Thursday, 26 March 2009

Large dream sketches

Started sketching from the sound recordings, stories related to the dreams round the edge - plane one is my favourite. Why to I dream about cobbled streets and dry stone walls so much? from Derbyshire?

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Artists recommended by Alison at MPR

Clio Padovani
In my work I am interested in exploring time in the image, be it through video or through woven pieces. I work with varied approaches to unfold the plurality of narratives hidden in textiles, employing images of antique textiles to communicate a fragmentary world of physical and psychological experience. In 2006, I started a series of short films based on the idea of unfolding and stacking simultaneous layers of experience and subjective histories.
The Stack pieces progressively came to signify and be a metaphor for thread, being woven into a personal history or an accumulation of embedded material memories.

Naomi Filmer - Jeweller, video, ice rings etc.

Annie Cattrell - REALLY LIKE

Annie Cattrell trained as a sculptor and has a studio in London. Her work captures moments in time, fleeting things, clouds on a particular day, a breath inside a human lung. Her subjects stem from her interest in areas such as neuroscience, anatomy and meteorology, and she is drawn to the fusion between science and art.

Cattrell works with a variety of materials and skills. She is drawn to working with glass because of its transparency and ability to reveal. Using different techniques she pushes the boundaries of can be achieved with glass, both physically and conceptually. Making the invisible visible and the ethereal solid, Cattrell offers a view of what is inside us and around us.

'I choose the familiar, for example a cloud, so whatever language you speak there is a kind of universal understanding. It is the transformation and freezing into three-dimensions of this iconographic subject matter that interests me: what happens when you contemplate something you think you know but shouldn't really be seeing this way. This three-dimensional vantage point allows the viewer to examine the subtle shifts and rhythms which ceaselessly occur in the natural world and within the body.'

Mid Point Review

Evaluation of my project proposal as a part of a self directed programme of study:

Firstly, on starting this project I had to tackle the fact that naturally dreams fade away from our consciousness very quickly upon waking and I had to develop several methods to preserve, as accurately as possible, my recollections, which I feel I’ve managed to do fairly successfully. I could experiment further with different methods i.e. sculpting directly after waking up, making more objects through touch only.

During this first period of unit one I have concentrated on perhaps the easiest aspect, constructing the dreamed environment and objects. Experimenting with various materials including porcelain, wax, bronze and video to portray the ethereal and temporal qualities and play on the contrast between conscious reality and dreams. I now need to tackle how to portray the emotional content and the way I feel in the dreams which I have started to do with the addition of things into the scenes which would contain a body i.e. me, dresses, chairs and maybe signs that the person has just left the scene for a moment. Film could also be another way to express more emotions through sound and narrative.

Where I need to develop study plans in relation to the Unit 1 Learning Outcomes
(Handbook – pages 22-24):

On successful completion of this unit you will be able to:
• Develop your Project Proposal to plan a challenging and self-directed programme of study.
• Demonstrate a critical engagement with practice-based research reflecting on the critical skills and framework presentations.
• Articulate a clear understanding of methodology and context in your creative practice.
• Evaluate and present your Project
• Contribute actively to debate and discussion through Pathways and across the Course
• Be aware of your own personal and professional development.

As I have now changed to part time, I need to plan a timetable maybe each month to focus my practice within two days a week and maximise my time in the workshops. I have worked hard on my context and methodology but I feel there is further scope to identify my field of enquiry and research appropriate artists. I feel comfortable presenting my project and contributing to debate and discussion across the pathways. I do feel closer to fine art methodologies in my practice and I have been attending other MA lectures at Chelsea, which introduce complex themes in critical practice, including philosophy and engage me at a theoretical level. I hoped there would be more critical debate on the course and I feel my theories have not been challenged enough, we really need more discourse about our projects and exposure to as many new peers as possible to present our work and get feedback.

It would also be good to visit other artists (especially for me multi-disciplinary i.e. some design work, conceptual, maybe installation pieces) and see how they balance their work and what networks they are part of in London. I am looking forward to the MA Fine Art pathway starting next year and discussing my project with them and the newcomers to our pathway.


Project Proposal

Research question: What are you proposing to discover or explore?
What is the question or issue you wish to explore through the MA course?
Need good question – taking it towards something which is answerable.
Frame the question using the field of inquiry to identify aims, objectives.

I am proposing to represent my dreams in sculpture.

I am interested in interpreting these ethereal experiences and attempting to create representations of the landscape/environments, narrative and emotional content captured.

Inspired by the latest scientific theories that postulate through dreaming the brain organises and files away our experiences and memories, linked together through a web of association. I want to portray my own associations of scenarios combined by feelings, exploring the completely imaginary places, (whole cities for example) which I dream about.

I plan to use the following materials for their specific ethereal qualities: porcelain (fragile, translucent), wax (temporary, melting nature of the material), bronze (paradoxically crystallising the dream in something so permanent and solid) and possibly film (scope for more emotive qualities, sound, narrative, indefinite visual imagery).

Attempting to create these dream experiences in sculpture will certainly be a challenge and I hope that the audience will be able to interpret the work in an individualistic way, drawing their own meanings and significance from it.

Context: What work, both theoretical and practical, relates to your project?
Who are the key figures or developments that are central to your area of interest?
Field of inquiry – history where did the work I’m interested in come from, why changed?
Is it a live debate, long history? Find the boundaries, authors?

Many artists have been and still are fascinated by dreams. Since Freud’s important text at the turn of the century, which influenced artists such as Giorgio de Chirico and subsequently the Surrealists, artists have continued to use dreams as a starting point for their work. In a contemporary context I will be studying artists across a diverse range of media encompassing sculpture, film, video and drawing. For example: Susan Hiller, Joseph Cornell, Charles Avery, Keith Tyson and filmmakers Michel Gondry and Luis Buñuel.

Recently, exhibitions such as Flights of Reality at Kettle’s Yard (2002), The Dreaming & Sleeping exhibition at the Wellcome Trust (2006) showing contemporary work across art and science, Miniature Worlds at the Jerwood Space (2006), Charles Avery at Parasol Unit (2008) Riddle Me at Danielle Arnaud (2008) and the forthcoming exhibition Telling Tales at the V&A in 2009 show that the interest in the themes of dreams, fantasy, illusion and imagined worlds is still current.

Theoretically, The Poetics of Space by Bachelard for his explanations of memory and spaces, Freud, Jung and other books as mentioned in my bibliography.

Methodology: What methods will you employ to research your project?
How will you go about researching your question? Are there particular means that you will use i.e. interviewing, searches in particular collections, drawing/photography?
Methodology is the design TOOL, structure, how will I do this? E.g. oral history is a methodology – find others. Doing this enables the collection and interpretation of data.
Methods – conferences and seminars, monographs of designers, exhibitions, online journals, seminar papers of lectures – published online.

The metamorphosis from dream to sculpture (mind to hand) is extremely important, the first stage will be to collect snapshots of my dreams. I plan to record voice notes upon waking to better recollect the emotions and feelings involved in the dream. From the sound recordings I can make sketches of the scenario and narrative. These can then be developed into three dimensions.

At this stage, there are many possibilities for the three dimensional work, from direct representations of dreamt landscapes, playful juxtapositions of objects to create slightly disturbing groupings, developing an unsettling sense of displacement, illusion and intrigue or even non representational work that attempts to convey more the feeling of the dream.

Miniature work also holds a fascination for me and I want to explore creating work on a small scale, as it involves the viewer in an intense, focused way. A tiny work can seem to exist in a state of haunted isolation, a permanently vacated scene. Physically, the audience can only enter the scene through their imagination, a tiny parallel world forever cut off from reality.

One of the processes I plan to use – lost wax casting in bronze, is very time consuming and I will undertake research through practice exploring faster ways to initially model ideas using card, clay and wax.

I plan to continue using sketchbooks and theoretical written notes collated on my blog as my reflective journal. Using the model from The Contemporary Theory of Dreaming, I also plan to create diagrams of the emotion-guided connections made between objects, situations and landscapes.

Resources: What equipment, facilities and expertise will you require to carry out your research?
Are there particular resources or equipment that you need to access in order for you to successfully engage in your research?

I will need access to the ceramics, 3D and sculpture workshops and the library. I plan to take full advantage of the exhibitions, talks and collections on offer in London. I will also need tutorial support through group discussions and one-to-one sessions.

e.g. Berry, R. (2000) The Research Project: how to write it. 4th ed. London: Routledge


Bachelard, G. (1969) The Poetics of Space 1994 Edition, Boston, Beacon Press
Benson, N. (2004) Introducing Psychology New Ed. Icon Books Ltd
Berger, J. (1990) Ways of Seeing TV Tie in edition, Penguin Books Ltd
Buck-Morss, S. (1989) The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades project, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Freud, S. (1997) The Interpretation of Dreams (Wordsworth Classics of World Literature) New Ed. Wordsworth Editions Ltd
Goldie, P. (2004) On Personality London : New York, Routledge
Graham, G. (1949) Philosophy of the arts: an introduction to aesthetics 2005 Ed. London, Routledge
Hanaor, Z. (2007) Breaking the mould: new approaches to ceramics London, Black Dog Publishing
Harrison, C. & Wood, P. (2003) Art in Theory, 1900-2000 An Anthology of Changing Ideas Blackwell Publishers Limited (I’ve not read all of it!)
Hawking, S. W. (1988) Brief history of time: from the big bang to black holes London, Bantam
Hyde, M. & McGuinness, M. (2004) Introducing Jung New Ed. Icon Books Ltd
Jung, C. & Hull, R. F. C. (2002) The Undiscovered Self: Answers to the Present World Crisis Routledge Classics
Mack, J. (2007) The Art of Small Things British Museum Press
Parker, D. & J. (1985) Dreaming London, Mitchell Beazley Publishers
Peters, T. and West, J. (eds) (2002) The Uncanny Room, Luminous Books, London.
Raulff, H. et al. (2007) Sleeping and Dreaming Black Dog Publishing (Accompaniment to exhibition at the Wellcome Trust, 2006)
Rucker, R. (1977) Geometry, relativity and the fourth dimension New York : Dover London : Constable
Schreiber, F. R. (1975) Sybil: The True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate Personalities New Ed. Penguin Books Ltd
Siegfried, T. (2002) Strange matters : undiscovered ideas at the frontiers of space and time Washington, D.C., Joseph Henry Press
Sorlin, P. (2003) Dreamtelling Reaktion Books
Thompson, M. (2000) Philosophy London, Teach Yourself Books, 2000
Watson, P. (2000) Terrible beauty : a history of the people and ideas that shaped the modern mind London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson


Journal articles

Norton, Q. (02/03/09) Rewiring the Brain: Inside the new science of Neuroengineering Wired San Francisco, USA, Conde Nast Publications
(2008), Bedtime Stories Holland Herald pg. 17-22
Perez, G. (27/03/06) The Dream Life The Nation New York, USA, The Nation Company L.P
Shanks, D. (24/08/91) Remembrance of things unconscious New Scientist Issue 1783, London, Reed Business Information Ltd


Exhibition Catalogues

Brett, G. (1999) Susan Hiller: Lucid dreams, Oslo: Henie-Onstad kunstsenter
Rugoff, R. & Stewart, S. (1997) At the threshold of the visible: minuscule and small-scale art ; 1964-1996 New York : Independent Curators Inc.
(2002) Flights of Reality Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge



Bronze Casting in the 20th Century: The World turned inside out, Saturday, 15 November 2008, Symposium at Courtauld Institute, London


Broadcast material (radio/television)

Horizon Why do we sleep? (March 2009), television, BBC2


Eg. Marnie (1964) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, Universal Pictures, 130mins [Video : VHS]

The Last Laugh (1924) Directed by F. W. Murnau, Eureka Entertainment, 90mins [DVD]
The Science of Sleep (2006) Directed by Michel Gondry, Warner Independent Pictures, 102mins [DVD]
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Directed by Michel Gondry, Momentum Pictures, 103mins [DVD]
Luis Bunuel Collection – Belle de Jour (1967), The Diary of A Chambermaid (1964), The Obscure Object of Desire (1977) (2007) Directed by Luis Bunel, Optimun Home Entertainment, 776 mins [DVD]



Surrealism Reviewed (2002) Various Artists inc. Marcel Duchamp, Andre Breton, Max Ernst, et al. LTM, 74mins, Original recording remastered [Audio CD]


Reference to a Blog

06/03/08 Scientists closer to visualising dreams, Rediff India Abroad, Available from: (Accessed 18 March 2009)


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Process thoughts whilst rewriting proposal

Think about the medium – benefits / history / mechanics of that. Layers between you and the world. Through the camera is another way to look at reality.

Other methods for accessing subconscious part of brain, free association, colour / word associations etc, scientific systems.

the unpredictable nature of hand mixing and firing glazes.
Glaze – subconscious, Clay – conscious level

Reasons for choosing artists to look at:

successfully represented intangible moments, an emotive atmosphere, dream narrative, imaginary/fantastical landscape?

How can I show my feelings in sculpture?

Directly – text,
Implied through the end product? But this is not specific as everyone would have different emotions looking at the work – uncontrollable, except maybe in a small way e.g. if made a very calm scene. Nature etc or eerie then maybe many people would get that but that isn’t a specific ‘emotion’.
Implied through my emotions when making the work. E.g. could try to make something in an angry/violent way? This might work with clay but not with other materials?

Make a timetable, create boundaries to the project otherwise it will never reach a conclusion - have a limited amount of time.

Map - spectrum of art - where am I?

I cannot ask how is it possible that completely imaginary places are created as isn’t this a scientific question? ‘Second order reality’ of chemicals, nerve endings etc. Its not really important to me how at a molecular level, isn’t it more about my excitement of portraying these hidden, secret worlds to others? Don’t I believe that this level of visual reality created by the brain to be more truthful and not effected by logical reasoning and therefore uninhibited in its content?


So therefore do I need to Interview some people in the field of psycho analysis – about what? Questions? is this relevant?

Monday, 16 March 2009

16th March

Memory drawing

Drawings of my bedroom at Conyngham Road and the view from the window.

What I'm making - What do they symbolise?

This is according to Suzanne's book 'Dreaming' (1985)

'Freud claimed unequivocally that "walking up and down steps, ladders or staircases are representations of the Sexual act". Who else was around at the time? Your personal feelings must obviously be taken into consideration. Apart from this suggestion, there could be a comment on your material and career progress. Ambition and achievement may also be under examination. If you found climbing the stairs a strain, you should perhaps take the hint that you are trying to achieve too much. Also see ENVIRONMENT and PURSUIT.

'Did the gown fit well, and did you feel good in it? The chances are that your dream was making a statement about how you fit into your present lifestyle, or the sort of image you are projecting. Are you experiencing a period of change - in image, but perhaps also in personality? There are overtones of wish-fulfilment, maybe - especially if you are a single woman in need of a relationship, and dreamed of buying a wedding dress. (No I wasn't!)'

I remember having one of these books as a kid and their explanations are so authoritative, like they really know!

Prom dress - why?

Line of them sitting
Embarrassed, crouching, turn away, look down, hunched shoulders.

Scientists closer to visualizing dreams

"Our results suggest that it may soon be possible to reconstruct a picture of a person's visual experience from measurements of brain activity alone," Prof Gallant wrote in journal Nature.

The study raises the possibility in the future of the technology being used to visualise scenes from a person's dreams or memory.

"Our data suggests that there might potentially be enough information in brain activity signals measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging to do this in the future... In fact, so much information is available in these signals that one day it may even be possible to reconstruct the visual contents of dreams or visual imagery," Prof Gallant stressed.

Whole article.

Thomas Doyle


My work mines the debris of memory through the creation of intricate worlds sculpted in 1:43 scale and smaller. Often sealed under glass, the works depict the remnants of things past—whether major, transformational experiences, or the quieter moments that resonate loudly throughout a life. In much the way the mind recalls events through the fog of time, the works distort reality through a warped and dreamlike lens.

The pieces’ radically reduced scales evoke feelings of omnipotence—as well as the visceral sensation of unbidden memory recall. Hovering above the glass, the viewer approaches these worlds as an all-seeing eye, looking down upon landscapes that dwarf and threaten the figures within.

Conversely, the private intensity of moments rendered in such a small scale draws the viewer in, allowing for the intimacy one might feel peering into a museum display case or dollhouse. Though surrounded by chaos, hazard, and longing, the figures’ faces betray little emotion, inviting viewers to lose themselves in these crucibles—and in the jumble of feelings and memories they elicit.

The glass itself contains and compresses the world within it, seeming to suspend time itself—with all its accompanying anguish, fear, and bliss. By sealing the works in this fashion, I hope to distill the debris of human experience down to single, fragile moments. Like blackboxes bobbing in the flotsam, these works wait for discovery, each an indelible record of human memory.

Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz

Just refound this link - really like their work:

Article in NY Times.

Takeshi Ishiguro

Takeshi Ishiguro graduated from the RCA in 1995 and now runs his own studio in Tokyo. He is as comfortable producing conceptual products as he is crafting beautiful installations. When asked about his work his response is simple “I always hope to create things to make people happy” check out his performances in zero gravity (a collaboration with Japans national space development agency) and latest product “Chimney” inspired by “smoke ring” seen here.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Hayward and Tate Modern exhibitions

Profilo Continuo (Testa di Mussolini) [Continuous Profile (Head Of Mussolini)],
Courtesy Imperial War Museum © The Estate of Renato Giuseppe Bertelli.

An official portrait of the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, this head of the fascist leader reflects Futurist principles of time and motion and faces in all directions at once.

Such a beautiful day :) Went to see Annette Messenger and Mark Wallinger curates.. at Hayward. I really enjoyed Annette Messenger's work, especially the room you look into and the larger scale installations (some installation shots here) although the Pinocchio piece from Venice Biennale 2005 I thought was a bit cheesy. Upstairs, Mark Wallinger Curates...The video of the twin towers was really gripping and also the disorienting corridor by Monika Sosnowska

and Amie Siegel's wonderful 'Berlin Remake', in which she re-shoots Communist propaganda films from the East, in post-wall Technicolor.

Next onto Tate to see Rodchenko & Popova - now I tried really hard to get into this, got the audio guide and everything but somehow just wasn't touching me at all - maybe I just don't like this type of work. The only bit I liked were the 3d spatial constructions, expanded from one geometrical form.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Work Progress - evidence of...

So last week I had to put together some images to show someone interested in my project and this really got me to focus on work I have actually managed to materialise!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Study Trip to Farnham

On Thursday me, Kyu and Richard went with Maiko and Amanda Fielding to see the Crafts Study Centre in Farnham which is next to University for the Creative Arts (I always knew it as Surrey Institute of Art & Design).

Good exhibition upstairs by Halmia Cassell 'Dreams made Manifest' - obviously very motivated person by the breath of work on show and how she had explored many possibilities with the same decorative techniques which created a great body of work which sat well together but still had a lot of variety and interest. Also the interpretive material focussed heavily on her practical achievements i.e. in x and x collection but didn't explain the meaning of the work to me and only by turfing through the exhibition book could you get an idea of this. Great essay about her work in the book by Andrew Lambeth - who Amanda told me usually is a fine art critic - hence the much more philosophical description of the work which I liked!

Downstairs was Three by One:

Loved this folded typefaceLucie Rie Janice Tchalenko

After lunch we went to see some of the collection in storage and learnt about VADS. Amazing seeing so many Lucie Rie's in one place. As we all commented there is something very special about her work, the perfect proportions and balance - every one is such a miracle! Then we had a tour of UCA with the ceramics tutor Ashley Howard. Great day and chats which made me think again about residencies and intern possibilities of working two days and having one day for an internship....

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

BBC Horizon prog about dreaming

Only part 1 of 6 but this is just so I remember to watch again...

Theo Jansen


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Primrose Street

it was cold but i love walking at night...


Todays little catch up made me realise I need to refocus my projects and consider next steps:

Current things:

The bronze dresses - ok so the thin one worked which is good. I should continue filing it so its really thin and then experiment with the surface finish - reheating to make it dark again. Perfect dress at the top descending to the floaty darker one at the bottom....why? is the dress an embodiment about the dream - look at this story again.

Like the back best. Not working as well as the one below - although its thin its still bronze and very 'definite'.

Chipped out of the mould its like a relic thats been discovered - rediscovery of the memory? Many runners and rough areas to sort out...

I really like the surface of this one as due to the way it was cast the surface is fractured and indefinite - surely more dream like...

The porcelain kneeling dress and boxes - glaze experiments with the porcelain, depth in the glaze - glossy?

Wax Scene - develop the stream of consciousness and dream landscapes further, combine the dreams melding into each other. Is wax the right material? maybe should try in porcelain again - or papier mache to make it quicker?

Process - consider the half asleep drawings, 3d lines in space on rhino? - converting into an object?
  • what about the multi dimension thing - same object but looks completely different from different angles - M string theory.
  • Drawing in the dark from the sound recordings...
  • Find that film titles sequence through the neurons
  • make my own drawings of my visualisations of the 'fuzzy areas'
  • Try and draw my memories of conyngham road?
  • find a huge image bank and select ones that remind me of the room?
  • Diagrams of my understanding of the brain filing thing.
  • Blog the horizon prog the other week - bbc 2

Nicola Schauerman

Presentation about what she has done since graduating from her MA in 2006. Exhibitions, teaching, residencies, collaboration facilitated with wikis.

Links: - already knew - - online portfolios - performance network etc - media art - Access to art scheme, 100hours, must be out of college for 1 yr, can't go bk to camberwell, £220 for materials

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Levi's billboard

Saw this ad in Shoreditch when I was on the bus...can't remember when - last week sometime. Very impressive the 3d wave!

Here is someone who took better photos than me...