Firstly, thank you for everyone who participated in my survey, the link is now closed and I will start analysing the results!
Secondly, here are some details from the weaving experiments that I’ve been doing:
As I wove, I wanted to keep in mind impressions I have of urban decay around where I live, things like mold, rust, moss, lichen, graffiti, broken surfaces etc. Layers of organisms and marks left by humans. I ended up using a lot of natural fibers and combining them occasionally with plastic or metal (or faux fur). I also did some rust dyeing and felt printing. I particularly liked the black felt because it looks like some kind of toxic mold.
Overall I did about 3 meters of weaving and it took such a long time. Although I didn’t plan any of it, I spent so much time trying to create impressions of what I’ve seen, that I might have strayed a bit from pure self expression of saori. However this will help me with the next phase of my thesis.
I had some warp leftover from the saori experiments, so I used some really gorgeous yarns to make a scarf. Didn’t have quite enough warp so it’s a bit tight, but pretty good for a days weaving. I call it Nocturnal.
A lot has happened in the last 3 or so weeks and I have been very very busy. Again, very grateful for all the survey answers, will close that soon and start making a summary of the results. I still haven’t finished the first draft of my thesis, but it’s coming along in other ways (though The Fear is ever present). I have woven about 3m of my first Saori piece and gone quite deep into experimenting with materials. I wanted to keep to just plain weave and focus on creating organic surface texture in other ways. This feels more natural to me than following a difficult weaving pattern. There is time to think and chance to get excited about the materials.
I also had a holiday! First proper one in years and it was so good and needed. I didn’t think about my artwork or the process at all, didn’t even take photos of the amazing things I saw, because I felt that it would sidetrack me into thinking about how to use everything for inspiration. I think this was good, because now I feel that I know what the next step should be with the thesis process. Although I could keep experimenting, the time limitations require me to find a way to stop and move onto making sketches of the finished pieces and writing the blasted report.
However I am still determined to apply for one more exhibition this spring and have been working on a side project, that is a bit of an offshoot from my thesis ideas. I call it ‘Field Notes’, again with the idea of combining fiber art and my experiences in natural sciences and scientific field research methods. The work deals with my observations of urban decay and how it can be a marker for today’s attitudes towards ownership and value, as well as a site of released pent up creativity and aggression. And then new, beautiful and sometimes dangerous worlds grow on top of it all! Some work in progress (still need to do finishings):
Although the piece is called ‘Field Notes’ I wanted to also name my ‘samples’. From top right to left: Collision of two cultures, Tension released, Behind the sofa, Corner, Object, Lives in the damp, Skeleton, Valuable memory.