Marks of the Land: True Identities. Whats it all about?
By pam newton, Aug 2 2017 02:44PM
You can probably gather, my overwhelming love of nature and in particular plants. Throughout my degree it has become abundantly clear that the landscape as a whole is significant to me; inspiring me in so many ways. From colour, structure, patterns and form. Living here in Wales and travelling around in my Mitsibushi campervan with my fellow companion appropiately named 'Indigo', I seek out the wild and isolated landscapes. Driving every morning and night over a mountain top to and from college, through all the dramatic season changes we are so lucky to have in the UK, I witness their effect on our landscape. Those effects on the fire passes made by tractors on dry heath, the bloom of the plants that habitat that soil, to the soil eroded cliffs and rocks. The textures, colours and sights give those locations their identity. Read more about some of those travels HERE.
As I have been working through my degree, I realise I have been shaping my identity too. What surprised me the most was how I have been carving a path to be an artist, something I never thought I was. I claim to be creative but an artist...no. I knew in my future after my degree that I would 'make', hoped I would learn to design but didnt anticipate the strong desire to create art.
Bringing this together, broadly was easy! The contextual module on 21st Century Art that I had written last semester; which was seen from the perspective of identity, got me thinking how multi cultural we all are.; In a very 'mobile' world of travel, communications, faith, inter marriage and partnerships and so on. How do we classify or 'mark' our own unique identities now? No two people have truly the same cultural identity. You can read the essay HERE.
On a practical level, it has been extremely thought provoking trying to work out the 'how'. How can I bring all these elements into a sustainable, weave and mixed media project for my finals?
I begun by breaking it down, there are strong elements that I need to consider and define 'my identity'.
I am a person who believes very strongly in self sufficiency, circular lifestyles.
I am a gardener.
I love working on every process from field to product.
I am a natural dyer.
I love creating hand spun yarns from natural sources; working with textures.
I love creating cloth.
I love working with the resources from nature; creating yarns, pigments, dyes and inks.
I love making yarns, cloth, clothes and art.
Now I am sure you can, as I can start to see some potential probems here from a professional point of view. Yes.. absolutely I am too; screaming ....Time management! Economic viability! Idyllic notions that are unworkable, impractical. Not too mention that consideration of health constraints.
My dissertation is formulated.
Title: Creating a sustainable, circular and economically viable practice as a textile designer.
The theme for my practical finals will always have to be built around a sustainable, circular cloth. The aim to create 'cloth' and clothes. The birth of a future label; 'Boddy and Cloth'. Both extending and complementing its sister company Natural Threads: a natural art and crafts supply company that also offers workshops, that started in 2013. Take a look at www.naturalthreads.co.uk
Research for patterns, colour and form will take place considering the marks made in the land by both nature and man, creating the identity of place. I love travelling; visiting many places in the UK as well as India. Last years trips to North Wales and Scotland formed the basis of a module in Mixed Media and has fed these plans for this coming years work in land marks. For this module I examined rock formations both manmade and by nature, with studies of slate mines.
I have now extended this interest to include 'other' marks made in the land. Exploring and comparing landscapes to get that real sense of identity. Already fascinated with the welsh coastlines and spending time in The highlands of Scotland I recently spent time , in complete contrast, along the Norfolk Coastline; from Hunstanton to Cromer. Read about my time in Norfolk HERE
Its getting exciting, with collections building of experiences, photography, sketches, materials and ideas.