For me the most significant experience so far in Unit X arose from two sources.
Firstly, a talk by Michael Powell director of Chetham’s Library. The lecture made me realize that Belle Vue’s history has a dark side as well. That discovery shaped my further research.
Secondly, a visit to Chetham’s library itself. The most interesting archive about Belle Vue was the zoo keeper’s notes, as it allowed me to have personal insight into the life of animals.
It struck me how much the keepers cared for the animals despite the lack of knowledge. In these records I found 26 notes about animals deaths.
I also found lots of pictures of people and animals together. They made me realise that animals were important part of people’s memories about Belle Vue.
That discovery led me to an idea about creating a range of jewellery that contains people’s memories of animals.
As memory can be unreliable and can fail in remembering details; I applied that idea into materials using photographs, notes, paper, fabric, ceramics and plastic animals. Mixing materials is important for my practice in this project as different qualities represents my ideas and make them meaningful.
I have not sufficiently experienced collaboration through joint workshops with Interactive Arts. This means that I could have missed on some valuable different perspective between myself and Interactive Art students. As a next step after Easter I am determined to attend those workshops as it would help me develop my ideas and designs.
The ideas and design for my porcelain jewellery has mostly been inspired by Jill Egan(http://www.kilnfiredart.com/cer amic-jewellery.html)Her work shares the same notion of fragile moments and memories that are worth preserving as mine.
Also Kim Wallace(http://blog.stephbond.com/2009/12/hip-products-kim-wallace-ceramic.html) Who uses simple, delicate shapes in sophisticated way. I also like the way she attached ceramic forms into the rest of the piece.
What I need to focus on next is researching practitioners who could inspire me to use my simple shapes into more complex jewellery with Victorian memories in contemporary style. I thought I could perhaps join different parts of animals in one piece of jewelry . A bit like this: http://www.hottt.com/products/smaj02-win_hottt .
I believe our team contains mostly makers rather than designers. We work as individuals but under the umbrella of our shared manifesto, which has allowed me to relate to members of the team that take a familiar route. Many of our group members are also producing jewellery which is very beneficial for my idea development as we often share design and medium ideas during our meetings. The differences that I think lie in our individual approach are when we stop researching and start designing and drawing inspirations from what has been discovered. On our last meeting, Bethan gave me a name of practitioner that caught my attention in her sketch book – Angus and Celeste(http://angusandceleste.com.au/gallery) The delicate motifs of animals on a plain surface of porcelain helped me to look at scale and use of my jewellery.
Even though Bethan focuses on tableware, her research has inspired my work and I believe that is the point of group projects: to be inspired by one another.
In the next part of the project I intend to research more practitioners that would lead me to more designs with my porcelain, as this the medium I would like to explore more.
What is more, after Easter I will be able to contribute more to my team as Events Coordinator.