Something visceral inevitably surfaces as soon as you stuff tights. I used my old tights to bulk out legs in what will be part of an instillation for my assessment piece. I chose the ‘stuffing’ to be something lightweight, something that could be punched into place and the Evening Standard seemed the obvious choice, always plentiful at Pimlico tube. But as soon as the legs started elongating, and hips widening, I decided to paint over the gusset for modesty sake ( and in so doing it appeared to exaggerate the area, which then I regretted). Fern’s recent Pecha Kucha came to mind with the weird (and sad) fetishes that some men are afflicted with. Newspaper is cheap ( and politically of the moment) and this one is free and used by the homeless. It seemed a fitting material for my group of less fortunate figures of women who are destined for transportation (work in progress).
So what does it mean and what do you feel when a viewer remarks and recalls an ‘established’ artist’s work coming to mind? It shouldn’t matter but now I feel inclined to read if there are parallels with her work (Sarah Lucas, thank you Abigail!) and my own. What if it just ‘looks like’? What if there aren’t, should I be influenced to give my own gravitas? I am concerned her physical works will colour my work and then halt my explorative assemblage. Then again, if it needed ‘pushing’ it would stretch my thinking. At present I just want to get it all sown up and allow my imagination get to work.
Can we discuss this? I realise we learn from one another but how does it and how should it influence? How does it advance our work by appropriating another’s work? But what authenticity does our own work carry if it ‘looks’ like (on the surface) someone elses but is at opposite ends of the earth for content ? And if it does not contextually have any connection, is it permissible to continue ‘looking like’ and ignore the ‘established’s’ work, or is that just an arrogant/ignorant attitude to dismiss carry on…?
Annabel Ludovici Gray