Further to my notes on placing my work and critical reflection of my developed sample I eventually decided to try adding some ‘tentacles’ or ‘roots’ plus a further rosette before taking 5 further photographs in a variety of locations in order to critically reflect on this new practical response. This second response was done after reviewing my work in exercise 5.1 and choosing a group of samples with which to work further with – I cannot resist the lure of Beauty from Decay but with a developed theme of fungi and decaying trees.
This first image goes back to the branch in which I originally photographed the shell-like structure and shows clearly the additional rosette and roots – for me the roots now resemble the Spanish moss that is seen covering and hanging from trees in Florida. The roots need to be longer or thicker in order to really entwine the branch if I am to seek the impression of a fungus penetrating the host tree – the green yarn was chosen purely because I have a considerable amount of it but I now feel that it should be ochre or even a light or mid-toned brown colour. At this point I feel that there is potential to distress the sample in order to create a more decayed impression or to add further rosettes perhaps added to the roots to indicate the spread and growth of the fungus.
I decided to try placing the sample against the hard stone paving to represent the urban environment in my locality. I actually really like the almost octopus impression that this placing now creates as the roots become tentacles spreading out – there is a both the impression of the octopus or of sea weed spread over rocks but attached to a shell and sea anemone with the addition of a smaller sea anemone attached too. This does create further ideas for a sea theme which although I have chosen not to go forward with it at this time I will keep notes of in a separate sketchbook for work at a future date.
I find this photograph still reminds me of the above mentioned sea creature but one that appears to be seeking to envelop my car in an almost ominous manner. The image is slightly blurry but this softens the slightly rough textures and outlines of the sample and concentrates the eye on the colour and the overall form which is something for me to bear in mind with regards to compositional development. I find this image also reminds me of the cornucopia I mentioned in exercise 4.1 – a feeling of autumnal abundance which could be be developed into a separate theme. Do I like this placement? yes for the new theme idea which has definite potential as worth keeping a note of but no because it feels jarring – the textures of the sample against the hard metal and glass of the car give me the same feel you get when nails are scraped down a blackboard.
By placing the sample on my own front doorstep it starts to take on a more garden based impression again – a bouquet of flowers wrapped carefully with green ribbons draping across the step. This could be seen as the perfect location if it were not for the first photograph in the tree or indeed the second image where it becomes the sea creature against rough rocks …. the sample seems to have the ability to morph into other forms depending on its placement.
This is the location which I felt would be the ‘perfect’ location but now see that in fact it is not …. the sample almost blends in too much to its surroundings and gives the impression that it is becoming at one with the stones and grass with the flower like structure seeming to have fallen and landed against the rest of the structure just by sheer chance. As I write I now start to see that in fact for my decaying theme then this could be the ideal location at least in my locality although I will take it out with me when I next go to a local National Trust property and photograph it against a decaying tree or in a woodland location. The roots appear to disappear into the rocks, foliage and grass as if it has been growing there naturally and this was my exact intention to create a textile piece that gives the impression of a living organism.
So now if I was to refine this further how would I do it? certainly I could add further more extensive roots with additional rosettes or small structures attached to them to create the impression of the organism or fungus spreading or growing further. I could also add further textural elements in the form of more roots or tentacles in a wider variety of yarns or possibly fabric rosettes with stitched details. There is a possibility of adding found materials such as pine cones or twigs to create a further feeling of the structure enveloping its surroundings or perhaps felted shapes to create the impression of moss or lichen. These are all ideas which I want to take forward with the group of samples I chose to work with in exercise 5.1 and are forming part of developing mind maps.
I am happy I decided to work slightly further on this sample as it enables me to work more naturally with the personal methodology I have learnt in Part 4 – this I felt I really needed to do before moving fully into the making of my new body of work in Part 5.