This experiment was a complete learning curve which consisted of both successful and unsuccessful elements.
Firstly, the inks have produced a creative dilemma surrounding the stiffness of the fabric once the liquid has dried. When in banner form this was unnoticeable as the purpose of the outcome was to be looked at. However, this experiment is to be interacted with and therefore needs to be tactile and soft to the touch. Also due to the hard fabrics this gave an issue with stuffing the constructed shells as there was no movement meaning that intricate sections (which were also covered in ink) were creased and puckered. Initially I was filling the shapes with soft toy stuffing, but quickly moved to polystyrene beads found within bean bags. This allowed for more movement in the connecting shapes and ergonomic ease when being placed around the body. It was also more time effective as the beans could be poured into the shapes with a funnel. The beads are also in line with my concept, strengthening the idea of flow and constant change, but still inviting the audience to hug and feel the shapes. This is an element which is crucial to the success of the outcome as I want to build a comfort and close relationship between body and my abstract design.
When considering the ink issues it is clear that either I need to change the medium or the material so as to create the perfect match. The first change that I will make is to change the black Indian ink sections to quink ink which dries softer and within the fabric rather than sitting on top. Quink ink is only sold with the traditional black, blue, red and green colours so the colour sections will still need to be in Indian ink so as not to compromise my pallet choices. I could also explore silk painting, knitting or screen printing the patterns onto the fabric. This will all require testing and new skills to master to achieve my vision. Furthermore, I could also applique fabrics to create new textures alongside the ink mark makings.
Clarina Bezzola is a key reference for this exploration, in particular the project Inside Out Galerie Antie Wachs, Berlin, November 2005.
We are vessels filled with thoughts and feelings. Most of them we never become aware of because there’s no place for them in our rational minds. They seem childish, inappropriate and too strange. As years go by, we lose track of all those little voices. We shove them into the dark chambers of our unconscious and succumb to our social responsibilities.
In Inside-Out, I illustrate the tragedy of an individual losing connection with herself. The multitude of unacknowledged emotions has accumulated and grown into an unbearable burden. When the drama becomes intensified to the extent that even breathing becomes difficult, the protagonist gives up control and lets all seams burst. Songs of longing and sadness slip out along with fantastic creatures of all shapes and colors. Once all aspects of herself have been acknowledged and welcomed, any protective shield becomes unnecessary.
This performance is of visual interest as the artist has an intimate relationship with the concept and produces a dramatized performance. What is equally admirable is the individually created ‘insides’ which are sculpted through fabric and are all abstracted in a way which are recognizable as body parts even though the audience cannot name specifics. I am inspired by the intricacy of each body part and the quantity of production which contributed to the overwhelming and disturbing effect on the viewers. Although performance art is not the outcome I am looking to produce, I could replicate the still images in a campaign format to communicate the bodily interaction. I feel that the purpose of my sculptural work is not within fine art context, but something which could become more commercial and be a safe realization rather than a disturbing one. This is something to closely consider through the experimental stage.
Video link, still shots and blog of production