On my return to Hamburg, I produced my final piece, which I think follows the brief closely, and says something different about me as a person.
I have always been torn between the life of domesticity which demands time and effort and which I cannot forgo, and the other things I choose to persue, such as a career, and some expression of creativity. There have been times when I have been dedicated almost exclusively to one, to the detriment of the others and this is always a source of tension for me. I have quite fierce feminist views, which have grown from my observations of my mother’s life, as a mother of five children and a professional woman, and from my own experiences as a professional and mother. I chose to draw objects which encapsulate these conflicts, starting with a rather stiff pencil drawing which I did to get myself aquainted with the shapes, as much as anything.
As I drew I became aware of the feminised shape of the bottle of washing-up liquid, and I was outraged! It must be a deliberate marketing ploy, and feeds into alot of what I hate about the patriarchal society we live in. The charcoal drawing Kitchen Sink has more objects. The egg-cup/salt pot was a piece of pottery I made when I was still in recovery from my illness. It is deliberately off-kilter, saying something about my feeling of lack of stability at the time. It also ended up being too small for eggs! Forming the back edge of the arrangement is the edge of a bread-knife, which is a literal and metaphorical expression of the bad times I’ve been through.
Photograph of final piece for Assignment 1.
As for the porcess of the drawing, I was happy to be using charcoal, and felt quite free with it. Because I was animated by the objects, I think my marks are quite confident and I hope convey some of the energy and anger which I felt I wanted to express. The brief is to try to put something personal and to convey something of your emotional state, and I have been on a journey to try to find a way to do this through my hands and eyes. There’s plenty going on inside my head, but expressing it visually on paper is a new endeavour for me. I like to work on quite large surfaces and to uses bold strokes, and I would like to develop this further. I do not want to feel constrained or constricted/restricted. Having said that, there is also something soothing and almost mesmerising about a more detailed approach, but I suffer from the critical voice when I see my hand wavering, or I make a small mark which looks wrong. I want to be free of the need for perfection.