Today I was looking for a page to draw on and thought I should probably label my old journals while I was at it. I flicked through to find a blank page, (one thing leads into another) and I found an old proposal for a series of works for uni - read on, if you would like to (possible trigger warning though if you're a sensitive soul) and I'll share with you. This old bit of writing will enlighten you as to why seedpods etc feature heavily in my jewellery and artworks.
In another place, a different time.
A young woman is lying on her bed, she is reading a "mills and boon". Her two little boys are outside the flat, they're fighting with sticks again.
Drifting off, she imagines the book is about her and the husband in the book is her newest boyfriend. The man in the book is sweet and he tells his new wife how beautiful she is, so beautiful he can no longer get through his day without thinking of her.
In a different place, same time.
"The kid" is daydreaming again, she is determined not to think about what happened last night. "the kid" knows "it" was wrong and feels very guilty for her anger....why isn't "she" looking after Daddy? and why doesn't "she" care about "it" and why doesn't she stop "it"?
All of a sudden "the kid" drops the buckets of water she's been carrying, her hands are sore but she knows that will go away.
On a leaf to the side of the track is a chrysalis - right where the caterpillar was yesterday. Now "the kid" can't wait to get to school in the morning. Mrs Enchelmier will her to find this caterpillar in a science book in the library.
A different time, a different place.
A middle-aged woman sits in her bed, in a hospital room. Her pen seems to be moving on it's own as she unconsciously writes her letter. In a kind of trance emotions convert to words on the page as tears stream endlessly down her face.....
Some years ago I started covering boxes (some other items, but mainly boxes) with paper mache of the obviously aged pages of a Mills & Boon novel. For me, this was an act of defiance against the book - because books should be precious and a Mills & Boon is an insult to books, an affront to real life. These stupid "books" held my stepmother in a constant state of longing for what her own life and relationships could not be.
On the surface, these boxes made of old paper are somewhat beautiful, I do love that if I did not know the story was b.s. I would just see old lines of text. I place images on the boxes and sometimes quotes, totally unrelated to the text, or the memories of a shitty past.
The quotes and images take me some other place, a good place, my own little escape from reality and past. I am proposing to continue to make these boxes - however they will be made of real text and writings of my real life, screen-printed.
The images I will use will be my own and will be those of the natural world, seed pods, leaves, bugs etc the very real things that I escape to when other elements of real life feel too harsh. Or Ugly.
There are some obvious symbologies going on with my work. Box, a womans box, could be a means of control of others if she chooses or the cause of others wanting to control her. A receptacle for containment that may be easy, or not so easy to open, it may even be locked - so much about a box for anyone to interpret how they like.
Seed Pods, the place where new life may begin. A reference to "mothers" possibly and the protection provided by them. The pod may remain attached to the young plant or it may pull away. Some seedpods aren't very pretty but to me they are beautiful in their repetition and function and intricate textures and shapes.
Leaves and such relate to the natural world, (absolutely not made by human or related to them) a place I may find solitude or inspiration to continue, to grow, to hope, to nurture or just to "be".