I’ve been making things, probably like you. Making dolls and pictures except this time they get critiqued by the university. I had my first critique of my drawings yesterday. It was a a strange experience because I thought I’d get more analysis of my work. And yes I wanted to talk about my work. So I can hardly accurately draw a human figure..but I’ve got ideas and passion and I’ve got images that are colliding in the infinite space of my mind and hands and eyes that are waiting to pull them out.
My paintings in particular follow several lines of enquiry, namely the construction of the human through the physical to the psychoanalytical, from bones to symbols to the unconscious. And of course this is referenced to myself. It seems a logical thing to do; to use the opportunity to explore my own identity and my own being because it will ultimately resonate with many people
The three drawings above are examining bone in macro and micro dimensions. I started using lots of layers of pastels and using the delicacy of tissue paper and finding brown paper. I think that all of my work, poetry, music, performance, drawing, doll making are a furiously serious and always humourous attempt to examine, critique and explore myself and the world around me. So I guess if the opportunity had arisen I would have liked very much to talk about how I perform under many disguises because I am always changing and I don’t know about a fixed self. Can a fixed self be a collection of selves? Because this is how I feel about myself.
Different art practises help me explore and extend my ideas and imagination in unique ways. Drawing and image making on paper and cardboard and almost anything I find, ( this is womble technology of which I will gladly talk to anyone about) helps my words gesticulate themselves, and in a way the image affords me silence. It gives my being a chance to stop trying to grasp for the best explanation of something. It’s so lovely to melt into the crowd, or be a ‘solid melting into air’ as Marx is very often quoted saying about the modernist movement.
I’ve had so many ideas almost every moment of my day. I started looking at the grey hairs and wondering if I could start using them in my dolls.
These dolls were made for the wonderful musicians and artists, my husband Nick Hall, and my darling friend Jac Dyson. I enjoyed making them and as always I always fall in love with the dolls I make.
I have plans to make them for all my good friends but one doll takes me if I work non-stop about five hours.
“Gerald” and “Clarence” named by their owners.
I am working on another doll at the moment. She is my project and her name is Ariadne. She is a pregnant wondrous creature giving birth to writing and a chimera. Here she is in the construction.
Her womb is made out of papier mache and her body from lots of things I’ve found. Her front of her belly will have a metal door made out of brass shim and you will be able to open it, either by a slide or a gate. But this is the final stage of the doll and I am developing the idea of how to best show the inside of her womb, which is filled with feathers and coloured metallic paper and little bits of writing.
The other reason this post is called “Oranges and Paintings” is because I had a rather sensuous experience with an orange. lol. I just completely had this transcendental experience, of texture, smell, taste, and feel. I could see the juicy flesh alive and the essential oils sweating out of the skin and the soft forgiving white protective inner layer, tasteless and yet beautiful. Anyway I ate it very slowly, one little pod of fruit juice at a time. And I was eating this as I was also stitching my dolls face together. Before this I was applying make-up to my own face and then removing it because I scared myself at what I had created in the mirror…
Have you ever had that experience? Make-up is so much fun, but I sometimes must stop at the shiny blue eyeshadow…