Draft Research Question and Abstract – Version 0

An Object is just an Object, or is it?

By examining the art of Christian Boltanski and Joseph Beuys this paper will argue that successful associations can be made with the larger collective memory through the use of insignificant, inauthentic objects. This analysis will be completed within the theoretical concepts of memory defined by Marcel Proust and Maurice Halbwach.


Boltanski | Beuys | Memory | Healing | Objects | Halbwach | Proust


The artists Christian Boltanskiand Joseph Beuys are adept at fostering illusion, an apocryphal narrative and false re-imagining of historical recollection. Deliberately revealing seemingly irrelevant objects as historical artefacts where unconscious associations established through individual relationships and personal memories of these unimportant objects and the associated circumstances. Both suggest that ordinary materials and commonplace objects are inherent to our everyday lives and profoundly integral to our unconscious minds.

Marcel Proust advocates that our forgotten memories are buried somewhere in our subconscious beyond our conscious minds. He evidently asserts that these concealed associations with the forgotten past can resurface through our unique interactions with material objects.

In his final novel ‘À la recherche du temps perdu’ Proust recounts the emotional moment he savours a madeleine soaked in hot tea, his Proustian Moment. The Madeleine appears as a personal memento of his subconscious mind involuntarily accentuating his previously obscured correlations between his heightened senses, emotional perceptions and his own memory.

Maurice Halbwach theorises that our individual recollections not only contribute to our personal identity but our proper place in civilized society. Plausibly suggesting that the conscious mind will seemingly reconstruct our forgotten memories within the confines of acceptable societal interaction. We invariable associate with those who typically have similar remembrance, yet our personal recall of historical events can be dissimilar from the collective remembrance.

This research paper aims to clarify that involuntary recall of a historical event can happen naturally with no first-hand experience and on direct interaction with a familiar object. The fundamental notion that seemingly irrelevant, inauthentic yet commonplace objects can be utilised as emotional triggers becoming characteristically memorable when put into a critical context. Thus, actively stimulating remembrance and emotional healing.

Wildling Video Experimentation 4

Continuing on from Wildling Video Experimentation 1, Wildling Video Experimentation 2 and Wildling Video Experimentation 3 this post has some further experiments using the drone and the preliminary Wildling costume (in glove form). See The Wildling – Part 4.

Wildling Video Experimentation 3

Further to the experimental videos produced in Wildling Video Experimentation 1 and Wildling Video Experimentation 2 the videos contained in this blog post are derived from a single piece of source video produced using the drone and the preliminary Wilding costume, at the stage where this was gloves instead of a whole costume.

Tutorial – 21/06/19

Today’s discussion began with the video pieces in these two blog posts.

These videos have been created from a preliminary set of footage that was shot in my back garden and my plans are to shoot video with the Wildling on site and also using green screen.

Jonathan observed the progression that I had intended moving throughout the nine videos and we spoke about the potential for further development. Some of the discussion was spent comparing the two video’s (6 and 9) in the second blog post and the potential for continuing with both these lines of enquiry. Video 6 having a more painterly and almost abstract effect where the image is akin to oil being poured onto water and Video 9 being more humanistic.For the time being I will probably continue to expand on both of these as I see future potential in either direction.

We spoke about the potential of layering this type of footage over the painterly effects found in video 6 (see link above) and using a blur layer to soften the lines in this video too.

We also discussed my ideas around the use of a green screen and a green body suit to create a different effect (which I have already priced) and Jonathan spoke about the use of contrast to be able to achieve the same effects, which brought me onto the drone footage that I have shot where there is the contrast that will provide the required effects.

Getting back to the drone footage, again this is just a clip of the first outing of my new drone, we both agreed that there is something special about parts of this footage and in particular when the sun is behind the camera and the shadows can be seen in the images. Also the trees at the location we used provide an additional interesting quality to the footage.

Jonathan did ask me where I see this going as it progresses and I discussed my recent reconnection with spirituality and the fact that although these videos are addressing a particular context, they are beginning to evolve and speak about issues of consciousness and other-worldly beings – I see this progression happening quite naturally almost as if by accident, but actually not. I also spoke about how I have always believed that the art and the spiritual would integrate at some point and that I’m starting to see this happen in my artwork now.  Jonathan also emphasised the importance of holding onto this connection with the spiritual and that this essence provides a deeper level of perception within the artwork.

We  spoke about the qualities of  the resin work in Latex and Resin and the objects being suspended in the resin like they would be suspended in time beneath the reservoir waters. The use of silicone to make the moulds for when I plan to create large multiples of the pieces made so far. I also mentioned my idea for creating a larger resin piece that suspends multiple items rather than individual items.

The quality of light when displaying the resin and the potential to use the resin to create a projection background and the potential to project a single moving image onto the resin or a complex video piece, like the video 6 mentioned above.

As time was running out we briefly spoke about the Citrasolv and the Experimenting with Poloroids work and the potential with both of these to create images that I can then print large scale onto net curtain fabric and then stitch onto.

Overall Jonathan asked me how I felt about how things were going so far and I spoke about the fact that I had spent a lot of time making so far and that this has provided me with the space and material to focus on the video work. We spoke about the way I am using traditional making methods then transforming that material into digital and the two-way connection between the two and the importance that maintaining that connection with the traditional has for me. I do have a lot of material that I can use to further this now and several ideas that can be progressed towards the final show next year.

Overall extremely happy with the tutorial discussion and it has been a great opportunity to reflect more fully on the work that I have produced since January.

Unit 1 Work Schedule – Draft 3

The following outlines the proposed work schedule for use moving forward. This is a working document and will change as time passes.See Also:

Date Proposed Work Actual Work
02/10/2018 Presentation Prepared Symposium Presentation
09/10/2018 Presentation Prepared Symposium Presentation
16/10/2018  Liverpool Trip Visited Liverpool Biennale
23/10/2018 Binaural Audio, Tutorial Created Binaural Audio and had Tutorial discussion
30/10/2018 Binaural Audio, Project Proposal Created Binaural Audio and Project Proposal Draft 0.
06/11/2018 Site Visits, Haweswater, Thruscross, Derwent, Project Proposal Site visits to reservoir locations and Project Proposal Draft 1.
13/11/2018 Site Visits, Tryweryn, Project Proposal Site visit to Tryweryn and and Project Proposal Draft 1.
20/11/2018 Sound Box, London Trip London Trip – Sound Box postponed until later.
27/11/2018 Video, Project Proposal Created video for Pop Up Show, Project Proposal Draft 2
04/12/2018 Video, Project Proposal Created video for Pop Up Show, Project Proposal Draft 2, Sound Box
08/01/2019 ASMR Audio, Stitch and Making Fragments – Part 1, Roof Slates and Latex, Research – Evocative Objects, Fabric Samples, Stitch making postponed
15/01/2019 ASMR Audio, Stitch and Making, Fragments and Latex – Part 1 – Objects, Stitch making postponed
22/01/2019 Video, Stitch and Making Tutorial
29/01/2019 Video, Stitch and Making Fragments and Latex – Part 2 – Prints, Stitch making postponed
05/02/2019 Distortion, Stitch and Making Rusting Objects, Fabric and Latex, The Wildling – Part 1, Stitch making postponed
12/02/2019 Distortion, Stitch and Making Latex Masters – Part 1, Latex Masters – Part 2, Sketch Book Pages, Citrasolv, The Wildling – Part 2, The Wildling – Part 3, The Wildling – Part 4, Fragments and Latex – Part 3, Stitch making postponed
19/02/2019 Low Residency London Gallery Visits, Low Residency – Day 1 – 35mm Slides, Low Residency – Day 2 – Group Tutorial, Low Residency – Day 3 – Gallery Visits, Low Residency – Day 4 – Sound Workshop
26/02/2019 Low Residency London Gallery Visits, Low Residency – Day 6 & 7 – Collaboration, Low Residency – Day 8 – Copyright, Low Residency – Day 9 – Thriving and Surviving as an Artist, Low Residency – Day 9 – Group Tutorials
05/03/2019 Distortion, Stitch and Making Reflection on Reflection
12/03/2019 Distortion, Stitch and Making Mid Point Review Presentation, Mid Point Review Comments
12/03/2019 to 12/05/19 Easter Break Sun Photography, Research – Lucas Samaras, Research – Casting with Resin, Experimenting with Poloroids, Latex and Resin
01/11/2019 to 08/5/2019 Professional Practice – Video Production The Garden Shaman, The Garden Shaman – Retrospective
14/05/2019  to 18/6/2019 Video Experimentation


Wildling Video Experimentation 2

Here are the second batch of preliminary experimental videos using the Wildling costume. See Wildling Video Experimentation 1. Focus for theses videos has been experimenting with video effects and the potential for future videos dealing more specifically with the narrative I have in mind.

No Sound. Videos below:


Wildling Video Experimentation 1

Having completed constructing the Wildling, I persuaded my daughter to wear the costume for me to take some preliminary photos and videos ready for me to begin editing. Below are some of the experimental video’s that I have produced so far. See Wildling Video Experimentation 2. Focus for theses videos has been experimenting with video effects and the potential for future videos dealing more specifically with the narrative I have in mind.