On Tuesday I went to my tutorial with a bunch of postcard sized drawing with all my weird and wonderful thoughts visualized onto the canvas. At the end of this week I have now created the best part of 70 Indian ink paintings A3 in size. WHAT A WHIRLWIND OF IDEAS!
The feedback from my tutor was that he admired my drawing style and my passion for the subject, but also that instead of this project becoming a sob story, I need to create a strength within my visuals. From research it seems that this subject is my own stomping ground as no one has created a body of work based on being coeliac. The path which I want my work to take is to show the world that I am proud of my condition and that eating gluten free has improved my immune system but also my health. The one thing which has always struck me is the fact that people who do not have food allergies have not a clue what ingredients are contained within packaged food. I have come to the conclusion that the less ingredients that is on the back of a package, the better and purer the food is. This is the same for restaurants, if you judge the amount of gluten free choices they offer, you are also judging the quality of food you are receiving.
I walked away from the tutorial which the challenge to do as many A3 drawings with Indian ink as humanely possible. The reason behind was that I needed to free up my mark making skills as to not restrict my flow. Also working on a bigger scale allows everything to become imperfect and begins to add more expressive qualities to my style. I have taken the approach of just trying lots of different techniques whilst keeping the medium exactly the same (so as I don’t become completely confused). My work started with quite controlled linear marks and then fed through into distorting the perfect lines with the addition of water. I can then further lose control through the way that the ink reacts to the dilution and the result is effortless beauty. I took this one step further and started printing and experimenting with wheat bread and pasta. This was an experience in itself as I haven’t held this type of food for a year, and also the risk of making myself ill by accident was quite daunting! The bread turned out especially well as the ink was soaked into the surface and created sponge-like textures. The most interesting thing about working with food materials was that they disintegrated throughout each image. One of my favorite images which came from the bread getting way too soggy was, “this time I broke you’. There is something completely satisfying about defeating something that used to harm you.
My next step is to analyze NHS posters and to begin to make my own campaign surrounding the positives of being coeliac. People with Coeliac disease often suffer with IBS and Anemia, so we do not get the best reputation for being strong people. I want to change that and show that we can come through it and with the right food, we do not have to be ill people anymore- but rather much healthier and fitter people due to our dietary needs.