Friday, 5 August 2011

Getting into the swing of it

I'm feeling as if I have got into my stride with my studies now.  I know which modules are my favourites, and which I am likely to get lower marks - they counter-correlate.  Pattern and Meaning is my favourite class, then History of Issues in Art & Design, then Visual Inquiry, Reconsidering Traditions, and last Private Lives Public Matters.  I feel more confident that I know the expectations, the deadlines, and am getting down to work on each one.  I had my panic about work levels a week ago, and this was about a week before everyone else.  All my classmates have been doing angst about workloads this week.

Yesterday I had another Pattern & Meaning class.  We were shown a photocopy of a complicated repeat pattern and shown how to identify the pattern repeat.  Basically you use 2 different highlighters and colour in matching areas of 2 adjacent patterns.  You continue until you think you have covered the whole pattern motif, one in each colour.  Then you pick out the pattern above, to the other side and beneath the original motif.  This ensures you have isolated the whole motif. 

We were then shown how to manually create a repeating pattern that is not a standard tessellation.  Create a roughly horizontal pattern with several close but not actually touching shapes.  Cut paper vertically into 2 pieces, between two of the shapes, move the right hand piece to the left hand side, and tape in position.  Draw pattern shapes above and below what you have already created.  Cut apart horizontally between some of the pattern shapes.  Move top piece to bottom and tape down.  If there is a gap in the middle that you do not want, add more pattern shapes.  This leaves the paper jigsaw shaped and you can then photocopy to create a repeating design.  I spent last evening doing this as my homework. 

I have been thinking about my final assessment. This needs to be a length of cloth, at least a meter in each direction.  I know I want to work with Australian flora, but to include my Dad and his Alzheimers somehow.  Kelsey, our tutor, thought this was a good concept, and thought there might be comparatively few other artists working with this theme.  She suggested I look at Notan - the dark-light principle.  I took a book from the library - most common familiar form is the Yin-Yang motif - equally light and dark and wholly balanced.  So I'm working through some of exercises in the book.  I associated thought and brainwaves with silver lines (so did Dumbledore in Harry Potter!).  So I wondering about a length of cloth - starting with australian flora, representing the plants that we both loved, then adding a few silver lines and outlines, then silvery (or dark?) amygloidal plaques (which look like flowers) getting denser until the placques totally obliterate the beauty of the fabric.  The obliteration ends with a straight line, (Dad died), and returns to the whole patterned fabric, full colour and beautiful, which represents the positive use of his inheritance support my education to celebrate his love of gardening.  And it would end up as an art installation hung sideways on - wide and shallow - representing the breadth of horizon and ending with the cloth wound around a roll, indicating that the end is still out of sight.  Not that I'm planning anything overly-demanding, you understand!

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