This week I’m not at work and shall be attempting to make string sculptures again, without ruining my feeble excuses for wrists. After having problems with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, I am giving it another go and am really looking forward to it! I think I might have to slow down a bit though, but as long as I decide the pace they will all be relative.
How I used to make string pieces
I am going to be wrapping the string around objects, rather than my hand this time so hopefully they’ll be less pressure on my wrists. I shall keep you up to date with my progress! Wish me luck!
I find life admin such a chore and it becomes a real bone of contention. Whilst looking through a briefcase of documents (it’s full to the brim of things that were once important and now could be done with being shredded), I came across a folder where I had stapled onto lined paper the receipts you get from the cash machine. Not only had I saved all of these but I had written in biro what I had spent the money on that I had withdrawn.
This was probably the start of my investigation into time vs money. I was working at Tesco on the check outs at the time and as they say ‘every little helps’. It’s quite an interesting folder to have after all these years (although the records are limited as it would have been a real pain to keep up!). It’s almost like a very specific diary. When I went to New York I wrote down everything I spent whilst there, and it tells the story of my journey. I like the fact that these prices will have changed by now so it’s a record of a certain time.
Writing about the idea that I can’t seem to make work about wasting time whilst wasting time not making art about wasted time. I always want to suffer for my art. A cliché, I know. The idea of wasting time enjoying myself has never occurred to me. All this time I could have been making work by eating my favourite foods, meeting my friends for tea or jumping for joy.
No, that would be pointless, meaningless and I dare say it, enjoyable. NOT. THE. POINT.
What is the point? Why is it that time wasted has to involve an element of the mundane, the drab, the boring and end with a yawn? I think it’s because the things I enjoy are categorised as useful, valuable, exciting moments of time so even if the occurrence of these events is to put something else off, it somehow feels acceptable.
I would not get that sense of nothing from doing something. I would not have that feeling of being at my wits end, of giving up, sometimes of deep despair. I might feel…happy? God forbid. No suffering is better. The act of doing something you do not want to do, is so much more cathartic. It clears your mind.
If I just sat in silence and decided I was going to make art, I would fail. If I go to work and my mind wanders, or I’m on a train without a pen or listening to the same story that they told me yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that, my head will flood with ideas. Why?
I am having a constant battle at the moment. I want to make art. I know what art I want to make (which I have been told is half the battle). I was recently reminded that at college I worried that I had forgotten how to paint. (I’m not convinced I ever knew how!) I am now worried that I have forgotten, full stop.
I think the filing system inside my brain has lost its administrator to the day job. I shall organise my thoughts, make lots of lists and make writing about this ‘stuckness’ part of the idea…or I might just need a sit down and have a cup of tea!
I have just found a super great video of Cardboard Mechanics which is made by 4 students of the Utrecht School of Art and Technology, Saskia Freeke, Fin Kingma, Davy Jacobs and Sonja van Vuure
Print screen from video ‘Cardboard mechanics Installation.’
I would like to create a mechanism that makes my time pieces for me for two reasons. 1. To regulate the wrapping time, because a regular rhythm from human hands can differ depending on lots of factors. 2. I have developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which means that repetitive actions using my wrist are currently far from ideal.
Last weekend I made my living room into a cardboard cat city as we had six cats in the house. Too much fun was had! It reminded me how much I like making things out of cardboard. I think using cardboard boxes, tubes, string and maybe some metal as a pivot could work. I am going to start with drawing such an invention right now!
I have been finding it increasing harder to get put my art hat* on and have decided to start again. I am going to be starting a new work timetable which, all being well will allow me to have every other Wednesday off. Yippee!! I am under no delusions that every minute of this day will be used to its full potential but even if I spend the day hoovering (unlikely!) at least it will free up other time.
*If I had an art hat I would like it to look a bit like this; across between a satellite dish and a clock.
I have been tidying up my studio space today and I had done some before and after shots, which to my horror look very similar to one another. I am sitting in my studio as I type, and that would not have happened this morning. This bank holiday has been a pure crafty delight!
I have been working on a new piece based on the most important meal of the day, breakfast. I decided to start by hollowing two eggs which is a lot harder than it sounds. A bit like blowing up a balloon that just wont budge. I then wrapped string around the first one for the length it takes to cook a hard boiled egg and the second for a soft boiled egg. And last but not least, you can’t have a breakfast without a cup of tea!
I would really like to exhibit this work on a white shelf at the height of a kitchen work surface.
I had a really good time at the opening of Exit Through the Record Shop! There were so many different styles of record. As you walked in you were faced with a wall of vinyl and I had a great time nosing around. I think I walked round at least four times and each time spotted something new to look at. They were all for sale and we bought one for the now Mr and Mrs Young for a wedding gift. It had a painting of a Mexican wrestler on it, which is a whole different story.
This was amazing, made with many records and screws!
There was also this beautiful cassette light!
One of my pieces ‘The Perfect Pop Song’ was mounted on the wall and the other, ‘The Average Record’ was displayed with other sculptural objects. I really enjoyed exhibiting again and it was good to have a theme to work towards.
I am hopefully in this exhibition tonight! I am definitely attending and looking forward to it. Apparently there are over 200 records to be seen. Whoop Whoop!
Oh My Gosh
43 Mansfield Road
After my tape experimentation, I decided to try the tape inside of a tape cassette. I liked it better than the electrical tape but it still wasn’t quite right. It also had other connotations about old music formats, not just the relationship between the object and time.
I decided to try out string which I wrapped around the record for 2 minutes 42 seconds and it looked exactly how I wanted. The string wins! There was a thickness to it, so you could see each individual strand and the contrast of the cream string against the black vinyl worked. I thought about what this would be as a stand-alone piece. It seemed effortless. I decided to make a second piece, for the amount of time the average length was of the top 10 selling albums – 47 minutes.
I failed in two attempts as I would get to about 20 minutes and the string would start slipping and then unravelling. It is one of the most frustrating ways to lose time. After the second time I vowed to give up, but Al talked me round. I went back into the kitchen where Heart FM was playing the same songs they had an hour ago. I took a deep breath and it came to me: I needed to use pegs to stop the slipping. I then proceeded to wrap string around the record for 47 minutes. It hurt but I was so happy once it was finished. Just got to think about how to display them now.