We have been “given” a word, which in theory has nothing to do with identity. Or, hasn’t it?
The scope of the exercise is to explore the object related to the word and to use it for the following 6 weeks.
I have to admit that I was up to the challenge, especially because I so wanted to take a mental break from the rest of my life and I was eager to learn new things. You can imagine how thrilled I felt when the word given is… glass.
I could have picked another word from the envelope, but I have decided that after my photo exhibitions on glasses and wine, and having worked in a rehab centre, and in addiction, consistently for the past 3 years (all things I wanted to take a break from), I have decided that I wanted to see glass and glasses under a different light. I brainstormed the whole afternoon on the material, the word itself, the objects, the sentences. I tried to think outside of the box, and went from glass to fibreglass, through windows, containers, bottles, perfumes, shoes, hourglass, glasshouse, glass pins, transparency and imperfections. You name it, I am pretty sure it is in my brainstorming map. I have downloaded images of houses made out of (mainly) glass, of crystals, of dresses and shoes. I have read about Ettore Sottsass (some stuff here) and Émile Gallé (here) since my mother collected some of their objects. I have explored windows and their diversity as in the Rogner Bad Blumau Spa in Austria designed by the artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser (here), where not one window is the same as another.
And in the end, I have decided, as I did for Orphism, to embody one of the characteristics of the material: transparency. So, I transformed one of my white T-shirt into a Les Grand Transparents tribute, using the quote by Man Ray (about him, here).
I even tried to draw a self-portrait of myself, without wearing any glasses, as in “drawing without seeing”. I will not post the outcome on this page (!).
SELF•REFL: I am keen to see how far I am prepared to go to disintegrate the mental image I have of glass. I have been wondering if drawing glasses is what I am going to be doing for the rest of the year, and the idea does not thrill me. Still, I like the exercise, for now, to explore an object and its composition, and I am wondering how much I can then use of this approach in other ideas. I also liked my spur of the moment in my T-shirt transforming: it was the whole point of me doing this course. So far, so good. And let’s see what tomorrow brings, in my first Fine Art class…