Reflection - 13 03/02/19 Inwards Outwards, Part Two

9th February 2018: NEW DIRECTION FOR PROJECT PROPOSAL

In terms of my exploration of Peterborough, I was drawn to the wares of its market, however approaching observational drawings of my surroundings in my sketchbook, I was reminded of my visualisations of the car boot for my lanyard project. I feel as though my projects are strongest when I tap into personal experience (with research into the mystical majesty of my childhood theme park making culture swap one of my favourites), so I have been reflecting on how else I can diverge from my research into my malfunctioning mind and "relaxation" methods. I found that, despite being integral to protecting my mental health, my coping mechanisms are rather introverted and could be considered selfish, so I would like to instead turn to the company of others to unwind as my new subversion, as socialising is something I often find difficult due to guilt of not tackling my workload.

My research into Peterborough City Market was certainly not wasted, as it enabled me to practice loosening up my observational drawing again, due to feeling as though I am still agonising over every single page in my sketchbook, sometimes inferring a lack of work in terms of quantity despite me working all day. I'm finding it difficult to let go, as I care so much about how I express myself creatively that I overanalyse every element on my page, from composition, to colour, to form, however using my left hand and holding the pencil in a weak grip has meant that this is out of my control, with the finish often being more pleasantly expressive. I don't feel my observational drawings of the market are as strong as my fashion illustrations, as although the fluidity of the paint allows for a somewhat unpredictable finish, I am able to control hue density rather well, achieving a happy medium for me in terms of both rawness and precision. I tried to apply the same approach to an element of my observational drawings, of watering cans hung, and felt as though these were the most successful. 

Considering a new subversion, the honest means of living of the stall vendors, and the long hours in which they must flog their wares to support themselves and their families is really reminiscent of my working class upbringing, particularly of the roots of my mother's side, raised in the Black Country. In terms of fulfilling the 'Inwards' criteria, I couldn't think of anything more relevant than touching on a proud "make-do" attitude inherited by my grandparents as a result of having little, but being more than satisfied with the little that we had, which I think has filtered down into my resourcefulness in my design process, repurposing Wellington boots and court heels for samples, as well as draping with a deconstructed easel and a worn bike tyre laying about the outhouse. I don't often see my grandparents due to difficulties of balancing my workload and the lengthy journey over to Wolverhampton, however I feel as though by subverting my own habitual method of researching alone at the library, my grandparents could in fact inspire my Unit 7, especially with regards to our aligned outlooks on life. This is also hugely relevant to the 'Surroundings' and 'Sustain' themes of the 'Outwards' brief, as I feel as though we often exploit our environment by being wasteful (landfill into rivers) or unethical (using fur and leather, cultural appropriation..), in order to create, often due to greed, but the modesty of both my upbringing and my grandparents' has meant a rejection of this, and therefore positive steps of subversion. 

Thinking about the 'L'Etranger' quote that inspired my exploration and appreciation of Peterborough as opposed to seeing it as a means to an end of my journey from Finsbury Park to my hometown, I'm particularly intrigued in the timeline of my granddad's life and how he created a better future for himself through diligence: he was raised by his grandparents in Catholic Ireland, who disguised themselves as his parents, as his real parents (who acted as his brother and sister) conceived him out of wedlock, incredibly condemned due to parochialism. He moved to England in his mid-teens, with nothing to his name but a few belongings, a time in which he has expressed his struggles with a pride for having survived (he was effectively homeless). He had to move up and down the country in accordance with the digs that the Salvation Army found for him (a charity that is hugely relevant to the 'Security' theme), meaning he relied on a necessary trade (welding) to survive. For Unit 7, I would love to explore the struggles of an Irish immigrant finding his way in England, so I am going to ask my granddad more about his story, documenting this on Workflow for my project proposal.

3rd February 2019

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Today was spent planning how I would approach a rather abstract, vague project brief; for me, it is therefore necessary to meticulously devise a method in which my sketchbook can be cohesive and consistently relevant to the brief as well as each previous point of research, as there is a lot that I would like to convey in a short time. Outlining my goals and necessary steps to reach them definitely makes me more motivated, as I think burnout is something that I have been struggling with recently, however I'm afraid that I may have been over-ambitious again as I have my Kingston interview on Thursday. Balance is something I'm struggling to achieve, as I want to be as successful as possible, but not to the point that I am consistently overworking myself, which I can't seem to break.

7th February 2019

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Following my Kingston interview, and the effect that it has had on my productivity due to nerves, I felt refreshed to dive straight back into work, and, verbalising my love for repurposing objects at both CSM and Kingston, I continued to produce samples in response to proverbs describing my emotions, working with unfamiliar material of wax, wire coating and a chip pan (here illustrates 'fit to burst' and 'burnt out'). I was particularly pleased with the contextualisation of the 'fit to burst' sample, as I feel its form infers that the internal ear has been thrust out of the ear canal. Replicating concept in terms of placement of samples on the body is something I intend to continue to revert back to concept and research for, to strengthen my outcomes in relation to the brief.

5th February 2019

Being particularly intrigued by how I was beginning to tactically contextualise my visual interests (documented in my Instagram photos), I moved forward by photographing multiple proverbial interpretations of my malfunctioning mind, again truncating the images to focus on elements that I found particularly interesting, I produced further textile samples using materials I had never worked with before to push myself out of my comfort zone (exposed wiring, white tack, eyelets), which were aesthetically intriguing. I felt as though, conceptually, it needed clarifying more, so I interpreted my emotional origins of a malfunctioning mind and its tendencies to attempt to hyper-organise by drawing a figure struggling to balance all my digital folders. Although quick, I think the notion of inefficient juggling was conveyed immediately; I shouldn't underestimate the power of drawing.

4th February 2019

Capitalising on my truncating tendencies when photographing which I picked up on through my Instagram, I wanted to, with hyperbole, emphasise this, by cropping in closer on these images, embodying forms, shapes, marks, tones that I was most drawn to externally on the sketchbook page. I found the exercise really helpful in visual communication of an idea, by removing or highlighting certain information on an image through drawing and textiles.