Final Project IS2 – Visual Culture

Working Dimensions and Beginning of Project (April 15, 2017):

The topic I am researching in seminar is about how do not share their feelings and thoughts in order to maintain the perception that they are “strong”, but to these people’s demise, this type of isolation and facade is detrimental to their mental state and to their relationships with others.

The message I am exploring in Studio is that people choose to express themselves in isolated and comfortable spaces, rather than in public and with others. I have decided to share one of these moments alone that I had when I was younger, highlighting the tactical and emotionally comforting objects, in order to connect with the viewer and hopefully prompt their own emotional sharing.

My final project for studio will be a scale model of a room I once lived in for a short period. I will be constructing the room of the basic layout and color scheme of the room, but will alter the space to make most to all viewers feel a sense of comfort they can relate to. To show my mental state during the time I lived in this room, I will stitch, carve, and paint a short, poetic sentence I had written when living in the space into/on the objects I am creating. I will be using materials such as fabric, wood, metal, carpeting, and various other materials to construct a real life space. These materials are effective to support my content because they are materials we relate to, materials that hold memories for all people.

I have begun making the objects since April 9th, starting with the bed frame and mattress. I have decided to build the objects first before building the wooden box that will contain said objects as it will give me more flexibility and flow when working with feel rather than measurements. I have found that making these objects and touching them has already made me connect with the piece and feel the sense of comfort I am looking for. Next I will be making the duvet cover and begin stitching the words into it. I need to go to a fabric store and choose the right fabric to emulate the feelings I want.

For next week’s class I expect to have the bed finished and completely assembled, and hopefully begin working on the curtains that I will be constructing.

Construction of First Objects (April 22, 2018):

Since the last class, I finished the construction of the bed. I glued all the bed frame components together and created the duvet cover. I used an old wool vest from a thrift store to make the duvet and random fabric I found to make the lettering. At first I experimented with using other parts of the vest for the lettering (the blue letters), but found the material to stand-offish and quite hard to work with. I liked the look of the grey letters, but wanted them to be smaller, as I wanted the words to look like apart of the blanket, not another thing on top of it. The curtains were made of muslin. The dresser is a smaller part of a jewelry box I had when I was a kid.

I’m planning on fixing the bed frame a little, as it is very fragile and needs reinforcement.

My group today was happy with how my piece is turning out. They comforted me by saying that materials did not look arts and crafty like I feared and that my content was definitely coming through. One of my peers recommended I sand the dresser to make it all the dark wood.

By next class I expect to have the curtains and linoleum print finished, ad possibly the dresser. I will need to buy a few things for the curtains, but application of the materials will be easy. The linoleum stamp will hopefully be finished and test, possibly even having the wallpaper finished for class. The dresser is one of the most stressful objects in my room, as I am afraid of wood and of messing up of progress so far.

Continued Work (April 29, 2018):

Since the last class I have finished the construction of my dresser and tested different paints and papers for my wall paper. It was hard for me to find a color that was subtle but also noticeable with the paper I chose, but with various tests, I think I am on a good track to get exactly what I want. For next class I am planning on have the curtains, the wall paper, and hopefully the dresser completely finished. I will clean up the print before using it and test multiple colors before committing to a final.

Last Critique Before Final (May 6, 2018):

Sadly, for this class I did not get much done. I was injured over the weekend, so my mobility was limited. I started working on the final wallpaper though and it is beginning to look just how I wanted. I like the contrast between the different shades of deep red. With help from friends and class mates, I will finish the project with as much effort as I possibly can. For the final I have to finish the dresser, finish the curtains, create a small painting, add carpeting, finish the wallpaper, and then construct everything inside the wood box. This does seem like a lot, but I am excited to do the work and will have a lot of time this week do work on it since this is my last final. I hope my injury does not affect me too much, as this is one of my favorite projects I have worked on all year.

Final (May 13, 2018):

I learned a lot from this project, not only about artistic practices, but also about myself. I found that it is very important for me to connect with a viewer and make them feel exactly, or close to exactly, what I was feeling at the time or what I am trying to express. I found that I needed to push myself to create this connection, as to make myself feel intensely and also to create a sense of familiarity and comfortability with the viewer. This project was challenging for me as I have always strayed away from meticulous and detailed work as I get frustrated easily and give up, but this project was incredibly important to me and I found myself excited and fully invested in the challenge. The emotional connection with the work and my dedication to the viewer’s experience made me overcome these challenges. When I return to this project, or begin creating similar work, I will give myself more time to add all the details I wish I could have made and give it even more of my emotion. I was incredibly happy with this piece in the end, despite the difficult process; the process was cathartic for me and I could see through my classmates that my intention was achieved.