It is currently the summer holiday between my second and third year, and I was advised to make good use of the time by getting on with some preparation work for next year. I was also told I should try to update my blog at least once a week, so that is exactly what I am going to do.

I have decided to knit a large house, which I will first fill with stuffing and then plaster. While in Cornwall for a week I knitted the first wall, which is 50 stitches wide and square. It took a long time, but I should be able to get all the knitting for the house done over the summer.

I also want to explore colour in relation to knitting, since last year I used whatever wool I could get hold of, regardless of colour. My main inspiration for this comes from the lecture Chris gave last year about his work. I asked him how he chose colour in his work, and he said it was complicated, and couldn’t give me a straightforward answer. Another student chipped in and said sometimes artists choose colours as they go along, in response to the work they are creating. I think she was mainly talking about how painters choose colours as they paint, but I started thinking about how I could knit and choose colours as I go along. As a result, I have decided to create a piece where I chose colours in response to the work as it evolves.

First, I need to get a bit better at changing wool while knitting, so I am currently knitting a small piece to practice this. I am alternating between light blue, dark blue and purple wool, knitting two rows with each before changing to the next colour. I have wanted to created something with very small stripes like this for awhile, since I normally knit things with very big stripes.

Tags: summer work

Artist Research: Rachel Whiteread

It is from this artist my idea to cast the inside of my cushions and houses came from. I like how these pieces capture the texture and shapes from the inside and preserve them, and this is something I wanted to emulate. I feel I have achieved this as the plaster retained the texture of the knitting, and the slight texture of the cotton fabric used for the soft houses.

I also like the detachment from the original object in these pieces - it is clear what has been cast, although by looking at the work we are seeing very common place structures from a new perspective which we are not used to. I feel my cushions capture this best, it is clear they are cushions, although seeing them from the inside, as it were, creates a sort of ambiguity.

Top image found at:


Second image found at:


Third image found at:


Accessed: 22.04.14

Artist Research: Ian Hamilton Finlay

This artist, I would say, has been the biggest influence on my work. When I first saw one of his pieces (one of the stones) I was really drawn to the artist. I admired the perfectionist quality of his work - I liked how all of the letters were perfectly formed and looked as though they had been printed, and I like the smooth finish to the stone (best demonstrated in the first image). I can actually feel the texture of the stone in my mind, and it feels really lovely, very dry.

This is what I wanted to convey in my work. I am angry I do not have the tools, nor the skill, to perfectly carve words into my plaster houses, but I am pleased with the house which I sanded down until I achieved a smooth surface.

Top image found at: http://www.nationalgalleries.org/collection/artists-a-z/F/4872/artist_name/Ian%20Hamilton%20Finlay/record_id/3306

Second image found at: http://urania-josegalisifilho.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/et-in-arcadia-ego-present-order-is.html

Third image found at: http://www.inglebygallery.com/events/trips-to-ian-hamilton-finlays-little-sparta/

Accessed: 22.04.14


Artist Research: Cosima Von Bonin
This is my favourite piece of Von Bonin’s work. It is not only a soft sculpture, like my houses, but is also patterned, like the house I painted on the wall. I love the bright colours and the patchwork element of the piece.
Image available at:
Accessed 11.12.13


Artist Research: Cosima Von Bonin

This is my favourite piece of Von Bonin’s work. It is not only a soft sculpture, like my houses, but is also patterned, like the house I painted on the wall. I love the bright colours and the patchwork element of the piece.

Image available at:


Accessed 11.12.13

Artist Research: Louise Bourgeois

It is from these stacked works by Bourgeois that my Brillo pads piece came from. As I said, when my tutor stacked up my two blue cushions she said they looked like Brillo pads. She then said this reminded her of these pieces by Bourgeois.

These pieces all taper to a almost point, whereas my work does not do this, but I feel I prefer my work as a neat block of pads, very organised and regimental.

Top image found at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/jun/01/louise-bourgeois-art-maman-sculpture

Second image found at: http://artobserved.com/artimages/2012/04/Louise-Bourgeois-Untitled-2000.-Passage-Dangereux-Hamburg-Kunsthalle.jpg

Third image found at: http://fy.rsoo.de/pdfs/louise2/image003.jpg

Accessed: 22.04.14


Artist Research: Cosima Von Bonin

An artist which heavily influenced my work is Cosima Von Bonin, a German artist who makes stuffed toys. My stuffed houses are akin to her work. I really like the soft, cuddly aspect of her work, and this is what I have conveyed in my work.

Images available at:


Accessed 11.12.13

Carrying on from last semester, I am still taking influence from Von Bonin as I am still using my soft houses.

Artist Research: Fiona Banner

This is another artist I looked at, where text dominates the work. I like how the words fill the spaces in these pieces, which creates a very engulfing outcome. Although I feel this is too harsh for my work, and kind of smacks the viewer in the face.

I do prefer the hand written piece as this looks more real and raw - I do not like the font style chosen in the printed pieces as it is too bold and hard to read. The eye reads serif fonts better than sans serif fonts, so this is probably why I prefer the hand written piece. I have used a hand written font in my work, and although I have tried to keep it very neat, I am happy with the personal touch the outcome receives. I feel I would prefer to have used a serif font which looks as though it was printed and not hand carved or stitched, but I do like how the viewer is able to see the indexical sign of the artist through my obvious hand stitching and carving.

Top image found at: http://www.fionabanner.com/works/wallblackhawkdown/index.htm

Second image found at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_pictures/8305619.stm

Third image found at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/banner-dont-look-back-p78533/image-142841

Accessed: 22.04.14

Artist Research: Barbara Kruger

While working with text and writing I looked at several artist who used words. Barbara Kruger is an obvious artist to look at in this respect, very famous for her bold works, and also an artist which I have studied in the past and grew very fond of.

As short pieces of text have been used in these pieces the sans serif font works well to create an impact, and I like this aspect of the work. I feel it is because a sans serif font works well for short pieces of text that I have used a similar font in my work, where most pieces of text are only one word long.

Top image found at: http://www.interviewmagazine.com/art/barbara-kruger#slideshow_49288.1

Second image found at: http://imageobjecttext.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/barbara-kruger-your-body-is-a-battleground-19891.jpg

Third image found at: http://edu.warhol.org/app_kruger.html

Accessed: 22.04.14

Artist Research: Jeff Koons

An artist who has made hard objects which appear to be soft is of course Jeff Koons. His balloon sculpture are quite something and his work is something I really aspire to.

I love how the pieces appear as though they are made from giant balloons, when they are really not, and this was an illusion I hoped to emulate in my work. I feel I have not been as successful as Koons, although I am still pleased with my outcomes.

Top image found at: http://marykatrantzouwho.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/jeff-koons1.jpg

Second image found at: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/leisure/2012/05/14/a-show-of-empty-art/attachment/jeff-koons-sculpture-1/

Third image found at: http://marykatrantzouwho.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/jeff-koons2.jpg

Accessed: 22.04.14

Artist Research: Ed Ruscha

This is another artist who uses words in their art. I like the short messages in this artist’s word, they are very quick and to the point. I also really like the simplistic, yet very calming and pleasing backgrounds to the pieces. The colours blend so subtly and create very interesting colour relationships.

Top image found at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/ruscha-artists-who-make-pieces-ar00057

Second image found at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/ruscha-mad-scientist-ar00051

Third image found at: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/ruscha-pretty-eyes-electric-bills-ar00054

Accessed: 22.04.14