Honing In – Working with a Theme

Based on feedback from my tutor on Assignment 1 I have taken a different approach to the practical exercises in this second part of the course. My aim has been to seriously revisit my approach to my creative practice and to make the exercises in the course work within this rather than seeing them as a separate entity.

With this in mind I decided to work on a particular theme. In the last five years, I have helped to care for several elderly members of the family. It can be hard, sometimes, not to see this as a divide between ‘real life’ and the caring side as something other but they are, in the end, one and same. I had been trying to come up with ideas for a theme to work on for this part of the course but, in between visits to hospitals and care homes, felt bereft of any. At this stage it occurred to me that the theme of ageing offered the chance to explore a subject that is relevant to all of us but is one that we tend to try not to think about.

Some of my ideas are related to particular people or situations but I want to distil this to be more of a consideration of what it is like to be getting older, the thoughts people have and how they feel about increasing frailty and the limitations that age brings.

As an approach, I did some free association of the word ‘ageing’ and based on this began to consider particular strands that could be developed. From an initial list, I collated ideas under broad categories:

  •  What happens (as you get older)
  •  Thoughts on getting older
  •  Anxieties and Fears
  •  Changes to physical features
  •  Aids (to help with failing health)
  •  Activities (in care homes)
  •  Possessions/Loss
  •  Memories

Alongside this I was working on research for Honing In and considering the work of a number of artists. As I went along I felt that, at this stage, the work of several artists could help with the development of this theme.  These included:

  • Ed Ruscha
  • Shani Rhys James
  • Mona Hatoum
  • Gerhard Richter

Finally, I revisited my initial thoughts and decided to look more closely at three areas:

  • What happens as you get older – focusing on stains (from food)
  • Anxieties and Fears
  • Possessions/Loss

Related Pages

Assignment 1 – Feedback and Response – https://katespainting2.wordpress.com/feedback/assignment-1-feedback-and-response/

Practical Exercise 1 – Stains – Initial Exploration

Practical Exercise 2 – Clothing with Liquids

Practical Exercise 3 – Clothing with Foodstuffs

Practical Exercise 4 – Anxieties and Fears – Oil Pastels https://katespainting2.wordpress.com/honing-in/practical-exercise-4-anxieties-and-fears-oil-pastel/

Practical Exercise 5 – Anxieties and Fears – Acrylic