The smudgy background around the head area bothered me so I fixed it. I added materials and worked into it until I felt happier with it. Sometimes it is not about thinking and planning it is about trying to fix something by working into it until it looks better. This can create a tension and be a stressful part of the process, feeling like you are trying to rescue something from impending disaster. The work I go through this struggle with always seems better for it this angst seems to sometimes be an important part of making and not very enjoyable.
‘Using the dissolvable but perhaps with the stitches left on a fabric and the water being a permanent aspect of the work could be worth exploring. This would show process but also makes a relationship between the imagery and the process.’ I like things to have a reason but I have been considering how this might be more about just being able to see the connections that are already there, perhaps having been subconsciously evolving in a particular way – not very scientific, but a hunch that things that appear serendipitous may in fact have been subconsciously designed and evidence of an ongoing iterative process.
I became interested in how repeat tracings or free-machine stitching of the same image is a form of mimicry but that through the process each one turns out differently and evolves. The sampling and experimenting of the image on different translucent materials allows for these differences to be seen. When learning we often mimic the actions of those we are learning from but also thinking about ‘mimesis’ as copying/imitating/replicating in terms of drawing is interesting when through this process it changes into something else and no longer replicates the original source in the same way. By contrast ‘diegesis’ an ongoing narrative – telling rather than showing describes the process by which I am exploring and sharing the making and evolving of the work.
From the experiments I decided to record the repetition of making the image on one length of silk, it became a fairly arbitrary length with a piece being added when it looked the right length. Making the length with repeated imagery became a rhythm, the free machine technique allowed me to focus on the lines but also respond to the sewing in the same way I would with a pencil on paper. Each image would be different and look slightly different but overall they look assertive in their attempt to look the same. The water – contained in a goldfish bowl shaped vase (reminded me of deep sea diving helmets) would allow the process of dissolving the material to become a permanent part of the final piece of work or ‘installation’. With the embroidery in the bowl it became changed through the distortion of the water as well as the shape of the bowl and the diver looks at home.
The final piece of experimentation was with projecting parts of the documented process, the films of the making, over the work. My original ideas, which I spent some time procrastinating on, to embed the process using conductive threads and miniature screens and speakers, could still be developed. At this stage I want to conclude in some way and consider the integration of technology afterwards. The projections enable further overlays of imagery and emphasise the mimesis and diegesis that have emerged from it – the final recording is a version of the installation as a pause rather than a full stop to the ‘Making the invisible visible’ project.

Author: feltlikeit

Artist & Lecturer

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