Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Research and doodling as creative process ....

Books, glorious books!

I suspect that books are going to become extra significant to my work during this residency: as a resource of physical material and as a resource for inspiration.  

While the internet is also an incredible resource it is lacking in tactility, and I am someone who is strongly informed by sensory input.  One of the wonderful things about working in a school environment is the access it allows to a library and its staff.  It was wonderful to be browsing the Art section yesterday and have the librarian approach me, already aware of my work and brimming with enthusiasm to help me with my research.  I walked out of the library with four wonderful titles and a determination to make the most of my access to this resource while I’m able.

This morning I spent some time with the small group of students I’m going to be working closest with during this residency.  I showed them a couple of TED talks (shared below) which are each playing a role in informing my current thought processes, then they joined me in one of my line-drawing exercises. I’ve begun to recognise these drawings as a method to free my mind, a sort of meditative action that may seem mindless but which facilitates thinking that I’m otherwise too busy to pay attention to.  This is also a process where boundaries are set which, converse to the creative concept of ‘stepping outside the box’, can promote ingenuity.  I experience this as a sort of antidote to the information and sensory overload that can be hard to escape in the rush of life, so these types of exercises have become an important part of my creative process.

Phil Hansen: Embrace the shake

Sunni Brown: Doodlers, unite!

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Serendipity ....

Among the many reasons I decided to apply to do this residency was the opportunity it could present for experimentation with materials.  For reasons such as available studio space and conflicting priorities I’ve found it can be difficult to dedicate extended periods to exploring new materials and processes.  A residency provides a time, place and structure in which this can be achieved.

I arrived at the school this morning feeling quite unsure of how I would get started. I made some interesting explorations into materials yesterday, but nothing that I was itching to get back to this morning.  Then while walking along a corridor I noticed a recycling bin overflowing with paper products.  One of my interests is in using simple materials on mass to create multiples of forms.  Using materials that would otherwise be considered waste enables me to do this cost effectively.  So, call me odd, but finding a collection of discarded cardboard is a bit exciting for me!

My bounty, and some painted to obscure unwanted marks.

From there a chain reaction was set off, and I have spent the morning experimenting with my found treasures: folding, tearing, painting, scrunching, dipping in liquid clay.  From the outside it may look like a bit of a manic process, but I’ve actually been feeling like a kid in a candy shop!  By the nature of the fact that I am working in a school environment I have at my fingertips many materials and tools that I would normally need to plan for and source externally.  To be able to lay my hands on a little bit of paint, or wire, or a particular tool enables the creative process to go on uninterrupted, responsive to ideas as they occur and evolve.
Scrunched and strung.  

Dipped in liquid clay (called 'slip') and hung to dry

So, a day that started out with a lack of direction has become a productive one thanks to time, space and opportunity to explore.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Getting started....... 

Wow, the first three days flew by, consumed largely by setting up my space, taking care of all of the OH&S requirements for both Arts Tas and St Pat’s (no escaping this stuff for artists, in fact making art can be VERY dangerous) and sorting out access (keys and IT). In the process I met lots of really friendly and helpful people and stumbled across a number of already familiar staff and student faces.  I was thrilled to be able to install my existing work Interstitial in the Guilford Gallery, thanks to a lot of expert help from Michael and Danny who set up the anchorage points and hung the work.  Lovely scrunching too guys!!

Interstitial, installed in the Guilford Gallery

I managed to punctuate each day with a little bit of making also.  Over the summer I’ve been thinking about and doing a few things (like collecting used tea bags, more on that later…), developing in my mind a number of ideas that I think will work together in this project.  I wont try to explain these ideas yet, but as a start to the making process I’ve begun attempting to draw straight lines freehand on various types of paper.  At least I start out trying to draw a straight line, but then continue to attempt to draw lines an equal distance away from the previous line. It’s about layering through repeated actions, and multiples of layers and actions, but most of all at the moment it is about making and observing, not only the outcomes but also my experience of making in a physical sense and a mental sense.  I’ll try and explain that a bit better in the coming weeks, but for now here are some not-so-straight lines.

Lines over text and torn edges

 Lines on crumpled tissue paper

 Testing pens and pencils on watercolour paper

 Lines on translucent paper over white and black backgrounds

Oh, and by the end of the week I was itching to get my hands dirty so I finished off with an hour of repeated actions, squishing some clay.

PS I completed this post in a much less embarrassing amount of time. Progress!

Sunday, 16 February 2014

 Time to get started....

There’s nothing like publicly announcing that you are going to do something to get you motivated and committed!  I’ve tried blogging before, but I was pathetic at remembering to make updates.  So setting up a blank blog and handing over the address for publication in the St Pat’s newsletter was a ‘point of no return’ moment for me: I said I was doing it, so now I just have to make it happen!

Part of the problem for me as a blogger is that I am a painfully slow writer.  My typing is not an issue (I’m actually quite a good touch typer), it’s more that procrastination about words and phrasing sees me re-reading, deleting, re-writing and editing repeatedly.  I wish I could just let the words flow and just be as they first occur to me, but it doesn’t happen that naturally for me.  So that’s something to work towards, an outcome beyond the recording of the project through words and images: to increase my spontaneity as a writer.

Let me introduce my self and the purpose of this blog:

My name is Serena Rosevear and I am a visual artist who works mainly with ceramics, but employs other materials such as paper, textiles and wood as appropriate to each project.  Commencing in 2009 I studied fulltime towards a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts at UTAS, graduating with First Class Honours in 2012.  I live in Launceston with my husband and our three children (ages 14, 16 and 21) where I am currently working on establishing a dedicated studio facility with the assistance of an ArtStart grant.

I’m writing this blog to serve the purpose of recording and sharing the process and outcomes of my period as Artist in Residence at St Patrick’s College, Launceston during 1st term, 2014.  The AIR 2014 program was developed and is managed by arts@work in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts and is being conducted in 7 secondary schools around Tasmania this year.  The program is aimed at exposing staff and year 11 and 12 students to professional arts practice, encouraging the sharing of skills and ideas while demonstrating the realities of a career in the arts.  The school provides the artist with a studio space within which they conduct their usual practice.  While at St Pat’s I will work closely with a small group of students as well as being available to other students and staff should they wish to interact. 

From my point of view the residency provides an opportunity to return to an idea that I have previously worked on (see pics, and I’ll blog about the idea as the project progresses), with a view to further developing it into a body of work for exhibition at a later date. 

Well that only took me …… an embarrassingly long amount of time to write. It is only day one I guess!!??