All the comments offered have provided me with much opportunity for reflection and a deeper understanding on how this work is being perceived. This exercise of the Mid Point Review is really going to help me when I talk about this body of work in the future. I have left it a few weeks before reflecting on these comments, so that the experience of the Mid Point Review is not so fresh in my mind and I have had time to inwardly process the comments before I reflect on them further.
I’m not sure what those living would think on seeing this work. Having spent most of my life concerned with what others think about me, my artwork has provided me with a method to be without thinking of any judgement from elsewhere. When I’m making work I move into a space that is not focused on what other people will think. This helps me to create the best artwork that I can create at the time. In my mind, if there is a reaction from the audience then the art has served its purpose.
I am becoming more confident in my critical analysis and I have been influenced greatly by some of the works of Christian Boltanski. I definitely feel that this work is still in the experimental stages and requiring to be resolved and refined further. I am hoping to focus further now on the creative intention and the visual communication process which I feel may enable my question to become more clearly defined and less inconclusive/more complete.
I had not considered the romanticism in the imagery and perceived the washing flapping in the wind almost as a harsh reality reflecting the domesticity of the consequences resulting from the building of the reservoirs.
Interesting comment about the project seeming almost complete as my own perception is that there is much more to draw from this body of inquiry.
The sense that the physicality of these villages still remain underwater alludes to the hidden aspects of the consequences of these events – hidden from view yet still there, akin to the memories and the emotional, mental and psychological effects on the individuals and the communities.
The deforested trees spoke to me on a level that is hard to describe or understand. They have a story to tell and in bringing them into this work, I am helping to tell their story. The metaphors that I see in these trees being cut down in their prime yet remaining rooted after all these years underwater really bring home the effect on the local people.
The natural world is significant to me on many levels and I feel my connection to the natural world drives my need to make work that brings awareness to the effects that we as humans have on nature as we develop in society.
The nature of my reflection when I visited the sites was about the energy of the sites and through energy work, ritual and ceremony these energies can be changed. It is a bizarre feeling being below the water line in the reservoirs and the muddiness is overwhelming. The childlike joy of discovering abandoned buildings was very apparent during my site visits.
All of these events happened in the 1960’s, however there are also much earlier examples of this happening in the UK – what’s significant about all of this is that these events occurred after decisions made by a governing body and that the laws that allowed these events to happen have not changed to this day, effectively meaning that despite public opinion there is potential for similar events to happen again. I’m generally not a political person – however the thing that comes to mind here is “Look what you did!” “Does this make you proud?”
An intrinsic connection is perceived by me with the larger historical memory formalised and recorded in books, yet have an awareness that these smaller memories are often what becomes forgotten with the passing of time. This idea of small memory is something that I want to develop further.
Interesting to explore further the tensions between large and small history. The individual is a key part of the whole community and a comparison can be drawn between the individual and the small memory and the community and the larger memory.
It’s often the small memories that bind a community together more so than the formalized recorded memory that you see in history. In today’s society, I see a loss of community and individuals becoming more and more isolated with the greater acces to technology and this isn’t necessarily a good thing. As social creatures we all need to belong – yet more and more we feel disconnected – that community connection that we are losing I feel is in fact more important than ever as we move towards the future.
People experience the loss of everyday throughout their lives, it almost happens and it’s gone before you realize its happening. Remembrance provides a way for the future to connect with the memories of the past.
The research of the ordinary is of great value here and the awareness of the small memories. I have been in two minds about taking it back to the communities, however after reflecting on this for some time and becoming more aware of a growing trend for awareness of these events I am going to try and make some connections in the local communities. Preserving memories is also important here, yet this artwork could be an excellent way of helping to raise awareness.
I like this “Everyone in the world is insignificant but each is the most significant part in his or her own world.”. I agree with the concept of self identity and external memory and in some way although memories about these events have changed or faded over time, the fragments hold a physicality that have degraded over time yet remain inherently unchanged.
Enshrinement – I like that word! Moving forward I have collected together experiemnts of works that can be expanded upon to make larger scale pieces. Taking the detail of the small memories and building them into larger scale works is what I forsee as part of my future practice. I was hung up for a while about having a particular style or material or technique however I now know that this isn’t necessary as part of my process is finding the right material for the work. The overriding feeling I have about my work, whatever the process, technique or material is that the made elements will always be large scale.
Also interested in producing a painterly effect through video and this has come through in another piece I have been working on.
Especially interested in the preservative quality of the latex, the fact that it draws elements out of the materials that are being cast, forever preserving them. The latex is developing over time and the colours are changing it’s also taking on a darker, muddier colour which is interesting. The effect from the metal objects in particular has been of great interest to me. I like the descriptive essence of the objects coming from the mud and returning to the mud.
I hadn’t considered that this method with latex was unique before – the quilting together of fragments brings to mind the stitching that I am keen to include in this work. There is an urgency to protect the history, definitely – it’s born from an awareness of the fading of these memories over time and the sense that few people are alive now who have a direct remembering of these events. The descendants of those who experienced this also demonstrate a determination to remember and not forget.
The comparison to wounds or bruises in the skin and make me think of the analogy between scars on the body (seen and not seen/physical, mental and psychological) and the scars on the landscape from the demolition of these villages and the beauty that existing in the valleys.
The latex has been a really transformative material to work with. It has taken the fragments and made them into something cohesive. Seeing the latex pieces in their physicality it brings about a different sense of the work again. Topographical – Yes – I get this too and the visualizations of the drought – totally.
The Wilding does have a floaty feel about it and I will be testing the latex prior to applying it to ensure that this essence is not lost.
I appreciate that it may not matter if it survives the film, however I have an overriding feeling that I want it to survive so that it can be displayed. Also in surviving it somehow reflects the resilience of the communities and their ability to survive and retain their historical routes and story.
Having been personally interested in shamanism, healing and spirituality, I feel a sense of the video being produced serving as a method for earth healing and as such shamanic dance ritual would be a part of this.
Some of the fragments I will be using in a spiritual ceremony for a similar issue in Scotland soon and I perceive this will help to combine the fragments with the video. The hope for the video is that it will incorporate an Earth Healing ceremony into the work.
Linking again to the shamanic rituals and the repetitive nature that can be found in body movement, I like the concept that this is awakening forgotten landscapes.
I have two ideas for the performance, recording some in a studio using a green screen and then recording some on site.
A live performance is also under consideration – not quite sure practically how that might work.
I have become aware of some Facebook groups for Capel Celyn and I am now considering how I can connect with the communities further.