I love group tutorials!
I really enjoy talking about my work, so these are a great opportunity to practice that. I also find that a major part of my inspiration comes from these tutorials. I love that everyone has a different point of view and input for my project.
It was very interesting to see what everyon else had thought about the first few weeks of Unit X as well. At the beginning of the unit I was annoyed that we had so many things we had to do, however now I wish we had this kind of opportunity every week! Many people in my group felt very similar.
From the tutorial I have decided to experiment with ways that I might display my tags, as well as exactly what I want to put on them. I realised during the tutorial that it is very frustrating for some people that I wont tell them what it is I have written on the tags - that makes it even more important for me to NOT tell them! I am making a large mind map to get all my ideas out, it's not how I usually work, but after it was suggested by several people I have decided to give it a go.
I also really enjoy the hour and a half spent listening to the other people in my group talking about their ideas and practice. Despite spending all my time in the studio it can be difficult to keep up to date with what everyone else is doing.
Throughout the first two weeks of Unit X I attended:
Yorkshire Sculpture Park day out
Susie Macmurray Talk
Sandwich Collaboration Workshop
Jim Bond Talk
Emma Tole Talk
Neil Harbission Talk
I also attended the Candoco performance.
I have really enjoyed these first two weeks and am really excited to do some more research of my own. I am really enjoying Unit X so far. I have enjoyed taking part in all of the workshops and going to the talks. I think it has been very important to my practice to interact with students from other courses, it's not something we get to do at other times and it is really interesting to find out what they are up to.
I am very excited to be a part of 'what you cannot see from here'. I am going to be using the 'science' theme from Unit X and looking at the senses. Focusing in particular on the visually impaired and braille. I am also interested to look at colour blindness - following the Neil Harbission talk and although it was very different to what I am looking at it was good to attend Emma Tole's talk and find out about the science department at MMU.
I am excited to use the metalwork room in the next few weeks and to explore exactly what/how it is I'm going to make my tags.
Carina was born in Devon but moved to Manchester in 2012 to study Interactive Arts at Manchester School of Art (MMU). She became involved with human rights and joined Rapar in December following a Uni project that looked at the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as well as the ongoing conflict in Palestine.
She is using her artist skills to help Sophie (artist in residence), she has worked on the Roma events and Young Rapar and is excited to get involved with more.
I have been volunteering at Rapar for about three months now. I try and got for at least one day a week and I am loving it! I've even got my name, photo and description up on the website now. Check it out on the website here :)
With Unit X I have been invited to take part in an exhibition in the Link Gallery; it will be called 'what we cannot see from here' and is being put together by a third year Interactive Arts student - John Lynch. The exhibition will be made up of a mixture of ex-students, third years, a few second years and two first years (myself and Reid Gardiner), the idea is that we don't know what comes next. The title is open to interpretation and John wants people to explore their own practice within the brief.
I am continuing with my work on Braille, widening my research to look at other senses and disabilities and aiming to make a series of dog tag inspired braille pieces.
On a more obvious level the braille follows the brief as it is something that is not meant to be seen, only felt. While on a deeper level I am interested in people and their identity; in how people see themselves and how the things we think of as flaws can be the most interesting part of us. I am very inspired by disability and how it is (and has the potential to be) used and represented within the arts.
I want to show that although you might not see it, YOU are BEAUTIFUL.
I'm not sure yet what the tags will say - but I know that I want them to be in pairs.
I don't think I want anyone else to know what they say - but that might change.
I want the work to be about more than skin deep beauty.
I want the tags to have a positive message.
I want to make art that you don't have to see. (but that is beautiful if you can see it)
I want people to touch my work, to feel it in their hands.
I want to show that flaws are beautiful.
I want people to interpret my work in their own way.
I might change my mind about all of this.
As women we are conditioned to see our selves as far less beautiful than we are. This lovely film features a criminal artist who highlights this problem.
I have red hair that sits just below my shoulders, I have a full fringe that usually has some gaps in it. I have quite a small head, I like my nose, it is small and straight. I have eyes that pop out of my head quite a bit and give me a line under them. I have dark, sort of thick eyebrows. My cheeks are round and usually quite rosey, I have lots of freckles all over my face. My top lip is thinner than my bottom lip and one of my front teeth sticks out slightly.
Do you think I'm beautiful?
Neil Harbission was born totally colour blind. For the last 10 years he has been working with a computer scientist developing technology that enables him to hear colour. Colour is just light waves so Harbission has developed a way for those light waves to be heard as sound waves. The first version of the device was In December 2013 the device was surgically implanted into Harbissions skull so that he know has 24/7 sound vibrations running through him, he has even started to dream in colour.
Harbission calls this extra sense his 'eyeborg' (it is available as an app, it's only available on android at the moment, I am so excited for the iPhone version!). You can hear him talking about it in this Ted talk.
Harbission is fascinating; he hears colour as sound, which means he also hears sound as colour; a visit to an art gallery is like listening to a orchestra and a visit to a concert is like seeing a masterpiece painting. People have voices that are blue or red or green! He has made some paintings of his favourite songs and famous speeches.
I am looking at the senses and am interested in how art can be accessible to those who can't participate in the usual ways. I have been looking at braille in particular, however recently I have been interested in sound. I am not sure yet what I want to do but I know that Neil Harbission is going to be a very important influence and reference for me.
On the first day of unit X we ventured down to Yorkshire with the illustration and animation and graphics students to the sculpture park there. It was a lovely day with bright sunshine and we had a lovely time making friends, films, taking photos and having a picnic.
Here are the very few photos that turned out ok...I hadn't used my film camera in a while.
All taken on 35mm using an Olympus SLR.
For the first few weeks of Unit X there are a lot of workshops and lectures we can sign up for. Last week the artist and designer Constance Laisne ran a shelter building day. In mixed groups of 6 with the 3D design students we were given four dowelling rods, three bricks, some rope and a staple gun - we had the day to make a shelter. It was a really fun day and reminded me of making dens in my childhood! We had a picnic for lunch where everyone taking part in the day sat around and shared food - it was a great way to get to know some new people and have a go at something new.
We ended the day with a quick pop up exhibition of our shelters.
I read recently that only 10% of the blind children in Britain are taught Braille as a standard practice. This is because as technology advances it becomes easier for blind people to speak to machines that then transcribe their words, or to have a computer read aloud.
When something is read aloud the words the reader can't help but add their own feelings and opinions with their voice. A person who can't read is unable to interpret information totally for themselves. Reading engages the imagination in a unique way - I think all children should be taught to read in some way.
Information about Braille, how to learn it and the benefits can be found at www.rnib.org.uk