I have finished my BA Hons Visual Arts Degree at Salford University in 2008. Over the duration of the course I have experimented with a variety of media but naturally i have levitated towards crochet as my chosen technique because it was portable and i could do a lot of the work at home to cut out the commute to the university space allocated…
My final exhibition and degree show was concerned with a sort of family portrait through crochet pieces collected over the years. i have also explored all sorts of different avenue on which a string of yarn and a hook can take you….
You can see a selection of images from some of my final year’s artwork below. i have also copied my final statement at the bottom of this page, but please bear in mind that this was written by a 2008 version of me and i have not edited it to suit current needs/current obsessions and views, therefore i would ask you to be a little lenient….
Final Module – Artist Statement – Self Directed Studies
The main practical issues present in the work are space, handiwork, labour, presence, absence, installation repetition, layering, illusion, covering, disguise, concealment, subtlety and tradition. The techniques examining these issues best for me as an artist are crochet and drawing.
Crochet as a technique creates a feeling of protection, something familiar which is the very reason for choosing this process.
It was originally used by men in a very industrial way to make shoes and nets for fishing. The materials they used are wire and string, which are the same materials used in my practice. This draws attention to the fact that the pieces made are visually very delicate but the material used to make them is the very opposite. The hardness and roughness (ruggedness one might say) of the material contrast greatly with the patterns they form. This contrast was the main reason for choosing the jute yarn initially.
Since January the main matter of concern has been the project connected to family members, female family members to be precise, and the objects created by them collected over the Christmas holiday period. One of these was a number of flowers crocheted by my grandmother which have been analyzed and the pattern replicated in different materials referencing the objects given to me by members of my family.
Another direction was taking these objects and framing them as something that has become more than just a decorative object. It has become more of a found object in which the relationships and the reasons behind making them make them important on a deeper level.
Several conversations about the pieces have been recorded which have been used with video work. Considerable amount of time has been spent on the video editing process as well as listening to the conversations again and again to type the text in. This has then been translated and both version of the documents printed to appear alongside one another in a book of conversations. The videos demonstrate the fluidity of crochet, how tactile the finished piece is. The sound – already mentioned recordings – bring another dimension to the visual, which references the family relationships through the technique.
The next piece of work is a sequence of these flowers made in twine (various number of threads to create each yarn from single to quadruple layers) using crochet hooks of different sizes from 1.75mm (very fine) to a 15 mm (largest available). These are then layered on top of one another in a decreasing size order. Each sized flower has been duplicated to create two of these flowers. The reason for this piece was reminiscent growing (like that of relationships within the family). The reason for the duplication suggests breasts, therefore mothering. This references the family again, and the female position in the family as the mother. A very traditional view on the family comes partly from my upbringing and partly from my individual views of the world.
The tree is again a continuation of the family relations into a symbol that is often connected to family, the family tree. Flowers made as a response to the whole project are suspended from this tree, weaving the relationships together and showing the relationships the way I interpret them in my own personal way.
The collection of pacifiers encased in crochet is a response to the poignant nature of a discarded pacifier. These objects once of great comfort are now thrown away and all their meaning is gone. They are then taken and secured again, enmeshed using the very material and technique reminiscent of my own family. It is made a treasured item once again, similar to the process of collected crochet pieces framed to make them treasured.