Picking on the idea of daffodils being related to rebirth, which cannot occur without death and prior to that, birth. I started to make connections between humans and the acceptance or non acceptance of the concept of rebirth and started to document some photos.
I decided to create a set of illustrations based on the concept of the daffodil being seen as a symbol of rebirth which is a belief amongst certain religious groups, with rebirth being a form of transition from one state to another. This is almost directly linked to the human experience as humans, like daffodil bulbs, go through go through a time frame before sprouting and making contact with sunlight. ( this can be likened to the gradual growth of the foetus before breaking out of the womb to see sunlight).
The illustrations were done in a sequential order to communicate the idea of transition/growth.
These illustrations were done on canvas boards with the intention of being made as limited edition art pieces (mounted and framed) and also as prints on tote bags from recyclable fabrics which mirror the cycle/idea of rebirth being in line with the concept of reincarnation.
The aim of embarking on this project was to as with all briefs, meet the requirements set out by the brief but more importantly explore the application of information learnt (new techniques and approaches learnt via workshops and personal exploration). It accorded me the opportunity to be able to know more about the rich heritage that Denby holds, with initial focus being on its strengths which were; it is a well-established brand with a history of over 200 years, is a well-recognised collective pf potters and ceramists who have produced goods of extremely durability and quality, with a great level of functionality.
It must also be noted that Denby has maintained a consistent level in style with distinct motifs and patterns which are mainly floral.
In attempting to satisfy the requirements of the brief, the groups involved with this project had to deal with the inconsistencies that came with the changing landscape of the brief as it went from “occasions” being the main subject matter of the brief (which focused on making references to decoration and colour and floral patterns) with Denby’s style being put into consideration, to contrasting with focus being redirected at observation of London as a major influence from the perspective of a tourist in a new environment. The direction of the project then took a different turn as we were urged to work towards the creation of two outcomes; one aimed towards the satisfaction of the requirement set out by Denby, and the other based on our experiences and our ability to capture certain observations from the view point of tourists.
Another major reason why my anticipation for the project was high was the opportunity to learn the art of transferring images and art onto ceramic wares. Although I had hoped for the opportunity to play with slip clay in order to create my own uniquely shaped pieces but because of the cost and time involved, this did not come to fruition. Also, it must be noted that another high point that I had looked forward to was working within the group of students as this was the first time since the first year (city collective) that individuals within the year would work on a collective project, but with the transition of time this then turned out to be another project I just wanted behind me because of the lack of enthusiasm displayed by certain individuals within the group which was far from encouraging and very draining if I have to be very raw in expressing myself.
In tackling the project from the perspective of a tourist on a journey to experiencing certain parts of London,
I embarked on playing around the south bank region with this forming the major basis for my final outcome. While I wish I had gone in-depth with regards to more research, more commitment to the project and a different set of outcomes, my focus on the illustrating my experience of the iconic skyline that London has been bestowed with, and observing from a very high view point was certainly a highlight of the project and capturing that emotion was what I intended to convey with my illustrations. The response gotten for the design sent to Denby was a bit lukewarm. While they commended that the illustration was nice, they then went ahead to state that “is a bit too similar to people will always need plates”. This I did not understand They however mentioned that they would prefer it if I applied a reverse effect t the design which was then done prior to the slip transfer being applied and the plate fired.
On working with individuals within the group, I’d like to use this opportunity to give an individual breakdown of my assessment of their contribution to the group and how such contributions affected the progress of the group
Lizzie: The one who should have led the group. Lizzie’s selfless approach was highly remarkable and her ability to stay the course of the project making sure everyone was in consistent contact with each other was impressive. Her consistent communication with group members on issues relating to the projects’ progress was encouraging.
Ashleigh: Ashleigh was integral to the group being together. Her consistency with regards to staying in contact with group and update on progress being made as it concerned her was impressive.
Charlie: Charlie is one person who obviously works hard when by himself, but as being part of the group seemed indifferent. He maintained an average level of communication with the group which I feel could have been much better.
Cheshona: The acclaimed leader of the group. If anything, it took boldness to be able to step up to the plate to assume role of the group and this was well applauded by everyone within the group. That act in itself seemed to be the major undoing of the group. In general, dealing with group members wasn’t an issue but Cheshona’s approach and attitude was poor. The level of communication was beyond belief as she was very disconnected from the group, leaving group members to resort to getting the needed information for the group’s project from other individuals. That basic information from group leader meetings with Stuart Varley which should have been relayed to every member of the group immediately hardly go to us was very worrying. This for me was a blatant display of lack of respect for every member of the group. While I tried to confront the issue head-on, with time I gave up and gradually found myself pushing to get information from a variety of sources which would then be fed to others. Being verbally abusive towards individuals who speak the truth concerning the lack of commitment to the group is not an attribute well suited to any leader and neither should it be an attribute anyone within any group should display as it disrupts the contributions and unison within any group.
I’d like to add that I am in no way perfect or better than anyone in the group, but when things seemed to go overboard with certain attitudes being displayed, I wish I had called a meeting regarding someone else taking over as the group leader and in my opinion, Lizzie would have fit that position quite well.
Over all, it was an experience that could have been much better than what was gotten out of it. The attitude of the leader seemed to drain everyone and forced a majority of us to act in isolation which was not the point of the collaborative project in my opinion. I sincerely wish that there was more time to be able to attack the project from another angle as I do not believe I gave the total attention it deserved, but at this point I can’t complain. I can only work towards making my work and process much better than what has been delivered in this project.