Morocco: A Final look

I have talked about how much the trip to Morocco had influenced my subject and field work.  The Jinn, has been a key figure in my subject as I have started to look into spirits and how we perceive these elusive creature/human forms. I have realised how much we differ from each other in the way we see the spirits; making them spirits of your own mind.

My continued development in my second field project has led me to testing with ink and colour/patterns that are found in Morocco. From testing with Materials such as fabric and manipulating them in ways that suit the whole perception of a Jinn, to using ink and paper and creating them as I have been using in my subject; which was originally inspired by the figurative modelling field project. My whole project has been based on what the Jinn would appear as to me and as the Quran says, they were derived from the smokeless fires before any human was created. The smokeless fire immediately makes me wonder if the Jinn was in fact the smoke. The properties of smoke are quite similar as the jinn is quick and elusive, and disappear in almost an instant (much like smoke).  I knew that I wanted to use inks to portray these creatures which would then quickly catch on in my subject work.

Throughout this field project I looked at artists such as Elvis Robertson and Maurizio Anzeri who both use an layering embroidery technique. As our focus was textiles based, which was definitely out of my comfort zone, I tried to use these artist as a way to understand the learn from them.

development started to occur, with a lot of testing and manipulating with fabric and coloured dyes which I brought back from Morocco. I used embroidery to start adding patterns and colour to the inkblots. This was to represent and understand the culture and religion of country which I had visited not to long ago. Using my own photo’s which I had captured in Marrakech as reference for colour and pattern.

I would like to say that I have a final piece, but that wouldn’t  be entirely true as I was to carry on the project of spirits into my third year, I want to start introducing colour to my subject much like I have done with my field. As you can see, there are two finished pieces which I believe represent my thoughts on what a Jinn would appear as. This idea is completely my own and I believe the lack of much detail in the character, allows others to have there own view on what it could actually look like.

The first piece, began with etching. After learning about etching, I knew I wanted to create a piece which would represent a Jinn. Despite not having pattern, I focused primarily on shape and colour. The different shades and sizes represent the smoke ‘dancing’; as is the Jinn. Limited with tissue paper, I tried to keep the colours bright and Moroccan in nature. The outcome, was quite interesting and almost tells a story of the Jinn causing mischief and dancing around looking for it’s next victim.

 

As for the second piece, I used ink and pattern to create another representation of the Jinn. This piece has inspired my subject in many ways and will continue to do so throughout my third year. Using ink, I sub-consciously played around with ink to create a form. After creating 15 different forms, I chose one which has to be my favourite. Like the etching, I can sense movement and dance much like the smoke of a fire.

Jinn

I wanted to add a part of the Quran into the piece. The Arabic writing is so interesting in itself and I believe it adds a sense of mystery and wonder to the piece. The writing on the Jinn says ” And the Jinn we created before from scorching fire.” Surah Al-Hijr 15:26-27. For the pattern, I was influenced by a photograph I took of a wall inside the Palace. the colours were separate from the photo but they were also inspired by what I saw throughout my stay in Marrakech.

I believe this project to be ongoing and not at all complete. I am excited to see where it will take me and my journey into the realm of spirits, perception and mystery.

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Field Overview

My field started with figurative modelling. I was unsure what to expect when I first signed up for this field, but I am extremely happy with the outcome of the whole project as it led to some of the major techniques used in my subject project. Clay is something that I have used before, but nothing to the extend in which I had to use it in this project. I learnt many techniques and different ways of manipulating, constructing and building with a variety of clays. Although, during the couple of months, I realised that me and clay weren’t the best of friends; perhaps I was thinking to much of what it could be rather than what it was? Either way, I created more pieces that I was unhappy with, than I was happy with. This did put a strain on my field project but I was able to overcome this by drawing with charcoal. By using Charcoal and paper, I was able to try new ways of drawing, such as, 20 second drawings, drawing with expression, life drawing and so on. This connected my field and subject and made me take a different and more exciting path for my subject work. In the end of this field, as a group we made a collaborative final piece which went on display in the foyer of the CSAD building. This was something that I had never done before, and working as a team can be a challenge but luckily I was paired up with some amazing people who I can now call friends. Our final outcome was delicate and narrative. We all contributed 1 or 2 pieces of art, whether it was 3D or 2D. The feedback we got from our collaboration went really well and not only this but we were commended for our teamwork.

Preparation for our 8 day trip to Morocco started before Christmas, We were asked to research Marrakech before our arrival at the end of January. The few weeks before the trip, I was extremely nervous and didn’t quite know what to expect, despite conducting research throughout Christmas. the sessions were compact with preparation for this trip, including lectures and workshops. Alas, I felt nothing could prepare me for such an inspirational, once in a life time trip. The week of the trip, and  I learnt so much from being in a culturally different environment. The colours, smells and people were so different to our life in the UK and at times it was quite overwhelming. The market places were phenomenal. People everywhere, bartering and cat-calling the people that walk past there stalls. The roads, packed with cars, donkey/horse carts, motorbikes, all pushing past like they were desperate to get somewhere (most of which would have definitely been illegal in our own country).

Whilst I was there I came across the Jinn, which had been mentioned from time to time and could be seen in peoples day to day life. At the Hotel, rose petals were placed on the sinks, fountains and toilet lids to keep the Jinn at bay. The Jinn, I soon learnt, was a mythical creature that was found in the Quran. They are mischievous creatures that cause havoc on the people and can only be kept at bay with an offering of rose petals. I found this extremely interesting and I knew from that moment, that I wanted to continue my field project on this subject. Coming home from this trip, I began researching in to the jinns. The information I found was that they were described as being born from the ashes of fire. This instantly made me want to interpret these creatures for myself. I began testing with materials such as fabric and ink. creating inkblots with the sub-conscious was a key medium in this project and was influenced by my subject and last field project. Further testing with ink and paper, started to influence my subject work as I moved from charcoal to ink.

Both field project had a large impact on my art altogether and I have learnt and experienced so much in the past year. All the techniques have been used their full advantage and I believe they will continue to be useful to my practice.

 

 

Field and it’s influences on Subject

Both, figurative modelling and Morocco, have been incredible influences within my subject work. Figurative modelling made me realise that drawing freely and within certain time frames gives amazing results as to the final or even half finished pieces. Not thinking about a piece too much is something that I had always turned a blind eye too because I felt I couldn’t create like I could if I thought about it beforehand. To my surprise, the sub-conscious mind is very powerful and led me to start drawing creatures with a few flicks of charcoal on paper. At this point, my project took a turn for the better and I was drawing freely and sub-consciously.

As for the trip to Morocco, the ideas of the Jinn ( a mythological, religious creature that causes mischief and chaos) was a common figure which was brought to my attention throughout the 8 days spent there. With my constellation relating heavily to my subject of  the sub-conscious and perception, I knew that the jinns was a perfect project to undergo and try using art to show my understand of what Jinns are. With this also relating to my subject work, I knew I was taking on a fascinating and free project or trying to understand spirits and the way we perceive them. My thoughts on what Jinns could look like, came from it’s original source, the Quran. The Quran describes these sprits as animal/ human-like figures who are born from the ashes of hellfire. This made me start using ink-blots and creating creatures using ink. A lot of this was inspired from the figurative modelling project, as I wouldn’t have thought about this if I wasn’t apart of such a helpful and inspiring project such as this.

My interest of individual minds, spirits, mythology and history is definitely present in all the projects that I have undergone this year. I have never been more excited to see where my work will take me and I believe spirits will be apart of my practice for years to come. As I am doing my dissertation on such a subject, I will be carrying on with this particular subject in my final year project as well. Without the help and inspiration from both the figurative modelling project and the Morocco field trip, I doubt I would be where I was today, excited and intrigued as to where this project is and where it will be leading me.

The field projects continue to inspire me in my current practice and in my side projects, such as ”a drawing a day”. I create fully made characters based on the creatures made from inkblots. Not only this but as I walk through the park where my site project takes place, I am constantly reminded of these creatures imagine them really being there, it makes my journeys rather magical. the field projects help me with drawing in general, when I am stuck with what to draw or having an art block, I am able to remove that block and create by just using spontaneous strokes with different mediums.

 

Jinns and ink

Picture1

I knew from then on that I wanted to do a project on the Jinn’s and portray them the way I see fit. My interest in spirituality, mythology and history . I immediately took inspiration from my subject project. My interest in designing characters and stories meant that I could indulge in this exciting new creature which I had been introduced to during my visit.

Elvis Robertson, A textile practioner is an artist who works with ink/stains and the skill of embroidery. Sewing on top of the stains, much like I want to do with my own work. Maurizio Anzeri is another artist who I have worked with before. He takes photographs and creates abstract spirals/shapes that I can only describe as quite psychedelic.

I wanted to move on to fabric so I began testing with fabrics and the dyes that I bought in Morocco. The dyes didn’t turn out the way I wanted and I felt that black and white gave a perfect contrast and interpretation of what I believe the Jinn to be.

I also tried burning fabric to see if there was a new texture I could work with.

I have began to use my interest with ink and the impulsiveness of the sub-conscious too create what I believe a jinn would look like. (Using different materials.)

I began My project with ink, water and paper. My imagination lead me to believe the jinn as a dark Smokey form.

As I moved onto fabric, I began to realize that it wasn’t quite what I had wanted. The color of the ink wasn’t as harsh as it was on paper, and the ink bled through the fabric.

I began testing embroidery on fabric. Simple Moroccan patterns can be seen in both images. I also learnt new skills such as how to make a rose. I feel that incorporating a rose or rose petals

I am currently Working with paper and basic embroidery skills. Similar to the fabric, I can work on paper without it tearing, unfortunately, it is more feeble than embroidery on fabric. But I believe it gives the most intense colours and the ‘creatures’ are dark and mysterious. Fabric could not achieve this same effect.

I intend to continue creating ink blot illustrations and working into them with the skill of embroidery. I want to work on something slightly larger.

Picture2

Jinn

During my trip in Morocco, I was introduced to a muslim mythological angel/demon called the Jinn’s. The arabic word ‘Jinn’ is from a verb ‘Janna’ which mean to hide or to conceal. There invisibility is why many do not believe in the Jinn but the Quran would suggest otherwise.

“Indeed We created man from dried clay of black smooth mud.  And We created the Jinn before that from the smokeless flame of fire” (Quran 15:26-27)

The Hotel in which I stayed, was beautiful. The cleaners at the hotel placed Rose petals on the toilet seat, the sinks and the fountains around the hotel every morning. It wasn’t until later on during the week, where I found out that this was to keep the Jinn from being there mischievous, devilish selves.

Jinn are believed to take many forms from animal, human to tree. As for myself, I believe them to be black forms of smoke. After a short amount of thinking, I knew that I wanted to create pieces of art work that would demonstrate what I believe the Jinn to look like.