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I struggled a bit with my work this week because I wasn’t too sure what I had achieved so far or what direction I was going to go in. I started out the week by moving work around the space to change things a bit. I wanted to look at everything I had done so far and re-evaluate my goals for the residency. I decided to keep making and drawing and printing and layering these pieces on top of eachother on the wall and then drawing on top of these again so that certain things become hidden from the viewer and in the hopes that certain ideas would jump out.
When this didn’t work I stood back from the ‘making’ and did some reading and research for a while. I had a look at the work of Lynne Allen ( http://www.lynneallen.com/gallery.html ), who makes these beautiful objects out of works on paper. I thought some more about turning my printed works into 3D structures or objects such as archaeological artefacts or the tools the nomad would have travelled with.
This brought me back to thinking about my installation work and how I would like to develop The Tent. I’ve though about putting a fan or a pump inside it so it bellows in and out. The movement bringing it to life and evoking its lost memories. I also thought about building a giant sand box and having the tent in the middle making it a bit more fun and playful as well as linking it with the archaeological concepts.
Day 12: I changed my again today! After looking at my work I decided ‘ the tipi’ was coming out the strongest so that’s what I’m going to focus on and develop. I’ll start off making a few prints from woodcuts and collographs prints and go from there! Better luck next week!
I had decided at the beginning of this week that I wasn’t going to go off on loads of different tangents, experimenting with all sorts of things and ending up with nothing finished. Instead I was going to focus on a couple of the things I’d started last week. At some stage over the next three days that went awry!
I wanted to develop the idea of the cut-outs of huts on stilts. A woman called in during the week and said they reminded her of Japanese structures. There is something very oriental looking about them and I am exploring the unknown and the exotic through my work so I decided to push this further, creating a new world, a jungle with these places of sanctuary that also make you feel quite uneasy so you’re not sure where you stand with them.
I made a few drawings to start with, which came out very strange, not typical of my work at all.
I also started doing some woodcuts. I used to avoid them in college, concentrating on etching and lithography but I think the work I’m doing now would translate well into relief print. Also considering that relief is one of the oldest forms of printmaking when you look at the famous hand prints found in prehistoric caves it ties in well with my concept.
On Thursday I went back to using old books to create something. There’s something about the idea of books resembling tents when turned on their side that I like. I just haven’t figured out what to do with this idea yet; I’m not sure how to turn it into an installation or piece of art. I love the simplicity of it but it’s not enough on it’s own. The link between the book and the ‘homemade tent’ brings me back to childhood, creating an imaginary world or a hideaway from reality.
One of my aims for this residency is to concentrate on the use of paper and really exploit it. I’ve been looking at ways of building 3D structures out of it, using glue and wax to stiffen and strengthen the paper. My starting point with this did not go very well so I kind of abandoned it.
I came back to the idea again this week and built a structure out of tissue paper and glue which, when lit up, created a really nice effect.
Again I’m not sure how I’m going to develop this, I’m thinking of printing on to Japanese papers and then building sculptures from them. And keep layering more images and paper to create depth.
Abi Ighodaro graduated with a BA Fine Art from The Slade School of Fine Art, London 2002. In the same year she received a University college London Expedition Grant to research traditional dance and festivals in Senegal, Mali and Niger.
Since then, Abi have undertaken a number of commissions, exhibitions, residencies and performances including ‘Bag Lady’ at Portlaoise Biennial: Urban Interventions’, 2007 and the Mentoring Programme in Dance and choreography at Daghdha Dance company, Limerick, 2006 / 2007.
Ighodaro was also assistant project coordinator at the Mediated Bodies: Media Technology in Dance project and worked in the Baldoyle Family resource centre, in their community education programme in African dance and folktales.
At her time inNo.72 Abi will explore dance and drawing through performance
I was playing about with the lighting and got some interesting shadows.
Below is a piece I pretty much started when I arrived, and it keeps on growing. They’re off-cuts of the plastic bags. I thought they were too pretty to throw out so I started to pin them to the wall. I’m going to keep on adding to it and see how long it gets!
Artist’s residencies are extremely important as they tend to have a lasting impact on the artists ranging from substantial shifts in their work and or in the direction of their practice. They often enable artists to develop new networks and meet others from different backgrounds. Overall they also offer artists that much needed period of contemplation and reassessment. Residencies allow the Arts Office to support Arts Practitioners ‘assisting artists in realising their artistic ambitions’ (Arts Council of Ireland).
Marie Connole will commence her six week residency at Kilkenny County Councils Arts Office, no. 72 John Street on Monday February 4th 2008. Marie’s work weaves together oddities, fears and beliefs formed from observations of growths and the human body. These elements shape our individual psyche and, freed from reason, they attach and re combine with each other creating new stories and associations. The imagination is the ultimate means of exploration and escape; a place to confront and understand our experiences… just as encounters with the strange and bizarre are not always terrifying, neither is that which is small and beautiful always harmless. These are the contradictions we live by.
For further details on this or any other Arts Office activities please contact the Arts Office, No. 72, John Street, Kilkenny on 056 7794138.