To complete my degree I am required to produce a coherent body of work suitable for presentation as a public exhibition.
We can do whatever we like, but we have been warned that third year standards are much higher than those in second year. Our tutors seem to have been told to stop praising and encouraging, to raise the bar, and to focus on extending and challenging everyone.
We should not plan to work in a particular medium. We are expected to work with concepts, and choose materials depending on the demands of our concept. So that we would explore widely rather than simply choose a topic, we chose three words to see where they are taking us. I picked terra-firma, migration and memory and started writing about investigating “the processes by which we commit our memories to the land, and how it receives and releases memories of the people who belong to it or come to live on it.”
During the first unit (one quarter of the project) I experimented with three related concepts, using mixed media:
I will resume work in March when I will be asked to add another word. It will be impermanence. My earlier work was about change and the cycles of existence (this fits with my meditation practice). I have looked at decay and regeneration in terms of organic material and in terms of the rock cycle of coastal sandstones. I feel a need to cycle back towards these ideas and to make it clear in my formal proposal that I intend terra-firma ironically.
I’ve observed that students who are ahead of me haven’t had an easy time. I don’t know where this adventure will take me, but I am not expected to start painting seriously for another twelve weeks and meanwhile there is still a lot of experimenting to do.