Being a scientist and generally making art inspired by landscape or abstracted versions of things I've seen and recorded, I find it difficult to work with concepts and emotions as themes. But that was what we were working with last week.
The idea was to put up sheets of paper on the wall, pick a word based on 'states of being' eg anger and explore ways of expressing that in visual terms eg what colour would it be , shape, size, texture, quick/slow marks etc. We had an overview of 24 of these abstract terms and examples of how different artists had used them eg Rachel Whiteread for 'volume' casting the spaces under desks in resin ' and Luke Gottelier for 'scale' making a studio for his hamster.
Working on the wall ( or in my case a door) gave the opportunity to find links between different elements and to expand to further sheets of paper.
We formed brain storming groups of 4 to discuss our words and how they could be interpreted which was useful process, especially as I was way out of my comfort zone.
As it's 3 years since I left Kew, this has been on my mind a lot this week. Initially my word was 'reflective' but changed to 'regret'. Working there for nearly 25 years, doing work I enjoyed and made a difference both for conservation and in training people, it was a large part of my identity. I used to squeeze art and stitching into any spare time. In the end I didn't need to find a job but now while in theory I have all the time in the world to focus on art, one of the main issues I've had to deal with is deciding my own direction and motivation after being part of a team effort working towards long term goals. I still miss my colleagues. On the positive side , Faversham is proving a lovely place to live and I've already had unexpected success in winning Fine Art Quilt Masters although now there are expectations of what I'll produce next!
So lots of complex and conflicting emotion there , how to express it visually? I started off with a grid structure of the growth room shelves and the circles of Petri dishes , ideas about breaking out of the grid and positive and negative feelings.
circles and also the outlines remaining when you cut shapes out. This hasn't been part of my textiles so far but perhaps they should be .
At home , I finally got round to sticking in some more leftover bits in my 'scrap book' .