Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Feeling a bit happier today

Jim and I went off together today, to buy a printer for use at home.  We discovered b/w copies are 11c per sheet, and colour are $1.13 at uni.  A printer costs about $48!  I'm going to need quite a few colour copies on my art course, so buying a printer will be worth it.  Mind you, a full spare set of print colours is $69, so we spent quite a lot of money.  Once the printer had been purchased and we were on our way back to uni, my hero carried the printer, had lunch with me, and then he carried the awkward package back home on the No 30 bus.

I had a good session in my Private Lives and Public Issues class.  Beforehand I had to do a shedload of reading, 3 articles of about 15 pages each which each gave a different description/slant on a public/private aspect of individual or group lives.  But more importantly I plucked up courage to ask the librarian how to look up journals and articles, which was completely defeating me.  The kind librarian demonstrated it for me and I picked it up immediately.  I just learn better from demonstration, rather than reading the instructions on the Libguide (which she mentioned at the end).  So that's one skill learned! 

I've had a good session on my Pattern and Meaning homework.  I've been thinking about what I want to work on.  I am interested in my personal experience in Australia as an exchange student and want to produce work that will reinforce positive memories my my time here.  I want to represent my father in my work because it is his money that is funding it.  He and I  was/am interested in plants and gardens, and he would have been interested in the native plants of Australia.  He had Alzheimers disease at the end of his life and had some trying behaviour.  I want to remember him positively in my work, acknowledging his positive attributes - growing plans, supporting the education of others.  With my work, I want to provoke an emotional response - positivity and affection, tinged with sadness and regret.  The contemporary issues are around portraying the frustrations of mental illness positively.  How to link positive memories and interests to something that is so emotionally sapping to the families?  Something around collective memory - memories of my Dad, memories of joy and growth for me from my time here.  I want to remember him positively - yet so much of his life and his memories were negative - so how do I celebrate his life and make positive memories from it?  By focussing on plants and high colour?  Without being too overt about memories?  Something that makes this project about the individual?  This is not a group mourning project or about a big national tragedy (Aids quilts and Twin Tower memorials).  It is about the impact of Alzheimers on an individual.  It has the potential to make me quite uncomfortable, but I like controversial art and part of liking controversy is about dealing with uncomfortable realities. 

I've also done some good prep on my first print silkscreen.  I drew some eucalyptus seed heads and made them up into a screen print.  I have prepared my screen and exposed the image onto the screen, which is a set of processes that are done by the technician back at UH.  Makes you much more aware of how time consuming it is, when you do it yourself. 

And one other thing, on his way home, Jim saw dolphins in the Canning River just outside our flat.  We had been told of them,but still did not quite believe we would see them.  And today Jim did!  He said they were definitely chasing something because of the speed and movement.  I presume it was dolphin dinner.  We would not see this in London.

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