Porcelain experiments in attaining the texture of ‘flesh’
As of recently, I began to focus on the idea of the porcelain plates being ‘scapegoats’ for human flesh; almost like I was crafting the essence of a human’s being out of clay (a concept widely known throughout history as the way gods made us). This is in order to further attain a likeness of skin in order for the tumours that are ‘inserted’ into the ceramic pieces to appear more realistic, and therefore more in tune with my concept. Unfortunately, as it has been for a while now, I have been suffering from the issues of ceramicists not caring much for other subject’s work, and therefore have not been able to work on these for two weeks whilst they have been waiting to be fired. Therefore, I have moved on from this area of work. However, I still appreciate the way that the porcelain has been formed; and with the slight iron wash that I gave it; drawing out a more flesh like colour to the surface of the plate, I think I have been successful within the work. I really like the second plate, which has a few creases in the middle and didn’t snap (like another of the plates). As a result of this, I was able to attain a likeness to creased skin; much like that of the centre of a hand, in a piece of porcelain. I’m excited for the prospects that this now holds, and will keep pursuing it despite my other work being sightly more relevant.
The past few week’s efforts, realised
The mirrors have come out far more successful than I originally thought. the way that the light shines through the mirror’s etched tumours makes the tumours appear spiritual, almost ethereal; as they are meant to follow on from the idea of the ‘scapegoat’. As a means of catharsis, the works prompt the viewer to question what it is to suffer from cancer; and how they can perceive the situation and it’s effects. I find that the work needs to be lighted from the back in order for it to achieve the full effect I am attempting to manifest. I feel like the mirrors promote reflection, in the very broadest sense; as a connotation surrounding such an object, one finds that the mirror is a gateway into the mind. Through experiments in the 20th century, scientists discovered that they could test the levels of sentience within animals by placing a mirror in front of them, and seeing how they interact. Certain animals, such as chimpanzees and dolphins, were able to understand that the reflection in the mirror was of themselves, and therefore, are conscious and self aware. One finds that the ability to look at something, specifically a reflection, and realise that the person within is themselves, awakens the conscious aspect of the mind. If one is asked to look inwards, at themselves, specifically in an art piece, then they are being asked to become a part of the art piece; or are made the subject of the work. This then benefits the overall theme of the ‘scapegoat’, and allows the person viewing the piece to become another aspect (or object) within the installation; which is, in itself, a collage of objects and symbols.
The first iteration of my ‘breathless’ sculpture has become an interesting juxtaposition of harsh metal and soft fabric. Concerned with my inability to breathe as of late, and how I would awake at night in coughing fits; afraid to go to sleep once more, in case I suffer an attack in my sleep and I don’t wake up; possibly indefinitely. The soft bedding relates to the flesh of my body, the bedding it resides in during the attacks, and a sense of purity; of skin, white, much like the porcelain. The wire is pain, constraint, and fear; engulfing me at the time of my breathlessness. The juxtaposition of the form and the function, an object with no purpose but to be a manifestation of my consciousness. Interestingly, the object resembles a tumour. This was not planned, but ended up in such a form purely by coincidence. I’m not sure about it though, the form; I feel like it is good as it relates to the tumours, and therefore develops on from my drawings; yet, I feel like the form is not perfect; if it was dismantled somehow, or elongated to the length of a human, may benefit it a lot more. I don’t know, the space I have been placed into is not ideal for the work; but I guess that’s just how it is, I’m just not a fan of the whole design of the space within university for exhibition. The ‘white cube’ has never really appealed to me. I much prefer the site specificity of a space like the abacus, or some other space not initially designed for artistic exhibitions or work. The space I have is enclosed yes, which is what I wanted, but I feel is a little bit too enclosed. Maybe i’m being picky, I’m not sure. I will have to endeavour to work with what I have, the work will evolve in order to better suit the space it is situated within.