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Pinterest and Hannah Lamb

A social media site that I find extremely helpful, relevant and creative is Pinterest.  It is a kin to a journal/notebook but is even quicker in it's process.  It's a case of creating your own Boards (folders) and putting in there what is relevant for you.  I have been on it for a few years now and it is a site where I feel I am actually being productive on the internet and it leads me to some very exciting artists, designers, work etc.  When I was working on my last piece of work I was using Pinterest a lot to look for techniques that might interest me and also to look back at artists and just things which I had recorded on my Boards from the past.

An artist that was appearing quite often in work I was admiring was British artist, Hannah Lamb.  Hannah lectures part-time at Bradford School of Arts & Media and works mainly in textiles and photography within her own work.  I think her work and techniques are very beautiful - subtle, vulnerable, delicate, experimental and all with a sense of spontaneity.  Her work carries an energy that I am very drawn to. 

'Postcards From Saltaire' by Hannah Lamb - 100 prints using weeds collected from the streets of Saltaire for the Saltaire Arts Trail 2013

Below please find links to Hannah's blog and website.


And lastly my Pinterest page.


Sampling at the Studio

Leading up to Fragmented Body (see below) I was doing a lot of sampling and experimenting in the studio.  I am interested in primitive printing and dyeing techniques where the first few outcomes are usually unknown and I like to treat it similarly to a scientific experiment, recording the process so I know for the future what works and what does not.  I used reactive dye, tea and bleach to create patterns and marks with mixed results, mostly positive and something learned from each one.


The Fragmented Body

This is my most recent piece of work for exhibition.  It is called Fragmented Body and is based on a charcoal life-drawings. I am regularly challenged with how I can combine my drawing and textile work. The most practical solution for me is to see the drawing as one component to a finished piece. I dislike the word finished for an art work as I think one project always leads on to another rendering all work technically unfinished and in process, a new technique or skill learned each time. But for argument sake I am going to call this piece the finished work. The body was the inspiration and starting point, next came the working drawings and then the wire became the material to draw with and eventually the thread so there are then layers of lines involved in the finished piece.

This piece is of a woman's torso, the fabric reflecting skin and the different qualities it takes on over time.  The thread I hope creates movement, shadows and depth on the body, allowing it to take on a life of its own.


The Mechanics of Creativity

When I reach the moment that I know I am in productivity, it offers such clarity and I feel a lightness in my head that before reaching this point was heavy and blocked. I never think I am going to reach this point where I WANT to work and I WANT to produce. At the beginning stages it always seems just to difficult and I have a mental block that nothing is going to happen.

Thankfully I have a fairy godmother in the form of my own Mum. She's wonderful and without me having to say much she offers help and guidance in unexpected ways that open up possibilities for working. This time it was in the form of a Monty Python no less.  I don't even think she's much of a fan....Anyway John Cleese came to the rescue with this wonderful discussion on Creativity (I think it's deserving of a big C) Cleese discusses the psychology of creativity and his experience of it within his own work.

After watching the video, I began to produce and produce. I made myself produce 20 pieces a day for the last three days and possibilities have opened because of that. It wasn't a case that the video offered me ideas for work but more it offered solutions and a kind of 'How to' guide for at least setting yourself up in the right environment for creative work.  I would recommend anyone watch it, whatever your chosen career path.