Fold Diaspora Collage
Images from making of FOLD
After the busy summer months of making and sharing time with little ones the collages for Fold are complete. The findings for the project were unexpected but as with all work made in partnership and collaboration this reflected the bigger context of political upheaval and emergency we are all now experiencing.
The material from the care homes (apart from one set of fascinating images) did not arrive. As I thought within the settings themselves the low levels of staffing together with the switch back from working online had impacted heavily on all participants. The CultureBox team wanted to know whether or how I would proceed at this point and I made many notes in my journal to think through what might be useful at this point.
A series of 60 small 'Diaspora Collages' came to my mind. All part of a 'group', folded together conceptually by the merging of my own experiences of being with our beautiful Pippa and the previous work I had done in Bury. And at the centre of the Fold was the memory of the batch of images sent by the one care home who had participated.
Here are the notes from my journal that track the process of these last stages of Fold
How do I progress Fold with only 10 images from one Care Home?
motifs pop up on the sheets sent to me in a disparate way. They are 'on their own' unrelated to the rest of the sheet. Floating in space on the sheet
*space as 'possible loss' a key element?
*the loss of planned composition possibly mirroring loss of planning?
*resilience and focus on a set of patterns (think about lace)?
*lace drafting for pattern?
*something of the magpie idea, with the dropping of motifs and words (reminds me of Pippa and her collecting of twinkly treasured bangles even at later stages of her journey through dementia)?
If no more images are received I have many images from the Bury project to reflect upon. Get these out
Most of these shared the same element of 'dropping in' that characterised the HazelGrove images that arrived
As I have used the process of loss of image (PRINT) with the Bury commission maybe think now about focus on a different process that reflects what happens with making marks and exploring memories in the Care Homes
The series of COLLAGED cloths could highlight SPACE and attempts to JOIN SPACE and possible loss of whole image
Experiment also with working into the nest idea (placing treasured objects in holes). The experience of P making nest with her hands with the sheets still strong. A 'containing' movement that linked to the feelings of a magpie collecting items in a nest
Try using scraps of old artworks which are already torn up ready to use (in painting experiments)
Thoughts on nests after test pieces
*too hidden and not connected to the set of images from HazelGrove that point to a different PROCESS
reflecting again on these HazelGrove images
*no central image
*space central to the ideas
*PATTERNS emerge from the images
*knitting, maths games, music notes
*feel like I am peering through to a space and time before the present. The connection to Fold is in here - time and space folding in on one another. My responses also now folding into the images as I revisit them over and over again
QUESTION:HOW TO MAKE VISIBLE THIS PROCESS?
Messing about with granddaughter Izzy, I played alongside her with her 'scratch' book. The flower garden and princess emerged bit by bit as flecks of the outer layer were removed. As she scratched I reflected on the idea of deep hidden images (scratch the surface).
Remembering the old method of wax crayon layers I did a quick trial....
*wax enables me to viscerally feel my way through a process of uncovering a hidden motif bit by bit.
*most of first layer of image can remain covered and hidden from view while other bits emerge
*experiment with cutting out the wax layers into small pieces (cutting and sticking without too much thought and enjoying the playfulness and memory of childhood activity)
*ironing a similar deep process that is embedded in childhood memory - the joy of flattening out the cloth
As the experiments continue I am finding more and more connections to my original Fold concepts. Making a series of layered images (glued, folded and stuck together) means that elements are folded in on one another.
The iron on interfacing is especially important as it allows a ghost like shape to take form harking back to shapes that are important to me and reappear consistently. I can respect the cut outs from other shapes - showing how a previous action (seemingly negative) can be included in the image
List of processes used:
*inclusion of bits of photocopies taking hold now
*the bits of lost records I cannot fathom
*'lost' images and fragments that still feel wounding
Discussion with artist Michelle Olivier after showing her one of the 60 emerging pieces:
"each collage is from a family with some likenesses but each an individual. Like your family they will be dispersed. In this case between the care homes (not around Europe). The memories are linked - a series - a Diaspora Collage"
I began writing this blog to share the 'process' of making a new project that brought together the research, collaborations and issues as they arise in the making of a piece of work.