The F-Word.

I do like a good swear word. When it is appropriate, and in moderation. Use any word too often and it loses all meaning. Slightly off on a tangent, a tanker driver in work annoyed me yesterday. Can’t even remember what we were chatting about in the office, but he was going to swear, and then stopped himself, because I was there. Oh the poor little innocent lady who can’t cope with swear words. BAH.

I unexpectedly sold some embroidery on Newbloodart the other week- ‘False Hope 2’. I like it, but it wasn’t overly…..well done. But I think it had some oomph. Feeling. I made it the morning following one of the most traumatic nights of my life which resulted in absolutely no sleep. Rather mad, though lovely, friends and a bridge and shouting and ringing policemen and ambulance men and panic and…yeah wow. Not good times.  Yet still we ended up in the school of art somehow the next day….?! So that is when I sewed this. All art must have a story behind it, I guess we just don’t always find out that story. I want to tell people my stories.  Oh no, I’ve been rabbiting on about this, and I can’t find a picture of it… Oh no. Please don’t tell me I sold it without taking a photo? Oops.

This page from my current sketchbook seems appropriate.

Handed my work in at the Washington Gallery in Penarth this morning, tis a lovely space, I am very excited about the exhibition opening on Friday! Although wondering what they’ll make of my swear words… I managed to leave before they’re had a look. Oh it’s art, they can’t censor me. Ha ha. Pretty, huh? Well I like it 🙂

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Washington Gallery Friends Exhibition and Private View

So after having work in middle-of-nowhere north Wales and central London, it is about flipping time the lovely people of lovely Penarth got to have a gander- I did grow up there, after all. So quite excited about this exhibition, mmhmm yup. So everyone is invited to the private view- do come along, it’ll be grand 🙂

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside, oh I do like to be beside the sea….

I have ‘Happy’ perfume by Clinique. I wear it and therefore I am happy. That’s quite nice. ‘Wear Happy perfume and be happy.’

I feel like I am killing time until something happens. Filling the time up. With felt making and bread baking. I don’t really want to make ‘art’ at the moment. Always drawing though, always. I just haven’t been working on the tricky bits of the project-what-I-should-be-working-on. So that was a little lie. I am making art. Just the easy bits. The non-traumatic bits. Haha. Why oh why bother? Life could be easy. Bloody art. Ah, but I wouldn’t be with out it. I think that perhaps being an artist is one hell of a love/hate relationship. I am getting better at making very thin fragile lacey felt. Which is good. It’s starting to look right. I think I shall start having a look for some studio space in Cardiff. My little flat is constantly a mess of arty crap and it doesn’t much like it. The-job-that-pays-me is going well. It’s very repetitive and gets a bit dull, but the close proximity to concentrated hydrochloric acid and other dangerous substances keeps things interesting.  And I get to do a titration which goes fluorescent purple, it’s pretty.

I feel like I had something worthwhile to say.

Some drawings. The first one’s from last week, the second one is a few months old.

Oh, and I am happy to say that I have decided I don’t like Damien Hirst. The butterflies were the best thing. But butterflies are awesome in themselves, so you probably can’t go wrong if you use them in your work. The case that the skull was in was filthy with smudges and fingerprints, which kind of detracted from it! Quite funny. Ha. Take that, ridiculously expensive kitsch art. The exhibition didn’t make me feel excited, and it didn’t make me want to make art. It didn’t feel intelligent. Why all the repetition? Hirst’s obviously been very clever at ‘playing’ the art game, and getting noticed, and making money, which is impressive and to be admired. I just don’t think his art’s as interesting as the story surrounding it all. It’s all a bit daunting, innit?! Christ.

Sanity/Insanity

I have a fairly solid idea of what my next exciting artistic endeavour shall be about. Oh yes, I have planned and plotted. I tended to just throw myself in at the deep end when at uni, got on with making work and waited to see what would happen or where it would go. I think I need to find a healthy balance of working intuitively whilst also having a bit of a thought-out plan!

It shall be the contents of my skull, and what it means to be ‘sane’ or ‘insane’. It shall be a combination of all of my words from my mind, and all of the shiney new information I am learning due to my current psychology and mental health obsession.

Please tell me this- does everyone worry that they are going mad sometimes?

I feel like this may be a universal experience. And this pondering may be the main focus of the piece of work. I’m not sure yet. I think things will become clearer as I start work on it. There shall be embroidered words, because I love embroidered words, and crochet, and wool. I’m currently experimenting with crocheting into thin, fragile stretched out tops (tops is the wool that you use for felt-making). So far it’s been exciting, very cobwebby and delicate. I have a general aesthetic in my head, but unfortunately I just don’t know how to achieve it yet! The words shall be from recent sketchbooks and diaries. Words which keep recurring, or which have stuck with me for whatever reason. Although they shall be ambiguous and taken out of context and displayed alongside each other so that no sense-making is obviously apparant. They’ll probably only make sense to myself and people very close to me. As long as I feel that I am being open and honest with myself in my work, no one else needs to know what it’s about. I hope that the viewer will be able to relate to the sentiments in their own personal way.

I fear I am rambling on, I should really go eat something! Hope this has made some sense.

Oh, and I’m going to see the Damien Hirst retrospective tomorrow! He confuses me. I don’t know if I like him, and this annoys me! I have no opinion, I am indifferent. Hopefully tomorrow will sort this conundrum out, one way or the other.

Not Good Enough

I’ve been researching other artists this morning. Really made me realise how easy it is to make crappy textile art. Yes, take something like a hand-grenade, make a knitted version, and OH SUBVERSIVE INTERESTING EDGY ART. No it is not. Embroidering one nice word onto a found doily doesn’t always make for an interesting object. Please stop cross-stitching cliched swear words, it isn’t enough. It’s all been done before. Yes, we get that you can create something juxtaposed and subversive using the domesticated, restrained, feminine traditional medium of textiles. But from what I’ve seen there is a lot of dull, repetitive work out there. Do something wonderful! Or beautiful. Maybe there is a lot out there that is almost right… but not quite. I want to find something really interesting and unique. The possibilities of textiles are really exciting and intriguing…. Must try harder. And I know I have been guilty of some of what I’ve just said. Onwards and upwards. I have a plan.

Hand-sewn rosette, 2012

I Love Words.

How can anyone feel that they can express themselves adequately without the use of words? I don’t think that I could. I sort of feel that maybe once you start using them in your art, it’s very hard to stop! But the visual is still just as important as the meaning. Anyway.

One more shift at the coffee shop, and then I will have my weekends back, and much more time for making new work. Which is just as well, as I have got myself into a month long summer exhibition at a little gallery in Cardiff. I have a wall, and I can do what I want with it. I have grand plans, oh yes. A big installation. None of these silly little dull things in frames. Something grand. Lots of words, lots of honesty, on paper and fabric, tatty, lacey crochet. Threads and nails and sewing and biros and doodles, and the contents of my skull on a wall. Black, white and cream. Hopefully beautiful and fragile and intriguing and terrifying. Let’s all question the sanity of the artist! I have an idea, and an image in my head, just gotta make it happen…. Trying to get my thoughts in some sort of coherent order at the moment. Could take a little while.

But, it led me onto an interesting train of thought. If we can see something with our eyes, it is solid, it is real, it exists. If we can see something it is true. Visual = truth.  One reason of self-harm is that it makes abstract thoughts and emotions real. It validates them. One see’s proof of what one is feeling, and this is satisfying, and comforting. I am intrigued by the parallels that seem to exist between the creation of art and self-harm. Bear with me. So with regards to making art (and more specifically, from my point of view, making art which involves text), if we make our thoughts into something solid, turn them into part of a tactile object that we can see with our own eyes, this can be comforting and satisfying. Thoughts in our minds could be fleeting or confused and jumbled, but once they are turned into something solid, outside of our skull, they become something else entirely. We can see them and they are part of our real, material world, they exist and they are valid. They are pinned down, trapped, and so are easier to contemplate and deal with and make sense of. They become something we can see, and so they definitely exist. And so is it this process, of taking something abstract, from the inside of our skulls and making it solid and part of our real world, is it this act which is central and very important to the creation of art?

And breath. Oh dear. Words. I fear that I may not be expressing myself very adequately. I’ll get there.And I guess what I’ve said can be thought of in relation to art psychotherapy.

And I shall leave you with a wonderful quote;

“I am a freak user of words, not a poet.”

Dylan Thomas

For one night only, ~The 50/50 Affordable Art Show!~

Tomorrow night (i.e Thursday 29th at 7.30pm!) I shall have a few pieces of work up as part of the 50/50 Affordable Art Show, in Undertone, which is the bit below 10 Feet Tall in good old Cardiff. So come and have a gander, prices will range from 50p to £50. Yup. Tho don’t feel you have to buy anything, just come and look at the beautiful things some lovely people in Cardiff make. I shall probably be floating around somewhere all evening, and I do believe it’s 2 for 1 cocktails in 10 Feet on Thursday nights…..

Oh and go see my work in London if you’re about! I refer you to my previous post….This is there;

On a different note, I have handed in my notice at the coffee shop. Three more shifts then it’s all over! There shall be much more time for ‘being arty’ with only one job (I am also a lab assistant. I play with chemicals and hot things). AND IT IS SO SUNNY. I am sat on the chaise longue my parents got me for my birthday, with the doors open onto my balcony.

See some of you tomorrow night I hope!

London Fashion and Textile Museum

So, I have work for sale in the Fashion and Textile Museum, right in the middle of London town. Can’t really believe it. I have gone from rural north Wales, to flipping London in a short couple of weeks! Tis the first time I have ever properly framed my work, and it really makes such a difference. Hopefully it will sell. Or more importantly, hopefully the right sort of people will see it. Hopefully lots and lots and lots of people will see it! And like it. Perhaps. Below is a piece I made especially for the occasion. Not to be taken seriously!

A good word: Catharsis

So, I have applied for an MA in Art Psychotherapy. At Newport Uni, part-time over three years. The more I’ve researched it, the more I am sure that this is what I want to be doing. It feels right, it feels the right choice for me. A natural progression. It has me thoroughly fascinated. But of course I can, and SHALL, be an artist at the same time. I want to help people, I want to make a small difference to someone’s life. And I’m ok at that whole art-thing, and the contents of people’s skulls is… at the same time, intriguing and terrifying. But in a sort of good way. I know that I use art in a cathartic, therapeutic manner, and I want to help others realise the good that this can do.  

And now for some embroidery… With some ribbon. Which is now all used up, so I won’t keep coming across it in my sewing-box, making me feel slightly sick. Catharsis, innit.

crochetcrochetcrochetcrochet

Once again, I am crocheting like a mad thing, in preparation for the Open 2012 exhibition in Caernarfon next week! Excited, but terrified, this will be my very first exhibition since graduating last summer; hopefully it shall be the start of something wonderful…

Sold TWO pieces of art this week on Newbloodart, so that is oh so wonderful 🙂

One of them was this tiny bit of embroidery, delicate stitches obscuring words. ‘What am I doing?’ It’s so odd not knowing who buys my work, or why they like it.

My mission this weekend is to get new work up on newblood. Some embroidery and maybe a couple of drawings I think. But it is tricky deciding what! Looking through all my work, there are so many pieces which I would dearly love to exhibit, work which I want people to see, which needs to be up on walls… There are many pieces I would not feel at all happy selling over the internet. 

A recent pen drawing;