p5: FMP

first thoughts


I want to find new references. Going in a fairly new direction both conceptually and visually has left me a little ungrounded in this respect. There is such a gap between the abstract and symbolic artists that i have peviously tended towards, that seemed collectively quite serious and grand? And the rambly reactive comics and drawings I am making at the moment. “Not being made for an audience” is something that was said in my crit and something that I think describes the shift in my work over the drawing section of foundation. Finding it hard to allow myself to make intuitive art. and bad art. and self absorbed art. As an act of processing things. And to create artefacts of now? It feels rewarding- the recent stuff Ive been making have felt like mental healing and growth, and also I feel fond and proud of the outcomes.We read through some FMP proposals today- there is less to write than I thought. Sticking to the headings, but not writing arbitrarily, also being specific and clear as possible.
References so far
Jo Spence has effected my work very much, but that is the only artist recently who really has? Again though- a very different art style to that which I have previously been seeking so, maybe a general visit to a Tate to find some new artists would help.
Misbehaving Bodies at the Wellcome Collection

(with Jo Spence and Oreet Ashery)

I have never seen Jo Spence’s work before and really enjoyed it in this exhibition. It felt honest and personal.Introspective and critical looks a societal norms and structures. Her “photonovels” and commentary were wonderful- the format of Book and its traditions and connotations being used to tell personal narrative was very powerful- the contrast of the Normal Photoalbum was ever present, but this work did not present norm or pattern of its own- continually honest, self aware, analytical. Good documentation.

“How does the blocking off of earlier traumas and desires from childhood, which we still inhabit as adults, encourage us to collude in the limited number of stories in circulation about family life? Just how much is the lack of image-making about the family part of this cementing-over process? How does the family album relate to the regime of images offered to us from birth, of acquiring the habits of the for granted the ‘truth’ of the stories on offer in the media in general?

Jo Spence

I feel is has been useful to allow the material here to be used, it no longer seems to have very much to do with “me” as a person, but rather has become a repository of various conventions, techniques and choices within photography.

on presenting personal photos,

The personal is political. There is no was I could have understood fully the political implications of trying to represent other people when I was a photographer (however well intentioned) if I had not first of all begun to explore how I had buily a view of myself through other people’s representations of me.

My continual rethinking of the past, as my consciousness changes, is impossible to stabilize. This reworking is initially painful, confusing, extreme. As I become aware of how I have been constructed idealogically, as the method becomes clearer, there is no peeling away of layers to reveal a “real” self, just a constant reworking process. I realize that I am a process.

These pictures are here for no better reason that they remind me of happy times and of people I love.

Recognising structural forces, being critical, seeing how they have made You, but without trying to remove or undo them. Freeing yourself from the burdonsome aspect of thinking they are real definitely, but not rejecting the bits that make you feel good.Constructive disection. Not demolition just further creation.

Isaac Juliens’ “Looking for Langsten” which I saw a few months ago stuck with me as a style of narrative I connected to? A film about the experiences of black queer (men?) that was surreal and dreamy and anxious. Transitions like mood swings and imagery paired with abstracted narrative. I think I should rewatch this and make some notes. Visually I have been making fuller pictures. Not linedrawings. With backgrounds and busyness and loudness. This way of working is not yet natural to me and I have been using cartoons as a way into this? REwatching The Simpsons and pink Panther at the moment, these shows I watched when I was very young and the visual language is familiar and safe to me. Formally trying to work with zines in p3 (?) and then expanding to books and comic formats as well in p4. p4 was a lot of working with these concrete formats and letting their conventions influence my work.
Carlos Bunga at the Whitechapel Gallery

Bunga has constructed a room within a room, or more a room with areas that feel distinctively more inside and outside than eachother. Walls made of cardboard forming a room with many entry ways. The “external” side is covered in white house paint, drips and missed spots make it feel crafty and fragile, and reveal that the walls are made of cardboard.

Passing through an archway into the structure, the walls are bare cardboard, showing where the smaller sheets have been joined. Items of furniture which outside had been coated in paint can be recognised here, domestic textures, hampers full of blankets, gym mat foam?

Around the edge of the room a ring of tools, hammers, spades, chains, are hung up. Underneath them are chairs, it is unclear which of these objects were in this room previous to this exhibition. Aged domestic fixtures that do not feel like they can be “installed”.

The room’s form is radial and somewhat grand, reminds me of a monument or memorial. But the crafting and construction of this room is self evident. I am aware it is not “real” (solid? permanent? historic?), like a convincing set.

Bunga makes work about their experience of displacement and I think this is relevant here. The room feels like a living space that is not homely. A lack of permenence and an anxiety around this. No mess or settled-ness, items rarely touch. Domestic connotations but in a sparce and muddled way. Feels like fragile self constructed home. Borrowed furniture and boundaries of cardboard taped together and smothered in housepaint.

This work feels a little like collage or drawingto me. Creating a coherent mood that doesnt not exist yet by combining objects. And ordering them in a sort of pattern.

Atul Dodiya

I saw “Meditation (with eyes open)” by Dodiya at the Tate Modern

I could not grasp specifics about the subject but I enjoyed following its internal connections: it felt like a map of associations, and the presentation of this collection- as if in a museum, but unannotated and somewhat cluttered, artwork placed on top of the three cases that contain the rest.

a series of personal shrines

the tate website says that it is formally similair to “the humble glass cabinets common in middle-class Indian homes which preserve souvenirs and items based on emotional rather than material value: photos, travel memorabilia, toys and gifts, religious icons and the like.”

museum displays are a mode of presentation that I had not considered for my documentation. It is definitely self-centring and serious in a somewhat therapeutic way.. its practically hard in that it requires free clean walls or cabinets. I wonder if visiting displays and sketching from their formats would be useful for designing books/zines. Arranging items on pages, and defining the pages (catagories and order)

Dodiya said he works with “collective and personal memory”

This work has an ambiguous meaning which I enjoy. I believe that it has emotional and logical meaning to the artist, that they could use it to spark many conversations. And I do not understand the meaning. I can guess and explore but the work is not for me? As an audience member, as a person with a different life and history, and as just, a separate body.

Internal order of this manner is something I associate with artists like Paul Klee and Hilma af Klimt(?) who are trying to represent natural or spiritual orders and derive balance and logic from that. But I think mapping of a mental place, thought process, opinions and associations can give rise to this too? In a very different and less generic way.

I will be having top surgery on the 18th march, so I will initially have 3 weeks to work on this project. I do not know how long I will not be working after this, but I will have between 0-2 further weeks to work on it. I can also ask for an extension if I want this. During week 3 I will need to make some decisions, based on what I have so far, and decide on my outcome.
    • My plan so far is
  • Week 1. make as much as I can. Make a collection of work
  • Week 2. develop into a more cohesive work? choose if I want to work in a focused Voice or Aesthetic, where I want variety.
  • Week 3. decide on how I will present my work (binder, book, photo album, wall, digitally somehow). Work out what I will need for this, and purchase what I can (ie buy book, probably dont print photos). Decide if I will ask for an extension. If not, get to a place where all I still NEED to do is construct my final piece, and can add more work to this body or not.
Working fairly digitally will be easier after surgery (can curl up in bed) I will hopefully be able to get to the library to scan/print things
Art that is currently relevant and that has influenced me a lot but that I have never considered as Fine Art™
trans David by @SNTSTRANGER 2019
Cross-stitch by @labellesophie
on “the patient experience” for the Wellcome Collection, by @robbider

I will be using photos and documents as the base material. In preperation for Monday I will be gathering some stuff! I already have access to my camera roll, photos from (2017-now). I have the photos from my old laptop (2012-2015?) which are not currently accessible. I will try and either put these on a drive, or upload them to somewhere I can access on my ipad, at college. On Thursday I will go to my mums house and pick up the harddrive from my dads computer. This contains a bunch of digitised photos from the first decade of my life(2001-2010), and some later pictures(-2014)


Project proposal and action plan! It felt good to figure out my reference/reading list. Gradually remembering and realising items that have effected my work, revisiting things that have had long term impacts on my work (Paul Klee and Yayoi Kasuma very much so), and new inspiration and things that have caused recent shifts in my work (Jo Spence has had a recent impact on my motivation and process, more than an artist has effected me in a long time, and engaging with contemporary trans art such as Lake’s has helped me contextual personal experiences, and experiment with directly representing them.. representational art is not something I usually do, and I’ve been exploring why).


Starting FMP work! I spoke to a few people about my project ideas today. I was recommended to look at Robert Gober’s work, and visit the current Caroline May “Male Imperatives” exhibition at the Camberwell Space. I plan to go to this panel there on wednesday evening.Images of me holding old animals attracted me early on: very emotive, soft animals i miss being held, also a certain constriction in the manner I held them. These are personal but anonymous, which I think will be something I will seek out in this project? Images:
  • 3 pictures of my hands touching my old pet chickens, cropped (with a border of background) from their contextual photos, from dads hard drive
  • 1 picture of my hands holding a rabbit in a petting zoo. Black and white like the chickens pictured, from dads hard drive
  • 1 rainbow puffle (google image’d) from recent camera roll, from recent memory.
  • 1 packet of cool ranch doritos from recent camera roll, the only GF dorito flavour.
  • 1 oil spill, from recent camera, thought it was pretty at the time, and now it was visually similar to the puffle
  • 1 stock image of backpack, from recent camera roll, from recently looking at many backpacks, this is the interior of my lovely new bag.
This zine is sort of free association? Imagery of things that have been relevant to me now.That will trigger memories of now. I enjoyed the flimsy tactility of these materials: thin shiny comic-magazine paper, printed photos, attached with translucent matte tape.slightly beige densely squared paper from my mums house, 8 partially (barely) stamped loyalty cards. This items location seems to be hammersmith 2017-2018 I think this piece is very visually satisfying, through repetition and nice soft colours, and relatability (or understandability). But it doesnt fulfill my current aims as well as the previous (uglier, nicher) zine. Zines seem to be my default format atm, and I want to get away from them to more singular constructions! But keep ending up making 8-page foldy zines! I think they offer a containment and structure to messy content, which I need to find a way to not need. Perhaps trying repetitious (post minimal?) structures on a canvas.
First attempt at a college linking images. Quite simple But a start at linking. This was mapping in a way that was useful for me. I would like to try annotating- maybe with text, maybe to show a sort of flowchart of relation. I could also try this physically using paint. (or white matte paint and then drawing on top?).
Masculinities- Liberation Through Photography, at the Barbican

I very much enjoyed the exhibition’s stated aim (and I reckon success) of portraying “a variety of masculinities” To see documentation of a variety of masc people, to see my place within that. There were so many works, so many styles and contexts, reading blurbs was very important.

I took a lot of photos of blurbs for their wording, to co-opt to describe my own experiences, for things I do not yet have a vocabulary for.

Being trans is a lot about building your own gender, choosing what you want that to mean, how to best describe and express it. I got a lot of self-contextualising from this.. how to describe things, knowledge of things I am Not, and that I could be.

“the human body is always in a state of becoming”

“they frame their body not as an inherited vessel but as a fleshy canvas constantly in flux”

I liked these because, each image is just a shot of normality- a young person at school, an after school hobby. Together they make trends, of performance, and costume, and tradition, of variation of mannerisms. But each image feels intimate? or relaxed? or comfortable and at-home.

link to digital images of this work. I found this work very relevant to my current work (and also thought it was very strong) Originally designed as a book, here presented as prints of double spreads. It feels similar to my idea of presenting a3 pages for foldable zines. It carries (to me) the intimacy and smallness of a book, and the seriality, but can be seen at once and.. is slightly more scientific? a little more clinical and formal in a way that feels like taking oneself seriously? hmm

the piece was a series of tight high saturation photos of cupboard interiors, familiar products branding, old kitchenware, order, and a oposing series of quotes of abuse directed from the artists father to mother. This personal recording of hard things, meticulously, testing different fonts and layouts, feels like processing in the way I want to in my project. The output presented in a way that is ~generically raw~? I do not know the circumstances past mother figure, father figure, bad dynamic, but the language and tone of the quotes, the dated mainstream cupboard contents, the distance/dissonance the artist has towards it, can be applied much more broadly, can be related to many many circumstances by the viewer.

There were some “Duane Michals” sequences which I did not take photos of 😦 but enjoy their use of narrativeish progression. Sequences of photos telling slightly surreal happenings.

would like to do more research on CASSILS and DUANE MICHALS

Trapdoor and Queer/

both these books are collections of essays. Trapdoor (edited by Reina Gossett) is headed “Trans cultural production and the politics of visibility”. I wanted to read it to get some context of historical and current trans people in the public eye, transness with less privelidge to me, differently marginalised, different cultures. First hand accounts of events that allowed my safety and existence.

An interesting point brought up in the book (in several essays) is the duel effects of trans exposure/press coverage. It means that trans people are more known, more understood and recognisable. This can be a very positive thing, for example in making more people feel able to transition, helping people find those like them, and theoretically better medical care and general Rights. But it also means more people have an opinion and more people are angry. People fear the trans agenda and wearing down of traditional morals. A quote from Miss Major Griffin-Gracy about deferred anger of transphobes at the press (about Laverne Cox (a trans fem actor) having a cover story in Time magazine in 2014): “People all around the world were amazed by Laverne’s cover story. However, for the girls who have to live on the streets and off their wits, this was not something that was beneficial to their existence. What I have noticed, since that happened, is that there are more girls being murdered or beaten up because the people who want to do those harmful things can’t get at Laverne Cox… Somebody can really dislike the fact that trans is gaining acceptance and think, “Oh there’s a trans girl on the cover of Time, oh there’s one of those trans bitches there,” and go and kill her”

I have never experienced anything like this violence, or been in any real danger. I have experienced stereotyping specific to being trans masc though. Assumptions about me as a trans man. The strongest I think being my top surgeon, in our consultation. Noticed self harm scars and asked if I do that any more. I said no and they replied along the lines of ‘oh I guess it got a lot easier once you worked things out and began transitioning.”, making my life narrative into one of transition. And assumptions during the physical exam “you dont have to look down I know it will be very uncomfortable for you”. Similair experiences are among my best experiences with doctors, the alternative being erasure of my trans identity, telling me hrt is unhealthy/ probably the cause for unrelated issues.

In the Youre Wrong About (podcast) episode about the obesity epidemic they talk about systemic medical fatphobia. That fat patients will be told issues are caused by their weight when then patients would not. Will be recommended weight loss while thin patients would be given tests and prescriptions. I mention this, because despite big differences, this section of the podcast let me hear other peoples experiences of something similar to the medical transphpobia I have experienced. I trusted doctors a lot more before beginning transitioning. I now regularly have uncomfortable social encounters, and recieve objectively bad or careless advice. Anyway. Reading about peoples personal experiences or transphobic violence and exclusion, along with their theories about it in this book has made my inconveniences and struggles feel grounded within a bigger fight/landscape, not just a personal thing, not a personal responsibility.

Male Imperatives at the Camberwell Space.

I was recommended this exhibition as an exploration of gender, and although it was interesting, it was “about” the female(on male) gaze, rather than self directed analsyis on masculinity. I suppose relevant as a slightly dodgy simplification of the trans masc experience? Or gender from an outsiders perspective (perhaps a queer perspective on binary gender performance)

Working Ideas Table

I enjoyed this work of scanned and degraded figures. Statues photographed at an Athenian Archaeological Museum. Far reduced from their sources size, and simplified, removing their grandeur. A symbol of masculinity made into a craftable collection of material. Maniplulated without respect?

a powerful but non masculine pose? pattern recognition?

This picture (and many others in this exhibition) are taken of escorts May contacted online, and paid to pose for photographs in place of sex work. They were told to pose how they would like to (be percieved), curation of self image, wihch is an interesting part of making personally directed art. A physical position to match your identity, to represent You. This section of the exhibition, of self posed portraits, tensed, maybe intimate, individual. Curation of self images?

This exhibition is very open for different readings.. more a collection of imagery to spur thought, to spur development of ideas already present in the viewer, about gender, sex, human with nature, with societal norms, self image and perception. Accompanying texts, in the form of blurbs, exhibition booklet, and more on the ual website mainly discuss the artist’s ideas on these things, and their understanding of others’ perspectives. A world view and accompanying perspective on other world views. “overarching fluidity and openness”

I hope the exhibition motivates viewers to think harder about gender stereotypes and masculine domination, issues that we tend to take for granted, but I would be equally happy if some of the works just stirred radiance and visual excitement.’

caroline may on the exhibition

here is a batch of new work: ⠀

Have been working out a bit of an aesthetic core this week….

Material wise- coloured pencils, thin black and red pen, watercolour (usually pastel primary colours and mixed with opaque white)

homely materials, and those that I am used to using for personal doodling, that I am most fluent and comfortable with expressing through.

I have been thinking about working with crayon, due to physical oilyness (interesting with watercolour) and personal association but its general associations of child-likeness and naivety are not ones I necessarily want to be applied to my work.

I have tried adding words to my visual pieces and do not know. They make me feel exposed and I think might give too direct meaning.. or even just too loud a voice to the pieces. I do not yet know if this is productive discomfort or should be a boundary.

I have definitely been finding it hard working with old pictures as material for a sustained period. I enjoy looking at old pictures, as a nostalgic and grounding thing, but usually it is an hour or an afternoon of looking at and thinking about them. When I immerse myself for longer the memories and feelings and missing become more vivid, the memories feel nearer and loss and missing feels fresh again. Re-experiencing the changes. And in a way I was not emotionally capable of at the time, and that was not available until relatively recently, the last few years. Reprocessing without being emotionally numb. Doing this project as my main thing at the moment means feeling that sort of thing with much higher frequency than anytime I had regular therapy. lol.

Having the pictures as a sort of record of completed processing feels good. Product of an emotional dive. To group them together, have a library of the different parts of my life feels sort of like proof of identity. A little abstracted narrative.

With this context it feels again relevant to me to integrate zine format into my work.

this piece using an unfolded zine as a backdrop works well to me. I like the loose narrative of the 8 page folded zine. Can be thought of as a page or a book. Can have a front and back page or just four double pages that can be folded any way to form a book.

When unfolded the four by two formation, especially using pages formatted with a central image, and similar content (see also my past simpsons comic chicken based zine), it becomes a postminimal construction. An emotionally charged grid. 8 related but rigid units of content.

I still think that my final outcome will be a collection of a4 sheets, presented in a book format. But I think some of them will be not- printed digital images. some will be drawings and flappy with collaged parts. I had thought I wanted to homogonize the final surface texture of the works but, this would retain some very pleasing textures as well as.. I suppose variety? but in a way I do not think would be overwhelming. A way that would accentuate the limitations and noise of digital art (low resolution, scanner noise), present it as an alternative to like, rough crayon texture, allow it to be obviously intentional, for people to feel it freely as nostalgic or homely or as broken human relations.

Next week I will be deciding on my final format, taking everything home, buying anything I can(? scrapbook, binder, holepunch rings, paper, spray mount hmmmmm) while probably being fairly distanced by surgery anxiety.

I think this piece is pretty effective, although I struggled a lot with relative scaling of the component parts. It is a soup of connotations. An ikea table extracted from a cosy picture of my dads living room around christmas, with a time stamp of items: my old phone case, wii remotes in jelly cases, a chocolate orange in a bowl from a trip to china town, two coaster that were around at Home in Ross before I was born, a massive fucking vape, my mums favourite brand of lipbalm. The ikea table was bought by dad, in the first house he lived in after selling the big house after divorce. For the first several months living there at weekends, I slept in my dads bed, but he surprised me by clearing out the box room and building me a bedroom, with so much new ikea furniture. I was very excited. ANYWAY drawn on legs and a rug, an image of me standing infront of a pirate themed photo backdrop, with me replaced with more palmtrees(taken on holiday with dad about five years previous). At the bottom learning-to-write esqe blue and red, with perfectly cursive text overlayed to their proportions. text talk of my relationships circa 3 years ago. “maybe l8r tho??”. Soft rejection implying exhaustion or hiding of some kind. Of decisions that may be regretted of missing out. Assumptions about the future, and continuity. Yes this makes me very sad to put into words oops.

Genders at the Science Gallery

Another collaborative show. Many peoples experiences of gender, queerness, being percieved. Provocative to see such diverse conceptions and representations of gender. Lots of documentation, and lots of ..not prescriptive? work.

“Grace in the Garms” by Sade Mice

From blurb: “Challenging the idea that binding should be done in secret so as not to outwardly appear trans, Mica decided instead to celebrate these garments and incorporate them into their everyday style. By being open about binding their chest, Mica allowed themselves to feel more free about their gender, as well as more physically comfortable.”

First time seeing binding in an Art context :p representation!!! I enjoyed the craftyness of this piece. Presentation of a hobby, of exploration of self and norms and also materials and equiptment.

The work is about the weird shame and secrecy of binding, which can come in different kinds. For me I have experienced hiding binding because im “not out”, both as being pre-transition, and post/mid/forever-in transition. I bought a binder in secrecy and had it delivered to a local collection box, as I was not out to anyone and was not at the time able to talk about it. I binded for months before talking to anyone about it. And now I am sometimes uncomfortable with my binder showing, incase it attracts unwanted attention, outs me to people I am uncomfortable with, even just invites well meaning curiosity.

This piece feels.. unashamed but also not in a bursting kind of way? It feels normal, which is such a wonderful kind of representation.

I have two binders. The second and third binders I have owned (about 4 and 1.5 y/o respectively.) The older one doesnt bind very well anymore. They have both started coming undone in quite structurally problematic ways over the past few months (I probably do not wash them as carefully as I used to) but I havent replaced them, as the (probable and hopeful) time I have left to wear them is nto worth it for the cost. Strange to have more chest dysphoria than I have for a while, due to bad binding, in the lead up to surgery.

watercolours on gender performance. The transience of line drawing universe overlaid by strong glowing colours. Distance and uncertainty.

notes on ‘Art Time, Life Time: Tehching Hsieh’

“One of these performances, Time Clock Piece (One Year Performance 1980–1981) 1980–1981, involved punching a time clock every hour for a year. It was on display at Tate Modern until June 2018. “

This is the only work of Hsieh’s that I have seen. I saw it a few years ago and was struck by the dedication of the piece… that it was a record of so much. It presents the process in which it was made, but the process is a year of the artists life. 8640 repetitions of an action. 8640 records in a journal of changes to the artists appearance. I remembered this work when trying to think of references for this project as art exploring process and processing, and wanted to find out more about the artis.

Hsieh’s adult art career has been very structured? Massively long projects with predefined length- a year or two, followed by “13 years not making or involving art” ending around 2000. It is only since this, as they have started publicizing their art (for perhaps the first that their self imposed regime has allowed?) that their work has become well known, considered “important”

Productivity is interesting with regard to these works? The work is its ends- or purpose is to be, and maybe to be shared, maybe to involve and effect others. Was this art made for the artist or was their plan always to ultimately share it. Is it important that the work was only (sort of) shared as a single body, retrospectively and complete.

“Hsieh, writes Dilks, ‘has taken art to the limits of what is feasible and possible’ through his attempts to collapse the boundaries between what Hsieh calls ‘art time’ and ‘life time’ in his mentally and physically demanding one-year performances.”

“the charged relationship between a performance and its trace – the document. Hsieh’s current project involves assembling an exhibition of his life works. One well-trodden issue that this raises is the disjuncture between his extended, demanding performances and their representation in text, photography and film”

In Hsieh’s career it seems that presentation and curation of his work has only been considered far after the work was made. I suppose whether the work was always intended to be shared does not matter so much when there is this disconnection- the artist could have been entirely dissonant to this while making the works, trusting their future self to deal with it, slowing the freedom and certain lack of necessary art practicality that comes with this.

“the task of translating time to space” This process fellas similair to my current working with photos and their associated memories from different times, and combining these.

I have decided that I would like to present my exhibition piece as an intimate item- similar to a book or binder or pile of paper, that is encountered on a table of floor. The viewer will need to acively choose if they want to see the contents, and keep seeing them. Bookish format also implies narrative, arc, in a way that works well with this work. I want the images to be read as related, and part of a whole, for the reader to look for links and themes that may or may not be there. It doesn’t matter if the themes and arcs the viewer reads into it are necessarily the same as those I thought of. There will be themes of my thought that I was not aware of, and themes that may be coincidental, or very real. I do not have very clear thought at the moment, which is important, and outside of that i do not want to construct a Personal Narrative.

Scrapbooks with assorted coloured sugar paper pages, big enough to fit a4 pages, up to max a3.

I had thought about presenting in a binder, but having made some of the work now I think that would feel too clinical, not cosy enough, not tightly enough leafed.

The tihings that attract me to photo albums are present here but mixed with a child’s roll- solitary and simple and less full of societal norms..

I also like the contrast between the intention for my scrapbook pages- each containing an a4 sheet of collages content, rather than a collection of objects assembled on the sugar-paper page. A level removed, a level more processed and curated and less honest.

I would very much like to see a selection of scrapbooks so I could choose but, I do not know where to find a selection of dated cheap scrapbooks.. I have never seen multiple types together. The lack of choice and ready-made-ness of ordering “a scrapbook” and working with what you get is a more honest and freeing experience, but I am limited by the size- I am producing a4 works and these need to fit comfortably on a page. Also size wise- I probably do not want too many pages.. I think I want the book to be full-or-near-enough and do not have that much work. I can remove pages but dont want to make the book feel hollow.

I also need to work out a balance between digital and physical (ie bits with tape and pencil and paint), if I do want to include physical pieces. So far most of my work has been digital, and this will become more of a necessity after surgery… I do not have a good printer at home so I will need to go into uni to print, and have been staying at home to avoid coronavirus before surgery, and will be at home after surgery. I should make a trip with a list of things to print soon, so I have the option to work like this after surgery.

Yesterday I plan to go into college (after lesson time?) To collect my belongings, so maybe I can take things to print then

Lily van der Stokker

“I am trying to be a friendly person and my art has to be about that. I like the colors to be bright and cheap looking so that I can combine my conceptualism with pleasure.”— Lily van der Stokker in conversation with John Waters

The art is feminist by not conforming to prevailing ideas of good taste

^^ this is a really interesting idea. Personally motivated art can be radical in terms of individuality n nonconformity

she makes unironic art. Genuine and emotional. Sorta like Shrigley but less boring. About exploring and projecting everyday life. Unashamed domesticity and smallness and also femeninity.

Trying to make art about small honest lived experience rather than theories- political or philosophical, and then these arise.

‘her pieces have a child-like innocence and an adolescent naivety’

from Tate on her St Ives exhibition 2010.

I enjoy this idea- that her work encompasses the perspectives of multiple versions of self- different distinct time periods. I find that “childlike” and “naive” are often used quite reductively to describe art? To explain it away as not having structure/thoroughness/meaning™ “Because It Is Childlike”. When the works described are often more than this- maybe they are infused with the artists current perspectives, often cynicism, maybe even contain patterns and knowledge that are older- the art has some element that is “childlike”. Work doesn’t have to be made with the intention to be important or influential of complex to be these things, which I think is relevant here. Der Stokker’s work has some childlike/dreamlike visual elements, but discusses very adult concepts- domesticity, feminism, mundanity and comfort. “childlike” as intentional rebellion.

after a covid induced departure

I am struggling to continue with my project- find a way to draw a conclusion from it it is set very much in the context of top surgery- was meant to be about the before and after, process and emotions surrounding it, as well as the broader emotional experience of my Routine and Normal in light of this event. I quarantined myself about 1.5 weeks before my surgery date as I was scared of getting sick before it. My surgery was cancelled on the day as I had a fever of 38.something. My temperature had been normal the previous day but I have not been able to test it since (I went to my gp for that reading) as thermometers are out of stock in pharmacies and online at the moment. I have not since had any symptoms of sickness and mostly believe that temerature was caused by being really fucking anxious but I do not know. Arriving and filling in inpatient forms and having my temperature taken and signing out and leaving was all very fast and impersonal. Have had no release of all the anxiety that had built up around surgery and now no longer have college or work to go to? The work I was making was driven by emotions around surgery and more broadly Current Personal Events, but now my emotions are not very productive or interesting? Continuing the automaticish work I was previously making does not feel worthwhile? I could try producing separate bodies of work before/after and sort of accepting this change. But I do not know how to be creative at the moment. I am not dealing well with quarantine mentally, which is not a state I am incilned to creativity in. And practically- living in a shared bedsit i do not have room to have a creative space. At least not a permanent comfortable or calm one.

I would like to have some sort of ending to this. Now for digital presentation I suppose. I do not have access to a scanner so I suppose it will have to be phone-photographed physical work, alongside my digital piece. I will maybe embed a pdf or the work, sort of like the scrapbook presentation I had planned.

I would still like to complete the scrapbook when I have access to a printer and scanner, it would be a nice object to have.

conclusion 4 now

↓ here’s the slideshow !! ↓

slideshow gif

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