Back to life, back to reality…

Back at work and last week already feels like a dream. I’m lucky enough to have a job I really love but I do miss the “Lab”. I didn’t have time to blog on Friday so I’m doing a retro blog…and I think it will be a bit of a long one.

Day 5: Bought my graphics tablet in today to try make some hand-drawn animations. But neglected to pack the pen I needed to make the darn thing work! Oh well! Glenn kindly lent me his sound recorder and I went round rubbing on windows and trying to find the perfect sound effect for a finger poking paper.
Presentation time! Just me and Dave left. I really enjoyed looking at his work (as I have everyone else’s, it’s really been fascinating). I particular liked Dave’s piece “The Running Man”. There something really intriguing about a group of people moving together towards a common goal. It reminded me of how I loved riding in the car when I was little, because I felt like I was part of a mass migration.
I managed to stumble through my presentation ok, with a wobbling voice. I had problems articulating my reasons for feeling uneasy about calling myself an artist. So I’ll bore you with them now.
I feel like if a person says they are an artist, it seems to invite criticism as to the value of their work. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. Mostly it’s bad, because of the hostility that much of the British public have towards the Arts, and also because of the snobbery of the artistic elite. A negative critique of a work seems to totally destroy it, along with a little part of the person who created it. I have a fragile ego and can’t take that kind of rejection. Art has always been a soothing haven for me. When I am engrossed in making something I can escape myself, and others, and the unpleasant realities of life. Engaging in art either as a enthusiastic bodger or as a observer of it’s many gifts, has enrichment my life infinitely. I’m sure it is the same for many people, and each person will engage with art differently. Art that one person enjoys, another may find uninspired. What is the point in putting one generalized thumbs up or thumbs down judgement on a piece of art. Maybe this is a naïve opinion. I don’t know.
I was really nervous about participating in this residency because of the pressure to create a piece of “art”. I also looked at the work of the other artists involved and felt outclassed. I’m so glad that I didn’t chicken out. It’s been a really enriching experience. I’ve learnt so much and met many interesting and lovely people.
After my presentation I had to have my photo taken, eeck! Hope it looks ok. Spent the rest of the afternoon at home, trying to put something together to show on Saturday. I did some traditional hand drawn animation and scanned them into flash.

Day 6: Saturday and the final presentation of our ides. It’s been really interesting to see the fruits of everyone’s labors. Everyone has come at the task from different angles making beautiful, thought provoking, engaging and technologically impressive work. I’d like to see them all developed into final pieces of art.

I’m really happy with my final idea. It has the working title of “Under Glass”. It explores the theme of isolation an issue that is close to my heart. I don’t know if I managed to explain my idea very well today, or if any of my notes or diagrams manage very well either. I’ll attempt to explain it now.
-Characters are trapped under bell jars. Some accept there situation. Some wish to escape.
– Monotonous behaviour patterns are expressed through looping animations
-Characters run free outside the bell jars. There interactions with the trapped people vary. Some ignore, some antagonize, some try to help.
-I’d like to offer the opportunity, to the user, of interacting  with the piece through a website. They could send messages via the website to the speech and thought bubbles of the characters. I guess these responses may have to be vetted.
-NHS information could be delivered in a easy access, stripped down form via hot spot or through a search feature.
-maybe various different artists could contribute to the piece.As it will have no real being or end.
I’d like to do something with this idea in the further but think I’ll need to study up on Flash Actionscript. Oh Joy!
Finally I just like to say thank you to Espen Jensen for nominating me. Ray Mcfee for being supportive as always. Benedict Phillips for guiding and inspiring us. Ben Dalton, David Lynch and Glenn Boulter for their support, encouragement, knowledge and advice. And last but not least thank you to the other artists, who’s support and creative conversions generated a unique environment to create in. I feel the experience has changed me for the better and hopefully long term. Wish you all well in the world ;D

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