The area allocated for the MA cohort to exhibit is the entrance foyer of Hull School of Art and Design and there will be eight graduates showing in this space. As it is a working environment it is rather different to the white cube which was the perfect space I had envisioned to show my final pieces to best advantage. Having said that I am still very happy with the area given to me.
Although the area looks large, because of the scale of my work, I will only be able to fit about six pieces in it. I aim to produce at least twelve final pieces and from these select the ones that work best together as a series and fit in the space well. My space is next to the main reception area so very prominent, my work will be the first thing people see when they walk into the building. The pressure is on to achieve the eye-popping effects I am hoping will create a reaction from the viewers. Another advantage is the directional lighting available which I hope will enhance the intensity of colour and reflect the lustre of the silk.
I am continuing to produce large pieces approx 160cm in length. I am working on three different types of fabric, my initial choice of 100% Habotai silk and two new surfaces; 100% twill silk and Dakota silk linen mix. The twill silk, above, is pure white so the colours appear bright and vibrant it also has a high sheen that reflects the light beautifully. The fineness of the fabric is perfect for folding and manipulating to achieve interesting variations in tone and texture. The dye is harder to control on this fabric as it bleeds a lot but this produces the soft transient effects an am striving for.
Initially I was not keen on the silk linen mix when making samples. It has a creamy colour, the surface is dull lacking the sheen of the 100% silk and there is a blue line woven into the selvedge down both sides. However the more I worked with it the more I appreciated its qualities. The creamy background gave a subtle and rich tone to the deeper hues whilst maintaining the brightness required for the neon colours. The blue lines softened with the application of dye and in some cases practically disappeared. The extra weight and density of the fabric, although too thick to manipulate satisfactorily, bled less than the silk so application was easier to control. This fabric was also much wider so offering more scope for compositional arrangements.
I continue to be immensely inspired by the fluorescent dyes. I am totally enamoured by the luminosity of light they project, I find pleasure in how they apply to the fabric and love the resist when dye is applied on top of it.
Although still interrupted by lecturing duties it feels goo to have more time to become immersed in the development and processes as the work evolves.
I am applying the dye quickly and spontaneously, letting the processes lead. For guidance I am directed by my rapid sketches and channelling the memory of being in the landscape. I have to wash the pieces in-between layers which is always nerve-wracking but I am usually pleasantly surprised by the results. From here I can re-work on areas that need more depth or use discharge on areas that need taking away. When I get to a satisfactory point I stop work and put the piece away to start on the next. When I have completed as many as I can I want to lay them all out to look at them with fresh eyes. I hope I will then know which ones need development to make them work.