The first stage of the assignment is to arrange the images that are in black and White on a sheet of A3 card or paper.
Above is the first collage which I wrote about in the previous blog post. Below are the sections that make up the second collection. The second collection is made up of photographs of my children, my husband and one of me. They are all taken fairly recently ( within the last 6 months) and are all favourites! The other images I will explain later on.
This first section shows photographs of Anna, my husband and a collage I made of the phrase ' apple of my eye' which I particularly like - this section is laid on a black background with images of a lady putting on stockings. ( This is from a blouse that I own and really like, I was also imagining me as the woman putting on my clothes ready for another day with the family -who are -always- on -my -mind.) I see myself as the "engine" and co - ordinator of the family. I am the person who fits all the daily jigsaw pieces together and no matter what they are all independently doing I am in the background, like the lady with the stockings!! These are photos of Anna that I adore, her asleep after a dancing lesson. In Daddies arms on the beach at Dunwich, a place my family have been going to for over 50 years so my Mother probably has photos of me in my fathers arms on that beach. At the top of the stairs, not only a great perspective shot but the light works really well behind her and she was so engrossed in trying to put a teddy on every step she wasn't interested in what I was doing. There is also the collage from the previous assignment and her hand prints from a painting session last week.
In the section above there is a couple of flower brooches in felt which I made, a section of my workroom, a picture of the silver wire shoes sported by many of my dolls. One of my Bygone Vera dolls which are paper mâché puppets. The crochet blanket I made for Anna, there is also a section from the back of it with the word ' scream' embroidered onto ribbon.
In the section above we have Snoopy dominating on a pure White background. The significance of Snoopy looms large in my life. My sister and I are massive Snoopy & Charlie Brown fans and love the tv cartoons as well as anything Snoopy related.
It was also the nickname we gave to our Dad as he managed to walk through the noise and chaos of the house populated by three women completely absorbed with his task in hand and oblivious to the noise around him. This was how Snoopy always struck me in the shows and so my Dad became Snoopy from when I was about 12 years old!
Also in this section is a picture from the book " One Eighth of a muffin" this was our favourite book from our childhood, sadly now unobtainable.( My sister does have our copy from our childhood which is priceless!!) Suzie and I have refered to the story and the illustrations from this book the whole of our lives. The beautiful images of the girls in the book are drawn by Ruth Orbach and my sister recently got in touch with her and she kindly allowed Suzie to reproduce prints of some of the images from the book from her originals. Suzie had these images framed for me at Christmas which was one of the most treasured and fantastic presents I have ever had.
There are also two more puppets as well as two of my eldest sons and my god son in the snow.
This section shows another puppet, brooch, picture from ' One Eighth of a Muffin" and Anna on the stairs.
In this final section here is a very handsome photo of my second eldest on Henry in a crowd at a football match. Also one of my teacup appliqués and dog appliqué and a picture I made for Suzie of a man with a penny farthing. A pair of Elliotts boots cast aside on the middle of the kitchen floor, I also like the way they are sat the wrong way round- typical boy!!
The first collage has now dried and I have written in White acrylic paint over the top of the images. Now I will explain why the images are all this size- don't get excited though as it is simply the size my printer turns them out if I place them on a contact sheet. The quality of the definition between black & White has not come out as I had hoped either as everything is really different shades of grey. I am not sure if this is down to my printer or whether I need to edit them more definitely although at this stage I didn't want the photographs to be abstract.
The contrast between the White acrylic paint, with a black border of marker pen, works brilliantly on top of the photographs. I have chosen the words Value Family and the upside down it reads Family Values. I think these phrases speak for themselves.
Another interesting development has risen from this project as I have had a request from one of my cousins to develop a cushion using a print of the first stage of the college of photographs. From this request another friend has asked me to develop a collage using her own family photographs and in turn to create a cushion or wall hanging. I have suggested that some areas are enhanced with machine embroidery or fabrics with colour ( I will not be confined to a brief set by the college then!!) Someone else has suggested I could make a commercial enterprise out of this which might be worth looking into!
I am going to develop the second piece with either apple shapes in outline over the photographs or the words " We live like this" maybe an amalgamation of the two - apples in black, words in White?
I have also got a plan from this idea to do knitted squares sewn together or individually framed, with a photo printed on fabric sewn on to occasional squares and they would be titled " tight knit family,"
The following phrases are ones that I like and would like to incorporate in a family based textile piece:
Chip off the old block
The family that walks/ eats/ holidays/ etc together, sticks together.
Let's stick together.
In my other creative journal I have an extensive list of family phrases that we put together which I think would be great to use in a textile piece, maybe with the words machine embroidered or appliquéd on. I was thinking about sewing onto the paper in this project, I may do that on the second piece which is drying as I type, or I might do a third piece which is completely different, if not at this time then in the future. I like the pieces Tracey Emin has done with appliquéd words and phrases such as " All the people I have ever shared a bed with."
Conversely I am not usually keen on words and phrases on clothes at all and often on textiles I find them twee. There are a few artists who do use words beautifully in textiles, one lady whose work I especially admire is called Caren Garfen. Her work is all hand embroidered pieces which are based on domestic home life, exquisite!
I will be following up this post with what happens next to the second collage.