The concept behind the site specific piece.
I haven’t fully sorted this one out as yet as the idea is very complex with various links and layers so adding my thoughts to the project requirements takes some working out. I made a quick mind map and this is helped but it’s just not fully resolved.
What I know so far
Objective – Piece needs to be conceptual and in the context of meaning and personal identity, perhaps rasing issues or in response to a personal experience. Make use of metaphors.
- Using a previous idea of a dictionary as a found object as a starting point I have decided to develop this idea further along the lines of Etymology, the creation of new words and also how the English language has come about. I will use patch worked fabric and paper in a larger than normal/practical scale as a visual metaphor for how I feel our language has evolved and has borrowed words from other cultures, so patched and pieced together.
- I might machine stitch some of these words onto paper and/or fabric for the patch work – perhaps using Shakespeare’s words the it is said he coined as The Bodleian holds his First Folio of works from 1602 so the connection is relevant.
- Selected dictionary pages used with wax, the wax to represent preservation – preservation of my language heritage ( a personal bug-bear that I have with lazy English and SMS texting abbreviations infiltrating our everyday speech)
- The selected pages I hope to contain words such as these – patch, piece etc as a reference to the shaped patchwork frame that it is within. These will be small and to encourage viewers to be interactive with my work I will supply the magnifying glass that came with one of the dictionaries as the text is so small.
- Along with the preservation of the English Language this will also be about the preservation of old textile techniques which will be represented through the processes used – smocking, pleating and patchwork but with a fresh interpretation, probably focussing on the scale of it.
- Inspiration – I found a marvellous old book in a charity shop that reminded me of similar books to those held in The Bodleian in that it was leather bound and embossed etc. It has the most convoluted description of its contents. It is essentially a dictionary of Etymology but the title reads “Dictionary of Phrase and Fable – giving the derivation, source origin of common phrases, allusions and words that have a tale to tell” – just marvellous !
- Working Title is “Patched, pieced, borrowed – not forgotten” – I will use this unless I think of another.
Objective – Reflection of location – The work needs to reflect some aspect of its location, either in relation to style of building or building materials, what it represents or geographical position. As I have chosen the Bodleian Library, as the collective location and The Divinity School as the specific location. I intended to include these elements.
- Reference to books – Dictionary pages
- Reference to books – using old fashioned book binders linen thread
- Reference to Oxford – Oxford University Press dictionaries
- Reference to The Bodleian Library – found vintage aerial map of The Bodleian Library
- Reference to The Bodleian Library – manipulated image of library windows for digital print. I will need to use an external view as photographs are not permitted inside.
- Reference to The Divinity School – manipulated image of carved ceiling for digital print.
- Reference to the light qualities of the Divinity Hall – some of the patched hexagons will be made from the recycled bottle paper and printed digitally with a manipulated image of the ceiling. I will cut out lines to allow the light to shine through when the fabric is hung up. I will also apply the same idea to the scanned aerial view map that will be digitally printed for one section. Light adds another element to the work, time. The passing of time through history, relevant to the past history of the library and language.
Things I need to think about
- The scale and how my images will be affected once folded, pleated and smocked. I have made some initial samples and pleased really that they have worked but I do need to consider the reverse of these also.
- What materials I need to order- keep to a minimum. Obviously the digital printing I will need to order.
- Still think about the sustainability aspect of the materials and processes that I use. It will not be possible to be totally sustainable as this is an area that is still developing but as long as I choose methods that are right and considerate and not wasteful then I have shown consideration for this area.