Having a really hard time with this progress report at the moment. It’s really confusing me.
I am finding it good to consolidate my work so far, but feels like a real challenge to do it.
I think because I’ve always found it hard to switch between the making and the reading, now to pull it together is also proving difficult.
I am also finding the holes that I need to fill and there are more than I think so that’s stressing me out.
I have just written up my methodology and need to look at the literature review bits this afternoon.
Also want to do some drawing of ideas…. That might be a bit more relaxing.
The N-exlace was created in response to how the emotion of a lost relationship could be processed through the creation of an artefact. Before working with other peoples stories I wanted to use my own experience of a lost romantic relationship to analyse and experiment with making techniques that felt appropriate. Love letters and photographs were sourced, reread and looked at. Diary entries found the time period were used to provide a contrast between what I’ve deemed the ‘public’ and ‘hidden’ side of the relationship.
He gave me a locket as a gift was used in casting experiments and this produced a negative ‘ghost’ silicone sphere, which I have kept as a memento of the relationship.
The making process used traditional handcrafts that were labour intensive and physical allowing each stage to be thought through thoroughly whilst actually making.
What I also discovered was when printing the leather, I thought of the times within the relationship, receiving the letters and writing my diary and analysing continuously. The emotion that was felt whilst making the piece was quite intense. I wasn’t entirely sure whilst making what form it would take.
Printing on the leather was experimentation and the acetone left the letters distressed and faded in parts, adding to the feel of the memories being faded.
The piece took the form of a necklace, very literal to the cast locket embedded within it but the leather began to symbolise my own skin that had been imprinted with these memories, but that had now been processed and could be removed from round my neck. The making process allowed for therapeutic analysis to a certain extent.
Whilst collecting the stories from other individuals I have concluded the most expressive and emotional way of this is the written word. I have interviewed a number of people verbally, but the emotion is not conveyed as intensely as through the personal letters. This may be due to people being able to think and write what they are feeling rather than feeling pressured.
As a maker, reading these collected stories has been a harder experience than I anticipated. Each one is filled with heart-felt emotion for lost loves and it has felt like I am taking on other peoples emotional burdens. Through the making process I hope to relieve myself of these burdens as I create a new lost love artefact.
On the way into Leeds on the train I just started reading a new book. “If you find this letter” by Hannah Brencher. This was a book discussed at the love letters conference so I was excited to get it after I got back.
I just started reading it, I’m literally just a few pages in, but it starts by talking about Hannah leaving to go to live in New York and the way her mother has already left her love notes. I’ve been trying not to cry the whole time I’ve been reading it. This for my study comes under ‘familial love’ and she talks about it as ‘sticky love’ in the form of being given a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! Her mum gave her them throughout her younger years I just thought it was really nice and symbolic.
It also made me think what Steve says is right. I’m never going to be able to find a single definition or a universal one… It’s mine, and mine as part of my project. So I have to find one that works for me.
Report writing next week and hopefully some making too. Ready to crack on with it now
So I’ve been getting confused on what to concentrate on recently and Steve suggested I leave the making and concentrate on the reading. I actually got really into the reading about objects and symbolising the self. It was really inspiring! I then have the issue of putting together my report which I thought I’d done but then after a tutorial I realised I’d not really done what I needed to do Steve suggested I print out all the stuff I’ve been researching and lay it out and pull it together that way. So here I am in a travel lodge in Great Yarmouth doing just that!
At least now I can see what I’ve written!
I’l highlight all the important bits and start adding to the report now.