I am just 3 weeks into the MA course and I am working in a great big mess of ideas, thoughts and experiments. “Process and Practice as Research” is what it’s all about this term.
Part of what I hope to achieve through following this course is the ability to actually-get-something-finished before spaghetti brain here drifts away to something more enticing.
This current project may not help with that aim directly but it does give me the chance to develop an idea by really examining ( *A.B. “interrogating” see footnote* ) it over and over again until something emerges, which might be a long way from where I started. But what to do?
Phases of the Moon
Sometimes, luckily, ideas just present themselves. On the 7th October, one week after the start of the course I happened to go out into the garden. It was about 8.30pm and hanging in the sky, just overhead was a fabulous moon. It was big, bright and very beautiful.
7th Oct moon, Grafham back garden. hand held Nikon
I took a hand held photo with Chris’ fairly modest Nikon and was astonished by the result. With the contrast bumped up in Photoshop it shows craters, the exquisite “rays”, and the dark “seas” figuring either a rabbit or a face or whatever your belief system might suggest. And that was it really, project decision made. My first terms work would be looking at The Depiction of the Phases of the Moon.
At the time I knew absolutely nothing about the moon, now nearly three weeks on I know much, much, more. What I know, in particular, is that it is a huge subject and presents a gigantic number of research avenues.
Here are a few I’m considering; science, myth, discovery, emotional and psychological connotations, photographs, educational and instructional images, associated words and meanings; moon planting, science fiction and geological structure.
Each of these could be a rich source of imagery and possibility.
Where to start?
JFDI: Advice I often give my students and sometimes take myself is the very best advice for procrastinators like me and as the course is “Book arts and Illustration” and I am interested in exploring book forms, I made lots … and lots.. of small maquettes, from map folds, squash books, concertinas, crown books, round books, fans, origami folds and more. A day of nice therapy playing with paper.
They are scrappy little things but so full of possibilities and ideas. Each could be taken and developed in many ways.
My notebooks are full of ideas, so far I have 18 pages like this:
I am making watercolours like this:
I have started making some unexpectedly lovely prints:
and am thinking about 3D possibilities and the wonderfully evocative words connected with the moon; waxing, waning, gibbous, crescent etc. And there is much more going on. It’s a big messy muddle of stuff and I am that pig in muck.. :)
At some point I do have to collate all this research into a coherent project report..(Yeah.. good luck with that Val..) so may be able to present it here in a neat concise form later in the year. Meanwhile it will be just sporadic and jumbled posts like this.
By the way, big thanks to all of your who sent me such lovely supportive messages and emails, encouraging me to keep blogging this stuff! I hope you are not regretting it.
* One down side of doing an MA is the necessity to return to Art Speak.. more affectionately known as Art Bollocks. The internet, provider of all things wonderful has a neat site where the struggling fine artist can generate their very own . See: http://www.artybollocks.com/ Hmmm…might prove to be very handy. Me, I just like to stick to that plain old motto: “eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation".