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.