Stephen Knott talks quite extensively about the phenomena of Paint-by-Numbers, it’s popularity and attraction, he even ran some workshops while at the RCA. I decided to have a go myself and [although yet to be finished] I enjoyed the ability to do something with my hands while not having to think to much. That is not to say I did not concentrate, in fact it took a lot as the image I had was quite intricate, the numbers very small and, I had to mix colours 50/50 to get the range of shades the painting required [this was in the instructions].
I got chance to go over to The Peoples History Museum this month to take part [with Jade and Zi from work] in what I thought was a talk but pleasantly turned out to be a workshop. It was called The Fabric of Protest and was organised by Helen Mather and Lisa Gillan [email@example.com]. Helen is an independent artist, painter who is interested in banners [and quilts as paintings as I discovered through chatting – there were so many connections].
The workshop that I took part in was one in a series in which people to come along on a monthly basis, in earlier meeting that I had not attended they had come across the story of the Matchstick Girls. This is very basic but essentially, in a factory down south, girls of 14 and maybe younger were employed to make matches and pack them up. Part of the process involved putting the matches in there mouths and as a result they would develop horrendous mouth cancers. Alongside this was the very poor standards of working conditions and at the time, they were considered as unskilled workers and were therefore unrepresented by a Union [which only worked for skilled workers at the time]. On one day a girl was fired which resulted in the entire workforce walking out and marching down to the local Union representative to demand support. This, I understand was the birth of the modern Union’s.
This workshop had decided to make a banner that represented this action, previous weeks had seen the design for the banner develop and this session saw the beginning of sewing happening. We managed in a=our small groups to get the lettering cut out and started some sewing before the session finished and for other in the next groups to continue with. There were so many similar practices happening in this event and the MQB, there shared experience of working on one item was particularly rich.
I am hoping to get along to another session in the future before it is finished but it is during the week and so may not be possible.
Banner section, making some text look like a match.
Top section of the banner; being laid out.
Design for the Banner
Info wall with highlights of research found during previous meetings.
The phrase ‘It Just Went Like Tinder’ was a term used by someone at the time of the incident to describe the reaction of the girls / workers when they decided to take action and not stand for the mistreatment any more.
I cannot remember the name or date of the event but I understand the banner is going to be used as a backdrop for a musical event in Manchester during December. I believe the singer is possibly an artist in resident at the Manchester Peoples History Museum and is doing a concert in response to this residency. Will endeavor to find out more.
I had been over a few times to walk around the park and enjoyed the Kaws exhibition but I had not managed to find time to get up to the Long Gallery or do some sketching. Just before it closed I managed to squeeze 4 hours in and was not disappointed.
These are a fairly typical approach to drawing that I have when I go gallery drawing, I always try to take one sensible pencil case but always end up with at least 3. I then love to sit on the floor and draw what comes to me which may or may not include signs of what i am actually looking at. They are often a hybrid of forms or / and paintings.
In the case of the Kaws exhibition, the drawings are quite suggestive of it with the silhouettes and crosses for eyes. I keep a drawing blog [although not so much this past 18 months] and I went through a phase of about a year when a lot of drawings featured a great big X through them [often in pink or red]. https://drawing.me.uk/
KAWS at YSP Study 1. Pen, ink, pencil on paper. [Perren, 2016]
KAWS at YSP Study 2. Pen, ink, pencil on paper. [Perren, 2016]
KAWS at YSP Study 3. Pen, ink, pencil on paper. [Perren, 2016]
KAWS at YSP Study 4. Pen, ink, pencil on paper. [Perren, 2016]
KAWS at YSP Study 5. Pen, ink, pencil on paper. [Perren, 2016]
I often think of my drawings as being fairly colorful, sitting with the KAWS work made me think otherwise – rather dull.
Tricky one, not keen on the work itself but interested in the process and direct illustrative references as a possible exploration in my own practice for the next phase of the PhD along with the engagement with a textiles materiality.
Haynes is a quilter who is interested in the history of place. He uses cloth that is of / synonymous with a location.
I have realised that I need to develop a greater understanding of some of the materials that I associate with amateur craft makers who particularly rely on shops such as Hobby Craft or Magazines available in local newsagents. I am trying to engage with making as an amateur [which I believe I am] BUT, I operate professionally [in my job] within a design and craft arena in which I have access and a breadth of knowledge of textiles. As a weave tutor, I teach about professional applications of design and as such this requires a high level of engagement with contemporary yarns, dyes, equipment and methods.
I believe that switching and using those materials that we may choose to not use within a design studio but will find in abundance in a local craft’ing’ shop will expand my visual vocabulary.
I have started to tentatively explore this through stitch and am looking forward to the next phase of this research in which i will fully submerge myself in this world of wonderful materials: pom poms, scoobies, hama beads, sequins, ‘fuzzy’ felt sheets and pipe cleaners.
In a few months I will be starting to write a report for the Progression Panel in September. I am a huge fan of mind maps and use them for everything, it is the only way i have found useful when reading texts to break down what I find interesting or useful.
Part of the report will need to discuss how the practice element of this research is going and where it will go. It feels quite up in the air and a little all over the place but these diagrams highlight my thoughts currently.