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Friday, March 09, 2007

Aye Karamba!

This is the aspect of the cross curricular art/music project I'm involved with that has been making me loose sleep. I have to go into the children's music class today and get feedback from them. The words blood and stone spring to mind. I've tried to write some stirring words and will show them some odd pieces of art that might shock a response out of them.

I'll feel better if I put he words here. It kind of makes it real but if you don't feel like wading through it, I quite understand. We'll be back to the jolly pictures soon. (The sooner the better!)

Hello everybody and sorry to interrupt your music lesson. I want to talk to you very briefly this morning about inspiration. As you know, the inspiration for our art piece were making at the moment is the Caribbean music we were playing when we did our big drawings. They do say that a work of art is 20% inspiration and 80% perspiration, in other words, you’ve got to work hard at it and we’re certainly being doing that over the last few weeks.

When I was at home making these samples to show you, I didn’t have the Caribbean music to listen to so I was taking my inspiration from the way musical instruments look . What I have made is not a model of a musical instrument, it doesn’t look anything like a music instrument but that’s okay. Sometimes there is a long journey between your inspiration and what you eventually make.

All kinds of artists who make all kinds of things – jewellers, architects, fashion designers – do a lot of drawing when they first have an inspiration in order to turn an idea into something that they can see. I tend to miss out that step in my personal work.

I like to use unusual materials and just play with them in my hands while I think about what has inspired me.

When you’re making your personal art at home, it doesn’t have to be ‘for’ anything, it doesn’t have to have a use. It doesn’t have to hang on a wall, you don’t have to be able to do anything with it, it doesn’t have to look pretty. All that matters is that it says what you want it to say. If you’re going to show this strange art to people, you’ve got be pretty brave because a lot of people won’t get it, they won’t like it and they’ll probably tell you. That’s not a reason to stop making it. You just have to develop courage and strength and belief in yourself and belief in your art. Remember at the beginning of this project we were talking about Tracey Emmen and her unmade bed? She’s a woman who believes in her art!

There are also musicians out there doing this kind of composition, this kind of invention, in modern classical music, modern jazz, probably other fields as well. I don’t have an educated music ear and to me what they are making doesn’t sound like music but just like the people who might criticise your art, my opinion doesn’t matter as long as the musicians believe in what they are composing.. Maybe to me their music doesn’t have rhythm, it doesn’t have melody, it doesn’t even use ‘proper’ musical instruments. It sounds like noise. But who cares? That’s only my uneducated opinion. If there were no cutting edge artists and musicians forging ahead and inventing new things, it would be a pretty boring world. So have faith in your art an have faith in the music your inventing.

So, let me show you two of my stranger pieces of art. These are made from coaxial cable which is the cable your cable telly goes through. When I made this first one I was thinking about our grannies and great grannies who used to knit and crochet these big shawls. This is not the kind of shawl that would keep you warm. It’s really more body adornment and it’s called ‘my granny was an electrician’.

This is another piece made from coaxial cable and it’s called ‘bag lady’. You can see it has handles and it kind of looks like a shopping bag although you couldn’t put anything in it and I don’t know if you can see but it sort of looks like a human form as well, doesn’t it?

Why I’m telling you these things, why I’m here, what we’re going to do this morning is try and get some more ideas about musical instruments that might help us as we go on to stitch and embellish and manipulate the piece of art that we’re making. As I said to you yesterday, the main thing I was thinking about when I was making this sample was strings and I want us to try and see if we can think of other characteristic of different kinds of instruments that we could maybe use for inspiration..

...Roll on this afternoon when it'll be all over!

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