In this blog post I want to share the work of OCA Textiles student Judy Nolan.
Judy is part way through studying the new Mixed Media for Textiles course and recently submitted her work for feedback for the second part – Joining and Wrapping. As Judy lives in Australia I see all of her work via her blog Fibre of Being. I’m sharing her blog with you because I believe Judy’s work demonstrates exceptionally well how the mixed media course performs and what students should expect to achieve.
Her blog also demonstrates how to organise a learning log, how and where to place your research material within your learning log and how to write about what you find, both in your own work and that of others.
For those that don’t know the Mixed Media for Textiles is a Level 1 (HE4) course based around the exploration of materials and methods related to textiles. Students are encouraged to playfully take risks in order to develop technical knowledge. This is underpinned with broad and open-minded research that is collected and discussed in the learning log. Critical thinking is encouraged at every stage through reflective writing and observational drawing of the samples made. My hope for the course is that students get back to a more relaxed or child like approach to creativity. Freeing their minds to explore and discover.
I get the sense from Judy’s work that she has had a lot of fun and in the process made some exciting samples. She has felt able to combine unusual materials, learning about their potential along the way. I was particularly struck by a piece of work Judy came to through the wrapping stage of the project which led her into some interesting research material resulting in her tracking the shadows that crossed her yard during the day. I was thrilled to see that even though she knew the link to wrapping was tenuous she felt confident enough to explore the idea.
Another sample that is worth a mention is where through the joining exercises she composed a very pleasing sculptural piece in paper, mesh and plastic ties. Here the materials and methods are so simple but through experimenting she came up with a composition both her and I love.
Judy also made a whole series of samples exploring wrapping her domestic objects in the style of Jean Claude and Christo. These are all interesting but one in particular stands out. She wrapped the cup in plastic then treated it with the heat gun causing the material to shrink and tear which produced a “lace or scared” surface. Again this is interesting but Judy took the sample one step further by removing the cup leaving what she describes as a “memory, a shadow”.
I also find exciting the samples that have been made by wrapping printer components with bright plastic thread and electrical wires. She photographed each stage of her sample making, thinking about and discussing the progress of the piece. This helped her and myself see how her creative thinking achieved the final outcome.
Throughout the blog Judy makes links to other artists and works she has seen. In a way mapping what she is learning and bringing it back to her creativity. She also uses obsevational drawing at each stage to understand the samples better and reflect on her progress.
Please do go over to her blog to take a fuller look at her work and leave your comments. Well done Judy and thank you for letting me share your work.