I have enjoyed this mixed media project and began by looking into prints, with this project I wanted to create something that I could use to celebrate the memory of my cousin Ryan who committed suicide 12 years ago and to show the effect a death has on family members. Through this project I have been influenced by the different artists mainly Marilyn Levine and Vénera Kastrati as their work is in remembrance of other people. After my research and development of practice I am to use baby clothing to represent how fragile a life is, I have stuffed the baby clothing out with news paper to give it figure then to dip them in slip and to keep putting layers onto the piece before it fully dries as I have learned from experience from the dungaree dress cracking when putting new layers onto it I had also tried some clothing in plaster but found it quite hard to work with as it was drying much too fast therefore it was drying in clumps on the clothing , although it looks interesting it is not what I wanted so I shall be using slip. My auntie is very superstitious and she believes that he is still around in her everyday life thus the baby clothes made o look as if there is a figure inside them that the clothes representing his life there but no see able figure to show that he has passed on.
When developing to what type of clothing to use to represent Ryan I did a tester of a child’s clothing and adult jeans the child’s clothing worked better as it was much smaller and easier to handle and make more sense as my aunt and uncle have out lived their youngest son.
All of my work in my sketch book has worked out as I had hoped but when coming to creating the final pieces a few problems came up when they had dried fully I removed the news paper from within to create more of an effect but as I was pulling them out they begun to crack and fall apart I then decided to paint the pieces white to make them look pure therefore I mixed up some white slip but again it made them crack more also the white slip was more cream than white, because of this I decided to paint them again but this time with matt wall paint which made them much stronger and also filled in the gaps and cracks , finally they have turned out as I have wanted them to look , I wanted them to be pure white to connect them more to the spirit world to Ryan because the white feather left behind represents that a spirit has visited therefore the colour white is the white of the feather. To a whole this project worked very well I have enjoyed it very much I cant pick out a favourite of the whole project only thing that I am not happy with are the pieces of clay that I have stuck into my sketchbook that they are snapping due to the weight of the plaster hands.
As I wanted to paint them white to make them more pure looking and also to connect to the white feather that is a symbol that a loved one that has passed away has come to visit to let you know that they are happy and ok. I was disappointed when I used the ceramic white slip to paint them as it was more of a cream colour and made the pieces crack even more when fully dry.
For my final piece I have decided to use the baby grows to show how fragile a life is, I will be stuffing them with paper when I dip them in slip to make them look as if there is a child in them but once they will be dry I shall be taking the paper out leaving the babies grow as a shell, the filled clothing shall represent my auntie still talking to him and how he is still in her life where as there will be nothing inside them, representing that he is no longer in this world showing the absent figure. I will also be putting the grows into different posses to make them as lifelike as possible making people relate to them wanting to touch them like you would a baby to comfort them as we comfort my aunt.
This is my 2nd attempt with plaster to see if i could get the hang of it…guess wha? ..i didnt . In my sketchbook I have samples of how the plaster can turn out, I got some lovely pieces of the different textures.
I also tried using plaster to see the difference in look and easiness. I found that the slip was much easier to use because the plaster was drying to fast, therefore I could not completely cover the clothes perfectly, and it became very lumpy. Although they look effective it does not have the same effect that I wanted to happen.
I have also tried to dip a bigger piece of clothing such as trousers to compare weather a small or big piece is easier to do but in this case it is much easier to use a small item there for I shall be using child clothing. In my sketch book I have also put in samples of the different textures that slip can create and how it would turn out perfectly done, I have also put a piece in with the newsprint transferred to the back of the slip once dried.
I am going to use clothing to represent the absent figure but also representing Ryan, I shall be stuffing them to look as if there is a presence there but they will be hollow showing that they are no more that they have passed away. This piece is a trial run as I want to see what works best when dipped in slip or plaster, this one have been dipped in plaster, but it has not work due to it drying out to fast with me adding more layers onto it making it crack. In my sketch book I have put some different samples in of it cracked and not being covered in the slip completely.
Tracey Emin’s work doesn’t call out to me although they work is quite deep and shows the aspect of absence. Her work is very personal to her. “My Bed” she re-created her own unmade dirty bed with used condoms and blood-stained underwear for the public to observe this piece of work shows the absence but I find it quite staged therefore the feeling of absence is not very strong.