Second year summary post

I started the year by selecting the Strata map by William Smith (1). I wasn’t really sure where I was going to take this and so tried to research the history of the map and look at what it told us about the island I was born on. But I quickly realised that the real reason that I was drawn to the map was its colours. I, therefore, thought simply about this and the idea of a map as allowing for a journey.


I was proud of the work I was producing but I was fully aware that it was lacking. although I couldn’t work out what it was lacking. It is possible that this was simply because I expected more from myself.


It was during my first field project that I started to reconsider the way I approach my work. For example the play and creativity project forced me to consider the methodically way that I approch briefs, intead of starting by playing or having fun with them. This is what started the “doodles” (2) that I started creating.  The second field project then gave me the alternative aspect of this play, instead needing to create a concise design brief for the project that I wanted to create. I have been completely inspired by both projects, and the opertunites that they have, and will continue to give to me.

Field summary (3)

It was after these that the ideas started to form that is now evolved into my final piece for the year. I began by thinking about my hero artist Mondrian who focuses on the use of base colours. But I wanted to test what happened when these are layered instead of blended. I decided that thread was the appropirate material  to produce these layers, and so began the first piece.
It was actually through the action of playing with thread that thoughts began to form about the gestural style and the reasons why the piece was so important to me and why I was happy with the way that it developed. I began to call it painting with thread (4) , becoming a form of medition I began to consider what conceptual ideas could be woven through the thread, leading to ideas about humanities journey through life (conecting the piece to the original map). How we all face unavoidable events but all respond uniquly to situations, but also about the unavoidability of community and the support network that we all attempt to surround ourselves with. The thoughts on community brought the second painting into creation as it relies on the all the indavidual thread to support itself, almost as a magnified look at the areas between the nails on the first piece.


The infomation critique project fits in somewhere between the end of field and the start of the painting with thread. It began as an idea to mimick the paintings on a larger scale but due to unforseen circumstances this did not come to fluishion. However, in highndsight I am glad that I was not able to produce this work as I do not see what it would could be gained from it. As I explain in this post there would be better ways to achieve the desired responce: Infomation critique (5).

After the selecting the William Smith Strata map most of the artists that I explored were environment artists such as Richard Long or Andy Goldsworthy, and even though I visually love their work, I’m not convinced I actually gained anything from this line of enquiry. Therefore the first artist who stuck in my mind was Tiffany Chung (1) and later was to influence me into using thread as a material. Within the Key concept lectures I was struck by the work of Adolf Wolfi (2) who worked everyday, obsesively. Thus inspireing the doodle phase of my exploration, along with the play and creativity lectures, although I have not been as consistent as I would had hoped. Within the play and creativity lectures it was actually literature that provided me with the greatest influence, exploring books and poems from childhood (3) that had given me hope, and as a result improving my own wellbeing. Returning back to the subject piece, it is fair to say that I began the piece thinking that the Mapping in Manhattan (4) book was going to be of most interest, as it related almost directly back to the Strata map. Although instead, it was probably the Running Stitch (5) piece, which became the more literal version of what I was trying to represent. Where they were showning actual journeys across a town, I wanted to bring a more metaphorical representation of a path through life. And with the knowledge of the moirai (fates) from greek mythology this piece took an even deeper dive into a posable the position of the artist as the manipulator of an artworks creation, life and death, therefore encompassing all three of the fates that eventually end our visible exhistance in the world. However just as an artist ends the creation process of a piece and hands it over to an audience who can reinterpret the artwork, our own lives are recreated through the stories that we tell about the person after death.

It is my desire that people are willing to give my work time, I believe that we can someimes rush the exploration of art and so lose the depth of meaning that is there. Although I have my own ideas about the piece, I hope that people are willing to explore what they see within the woven thread. I invite people to experience the artwork and us it as a visual distraction to daydream, either on what I have suggested or equally valid would be to daydream about something that it inspires you to think about. In my experience abstract art has a difficult personality to discover, and it takes as much self exploration from the viewer as the artist might have considered to create it, I am not showing you something literal or obvious and I am not answering question, instead asking a consideration of potential questions.


Ciaran Miles at CSAD degree show


I saw this piece at the degree show and loved it! The piece explores the global communication that has been made possible through social media. He talks about not feeling the distance between friends as drastically because of the ability to share information so quickly across such vast distances.

Literal painting with thread

This is BKS Varma who uses Indian ink and thread to create his artworks. This is a very literal method of painting with thread, whereas my own work is simply using this description in reference to the gestural nature of the way I make the thread pieces.

Playing the Moirai

In Greek mythology, the Moirai (the Fates) are the three sister deities who control the thread of life and the destinies of human life.  Clotho spun the thread, Lachesis determines the length of one’s life with the thread and Atropos cut the thread. The reason I am writing about the fates is because of my interest in the life of an artwork, and the control that an artist and audience has over the artwork. When an artist begins to create work we take on each role of the fates; beginning the process of creating the work, then deciding how to design and resolve the piece until the point where we stop painting and end the life of the painting.

But this is not the end, in the same way, that we tell stories and remember those that die, an audience has the ability to reinterpret an artwork beyond what the artist may have intended.

Katie Lewis – needle body mapping


Katie Lewis’ thread work uses the body as its focus but uses the materials in a similar way to myself where the rigid form of the thread and nails “alludes to control” but the reality is that the thread is fragile, it holds its shape well but with one cut, or slip and the whole pieces could fall apart. This work also has an element of data collection, which works well for the desired effect but is not something I am interested in working with. The result for Katie Lewis is stunning and the visual similarities are clear, although I am do not believe in being so rigorous in rules for creating a piece. Especially as this is a habit I have been attempting to break, since the Play and Creativity field project.

Christopher Fink


Fink is another artist who uses journeys as a theme for his work, although he names all of his travels “movements” which he then collects into and atlas that aids his creations.


Fink is an artist who explores very literal journeys to create abstract inventions from measurements from the drawings, as well as exploring the relationship of humans to their environments.
This last part interests me, as human interaction and how groups of people can form impressive communities through their journeys through life. Bringing people together through a close-knit support system.