After leaving University I have been given the opportunity to get involved in a collective of other recent graduates. Our first collaborative show was held on the 5th Anniversary of the local MADE gallery, located in Roath, Cardiff. In this exhibition I displayed my interpretation of a Magpie. (See more of the work displayed here)
This piece of work was a celebration of the way in which I worked, finding and using materials that were free but also beautiful.
We have also recently held an exhibition at Truefest, an alternative music festival in Baskerville Manor, Brecon, pictures coming soon.
Photographing every 3 hours
At the ver beginning of the process i started taking a photograph every 3 hours, this meant that I kept a visual diary of my life and continue to take at least 2 photographs every day.
Stitch workshops, experimenting with new machinery
Whilst working within workshops which included; fabric dying and different sewing machines, including an overlocker, 3 mode stitch Janome and fabric printer, I became more competent with stitch and fabric. This then led me to also be more experimental within my own practice.
Adding text and Objects
After printing my photographs onto fabric I began experimenting with quilting, this was a journey into women’s work that was important within my own family. After understanding what quilting meant and why I had become involved with the process, it was easy to make the connection between stitch and home. Therefore, adding text and personal objects allowed me to come to terms with my own sense of belonging.
Understanding coding and wiring was crucial in pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I think that this process was important to make the box come alive. It allowed me to experiment with perverting the audience, which then pushed the concept of public and private even further. Which is why the wiring is visible within the box, as well as from a distance the top. Again, this demonstrates the process.
Process and continuation
Leaving the backing off the quilt, and leaving space within the box for more photographs show the value in the process. Both the photographs and the quilt became ways in which to deal with personal issues I had, therefore, finishing them would mean I had completely gotten to terms with these issues. That is not the case, as I believe these are problems that will take a lifetime to understand. Meaning, I will continue the quilt and continue photographing even after this exhibition.
The complexity of dealing with memories and home was made easy after undertsanding the work of Messager, who’s own investigation led her to work with objects and photographs.
Post Partum Documents were incredibly important in the influence of my own work, this record keeping and collection showed change and emotional investment within her work. I realised after sticking pictures up that I had monitored the change in my own life, and that it had become easier to understand and accept that change is necessary despite my usual negative reaction to it.
The trip to London to see the Ai Wei Wei show also led me to see a show in the white cube which focused on the importance of fabric to many cultures, both Ai Wei Wei’s prison boxes and the hanging quilts in the White Cube brought about practical applications that are clearly visible in the end piece.
Allison L. Wade
After a gap crit, and some tutorials I realised that what I intended to say within my work was not translating to the audience. Therefore, when I came across Wade’s work I realised that my own messages and conversations were also a diary in a different format to the photographs. And that despite the preciousness I felt about these words, they were the answer to my questions.
On a recent trip to Glasgow, I came across exhibitions in the Lighthouse Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art that reflected my own work in a way I had not seen before. Despite these pieces being about different things, they allowed me to stick by my own concept and deliver it in the way that I believed would make the most sense.
I chose to hang the quilt in front of the window to maximise the effect of the colour, and even further demonstrate the process of making by the stitched holes showing light through them. I also decided the present the box within walls that were exactly the same colour and texture, so that it would not stand out/be unapproachable.
Next to each other the pieces seem so vastly different, and yet they are about the same journey and the struggle with public and private that I have attempted to understand.
I decided to suspend the quilt on fishing wire using bulldog clips, much like the exhibition of silk photographs I saw in Glasgow. At first I had trouble with the clips slipping under the texture and weight of the quilt, I then lined the inside of each clip with sandpaper on double sided sticky tape. This gave the clips enough traction to hold up the quilt. The small walk way behind the quilt gives a private sense of viewing the process, again, a sense of peeking into a normally disguised part of art-making. However, I have come to realize that the process is the most important aspect of my work.
Details were added such as an earring given to me by my brother, as well as the stiched front of a birthday card from my nan, and an angel given to me by my mum when I moved to uni.
I decided that I wanted the inner structure to be used as part of the walls, therefore, they would both be hidden and integrated within the application. I decided to use glue dots as they were much more reliable than blue-tac but they don’t ruin photographs as I want to use them in other applications post-exhibition.
I decided the finish the inside of the rings with the same black acrylic that was used inside, a layer was then also added to the floor so that that it blended in with the walls. Meaning the eye is drawn only to the photographs. Leaving one wall bare with the shape of the photographs leaving the suggestion that it will be continued, demonstrates that the process is ongoing. Pictures will be continuously put into the box, as if it was completely filled it would mean that this journey was finished.
In the end I used 16 packets of photographs, these were the first 16 placed in the order that I took them around the box.
The electronics within the box are crucial to the over arching theme of public/private. When installing the arduino coding that had been worked on off-site, there was a mis-connection which meant that the sensors did not work. However, after re-wiring the LDRs began to function correctly and a flash was installed into the roof of the box, which is programmed to flash every 3 hours. Mimicking the process by which I took the photographs that are presented on the inside.
The photograph box was assembled using an inner frame of 2×2 timber, with a lid placed inside a rim on top of 3 the walls.
However, the fourth wall with the trap door cannot go on until the other three walls have been completely filled with photographs.