Wednesday, 21 August 2013

An Organic Acrostic. My summer project book.

Create a "very beautiful" and "very personal" handmade book using drawing, painting, stitch, collage and mixed media.
Use recycled/vintage papers and fabrics
Create layers of media
Work into pages with stitch
Cut away areas
Fold, add found objects, beads etc
Use both sides of the pages, create textures, enticing cover.

Choose from:

(Project books will be exhibited at the start of term.)

I opted for Organic as my theme. Fired with enthusiasm, I threw a few ideas in the air and plucked 'carbon' as the basis for my book. After a degree of informative research, this digressed into using the word 'organic' itself, and turning it into an acrostic.
O - origins
R - rainforest
G - green
A - anatomy
N - nutrition
I - Ichythsaur
C - carbon

It is very much a work in progress, with a few weeks to go for middle and finishing touches. I'm currently about 60% happy with it; yet again I think I may have gone off on an overly complicated tangent, and I'm also not sure how my approach adheres to what is expected. But what the hell!

Here are some pictures to illustrate my summer project book: An Organic Acrostic.

* Update. August 1 2017.
I never got the chance to show my book. Cursory glances were cast by the lecturers at some of our work; no feedback was given and I can't deny I felt somewhat despondent. Maybe it was a foreshadow of what was to come - four months into the course I was so disillusioned and unmotivated that I switched to the Visual Arts course, and in summer 2016 graduated with a 2.1 in Fine Art.

I cut four flaps to illustrate the layers of a rainforest.

Green. This was put together with random bits and pieces I have had lying around for ages!

Mary Anning (21 May 1799 – 9 March 1847) was a British fossil collector, dealer, and paleontologist. She discovered the remains of an ichythsaur at Lyme Regis in Dorset,

Four weeks to go ...

At the grand old(ish) age of 50, I am going to university.
Next month, I start a three-year full-time BA hons course in surface design and textile innovation.
So why now?
Well I did actually apply to university back in my youth. I wanted to read philosophy, but although I got the same A level grades as Prince Edward, he got in and I didn't. Never really been able to work that one out.
Then my life sort of drifted aimlessly until in 1983 I ended up training as a journalist. I spent nearly 20 years as a sub-editor and writer on various national provincial newspapers, and had two children in the course of my career.
After taking a career break to look after my youngest, I yearned for the opportunity to do something else with my life, and eventually found the perfect turning point - an art access course for adults at a nearby college.
For two days a week from 2003-2005 I learned about art history, printmaking, drawing and painting, life drawing and creative textiles. It was the latter which completely blew my mind. Our teacher, Karen, introduced us to traditional methods such as felt making and weaving, to the experimental - polyfusion, painted bondaweb, stitching on brusho painted brown paper, and much more.
It wasn't until 2007 that I got round to applying to do the BA hons course on textile design. I was accepted, but I had gone down a rather bumpy road of setting up my own arts retail business. (But that's another story. ) I didn't feel the time was right for me to undertake full-time study.
In 2008/9 I took over the children's after school art club at my son's primary school. From there, other work opportunities arose. Setting myself up as a creative practitioner and workshop facilitator, I went on to work under various art projects, with community groups and schools, with severely disabled adults, blind youngsters, an Asian women's group, a nursery, and even at a care home where a 90+ woman told me to: "shove your art up your arse."
I blame the economic climate for drying up most of the funding that was employing people like me to run one-off or regular workshops. Now, in August 2013, I only run occasional workshops at a local arts centre - bringing in an income of £40 a month!
So back in February/March I rethought university. I might as well apply, I thought - especially now that my sons were more or less self-sufficient at 14 and 19. The process was reasonably simple, as was applying for student finance, and I only had to ring the helplines two or three times!
In May I attended the university interview, laid examples of my wares before the lecturer, chatted for a while, and was offered an unconditional place. The following week I received confirmation from student finance that I would receive a grant and loan for the duration of my study.
So ... it's soon going to be all systems go, from empty days to hectic ones; from mindless hours on Facebook etc to motivational and stimulating study.