Monday, June 10, 2013

Part 5: Project 10 - What have you achieved?

I can honestly say that I have enjoyed this project, although looking through my notes, my research, my samples and my final piece, I know that I should have done more.

I started off well and found that my trip to Jakarta was full of inspiration.
At that point I should have looked back at the course notes and reminders a lot more than I did.

My work took off in an intuitive way, and although I like the results that I produced, the final piece should have been planned in a more structured way.
Final Piece

I missed out on some crucial development stages, mood boards, yarn swatches, the theme book should have been more comprehensive as well as sketchbook book work.

Some of the things that were on my list of 'to try out' and explore further was the use of resin.
I would have liked to have had the time to bury and encase objects.
Also to develop some samples with reference to Andy Warhol, to make important the unimportant, to display the discarded materials as a work of art in their own right.

My final piece reflects fragility, the fragility of life within many countries.
Life with very little money can be harsh in some countries, the living conditions can be worse than anything we in the west can imagine, how do you feed yourself with no money?
All these questions are left to the individual to solve - there is no welfare state to pick up and care for the impoverished.
Meanwhile shopping malls continue to be built, and consumerism carries on regardless of the life of others.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Part Five: Project 10 - All Stages

Stages 2 and 3 are entitled: "Focussing on your theme book" and "Developing design ideas based on drawings."

Taking inspiration from William Kentridge and his use of maps.
I took one of the maps of Jakarta and focussing on Kemang - the area we stayed in, I made a repeat pattern
Repeat pattern of a map of Jakarta

I took a map of Jakarta and using it as a stencil - I cut out all the surplus areas of the map, just leaving the roads intact - I screen printed through the stencils that I made.
This is the part of the map that I made the stencil from:
A section from a map of Old Batavis

This is an image of the map stencils - I used part of the area of Batavia, this was the original centre of Jakarta, for this sample, this is now an area which has almost been discarded, but the history that is there, and the buildings is amazing. It is also where the Wayang Theatre is - the home of the Indonesian puppet theatre.
Map stencils laid out in a mirror image
Sample 1:
I printed through the stencil onto paper and fabric.
Printing with the silk screen

Mirror image design printed onto paper

Printing the design onto fabric

Having printed the design onto fabric, I decided to layout the different pattern combinations on the floor
Layout 1

Layout 2

Layout 3

Layout 4

I decided on layout 3 for my first sample - I felt that this was the most dynamic layout of the pieces.
I stitched these pieces together to form a panel.

Sample 2:
Using the same map for inspiration, I decided to stitch through the paper onto fabric.
Stitching through the paper on to fabric

This is the reverse side
The reverse side shown after stitching through the map onto fabric

This sample could work with reverse appliqué, or adding embroidery stitches to the spaces.

Sample 3:
With Gwen Hedleys books by my side I decided to work with plastics.
This is the start of this sample where I snipped thin strips of black plastic bag.
Snipping plastic refuse bags in preparation for this sample

Starting to unravel the plastic coils

Laying the strips of plastic down on a piece of baking parchment 

The sample after heating with an iron

Three different nets of plastic

These nets remind me of the road lines on maps where all roads converge at the centre of a city.
I would like to develop this sample further, maybe to try layering, or using as a mask for screen printing.

Having heated thin strips of plastic I decided to make a large, thick opaque piece of heated and bonded plastic
Bin liners bonded together
I felt that this piece could be cut to make the silhouette figures that feature in William Kentridge's pieces.

Layering the opaque plastic with the nets:
The 3 nets overlaid on the black plastic
I really like the texture produced in this sample, strong darks are produced from the shadows created by the layering.

Sample 4
In this sample I thought I would use other waste, discarded materials to create a background.
Till receipts is the evidence of spending, but as soon as the purchase is home, we hoard the mountains of till receipts in drawers, purses and wallets.
Till receipts stitched to a fabric background

Using one of my photo's of the rubbish collectors I stitched through the till receipts to produce this sample
Portrait of the rubbish collector on the background of receipts
I really like this piece and have thought about the different ways to take it further, but I like the piece as it is, simple layout, simple colour scheme, a work that would great sandwiched between 2 pieces of glass.

This is the reverse of the piece:
The reverse side - the side that was stitched on
By stitching on the paper, the image becomes almost cartoon like.

Sample 5:
Using another disposable, discarded background material - this time it's teabags.
These were stitched together using a neutral thread and a zig-zag stitch.
Once I had a background fabric, I attached an image from my collection of photo's taken in Jakarta to the back and stitched through.
Children at play, stitched onto teabags

The image is of the children who were watching a game of football on some waste ground.
Initially I didn't like the scale of this piece - I thought the image should have been larger on the page. Now I have left it a while I think the scale and the subject matter is good.
I really wish that I had used straight stitch, or even glue to attach the papers together, the zig zag stitch detracts from the focus of the piece.

Sample 6:
Using leftover, discarded bags I made some samples of melted and fused plastics.

The first one is left untouched after fusing
Plastic fused together under the heat of an iron

The second piece I stitched the plastics together first, and heated later.
This is the front of the piece held up to light:
Heated and stitched plastics

This is the front of the piece against a background:
The same piece against a darker background

The reverse of the piece against a background:
The reverse of the sample

Heating the plastics after stitching made the sample become more fragile and lace like.
The colours of the plastics and the colours of the threads would change the effects of the piece.
Heavier stitching would also enhance this sample.

I then fused a larger amount of plastic - creating a much larger piece, the sample is almost A2 in size.
I tried to create a montage of big company names.
This piece reflects the large amount of consumer spending we make, alongside the amount of waste packaging that is produced across the world.
Plastic bags fused together
My favourite part of this piece is the slogan at the bottom edge,
"This bag is made from 100% recycled material, please help the environment by reusing this bag."
I'm not sure if they intended me to re-use the bag in this fashion?

At this stage I would choose the sample stitched onto tea bags as my final piece, sample 5, I would rework this piece without the zig-zag stitching.
I really like the fragility of the piece, the fact that the piece may not last forever.
It is also truly made of discarded materials.

Part Five: Project 10 - Primary Research

I was very lucky to visit Indonesia and Bali earlier in the year, where I encountered a wealth of research for this project.

These are some of the 'new from old' items that are made in Indonesia.
Discarded materials remade into something new and fashionable.
Some of these items were found in contemporary furniture and art shops, others were found in certified Fairtrade Shops.
Either way, the discarded waste has found another use and people have been employed to source and make the products.

Film Canisters
Furniture made from Film Canisters

Plastic Bags
Macrame bag made from plastic bags

Feed Sacks
Storage containers made from feed sacks

Old Boats
Pictures built from pieces of the old Balinese Boats

Mirror surround made from old corks

Old Jeans
Old jeans made into a bean bag

Rice Sacks
Bags made from Rice Sacks

Feed Sacks
Another example of the bags made from recycled sacks

Milk Cartons
Flip Flops made from Milk Cartons

Feed Sacks
Back packs made from sacks

Video Tape
Fairtrade shop selling bags made from recycled video tape

Threads of Life shop in Bali - a registered Fairtrade outlet.
Threads of Life, Bali - a registered Fairtrade outlet

I was so inspired by the types and the quality of the recycled goods that were to be found in Jakarta and Bali.
Although the recycling of goods cuts down on waste - some of these items: the film canisters, the video tape, had no life other than to be thrown away and buried.

As I found out the recycling of goods does bring employment - it is not glamorous or well paid, but someone always has to sort the rubbish.
The rubbish collector and his cart

Carts stored along the street

Carts left near the tip

A full cart waiting to go into the tip

The men taking a break

Trucks arriving with more rubbish at the tip
While all the work goes on collecting the rubbish, the hard work starts when it needs sorting.
Different people will be responsible for sorting the different types of plastics, bits of cloth, rope - anything that can be sold or re-used has a value.
It is very different from the recycling schemes in the UK where families are fined for sorting their rubbish incorrectly.

Some of the day to day scenes in Jakarta also inspired me.

I found these discarded bottle tops embedded into the ground
Bottle tops scattered and trodden into the ground

Graffiti on the walls
Some of the graffiti, or street art left on a wall

An old poster
The remains of an old poster 

Street kids playing football in a piece of waste ground
Children watching on as their friends play football

Jakarta was a wonderful, warm, friendly place to be.
At the same time it was possibly the busiest, craziest city that I have visited.
We stayed in Kemang which is the heart of all the arts and crafts, when we visited Bali we stayed in Ubud - another favourite haunt for artists.

Some of these images will be used in my samples. I really found the project came to life due to my visit to Jakarta - it was an inspirational place to be in.