Imagine you have to leave your home and everything you have ever known. You have no hope of going back. Maybe you have 2 minutes, 10 minutes, half an hour to gather the things you can't live without.
Other than people and animals what would you want?
Would you take money, or things to sell?
Photos, memories or stuffed toys?
Books, or art work?
I have been thinking about what it is that I would want.
My first thought is that I would want my sketchbooks, but the are bulky and heavy...so I might have to leave them. I would want Dixie, my childhood teddy who knows everything. I think he would make me feel better about having to leave. I would also want the few love letters that I have from my best friend and my boyfriend and a photo of my sisters, my parents, my best friends and my boyfriend. All of the things that are irreplacable to me are sentimental, things that wouldn't necessarily mean anything to anyone else.
What about you? Please leave a comment, tell me what you couldn't bear to leave behind.
Last term I worked almost exclusively on a very large scale, while this term I have been working much smaller. Inspired by the Fukushima project I have been mostly working on a postcard size. I cut one of my screen prints down and have also been using the ash paper I made last year during my foundation FMP. I have been experimenting with writing and drawing different words, numbers and symbols over these postcards.
I am going to create a series of ash postcards while I work out what it is that I want to say with my work.
I had my 'official' interview with the people at Rapar today. I will now be volunteering with them, hopefully at least once a week, starting next Thursday. I hope that through working with Rapar I will be able to gain a better perspective on people who live through conflict and insight into what people go through when they have to leave their family, friends and homes suddenly, without hoping to return.
I hope that my work can become a conversation, rather than simply a commentary.
On March 11th 2011 a 9.0 earthquake took place 231 miles off the coast of Japan. This triggered a 30ft tsunami, the fourth largest ever on record and the largest to ever hit Japan. In the days following the tsunami the country was in a state of emergency, people were evacuated from Sendai (180 miles from Tokyo) because of risk to the Fukushima nuclear power plant located near there.
When the disasters initially took place it was national news, however in the three years that have followed very little is now reported. Over 15,000 people have been killed and the problems relating to the power plant are ongoing.
Art Action - for Fukushima is a project that was set up shortly after the events of march 2011. Dr MOURI, Kaori Homma and Merly Doney work to raise money and awareness while working with emerging artists to carry out residency projects in the UK linking to Fukushima.
They are currently organising an event where artists can donate a small piece of work that will then be given away in a raffle to raise money. The event will be help on 27th February, 6.30-8.30 in Cafe Eterno, Convent Garden.
If you are interested in taking part, please read this.
I have decided that I am going to take part. My ideas are starting to change anyway, I had planned to look more at the stories from people who are affected by conflict in general and less specifically at the Al Mutanabbi Street Project. This feels like a good way to start that change, although the people in Japan were affected by a natural disaster, not a war, it is a similar with the displaced people and confusion.
So now I have two projects running simaltaneously, yet hopefully complimenting each other.
I had a meeting with Catherine Cartwright, the Al Mutanabbi 'Absense and Presence' coordinator last week. It was great to be able to speak to someone who has never seem my work before, it challenged me to explain in a greater detail what inspires me and why I am excited by this project.
We talked for a few hours about my work as well as hers, I left feeling rejuvenated, more excited about my ideas and ready for the new term. I will be doing a more detailed post about what I am going to do next. In the meantime Catherine suggested a few books for me to read. I will be looking at several of them over the next few weeks, however the book that has inspired me the most so far is called ' Dancing in the No-fly Zone' by Hadani Ditmars.
Catherine showed me some of her favourite passages from the book and one quote in particular has stuck with me.
To me this quote means confusion and passion. I don't know if I believe in hell and paradise, but the idea of them being revealed to us all is terrifying and exciting. I would love for my work to inspire that feeling in someone, for them to know that my work means something and is very emotional, but to feel confused about what I am actually saying.
I am experimenting with using screen printing, as a development from my cross drawings.
I went to the Double Elephant Print Workshop in Exeter to make these pieces. I have been layering block colour, words and a circle drawing. The small circles are a graph that shows the disparity between the Iraqi civilian deaths as reported by the UK and US governments and the civilian death toll as reported by the Iraqi Government. I chose to use circles to represent the hole a person leaves behind when they die.
On several prints are the words 'Ways to count the Dead' using the title from the poem that I used as some of my initial inspiration for the project. I would like to make more prints using other lines from the poem. I am also working on doing some writing of my own that I would ultimately like to include in a print.
One print features some words printed with the small rubber stamp set I got for Christmas. I have written 'It's not the responsibility of the US Government to count the dead' This is based on a line from the poem. I think that line gives an interesting contrast because of how the graph shows that the US government DO count the dead - and it appears that they get it wrong - yet the death toll they report is the one that people hear.
I believe that is wrong.
I am working to produce a piece of work for Al Mutanabbi St 'Absence and Presence'. It has to be a piece of printmaking. I am hoping to continue working with screen printing once we go back to Uni. I am going to start experimenting with collage, using layers of image, colour and words to make a base for the print. I want to work on communicating that my work isn't just 'pretty pictures' of dots and crosses but that it has a deeper meaning - even if that meaning stays hidden.
The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford is home to the University of Oxford's collection of anthropology and world archeology. The collections were started by the Victorian archeologist General Pitt Rivers and have been added to over the years. I visited the Museum last month to take photos and look at how the different objects have been displayed.
I loved the museum. I could have spent a lot longer wandering through the rows and rows of glass boxes, discovering new things everywhere I turned.