My first assemblage

Something completely new for me… I have started work on an assemblage – Things The Paramedics Left Behind. Initially I thought that I wanted the items to be displayed on a while background however when I tried it out only the blue and yellow items stood out. It wasn’t as defined as I wanted it to be at all, particularly for the plastic items. Instead I have tried out different arrangements on a blue tray. Here are the test photos of the different compositions.

Things The Paramedics Left Behind – tray test photos

I have tried all sorts of different arrangements of the items. Overall I don’t feel as though the assemblage works well within the confined space of the tray. I think the shape of the tray really limits the options of where the objects can go. It feels restricted and the squashed. I also dont think it reads well. Therefore I have tried putting them items onto a piece of reclaimed wood.

Things The Paramedics Left Behind – reclaimed wood test photos

I think the arrangements on the reclaimed wood work much better because if the proportions of the space. It reads better as a group and also as individual items. I plan to attach the objects to the wood with small picture tacks.

As this is my first venture into trying to create an assemblage I would greatly appreciate any tips or opinions because I would like the work to be powerful and thought provoking.

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Ibuprofen Pop

I have been collecting all the things surrounding my condition. The other day I absent mindedly stacked my Ibuprofen boxes together and really liked the aesthetic of the pattern and colour because it was so charateristic of Pop Art. So I decided to do a little further investigation and experimentation with them. I started by using the scanner laying them out to create a repeated pattern. I then took this further and started to manipulate the shape and form of the packaging in many different ways.

I’m not sure yet if I am going to do any further processing with the boxes but I enjoyed developing a simple idea into a future possibility. Next I am going to start exploring all the different types of blister packaging.


Eye Manipulation

I have started quite a self indulgent project in recent weeks. I am documenting my own health. As a starting point I have starting collecting- objects, photographs, videos and my thoughts through creative writing.

I think this new body of work is going to be quite a departure from my work in the past because I am focusing on myself, but strangely I don’t feel self conscious about it. I think it’s because I am experiencing alot of unusual things, quite different from the life I used to have before I started experiencing health issues. Therefore it feels important to be recording it, reacting to it and responding in a creative way.

At the time that the below photos were taken I was unable to see anything due to eye inflammation. I am quite impressed that I even managed to capture myself in the frame!

Dabbling on Photoshop

I still consider myself a novice in Photoshop techniques but I quite enjoy the process of digital photo manipulation so I have had a go to see what results I could achieve. My aim was to try and highlight the white eye drops against the the rest of the face by changing them to black and white and then inverting them to make it look like black dripping out of the eyes. It didn’t really work, the drops just ended up grey. However, I enjoyed the process and although I didn’t achieve what I wanted, some of the results are quite cool and detailed.

Physical Manipulation

I have printed the photos so that I can also physically manipulate them. I want to blur out the images and I am going to try several different processes to see what effects I can achieve. I want to create a blurry veil to mimic my blurred sight.

I’m quite disappointed with the minimal effects that my processing has had on the photos. I was expecting some much more dramatic results. I think it is because I ordered very high quality photo paper.

Boiled – didn’t really do anything other than break down the strength of the back of the paper

Harpic toilet cleaner – I like this effect. At first I wasn’t keen on the blue colour, but now I quite like it because it fits in with the medical theme.

Margarine – hasn’t changed the image at all

Oil and salt – I added the salt afterwards because the oil didn’t really do anything

Plaster- I like this outcome but need to somehow seal it on the photo so that it doesn’t break off of the surface

Hand soap – only a slight darkening to parts of the image

Vasaline – has done nothing to the surface of the image. I thought this method would be much more effective than it has been

Wax – tricky to pour it where I wanted it to go – perhaps dipping the photo into the wax might work better

Bleach – had to be bleached twice because the first bleaching didn’t really do anything at all. I quite like it now that it has been bleached twice

Scanned

I put my manipulated images into my scanner and some strange things happened to some of them. They scanned in as normal and then when saving they went through an ‘enhancing’ process on the app and the colours washed out. Quite interesting… and I can only assume it is because the scanner uses light to capture the images.

When I couldn’t see I felt quite vulnerable and somewhat lonely. These were very new feelings for me to experience! I struggled alot with these emotions and it was the worst part of not being able to see. I am going to try and explore these emotions some more and try and get them to reflect in my work.

My obsession with cracks, …

… imperfections and things that used to be somewhere.

I am in Cheltenham this week. When I am in a new place I like to go out on foot and go exploring. I take my camera, a sketchbook and use the stimulus of my new surroundings to get inspired. Unfortunately this week my back and hips are extremely sore so I can’t manage the 2 or 3 hour walk I would usually undertake. However I have managed a very short walk to the Pitville Pump Room and a small part of the Pitville Park.

On my way to the Pump Room I saw some lovely cracks!
https://maps.app.goo.gl/q9JjUK4vgmCVr79z8

My obsession with cracks began in January 2021 when I spent time documenting a local carpark. Since doing that project I love (and seek out) all different kinds of imperfections and the ‘overlooked’.

Here are some compositions I photographed on my walk today.

I was also able to go inside the Pump Room. It was really quite beautiful inside, particularly the lighting. It was a calming and serene space.

I wish that I had been fit and able enough to take a full wander around the large expanse of Pitville Park. I did sit for a while and do a pencil drawing of some beautiful tree bark. For those that are interested I used a Blackwing Palomino pencil.

Monoprinting @ Cheltenham Science Festival

This week I am on the road at Cheltenham Science Festival. I have a station set up in the #Makershack

I am running a monoprint stall.

So…’What is a monoprint?’
Have a look at Tate’s definition here:

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/m/monoprint


I am a big fan of monoprinting because each print is unique and you can get unexpected results. I love that it is a highly experimental process during which happy accidents can occur and you can end up with a print you didn’t initially expect. It is also very simple and a lovely hands-on technique. During the day we have had lots of visiting schools coming to the Makershack and they seem to be absolutely loving getting stuck in and creating!

I am teaching a simple hand pressed technique that could easily be continued at home with materials which are easy to get hold of.

At my station in the Makershack we are using glass plates, ink rollers, water based block ink, newsprint paper and lolly sticks. This is our method if you would like to try it at home:

Inking up a plate with a thin layer of evenly distributed ink. Draw an image into the ink using a lolly stick.

The next step is to carefully lay paper over the plate and then hand press the paper onto the plate (circular motions with the palm of your hand tends to work best). Then carefully take two corners along the shot edge of the paper and peel off the paper to reveal your print.

With this method you will create a background the colour of your ink and the image you have drawn (the scraped away ink) will be the colour of your paper. If desired, after creating your first print, you can take a second print, called a ‘ghost print’, which will also be a unique print.

I have started to fill the windows of the Makershack with prints while they are drying, with anyone welcome to return to collect their prints during the week. It is a constantly changing art installation. If, at the end of the week, there are any uncollected prints I am going to bind them to create a book.

I am having a great time here at the Cheltenham Science Festival bringing the joy of printing to young and old and everyone else in-between!

My stall was featured in two of the festival highlight videos on YouTube Here are the links: https://youtu.be/GLGDG6tbUR4

https://youtu.be/iOMDVXNuFWU

The Super Ordinary And Some Rust

Firstly I would like to say thank you to Mission Gallery and the Jane Phillips Award for giving me the opportunity for this digital residency. I am an emerging artist and I am honoured to be here to share my work.

At this point in time I am just coming to the end of one body of work and I’m about to start focusing on something new, so this residency couldn’t come at a better time! I am going to be trying out lots of different techniques and ideas over the next few weeks and posting them here.

My most recent work has been to answer the question ‘What is Super Ordinary?’ Using this quote as a starting point- “How should we take account of, question and describe what happens everyday and recurs everyday; the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the habitual?” Georges Perec, 1973

I came to a natural stopping point in my project when I exhibited some of my work in the Graduate Expressions Exhibition at the Oriel Henry Thomas Gallery at Carmarthen School of Art.

With Every Fibre Of My Being (2022)

Stainless Steel Sink, Stainless Steel Wire Wool, Ink, Acetate

Saskia Fletcher

But when does an artist truly finish a project? The answer is never! Each time I come to the end of a project it becomes part of me, and it’s always ticking away in the background, influencing my new work in some way or another. For me there is always more ideas floating around on the periphery, something to add, something else I want to say or simply something that I just never got around to doing.

So with that in mind this is one of those things… early on in the project I had saved some metal kitchen shelving but hadn’t actually used them for anything. Last week when I was sorting out my garden I found them rusting away in the corner. So I thought I would try out a rust transfer technique I had seen on LuAnn Kessi’s blog. It is a process I have been meaning to do for a long time. You can find the post by LuAnn here: luannkessi.blogspot.com

I used her recipe to create some rust prints on some scrap fabric.

Here are the photos of the process and the results:

I enjoyed this process and I am pleasantly surprised at the amount of detail that has been created on the fabric. I like the different tones and the patchy quality of the outcome. Not all of the details have been picked up, and to me, the imperfection is what makes it all the more interesting. The two prints I made took time (4 days worth of patience!) to create and of course sunshine (which can sometimes be hard to come by in West Wales!) What I like most is that I have collected and captured a moment in the objects history- which is a one off and can never be replicated much like a mono printing – my favourite process.

My Super Ordinary project has turned out to be much more than just creating art. It has also created a new way of thinking for me. Now that I have come to an end of this body of work I know that this project is going to stay with me. I would like to thank Olivia Clemence for setting me the task of defining the Super Ordinary (it was daunting at first!) but it has changed the way I see the world. I will be keeping in mind the Perec quote above as I move forward into a new subject area… I will continue to question everything.

You can find more of my work on my Instagram page @saskias.studio

Introducing: Saskia Fletcher

Digital Residency Recipient : Carmarthen School of Art

Digital Residency Dates: 01 – 30 June 2022

Mission Gallery is pleased to announce the 2022 Jane Phillips Award Digital Residency for a Foundation Art & Design Resident at Carmarthen School of Art & Design, Coleg Sir Gâr. We are proud to be working with Carmarthen School of Art & Design, Coleg Sir Gâr and keen to shine a light on the high standard of work being produced by students across all disciplines. 

This residency will provide an online space within the Jane Phillips Award website to display and develop work, ideas and research, while offering support and promotion through our networks. 

About Saskia

Saskia Fletcher is a multidisciplinary artist who works in the fields of sculpture, fine art, printmaking, photography, film and installation. She works in a process led manner, working experimentally using a range of mediums.

Saskia is the current Graduate Resident of Foundation Art and Design at Carmarthen School of Art.

Images: Work by Saskia Fletcher

Digital Residency : Carmarthen School of Art

Mission Gallery is pleased to announce the 2022 Jane Phillips Award Digital Residency for a Foundation Art & Design Resident at Carmarthen School of Art & Design, Coleg Sir Gâr. We are proud to be working with Carmarthen School of Art & Design, Coleg Sir Gâr and keen to shine a light on the high standard of work being produced by students across all disciplines. 

This residency will provide an online space within the Jane Phillips Award website to display and develop work, ideas and research, while offering support and promotion through our networks. 

Selected recipient: Saskia Fletcher

Digital Residency Dates: 01 – 30 June 2022


 

About the Jane Phillips Award

Launched at Mission Gallery in 2011, the Jane Phillips Award is a memorial to Jane Phillips (1957-2011) Mission Gallery’s first director. The award is intended as a legacy to Jane’s passion for mentoring and nurturing talent, working with individuals at every level – offering opportunities to students as well as artists at the beginning of their journey. Opportunities that are further strengthened by working with Mission Gallery’s team, Swansea College of Art UWTSD and elysium gallery.

The award became international under Amanda Roderick, Mission Gallery’s previous director, and with further assistance by following directors Matthew Otten and Ceri Jones, plus an enthusiastic board, the award is constantly developing and changing.