MA Blog (July)
Whats it all about?
After thoughts on performances so far...
Props in 'Cut Flowers #3'
Props added something new. My favourite being a teddy that I used in the performance to mimic a baby, and also swung about playfully as if I were a child. It gave me the ability to confuse the role I was playing between a housewife/mother and child.
The props almost allowed me to play out different roles/situations, like a child pretending in their room. It felt playful but at the same time helped me to realise why I might be doing this.
Lie with Flowers in ‘Cut Flowers #2’:
There is something in this. I find it exciting because I do not know why I did it but it just felt right at the time. I had just finished the kicking and the sorting and I actually felt quite emotional, as if I had lost myself in some sort of release. It felt right to lie with the flowers for a while.
I just wanted to spend time with them (they sort of anthropomorphised at that moment).
But who/what were they? Why did this happen? I need to think about this more.
Pinning Flowers to Dress:
This works as almost the opposite of cutting flowers out of the dress. In ‘Cut Flowers #2’ I am layering flowers on top of the original floral print of the dress. It feels as though I am deciding how my flowers will look. I am spending time choosing from the flowers on the table and meticulously laying them how I want them on the dress.
They do not sit completely comfortably. The way the flowers are pinned on, they look pretty but there is a sharpness to them that can easily prick the skin. I enjoy the conflict of comfort and discomfort.
In ‘Cut Flowers #3’ I purposely wore a plain contrasting colour dress to the rest of the space, so that I did not fully fit into that domestic environment. But I then started to pin the flowers I had cut out onto my dress in random places. In this performance it felt as if I was trying to force myself to fit in with the domestic space, like I was trying to become part of it whilst still cutting it away.
The empty embroidery rings I think are powerful. There is almost a sense of freedom about it, as if all the flowers that were trapped inside the ring have been freed.
I like the throwing away, and the screwing up. Like I am almost annoyed at the flowers, and want to get rid of them as fast as possible.
The slight bit of time between cutting it out of the fabric and crushing it is interesting. It almost feels like I am considering whether or not to do it. Examining the flower- feels contemplative. (Exaggerating the feeling of confusion/conflict).
My particular favourite location to cut was sat on the floor under the shelf. It felt slightly private, and childlike, as if I had made a den with the fabric. I enjoyed the more playful elements of the performance.
I like the way that the cutting differs in each space. In ‘Cut Flowers #3’ it felt much more like I was cutting away the domestic space, as opposed to cutting/crafting in the space like in 'Cut Flowers #2'.
The way I worked my way around the space, cutting the rug away whilst sitting on it, and cutting the curtains and walls away. It did feel like I was actually living in the space whilst destroying it.
Was it destroying or re-making/recreating?
In ‘Cut Flowers #3’ there is confusion around how I feel about being in this ‘feminine’ space/doing ‘feminine’ tasks. I am trying to cut myself out of the environment I am trapped in.
Wrapping the fabric round myself feels as if I am becoming one with the environment.
Hands/fabric/camera/scissors- relationship between these elements.
Creating order out of the mess I had created.
The sorting element really allows me to explore different states of mind. Mindless because I am sorting fast with out thinking, or mindful because i am present in that moment and completely focused. Also elements of mind-full slip in, where i lose myself in other distracted thoughts, and mind numbing as it becomes monotonous repetition. Interesting to explore how we control these states of mind, or how they control us.
Removing the pattern out of the fabric and recreating a new pattern- remaking/redesigning the floral fabric.
It puts across the idea of conflicted feelings I have been exploring. Spending time lining the flowers up, to then push the flowers of the table back into mess.
Slowly pushing the flowers to the edge off the table and then letting them over hang the edge as much as they can without falling- I like this feeling of tension.
I examine them in my hand before throwing them on the floor…every flower I have spent time cutting out to then discard, I am now spending time looking at and feeling, before discarding them once more onto the floor- conflict.
Stacking them is visually interesting. Brings the 2D flowers back into 3D- begins to feel sculptural, like I am sculpting again.
For me it captures my conflicting feelings about notions of femininity. The cutting was finished, but then trying to tidy up the space whilst rebelling against myself was interesting- I wanted to play and make a mess. It was such an interesting state of mind to be in.
Something once quite feminine, together, and tidy, now a mass of messed up flowers.
The way they all start in small neat piles, so compacted that they look tiny. Like there are hardly any flowers there. Then as soon as you start to kick them apart, there are hundreds, just a giant mess. Like an explosion of flowers.
I think on the time lapse you do not get a full feeling of how long I am gathering the flowers for- the long amount of time it takes to sort things, only for them to be destroyed in a split second of rebelliousness.
When I push all the flowers together for the second time and really try and squeeze them in to balls, there’s an interesting feeling of frustration. Like I really want them to stay together… but no matter how much I force them they just fall apart again (desperation).
In the performance, this felt like the moment that I really lost myself in it. Where I just sit and look at the mess I have made around me (again), feels the most powerful to me. A moment of ‘can I really force myself to tidy it up again?’- Sense of obligation about it, I had to.
Organising Piles of Flowers:
It started off quite relaxing but soon became like torture, I just couldn’t wait to end. Seven and a half hours I sat there sorting flowers…every bit of my body wanted to move and give up, but this challenge felt exactly like what it was all about for me. Patience: the ultimate feminine quality.
This is definitely, where the ‘painful obligation’ stage of the repetitive act came in to play.
There is a sense of the mindless creation about some of the ordering. The way I am frantically sorting them, arranging and rearranging them. Like I am trying to get them into an order that I am not sure of just yet.
Contrasts interestingly with the moment of contemplation before I sweep them off the table in one movement of frustration.
The slower pace of organising was much more mindful.