So some of my tester porcelain pieces came out of the kiln last week and I wanted to experiment with displaying them… I’m veering towards an installation when visualising my final piece, but I am still exploring different avenues… Why am I sculpting with porcelain? Well, it’s quite a precious material and I want to play on that. Hundreds of years ago the process of making porcelain was China’s best kept secret, merchants from all corners of the worlds would flock to Asia hoping to buy some of this exquisite material… The air of mystery that surrounded it links to the wonders about the human brain: we can only truly speculate about our brains, MRI scans provide a layer of answers but not all, only once one has died can we look at the anatomy of the brain, but of course, its energy has been passed on, so in effect we’re just analysing a shell, something that once was…
I made sure with my porcelain piece maquettes to push holes through them as this would give me more opportunities to experiment. The more I think about it, the more I want to put forward the idea of an installation. Obviously the time scale I have would not enable me to create such large pieces to place in a room (as I would want them to be large, large enough that people would worry about them falling on their feet, or to trip over!), but I’m still exploring this as I don’t want to limit myself. In the future I can make these fantastical large chunks of abstract wonderfulness!
This gallery contains 7 photos.
I know I want to make a wavy shape with porcelain, just like this shape I created in my sketchbook using acrylics, newspaper and masking tape… I want to show fluidity, just how our thoughts in our brain link together, how the movements we make, our autonomy- is guided by a network of nerves. This is the ‘positive’.
So what’s the negative? The tension which disturbs the flow, a ball of mess, hands clenching, tightness… These are my visualisations of tension.
Mum made an interesting point to me, she said how currently, Dad’s MRI scan shows where the abscess used to be now looks like “a watermark on material” so I wanted to explore this visually in my sketchbook, using brusho.
The shape I want to create resembles water being swept to the side of a your car front window during heavy rainfall. It gets pushed, then the windscreen wipers pull the water back towards the centre. All in perfect synchronicity. as the shapes captured of the brain by MRI scans remind me of the sycnhonocitty of water: the globular drops of rain and especially rainfall on windscreens!!!
Marc Quinn is probably most well known for his piece Self, which he exhibited in The Royal Academy of Arts’ Sensation show. It was a collection of work owned by Charles Saatchi. What was Self? Quinn made a sculpture by freezing 8 pints of his own blood in the shape of his own head. It took him 5 months to complete as he had to ‘collect’ his blood. He makes a new Self every 5 years. Self comments on the fragility of life: during exhibitions of Self, the art must be retained in a ‘freezing’ atmosphere, otherwise it would simply melt away…
But interestingly enough, I first learnt about Marc Quinn whilst flicking through Harper’s Bazaar magazine! Last season’s collections from fashion houses such as Chanel and Celine make references to Abstract Expressionism and the Contemporaries. In the March 2014 edition of Harper’s Bazaar; Play to the Gallery by Tom Allen shows clothes modelled in Marc Quinn’s studio. I am particularly intrigued by his Chromatic Labyrinth paintings. I just loved the linear quality of them and the contrast of colours and texture between each layer. It was only when I looked at the whole collection on Quinn’s website that I realised they were based on finger prints! This relates nicely to what I’m drawing from- dad’s brain scans. There won’t be another scan which will show the same image- much like we have layers of skin which make up our fingerprints, it takes layers of scans to realise the whole picture of the brain. Out of context, fingerprints and brain imagery produces very abstract shapes.
These funny shapes evolved from squeezing clay and slicing it up. It’s purpose? To cross reference tension: showing the space it consumes and the forms it creates. Inspired by the globular images of my dad’s MRI scans and the whole idea of this abscess causing tension and taking up space in his brain.
I experimented with arranging these slices differently.
Some how MRI scans would be displayed- in row- not dissimilar to specimens displayed in a museum. I stacked them, hung them, coloured them in, drew around them:creating patterns. I wanted to (and still am) explore all the different avenues: I’m pushing my project as far as it will go, then the fine tuning will commence.