The field modules this year have been both a struggle and a great source of ideas to take forward in to my subject practice. The first module ‘Home Truths’ was mainly focused on different ceramic processes. This project was challenging as I had never worked in this medium before, but wanted to expand my practical kills and try it. It also challenged my personal perception of home and reminded me of the values that a ‘home’ holds. For me this was personal and hard to grasp as I have never properly had a stable family home, this made it difficult to think of ideas originally but as soon as i developed my own way of working it all came together at the end, and I used my experiences to my strengths. The aim for this project was to follow the tradition of storytelling using surface decoration and explore how contemporary artists are approaching this. I found this narrative way of working really interesting and something I enjoyed. One of the final outcomes I have decided to present is a narrative series of images. I have drawn this idea from the first field module which I think has worked really well.
The second module in Field lead us to learn about material culture in Morocco, and to focus on colour and material upon our visit. This module has influenced my subject work massively. Before visiting I did a lot of research about the country and found out how different their society is to us. The main point I focused on and found most interesting was how men and women are treated so differently. Being a woman and visiting this country, I had to prepare myself for the hassle and take some precautions such as cover my hair and to bring clothes which don’t show a lot of skin of flatter my figure. How me and my female friends were treated on our visit influenced my general interest and subject ideas for the second term. I started taking a big interest in to feminist artists. And from this point I started to focus on the concept of ‘Beauty’.
Not only did the trip to Morocco influence my subject work in that way, but also through the concept of colour. I have always loved using bright colours in my work, but witnessing the amount of colour all over Morocco inspired this even more. I tried bringing this idea through with my feminist work although towards the end I decided that just focusing on colour was a clearer route for me. My final outcomes for this year in my subject work are both filled with technicolored shapes and images. Focusing on aesthetically pleasing qualities to develop my practical skills and represent the concept of ‘beauty’ has put me in a good position for the start of third year.
Field has helped me to realise what concepts I am most interested in and what could be a strong starting point for the subject module next year.
After going to Morocco and focusing on the material culture there, I have been drawn towards colours and patterns much more.Upon my visit I found that a lot of the designs I came across were very repetitive with symmetrical patterns, which contained a lot of diamonds and also some Arabic writing trying. I decided to bring this colourful theme in to my work by working with loud bright colours. This trip had made me realise how important colour is and how much I want to work with it. In our field project we worked with coloured inks, silk materials and even Moroccan paint pigments which I bought from Marrakesh. This has influenced my painting and photography.
Experiencing and seeing how women in Morocco are still treated to this day also encourages my work towards female empowerment. Although this idea didn’t stick throughout my subject practice, I developed a lot of idea from it.
Upon my trip to Marrakech, I am much more away of the social differences and standards between men and women. I was shocked at times by the ways me and my female friends were treated. This made me think a lot about female rights and empowerment between women which helped carry my practice further. In Morocco we had a lot of comments from men some unpleasant asking for sex, and some calling us beautiful. This reminded me of a key concept lecture we had about beauty and what it is. This concept interests me a lot so I have decided to research it more and to bring this concept in to my practice. Using flowers, roses in particular, to represent women and to read views on beauty by Philosophers like Kant and Plato. This will bring a more conceptual aspect to my work.
I’ve always been inspired by Emin’s tapestry’s. I feel they can be shockingly bold which is how I want to work through this project. To have bold statements about harassment towards women in morocco. I also want to work with different fabric and colours of morocco. This way I can challenge myself by pushing myself to experiment and learn new techniques.
My visit to morocco was mostly what I expected. The behaviour of the men and the streets reminded me of other countries I’ve visited before like Egypt and Turkey. Everything that I had read online about the men being forward towards young women was correct. Although we were still very shocked with some of the comments we had received, for example people asking for sex and pestering us to the point where we would feel extremely uncomfortable and would leave. The cultural difference between us visiting and the Muslim women who live in morocco is very apparent. Morocco is a mans country but slowly traditions are changing and they are slowly catching up with us in terms of women’s rights. Women need their husbands permission but can work although they earn a smaller wage. So the country still has quite a way to go to achieve equality.
There is a big material culture in terms of tourism in Marrakech also the locals are uninterested in the pretty gifts for sale. It would seem their style and culture are a lot blander than what is perceived on images and the internet. The locals are wearing black and beiges. Only the tourism industry shouted to me as being colourful and patterned. Everything else seemed to lack in that area.
Here are images of some silk paintings I have made. One of which I made before going to Marrakech and the other two were when I came back. The difference between the two is obviously the colour. They became much more colourful on my return. The colours in Morocco have really appealed to me and I want to keep my work as colourful as possible to reflect this.