ibid)

The sewing, drawing, printing, making, seems to be an assemblage of times of day, space, bodies, objects, movement and more (ibid).

Another collaborative piece – we are working on ideas for the cover of his book

The pieces hold an imprint of that time of making, held within the layers of work- almost suspended -captured by the movement of my hands, my body, my inquiry.

References

Richardson Laurel, Fields of play (Constructing an Academic Life) 1997

Jon’s book will be – Wyatt Jonathan,’ Therapy, Stand-up, and the Gesture of Writing: Towards Creative-Relational Inquiry’ 2019

Living by and working with ideas around water

During my life I have lived by water. I am fascinated by how the light plays on the surface, the movement and the patterns that are created.

I grew up near the Thames at Wallingford and as a child we used to visit Abingdon where I ended up living for 25 yrs. During uni a I was in London and up in the North East at Newcastle upon Tyne. I suppose living on a small island you are never very far away from water…

Now in Edinburgh there is the water of Leith that winds its way through the city. I travel over the the Forth of Firth regularly for work and visit the North Sea at North Berwick.

Recently in Bristol I was interested to see that architects had incorporated elements of water into a foot bridge in the quay area and some railings on Temple St.

My latest ripping/ hand sewing into a mandala/ blue abstract on paper is reminding me of water this morning

I wrote into it today about mandalas, their cultural significance, how to draw them and their meditative values with Hindu and Buddhism.

I started weaving in some text from yesterday’s writing about art making

And watery concepts popped into my head. I have been making lots of layers using digital imagery this month so I needed to attack this in the Image Blender app

I attached the piece to another mandala which peeps through the gaps – I’m not sure about the text and patterned strips they might come out.

more Image Blender stripes

More intuitive collages – Freemix App

I am really enjoying working with the Freemix App but I wish there was a search button on the cutout images because it makes my eyes go funny searching through the database – I shouldn’t complain really because it is free!!!! I am also a bimbo because the images are sorted into different types – I just had it on ‘random’ search 😂😂😂😂

More of my collages using Shelley Klammer’ s prompts – I am getting a bit more sophisticated………

The App allows you to choose backgrounds or import pictures

And then add cutouts which you can layer at will – there are lots of filters and tools – my fingers are a bit fat get the most out of everything on my phone. (I am not getting paid to do any advertising ) but it is a great find

Image blender

I haven’t been making digital images as much recently. I woke up this morning with a series of images in my head that illustrated a poem I have written about playing my viola as a child.

I had a image of playing in an orchestra practice in a school gym

Wind and rain through a window

Violin playing

Very annoyingly I forgot to keep track of what I searched for to find image references – if you know please tag me

http://www.violinist.com/blog/laurie/201512/17240/

And an orchestra of children

I layered these in the Images in the blender App trying to evoke the feeling of my poem:

‘Sitting in a sun lit gym playing harmonies

Whilst violins trill and float above me

My sister sight reads with a fluency

The wind catches leaves, the rain batters the window

Andstill she plays

Strings wound tightly

My beat a necessary layer, holding the ground

So her fingers can dance

Stretched thin by emotion

In time, out of time, in a minor key’

In the Blender App you choose 2 images and then filter them choosing a filter and the % of images on a sliding scale. When you Save you can choose to flatten the image and then layer this image with another – building up translucent overlays.

First go- with an orchestra added

Violin added

I messed about with the colour balance and filters and added the hand with vibrato

Final image cropped to add a more abstract feel

Visiting emotional triggers

2 years ago my son was in a road accident in South Korea – this week my daughter was poorly with asthma and flu and had to go to hospital. I am doing an initial counselling course and found it very difficult to do an empathy exercise with another student.

My irritable bowel has also been playing up, so all my emotional stuff is roiling around my stomach. I wanted to see if I could work through all the rubbish visually to see if that helped

I started off having flash backs after Face book reminded me that I was in Korea 2 years ago. My son was not really in any critical danger but he did fracture his skull in 3 places. So I went to Korea. It was a difficult time as you can imagine.

I came up with this image as a starting point after searching for flash backs in google images

https://www.writermag.com/2015/11/19/dos-donts-flashback/

Thinking about PTSD – which I don’t have, but being a visual animal and sensitive to being over stimulated – I thought it would be interesting to have a look at what images came up for PTSD

I love this one but it didn’t resonate with me at the time.

https://becomingsoldiers.wordpress.com/

Here are some more I found interesting

https://themindsjournal.com/

https://agileleanlife.com/emotional-flashbacks/

I decided to start messing about digitally with a couple of these to see what I came up with – this is how I usually work. I liked the scribble and the spiral

Unfortunately when I worked in my journal I didn’t do a step by step, but after a series of layers this is what I came up with.

You can’t really see the resemblance to the original images. I started off with a spiral clock doodle and then added layers of pattern, text , and a big loose scribble. I tried adding a lady in the middle but it didn’t seem to convey what I was feeling. however I liked the phrase ‘in the eye of a storm’ so an eye seemed more appropriate.

After lunch I doodled while waiting in a cafe, for a friend. Typically I forgot paper, but I had a pen. A few companies produce nice weight paper advertising leaflets which were on display at the cafe, so I decided to appropriate a diary to work on.

It helped to situate the doodle in a time frame of Feb/ March to anchor my thoughts. I like the look of asemic writing – what I use is technically not that – I write on top of my words a couple of times to hide the meaning from the reader – so I write out all my feelings but you can’t read it.

Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means “having no specific semantic content,” or “without the smallest unit of meaning.” With the non-specificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning, which is left for the reader to fill in and interpret’ (Wikipedia)

Sometimes it feels like I am in a dyslexic fugue-shining a light – ‘Soul Restoration’

I am ‘doing’ Soul Restoration with the ‘Brave Girls University’ . my best arty friend Debbie Howard is tutoring me electronically and I have signed up for Melody Ross’ video tutorials and bought the work book….

I am shining a light on my truths, today looking at my dyslexia which is driving me mad this week. I have trouble with dates and calendars – I try so hard to compensate but sometimes I have a melt down – 4 double bookings over the next few months has me reduced to a quivering jelly with a lack of self esteem……. I drew a table last night of my cock ups to get a better idea of how much grovelling I have to do , over the next few days.

As compensation I decided to stop beating my self up and look up symptoms of adult dyslexia

I tried very hard to spell the title properly but – drawing letters sends my potty – concentration on tooooo many things at once 😂😂😂

I picked out those that apply to me the most – if you have 10 the website has a course that you can attend to help you ……

https://www.dyslexia.com/about-dyslexia/signs-of-dyslexia/common-characteristics-of-adult-dyslexia/

I try an compensate but when I was a teacher it was a bit tricky with report writing and timetables….

I was reading the list – which I found interesting – it has a disclaimer at the top

‘Most adult dyslexics will exhibit at least 10 of the following traits and behaviors. These characteristics are often inconsistent, and may vary depending upon the day or situation.’

My art journalling called – I sometimes see pages in my head just before I wake up properly in the morning – today a girl was drowning in a sea of dyslexia – a bit dramatic but I liked it.

In the sea it says ” the very things that held you under are going to lift you up’ there is a randomn ‘ ‘achieve’ and ‘pressure’ and watches to represent time – calendars etc

The Soul Restoration course asks you to look at your light and shade in your life

Yesterday I had a mad art day and produced quite a few pages based on the idea around shining a light on the shade/ lies that I tell my self – I am finding the ‘lies’ quite difficult to get my head around

The one below looks at how there is too little natural light in my basement flat and how it is necessary to get out and walk everyday

Below I look at how I achieve when I push my self – this is quite a hard balance to achieve with the beating myself up that goes on with my dyslexia. These pages feel raw, untidy and unfinished but the express how I was feeling and the struggle to be authentic on the page

My first spread for this course looked at 3 different senses of self – a facade that I can present to the world , a shadow self and an authentic self. I made the page after a movement medicine session. Sometimes it feels like I dance to feel the light. – the page is a fold out piece so there are several pics

Hospital impressions part 2

The drawing process yesterday felt like we were becoming to know pieces more intimately – we were supposed to change pieces for every drawing

I stayed with the same piece for three exercises

In the afternoon there was a panel discussion about the assemblage – here are the notes I made – my thinking is in first person

Negative spaces

Feeling the shapes awareness of if my hand fitted – some smaller a lot fitted – left handed just put them in my right hand

My hand fitted holding their hand

Rachel Whiteman house turner prize

How will my drawings be used as part of the research process ?

Another part of the projects were sheets of paper attached to the walls which were typed up with info about the people who made the impressions- what they wrote when they held and squeezed the wet clay

The impressions

Interaction with clay finger prints – how it fit in the persons hand / mood / pressure

Different types fist around porcelain – look like bones

Artifacts /teddy/ rose

Assemblage defy classification

Individual engagement

Collection components

Process

Arrangement – straight lines of white shapes on black

Become part of a larger group

Words help the interpretation of interaction

my oil pastel and Conte crayon drawing

Potter / ceramicist

Shrinkage of clay in firing

found data set weird

Finger prints fade in firing

Porcelains moves in the kiln

Before fire/ after firing

Captured moments

Transition of time

Process

Journey

600 pieces want to make 1,000

Images made in the morning – beginning of

What happens next

Medical background

Out patients – huge variety of people very different – people coming into the hospital wanted to know what was going on – people willing – nice thing to do – hospital staff deal with patients – totally different – broke monotony – what next ? Part of a hospital move – shapes going into the new building part of the old building moving forward

Tactile

Filling out forms a few moments only writing

Connection to people who one works with – may not be relevant in 2yrs/ 10 yrs time

Guess work – how did people feel just by looking

Unsaid stuff

What don’t we know?

People behind the impressions

Array of white objects

Sameness and difference

Unique and the same

Irregular / regular

Humour random

Assemblage

My number

Numbers imprinted on each shape

Holocaust

Sense of loss / scale

Fragile and solid

Here’s me in the moment

Encounters

Impression there for others

Leaving Traces of bodies stories people

Evoke

More questions and answers

Qualitative research

Hugging ceramics

Grasp

Do objects require any more narratives

Stands alone objects ?

What can one read from it ?

Data protection number / ties in to paper

Life / death

Bones

Numbers – numberless dead

Evoke – numbers become irrelevant

Always slippage

Ceramicist slippage

Transitional states

Disconnection between the objects

Personal

The personal

Who do they belong to?

Drawing – looking at shape form texture weight – abstracted from what they are

Removed from the human element looking at porcelaine its self how it was altered into shapes – ones that One liked or didn’t like

Saw hills mountains – fir cones landscape

Others saw Sea weed shells corals drawings made the impressions seem more real different interpretations

Experience of loss

Material change materiality – first time children touched clay – youngest one is 3 days old

Loss of the hand

What is there ? what is not there ?

May be active assemblages

What is this doing ?

Enabled passing of time

Haunting

Engagement

Different perspectives of people and the experience of the panel discussion

Still a folding

Still becoming

Inbetween

Inbetween intimacy and institution

Influx

Impact on a patient

Impression that patients leave on staff

Holding hands when some one passes away

Inbetween life and death human kind – universal

Edinburgh centric – conversation between

One building and another

Art versus illness

A Hurts + Heals project, as part of NHS Lothian’s Art & Therapeutic Design Programme.