As I’ve been getting closer to the time of the exhibition, I’ve been working on fine-tuning the video and also making lots of clay World War I objects. During the last two weeks, I’ve been recreating out of clay many of the Pontesbury things I photographed. This has been an immensely enjoyable, and addictive, experience.
I’m not used to working in clay and I’m not used to ‘making’ things in three dimensions. I’m a painter. This has been refreshing. I haven’t had to think about light, shade, contrast, colour or tone. All those elements just fall into place as I mold the clay depending on the time of day. However, I have had to think about the appearance of the sides and back of the objects, something a painter doesn’t necessarily have to consider. I have had to think about surface, line and proportions. I have to think about practical things such as: whether it will stay together, whether it will break as it dries and whether it makes sense in three dimensions.
For every art project I’ve undertaken since starting the Foundation Degree has entailed me taking up a new media or one that I’m not confident in. At first it was video, then it was animation and this time, as I reach the point of familiarity with Adobe Premiere Pro, it is clay.
The hope is that people who visit the exhibition will feel comfortable picking up the objects, looking at them in their hands, feeling the lumps and bumps on them, feeling their coldness and relating to them in some way even though they aren’t the originals. They are rough-and-ready clay replicas. They are my response to being able to touch, smell and hold the objects.