Saturday, 22 June 2013

Confined:Confinement - Caeth:Caethiwed

Over the last 10 weeks, I have been working towards the Final Major Project Exhibition for Art Foundation. It has been stressful but an unforgettably rewarding and exciting experience, I know I have come along way in the process.

The title of my project refers to the feelings of confinement I felt during my time on Sky Ward as a oncology cancer patient, in 2007-08. The project deals with those unspoken memories and emotions that were never dealt with, that were still in my subconscious. It may sound deep, meaningless and pretentious but it's genuinely how I felt. 

I recorded my past memories and emotions through writing everything in my Personal Reflective Diary, I was able to step back and see it objectively. For the first time I felt relieved that I wasn't carrying the burden of them anymore.

During this period, I went for my 6 month check up at Space -Paediatrics Oncology Outpatients to see my consultant. It was coming up to 5 years post finishing chemotherapy (In August). I took various sheets of documentation to work with, it was the perfect time to ask Dr Jenney for ownership of my documents. I knew that the material itself just as paper boxes, wasn't powerful enough. 
Although extreme, I started to burn my documents and recording it through video and photography, it was an empowering and thrilling process.

The Final Piece

made a stop animation film, presenting the journey of the Sky Ward corridor. I used a 2 second shutter speed when photographing, creating a blurry and nauseating effect. The sound recording of the corridor depicting confusion and disconnected flashbacks. The video portrays my memory of living on the ward. I believe it's successful because the atmosphere created by the combination of images and sound, make the audience empathise with the work.

The strongest images came from the close ups of the ashes, as the extraordinary details of the text was still prominent. Emphasising that the impersonal information cannot be destroyed, only transformed.

I developed a technique of making Paper Ash Clay, by breaking porcelain to liquid, transforming it into a new form of clay through combining the documents and ash. Leaving them to dry on scrunches of paper, creating interesting shapes, making every one individual.

It was a long and painstaking process, as my ambition was to create about 100 to represent the period of time being in hospital. The detail of the ash and information from the documents embedded into the clay, was visible in the sculptures. The sculptures themselves weren't fired as the detail and colour would disappear completely. Their fragility proved challenging as 1 in 10 broke, moving them took great care and attention.

My intention was to recreate the atmosphere of a hospital room; clinically clean, sombre sculptures and soft light that contrasts with the fast paced video.

Over the last five years I have grown in maturity, conscientiousness and confidence. This project has given me the opportunity for others to see the experience from my perspective.

I am grateful for my amazing tutors: Cath is kind, caring and so supportive. Brendan is compassionate, understanding and truly inspiring. I appreciate all that they have done for me; through for their advice, knowledge, and great attentiveness throughout the last 6 months. I would not have done it without them!
I would also like to thank; All of the other tutors and staff of the Foundation, that have helped me over the year. The everlasting friendships I have made on the course, and to my family for their constant encouragement.

I received a distinction grade, which I am thrilled.

"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him." Psalm 62:1

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