11th September - Ideas Factory

Day's Summary

The first project was assigned as the 'Ideas Factory'. After selecting three words consisting of an '-ism', a material and a process, the aim was to come up with as many ideas as possible, with a minimum of 10. We discussed ideas in groups of three. It was particularly interesting to note the differences in response to the words from different people. The three words selected by my group were 'Sensualism', 'Fur' and 'Suspend'. My immediate thought, in connection to the word 'Fur' was that of fur coats and fur clothing, I seemed to think of 'Fur' in a very detached way to the animal it came from. However, others more immediate thoughts surrounding this word were much more associated with its origin, and fur's links to the living things it comes from. This difference in immediate associations to the words from the different members of the group was particularly useful when it came to brainstorming ideas for the hypothetical piece of art. It allowed us to begin to think about the journey and processes that fur went through in order to become the coats and clothes that I most associated it with. I think, perhaps, the reason I seemed to, so immediately, think of fur in this was due to the '-ism' we selected -  'Sensualism'. Sensualism seemed to me to be often a word frequently used in an erotic sense, and 'fur', in clothing, is also frequently seen in lavish, sensual and sexual scenarios. This lead our group to come up with several ideas relating to the sexual connotations of fur, but also ideas about removing these connotations.      

We began also to think about fur in a purely physical and analytical sense, questioning 'what actually is fur ?'. In a purely physical sense, we started to think about how 'hair' is the human equivalent to fur. We started at this point to begin to develop ideas using 'hair' or 'human fur' as a material in the peice. Drawing on the process 'suspend' we spoke about how locks of hair are suspended in lockets as keepsakes or memorials. This further discussion lead us onto several more ideas and the development of our favourite idea, which we presented to the group. This idea looked at the idea of using hair, the 'human fur' to suspend instances in time. The idea for the hypothetical piece involved a room with items made of human hair from multiple stages of a person's life. For example, the first item suspended was to be a keepsake locket with a lock of a baby's hair in it. This moment was a point of the baby's life that was now suspended in time, both physically and metaphorically. It was something for people to remember the person by. The next suspended item was to be something like a stuffed toy, made of the hair of the person, reflecting another stage in the person's life and remembered using the person's hair. This would continue in the same way with different items being made out of hair. 

The benefit of working in a group for the initial stage of this project was being able to gain different interpretations from the same words. It's often easy to think of something only in the way that you immediately see it, rather than consider different approaches or interpretations. Working as a group and gaining the knowledge of others interpretations lead us to a much more interesting and thought provoking idea, rather than the more simple, obvious ones we initially brainstormed.

To further develop this project I would like to research the artist Nicole Wermer, who's installation which was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2015 involving fur coats immediately sprang to mind for multiple members of the group. As further secondary research, I would also like to explore artists who incorporate ideas about time and capturing moments of time in their work. On a more practical note, my action plan involves buying a sketchbook to begin my research in.

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