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I had to go over to London over the weekend to install work I have in an exhibition there. If anyone is tipping around London over the summer check it out! It’s a ‘micro event of Irish culture’, with 11 irish artists exhibting in Dialogue Culture Space, Vyner Street. The show runs until the 1 September. http://www.dialogueatvynerst.com/home.html
As well as printing this week I decided to try something a bit new. I wanted to move away from the dwelling motif and focus more on the concept of survival and life’s struggles and a person’s basic needs (physical and emotional) so I’ve started making little bundles from scraps of paper that are to resemble ‘survival’ or ‘rescue’ packages.
They are made from paper and gesso with words spray painted on to them. On Friday I played around with different ways of displaying them. I thought about having one inside each tipi or hanging them from strings.
After talking with both Joanne and Jane they gave me some ideas on making some type of parachutes for them. I’ve thought about using umbrellas or possibly casting them.
Day 6, Wed 20 June: I had a chat with Mary this morning about where I’m going with my work and what I hope to achieve at the end of the residency. I feel that I’ve gone off in too many different tangents and that I’m starting to confuse myself (and any visitors to the space!). I’d like to focus in on one thing and develop that. At the end of the next 5 weeks I want to come out with something finished and resolved or something more concrete that I can take away with me to develop over the next year. I want to determine the materials that I will work with, the methods I will use and the imagery.
However, by trying to focus in on something I ended up completely over thinking everything and really confusing myself! So far I’ve come up with the temporary dwellings, the traveller/pilgrim/ the explorer/inverstigator and traces of the human presence found in the landscape. I’m also interested in combining print and the object.
After a lot of writing and drawing I realised my work is not just about the dwelling, it’s about the journey and a way of living. It’s about the ups and downs and struggles to survive life’s obstacles. Big and small and how these basic needs and wants haven’t changed that much from the prehistoric man to today. Our lovely anthropologist Julie brought in a brilliant (and huge) book on the artist Anselm Kiefer and I feel refreshed and inspired now!! Ready to make loads and stop worrying about it! I’m going to focus on my print works and let the installation work develop from there. I started cutting images out of mount board to use for relief print. I think this works better for me than woodcuts.
I also made a start on a ‘tipi village’:
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