This week I have been focusing on the figure, capturing it fairly realistically, and choose the type of clay I will use. For the body of the sculpture, I've been deciding between adding granite or sawdust to the clay to add a rough, interesting texture. The surface of skin will relate to the emotional, psychological issues I am discussing about pain. Combining this with an interesting glaze can support the chronic pain story I am telling though the work that words cannot express. For example, crawl glaze, crackle, or crater glaze. These are shown below:
This week I created a small figure for practice, as well as a canvas to test some of these glaze ideas on a shapely, upright surface. This figure is around 6 inches tall. I also have created a bunch of test tiles for the glaze testing. The real piece I've decided should be closer to life-size. This will help create a one-on-one relationship with the viewer, I'm hoping to be more relatable.
Viewer Response Project Prompt:
Connecting with your audience can be an important piece in art that drives home your concept. It can push your artwork to cause others to feel how you feel.
Your task is to create an element in your art that causes the viewer to physically or emotionally react to your work. This could be expressed through textural, positional, material, colorful elements, or several other variations. You could think about how a sense of time could affect the human experience. You could think about how to use the space to force the viewer to feel and see your piece differently.
What is feeling? A sensation or experience within a person given by an object, event, other being, or circumstance. It could be emotional, mental, or physical. Consider this and how they are all interlocking in the human experience when you are creating your work.
How can you transform your piece to push your viewers to feel something? What do you want them to feel?
How can the visual elements you make connect to those different emotions? How can a viewer response enhance your artistic narrative?
Sketch for Project:
This project will be displayed hanging rather than on a pedestal to create tension. Using glaze and clay texture for a visceral response that expresses pain in the body. Additional materials of wire and thread will be added after firing to further express pain and materiality.
I was accepted into the Indiana University Southeast Post-Baccalaureate program! I will be posting my progress on this blog as I make my way through the year. I am excited to see what I create and to discover new things through my dolls. Stay tuned for updates :)
Mind-and-body numbingly inescapable
You strike me from within
The pain spreads like a wildfire
Bleeding into the cracks
You slither and seep down deep between my bones
You pin me down, sucking the life out of me slowly
I am suffocated, perforated
I am fighting to stay alive
I go dizzy and numb
You tear me to shreds
Fragmented on the floor, I am trying to pick up the pieces
Trying to mend myself back together
Or at least what I thought I knew I was
I have no choice but to surrender to your demands
I recently have had a huge spike in my chronic pain. I have changed environments back to my parents' home for the holidays--which I'm very excited about, however, switching environments is very hard on my pain. There are many different aspects that goes into a changing an environment. There’s a change in diet, sleeping schedule and switching beds, changing from living alone to living with three other people. The cold, frigid weather can be hard as well. The list goes on. And, it all adds up a lot and can cause my pain to spike during my adjustment period. Besides spiking my pain, my anxiety and depression also climbs higher. I’m placed farther away from my friends and visiting them becomes much harder. It cannot be just a stop by and say hi kind of get together; it becomes a full day+ trip—which is often very hard for me to do.
I think a lot of people may not experience this difficulty. Or if they do, we don’t talk about it. But I think it’s important. Your chronically ill friends may need more help than you are aware of—this is just one of the difficulties that comes it. Please, check up on your chronically ill friends during this time of year! I know even just some support and help can make a world of a difference.
Yesterday I received one of the 2019 Merit Awards from the Toledo Arts Commission! I'd like to give them a great big shout out for this amazing opportunity to fund my art. I would also like to thank them for how absolutely wonderful and welcoming every member of the Arts Commission is! Everyone was excited to meet with me and congratulate me for this award. I'm very honored to see how this grant pushes my art and the new connections I've made in Toledo because of it!
Check them out: https://theartscommission.org/
A few days ago, I was on my way to a local coffee shop to meet a friend. This place is a little piece of diversity from this town, and I always feel comfortable here--except for the other day. I walked up with my cane to the register, ready to order. Just before I got there, an older man who was leaving the register pointed at my body and cane and said, "You gotta gimp?" I was so taken aback; I didn't know what to say. I didn't respond. He said again, "You gotta gimp? What happened?" Again with this question that is actually meant: Please reveal your personal medical information. I hate it. Nothing "happened" to me. There was no "incident" between when you saw me with a cane and the next day with a wheelchair. It's appalling to me that even the older generation will publicly point people out and use slang. I have never understood why others will choose to do this. I personally have never looked at someone of difference to me and publicly point and ask them personal information. Young people can have canes and disabilities, too; it does not just have to be the elderly. When people do this, I feel ashamed, self-conscious, unwelcome and unwanted in our society.
Definitions of Gimp:
1) a derogatory term for someone that is disabled or has a medical problem that results in physical impairment.
BUT IT ALSO MEANS:
2) An insult implying that someone is incompetent, stupid, etc. Can also be used to imply that the person is uncool or can't/won't do what everyone else is doing.
So this is where more of the problem lies. This language is a double edged sword--It is pointing out my disability in a negative way, being said publicly, and then it implies that I'm incompetent. Whether it was their intention or not it's just plain insulting. Able-bodied folks, take note of things not to say to people with disabilities.