Updated: Feb 1
Week beginning: 26th September 2022
Initial Ideas and Brainstorming
Having recently started back at university I found myself contemplating which direction I wanted to take my art in, as well as challenging where I situated myself within the Multi/Inter and Transdisciplinary disciplines. The beginning of my MA journey was mainly researched based, having chosen my direction and theme I began in depth primary and secondary research. This is of course an ongoing practice and I aim to document all this research within a folder, to be presented during assessment. As well as this research, I am conducting reading and researching the books and media suggested to me via the essential reading list at the beginning of the course.
My intention is to showcase a series of prints or photographic works about forests, trees, their wood, and the memory they contain, Exploring themes of nature and landscape in the process as areas of interest. I brainstormed several ideas both unrelated and related to the theme of trees, I thought it might be interesting to try and put visualization to things, we can’t, see? possibly the communication between trees? Forests as a collective network?
The encapsulation of carbon, breathing out oxygen? Their long lineage, their record of the world and the memory they contain? Problems such as deforestation? the list was endless. But I settled on a theme of memory and a record/document of the world obtained by a tree. This theme has been of interest to me for a while and I've never had the confidence to explore it further, but I feel now is the correct time to both explore and experiment with this theme as central focus.
I aim to accomplish these tasks using various methods. Using both practical and theoretical knowledge to progress. Research INTO the subject using critical studies of practices, historical studies, and past collections etc. Research THROUGH performing the acts of printmaking and/or photography as processes, developing ideas, works, experimentation. ACTION RESEARCH: Testing ideas, peer group discussions, exhibitions, practice led research. Research FOR, collecting source materials and acquiring techniques and skills to produce outcomes. (Gathering both primary and secondary research and attending workshops). As stated above this research will be documented in a folder and displayed for assessment if needed.
Establishing a clear outline of what the purpose of my research is, what subjects you intend to explore and why?
The purpose of my research is to explore the process of memory and how (if possible) differing species of trees obtain a record of the world around them. How they feel, communicate, and if they have the ability to remember events and obtain them as a memory. The main subjects of course being trees, their wood and the natural textures they contain. This has always been of interest to me, being born and raised in Shropshire, meant I quickly developed a passion for the countryside and the natural forms and textures within it. Growing up I was captivated by the spiritual and cultural meaning behind trees and the spiritual journey of the Ogham alphabet. This led me to study the links between spirituality and trees, exploring their meaning and cultural responses, during my BA final exhibition.
I aim to demonstrate my development and progression through the presence of this online blog. And visual progression is to be stored within sketchbooks and workbooks throughout the year as evidence. (These will be coherent and available for referencing as and where necessary.) I will also produce a 1500-word reflective review alongside my online and visual documentations.
Methods of working: Studio work, printmaking workshops, research visits, trips to galleries and exhibitions, creative/critical writing, location drawing, field trips, sketchbook development, WordPress, (Blog updates)
• Conducting fieldwork being in direct contact with the culture, communities or physical landscape being researched. By observing and/or describing
• Archives, museums, collections, or databases provide extensive knowledge and can offer original and unique documents/ artefacts.
• Seeking out existing investigations that address relatable issues etc.
• Drawing from observation
• Sketchbook practice as a way of collating information is a research methodology. The sketchbook can be used and adapted almost a container for thoughts, observations, and memories. Physical space to bring together found objects, studies, collected research and references.
• Dialogue and conversation. Group discussions gain insight/share ideas etc.
Critically engaging with the urban and rural environment through playful or experimental means and always on foot. Walking and recording to unearth stories that live in the locations being traversed.
I am wanting to experiment with a technique that is completely different and new to me, the process of cyanotypes and ‘alternative’ photography, my ways of working traditionally touch upon elements of photography and printmaking combined so I thought it would be interesting to explore a more alternative approach to photography. I began researching the process and taking primary imagery, this imagery was captured using an analogue camera and the negatives were scanned and converted onto black and white and reverted into both positive and negative images. I will now experiment with these images and explore the process of cyanotype further.