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.


Figurative modelling overview

This project has been an amazing and challenging experience for me. I have learnt a lot and have gained valuable skills that I will be able to transfer to my own practice. I was nervous at first because I hadn’t had a lot of experience with clay but I had with the body and life drawing. I was excited to combine the two together and I am very pleased with the outcomes from this project. During the figurative modelling course, I learnt a very useful skill which I am currently using in my subject project. The 20 second drawings with charcoal have led to development in my own practice and continues to have a huge impact on my work. I have discovered new artists which have inspired me in many ways. Christie Brown was made the biggest impact on my work. Her drawings and her accompanying sculptures I saw at the craft in the bay.

Life drawing is something that I have been enjoying for a few years now. The life drawing workshop was a lot of fun because we were asked to do drawings within certain time frames, which I had never done before. We were also asked to focus on where the tension in the body was and show that in the drawings that we were producing. because charcoal can be manipulated using pressure and angles. the lighter you press the less tension there is in the body. the harder you press, the more tension there is in the body.

I have gained so many valuable skills through using clay. Learning the pinching technique and how to sculpt without making something perfect. I tend to want to create something that is obvious to the viewer and to my self. What I have learnt from these past few months is that, I don’t need to create something that is set in stone. let the viewer make a story of their own, let them question your piece of art and wonder about how it was made or what it means. I believe that the skills that I have learnt will continue to develop and I will develop them even further by exploring the body through drawing and clay.

Working as a group is usually a challenge for me as I prefer to work individual but the group that I was in worked extremely well and we all had amazing ideas and put forth our best work. The exhibition went really well and I am proud of our groups effort. The final outcome was eerie but beautiful, but I wish we has more time to work on it and develop our  piece.

Overall, this project has been a success. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and have gained some amazing skills and worked with inspiring people. I believe that the skills that I have learnt will continue to develop and I will develop them even further by exploring the body through drawing and clay.

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Clay tree

Our last workshop was building a Tree with terracotta clay. Using the same technique as clay head making, we rolled the clay in the palm of my hand and flatten it. Pinching the pieces together to make the foundation, I wanted to keep the texture from the pinching to create the look of bark.

The clay tree holds a great representation of human body. The trunk show is the sturdy body and the branches are the limbs.

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Figurative modelling: Symposium

  • Natasha Mayo: Welcome 11 – 11.15 Alex McErlain Intro to ‘Drawing Inspirations’ 11.15 – 11.30 Christie Brown Archeology of Drawing 11.30 – 12.15 Richard Heeley Drawing and Practice 12.15 – 12.30 LUNCH – with ceramics demonstration from Richard Heeley: Throwing off the hump 1.00 – 1.20 Decorating Demo with Pigments 1.20 – 1.35 Cobalt minerals and Ming dynasty 1.35 – 1.55 Alice Kettle Contemporary Mythology 2 – 2.45 Masters Students Drawing and Ideas 2.45 – 3 Alex McErlain Closing remarks 3 – 3.30

A day full of amazing artists telling us about their practice throughout the years. Christie Brown was my biggest inspiration. After seeing her work in the Craft at the bay, I was extremely excited to find out that she was talking to us at the Symposium.  During the talk I wasn’t able to write notes on what was said because there was so much going on, but I was inspired by everything that was said.

During the talk, she spoke about her inspirations for the work. History and archaeology was a big factor. Ancient Egypt’s human/animal God sculptures inspired her greatly for the forms that she creates.

Her work has influenced me work a lot. The eerie forms that she creates have led to my work looking simple and eerie in my own style. I don’t usually work in 3D but I was also inspired to create characters that I have been designing in subject through drawing, into a clay sculpture.

Richard Heeley, amazing ceramicist and mark maker. His work was delightful. Richard was kind enough to demonstrate the way he works which was really interesting because I have never thrown before. His quick way of working and amazing marks and paintings which were inspired by Japanese traditional artwork.



Field project exhibition.

After a long thought process between placement of our object and drawings, we came to a final decision and put together a piece which I thought was quite beautiful. The final design was finally concluded by the simplicity and narrative of the whole composition. My part of the whole piece was the two drawings that held the objects in their places.IMG_1441.JPG

Figurative Modelling exhibition: preparation

As apart of our agenda, we wanted to create an exhibition space in the reception of the CSAD building which demonstrated the works that we had been creating this term. We wanted it up and ready for the visitors of the symposium which took place a week after.

Our group was raring to go with the work and we had some good ideas to get us started. We started out with a narrative that showed two children playing in a forest. We soon realised that this was to obvious and we wanted their to be more suggestion. with a few changes, we finally came to a decision as to what our exhibition space was going to look like.

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