Having only just made this blog, I was unable to upload the work I’ve created over the course of the first week live, which I plan to do from now on, but for now I’ll begin by outlining my thoughts and feelings as a fresher in this giant scary adventure.
I found it difficult to feel comfortable at first in University, even though I was lucky enough to not have to move away, so for people that have left everything they’ve probably ever known, I have the deepest respect. If I hadn’t had the support and solidity of my family, boyfriend, friends and church, I would have found it much harder. However, as I’ve managed make some friends and get to know everyone on my course a little, I am beginning to settle in.
The only problem I’m really having is getting started after 6 weeks plus away from any kind of creative practice, except for the odd drawing, and especially when we get so thrown in! On Monday we were asked to work in groups making a collage in response to the title and brief of our first project “Text & Image / Random Narratives”. We were told, ‘work randomly’, ‘put together opposing text and images’, ‘experiment’, ‘make monsters!!’ – and this really helped me just to get into the creative process and socialise at the same time. And this was our response:
Using a movie magazine, Scientific American, an issue of Woman Alive and a prayer card (guess which parts I contributed! haha) we made a pretty creepy collage merging many of my favourite interests, and were able to play around with composition and a little dark humour (Alex’s eyes filled with flowers, his head emerging from a church and his mouth seemingly speaking ‘unexpected blessings’ is both cool and a bit scary at the same time).
Working like this was really fun and I’m really happy with the outcome, and it inspired me to make three more smaller collages independently to further experiment with the idea.
These three are in the order in which I created them, and they took around an hour each to complete. I loved playing around with the composition and putting together things where they shouldn’t be, or trying to inject a little humour here and there – the ‘moody cow?’ caption below the dramatic actress and the sandwich in the basketball hoop were me trying to show a little whimsy.
I also wanted to create a mood or atmosphere, and a narrative where possible, which is why I stuck to quite a dark theme in the first collage pointing towards violence and control, and why I chose quite a muted colour scheme apart from the splash of red or flesh tone.
It so happened that this afternoon in our first art theory lecture (‘Contemporary Practice in Context’), one of the concepts that my teacher pointed to was the idea of appropriation, citing Marcel Duchamp’s famous (or infamous?) ‘Fountain’. He talked about how Duchamp had brought something from his contemporary culture, the world around him, and had brought it into his art practice, and it was pointed out that we too had been exploring this same idea by taking other peoples’ imagery from film, photography and publishing and making it part of our own practice. I find this idea quite interesting, and had never properly thought about it before, or had never been able to apply the word ‘appropriation’ to it, and I feel as though this could have influence on my practice and the way I view the work of others in the future.
All in all, I feel it has been a productive first week. Photographs from Wednesday’s workshop will follow, and so will any thoughts or reactions to this work.