Project 2 exercise 3 uneven wrapping
I have sort of gone my own way with exercise 3. I have still used a variety of wrapping techniques such as weaving, looping, stitching and tying but I wanted to explore more the ideas of people being wrapped which arose with my samples in exercise 2. I researched a lot about wrapping people; from the religious and cultural aspects such as Eygyptian mummies, Innuit baby wrappings to the japanese art of shibari, now seen as an erotic binding but which originated from the restraining and torturing of captives . I will include the research in the back of my sketchbook.
I then looked at what wrapping people could mean; safety and protection, silencing and restraining, metamorphosis. This brought up a whole host of ideas which I laid out in a mind map in my sketchbook. I also wanted to try and incorporate creating bulge as this had appealed to me in exercise 2 and also the wrapping of, and then removal of, an item, leaving an ‘empty’ space behind. These two themes led me to the subject of body shaming, specifically fat shaming, and being cocooned away, protected from society’s views on beauty and health. I do appreciate these themes have occured in quite a roundabout way but I felt strongly about following my instincts on this exercise.
- Wire looping around a balloon to create a cocoon
- I experimented with wrapping thread around the wire but realised this was just going to take too long and didn’t look as I imagined it would anyway so I scrapped that idea.
- I was pleased with the cocoon but felt it needed something more. I wrote words connected with being ‘big’ onto raffia and then wove these words through the wire looping-suggestive of words being used to hurt but them not actually getting through to the inside of the cocoon- the wire and the words becoming a sort of outside shell to the doll I placed inside.
- I used a small doll, wrapped in string to create a larger body mass. This was not very aesthetically pleasing so I then wrapped it, randomly, with a tape measure as a further expression of size.
- The doll was then placed inside of the cocoon.
- I think the symbolism of this sample works well, there are lots of examples of wrapping- looping, weaving, circular wrapping of the doll with string and tape measure. The looping and weaving I class as uneven as there was no plan or specific design to the wrappings.
- Barbie doll, wadding, stocking and stitch
- I pulled the stocking over the barbie doll and then stuffed it with wadding. I used stitch to abstractly sculpt a bulging body.
- I liked the words on rafia from the first sample, so I took this a step further and stitched words onto strips of cotton which were then wrapped and tied around the body, trying to emphasise and create more bulge.
- I felt this sample was quite impactful, the red words stitched onto the white cotton really stood out, the barbie doll is traditionally a model of the perfect size woman so making her bigger has an impact. The strips of cotton also reminded me of a beauty pageant sash.
- Im not sure how ‘unevenly’ wrapped this sample is though.
- Further work on this sample could include using lycra to create a more fleshly look rather than the stocking and maybe being more abstract in the way the doll is wrapped.
- For this sample I used a stocking filled with wadding to create an abstract body form.
- Areas were wrapped with thread to create sections and then the cotton strips were wrapped randomly around the ‘body’
- I liked the more abstract nature of this sample but felt it needed more wrapping to create bulge
- I used the same stocking base as in sample 3 for this one
- I used elastic bands to wrap lots of bulging pods all over the ‘body’ and then wrapped and tied with the cotton strips
- This was more abstract and had more wrapping. The stocking gives a nice smooth surface for creating, like the stocking over the mug samples in ex 2.
- I used a toy mannequin as the base for this sample
- First I wrapped around it with wadding. I then wrapped it with deli paper that I had written on in red ink (to mimic the cotton strips and rafia)
- I used elastic bands to create structure and form and then wrapped with washi tape which had a tape measure design.
- The sample was neat and tidy and did not give the impression of uneven wrapping.
- Going back to the cocoon idea i wrapped an onion net over the whole sample- the orange net resembles the caterpillar cocoon in my sketchbook. The net molded around the shape, emphasising the curves and bulges.
- I then placed a toy skeleton under the net wrapping, symbolising we are all the same underneath.
- I like the concept of this sample and the materials used, but again, I am not sure it says ‘uneven wrapping’. I do feel there could be much more scope to take this forward though at a later time, the idea is strong, it just maybe doesn’t fall in line with the criteria.
- Back to the barbie doll covered with wadding and a stocking for this sample.
- I used red perle cotton to wrap and tie in a very loose shibari style, to create definition and bulge on the soft body. This worked well, especially on the legs where a good definition was created.
- I wrapped washi tape around her tummy to squash it in, an attempt to ‘hide’ the fat.
- I used an onion net to wrap around her, for a cocoon effect but this didn’t work- it wasn’t quite big enough to cover the whole doll like it did on the toy mannequin so it looked odd.
- If I took this sample further I would make the wrapping of the thread much neater, more like the shibari style.This would make it more pleasing to the eye, but again, I don’t think it would make it uneven wrapping.
- Final sample was another toy mannequin, wrapped with wadding and this time wrapped with a nylon stocking. Elastic bands were used to create bulges. Wire was wrapped around to provide a support background for a looping technique using perle cotton. It was my intention to use the looping to recreate the look of the caterpillar cocoon in my sketchbook.
- Again, I found this sample aesthetically pleasing- the small, smooth bulges pushing through the looping are discrete but there. I should have used the red perle cotton for the looping but I had run out which is why I used purple. I feel it would have a better impact in red.
- Again, the looping technique is random but is it Uneven?
Although I am pleased with the statement behind my samples, I am aware that maybe I went too far off track with this exercise. It felt important to me to follow my instincts with this exercise as all the research and sampling was pulling me in this direction and I felt I would work better with a theme alongside the criteria of uneven wrapping and trying to allow my personal voice to come through. I could have randomly wrapped teapots, twigs and dolls together to see what I ended up with but this did not feel as engaging to me. I did employ different techniques so I feel I did cover the learning lessons behind this exercise, but I am aware that my uneven wrapping techniques have been employed in a more structured way which is maybe not what this exercise called for.
Reflection on project 2
I felt comfortable with exercises 1and 2 in project 2 but a little less comfortable with ex 3, probably as I was trying to incorporate a meaning into the samples and was constantly questioning whether I was doing the right thing or should I just be sticking to the criteria.
I was comfortable using all the techniques and I particularly enjoyed using the stocking to create soft, smooth, flesh like samples and using wrapping to create texture and bulging areas. During the research stage I was a bit ambivalent towards the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. But, I found, during exercise 2 when I was wrapping a mug, I did prefer the simplicity of the brown paper and string, much like the simplicity of the plain fabrics used in their work, especially the tree wrappings. I also really enjoyed what I called ‘wrapping empty space’ in exercise 1- wrapping an object and then removing that object, leaving a wrapped empty space. These empty shells really spoke to me- they were like a memory left behind, not an exact copy of the object wrapped, more an abstract memory of the form that was there, if that makes sense? I feel there could be more scope for this idea in the future.
I used my sketchbook to record detail of my samples- Sketching always makes me notice the detail more, rather than just photographing. I used a variety of mediums to try and capture the feel of the samples. I also used my sketchbook for further research into wrapping people and to jot down ideas as they came to me.