25 Jan TYB Work in Progress
I identified in my previous blog post [https://spaces.oca.ac.uk/susanfarrelly/2020/01/04/an-opportunity-with-new-audience-the-challenge/] that I would be working with Mothers and Babies. Some of whom are due to be born in February (wow), the delivery date for this project is March/April over 8 weeks. I am mildly concerned that this falls outside the deadline for the TYB project deadline and presentation and that as a result I may have to find an interim audience for testing purposes. Nevertheless I will still be working towards the Craobh Rua deadline and consider them as the end recipients of this work.
I am mindful of the position of these new mothers. The burden of expectations (thinking of Rachel Fallons mothers medals – see Ellipitical Affinities post for images) and how I would most likely to seek to create a space that is comforting, cocooned and restful. I do not want to bombard the audience with theoretical reasoning but develop a way of documenting an intra-active exchange between us as a group. The Installation will be the space, for rest, observation (between Mother and Baby) and engagement. The output, I am still working on. I do not want audience to feel like test subjects in an experiment. I will look to them and listen for guidance, what is it they would like from this time spent being together?
Now onto the physical work done for the installation.
This is a model of the proposed floor of the installation. A surface to rest upon. I have sought quotes and prices for various solutions:
2 (so it would be double sided) tarps with reversed colours and eyelets 3m square. Super, but best for outdoor use. Waterproof. Over budget for this project. Cold and uncomfortable for use by babies. Hygienic, easy to wipe down. Best for active children.
Blank floor rugs that I could customise. On budget. Labour intensive to make. Loose parts/fibres could be a safety issue/choking risk. Comfortable surface but cannot be washed.
Custom printed/made rug using my design. A little over budget but could be re-purposed after the project for daily use at Craobh Rua. Water-resistant. Comfortable surface. One piece. Lead time of 1 week to produce.
I have also considered making a piece from fabric and kind size duvets but I am leaning towards option 3 as I want a variety of textures in the Installation. I will be running these options by my working group on the project to get their feedback.
Using the Mirrored Mantle fabric I began a test piece, to construct a 3D shape. I decided to keep the uniformity in the pieces I would use paper templates. I researched a method of construction used in quilting called English Paper Piecing. (An overview, with easy to understand images is on this blog by Emmely. https://infectiousstitches.wordpress.com/tag/3d-shapes/). Here are some pics of construction work in progress in the studio.
I hand sewed the first test piece to get an understanding of how to assemble, thinking through the making. Next shape – the octahedron, was partially machined speeding up the make time. Connecting stitching still needs to be hand sewn using a whip stitch. I enjoy whip stitching, using a thimble, it resembles the same process used in surgery for skin closure. The assembled form is stuffed, using pillow innards and wadding and closed up with whip stitching. I was also reminded of an MA1 piece I made based on stone forms and neolithic stone circles. https://spaces.oca.ac.uk/susanfarrelly/2019/03/07/exploratory-project-outcome-4-fabric-forms/ and in some regards, pottery vases by Grayson Perry. I was entertained by his scarf collections, wonderful quirky populist items ready to wear from the Gallery Gift Shop….mmmm.
I’ll continue making away, I may need to order more fabric. What a delight that the design can be reproduced with a click. It’s the benefit of using a factory approach in practice. Finished forms will appear in a future post.