For my Degree show major project I aspire to make 3D mixed media sculptural creatures. I envisage this as a tactile sensory experience that is reinforced through imagery of commonly known species of animals and plants that will imbue a sense of nostalgia for those who experienced a quiet rural childhood. By using the medium of textiles and various other found and natural objects I hope the interaction with my work will reignite fond memories in the viewer. My conversations with older people have highlighted that there are common experiences as a child such as using the flowers of bellis perennis or common daisy to make daisy chains or rubbing a dock leaf onto nettle stings, where the housewife’s tale is based on the fact that the dock leaves contain oxalic acid and the roots contain tannic acid. Broad- leaved dock leaves have been used to soothe burns, blisters, and nettle stings. The animals I have chosen to recreate through 3D mixed media are the fox, badger, squirrel, hare, hedgehog and robin. I will also use other nostalgic imagery such as stamps, newspaper clippings, letters and other ephemera. By decorating the stylised animal forms with these images I hope to produce a unique style of illustration that can be turned into 3d forms. The creation of these surfaces will be achieved by a mix of digital, transfer printing and the forms by cut and sew, mixed media basketry and tapestry techniques as well as more sculptural approaches with both needle, machine and wet felting techniques. I will experiment with the amalgamation of found objects in nature such as pine-cones, conkers and seeds and with wire armatures to build a structure as well as soft-sculpture/plush toy approaches to make forms covered with various textured fabrics such as synthetics, wools and felt. I want to build texture with appliqué fabrics but also through some hand and machine embroidery techniques. Inspired by my photography of nature and the beauty in its decay I will focus on a number of different approaches to colour, texture and scale.
I have been greatly inspired by the refinement of the work of Mister Finch and the energy of Barbra Franc. I love the rich surfaces of Karen Nicol’s illustrations and the vibrancy of Sophie Standing’s pieces. With this in my mind my strategy for Semester one is to focus on 3 approaches;
2) Small decorative printed forms (approx. A4)
3) Medium sized sculptures that work with found materials
4) Large simple forms with subtle placements of digital print and appliqué (approx. A1 size).
In the future I hope to train as an art therapist where I can bring all these skills into the role of creative workshops and facilitation. After research into tactile learning I have found that it is a crucially important part of cognitive development in children and that tactile learning can help a child retain the information given because of the use of an additional sense.