This video is made by recording the movement of play dough using photography, narrated by snippets of a political speech. Play dough was made by me using an online recipe and food dye. After sculpting my characters and writing a story board, I set my stage with tungsten lights and a white background. I recorded each small increment of movement using a digital camera set on a tripod. The sound comprises music put together in the program ‘garage band’ and a political speech cut up to narrate the animation. The statements are accompanied by comical visuals animated to add to these statements using everyday nature as puns. Words appear on screen and is highlighted by a bouncing ball reiterating the statements, adding a karaoke type of atmosphere that brings forth, to me, a sense of frivolity. This piece started the political satire aspect in my work.
The silhouette, named after French minister Etienne de Silhouette, usually refers to the representation of an object, person or scene as a solid singular shape of colour. The Egyptians and the Greeks both lay claim to this artform but two things agreed upon are: it originated in tracing lines around the human shadow and it was thought that accurate information about a person’s age and gender could be discerned from it.
Countless artists have utilized the silhouette in their work, but the artist who has influenced me with her use of the silhouette is Kara Walker. She has extended the idea of the silhouette to encompass race, social status and sexuality as well as gender and age. By presenting us with ‘simple’ cut outs and allowing them to interact with each other, Walker forces us to confront several issues.
Kara Walker 1994-1995 Series
In my own artwork, where I see sports as a microcosm of the greater society, the silhouette plays an important role as well. While Walker has made the outline a major strength of her work, I have instead decided to use the silhouette as a canvas and fill it with images. Therefore, the outline of the athlete acts as a container which I fill with the ideas and stereotypes we so often associate with them. It is far less of a silhouette of the athlete, but more a silhouette of society’s ideas about them. The images below are examples of my work along with the famous silhouettes of athletes.
I have been exploring the idea of ‘the filling of time’. To go about this I have chosen to use techniques such as crochet, knitting, and tatting. Time consuming processes that i believe are connected to the idea that i have developed over the last year. For me each stitch made represents a moment in time. Much like the spirals in my brown paper drawings. A complete piece is then a log of the time passed and filled.
Below is an image of a piece i crocheted. I’m considering continuing this piece to make it progressively larger, until i have decided on that i have started another crochet piece. I am considering strategically dying the white crocheted piece to give it some contrast in colour. Indications have been made that the piece as it stands now may be too decorative. That is something i must figure out how to change.
Onward with the work.
As I take a look back, I recall the beginning of the second year of the BFA program when I was to come up with a proposal of what I would be investigating. My first proposal started off like this:
Proposal for Advance Studio (29 Aug 2011)
“Politricks” according to Urbandictionary.com “Originally a Jamaican term meaning…politicians tricking the public and playing games”. ‘Politricks’ came as a result of my trip back to St Lucia where I worked for the summer vacation. I was exposed first hand to a number of circumstances that came as a shocker when I saw politicians and their colleagues fool the public into believing how accountable, ethical and transparent they were while corruption created a stench in the air. My aim is to show and explore a few facets of the term Politricks and express my views along with the views of others in the form of painting, sculpture, video and mixed media.
“Sitting of the House” is a piece that explains what happens in Parliament. Politicians tear each other apart with their words during sitting of the house and it is sometimes about who is going to remain on top and who will be put down. Most times the real issues are not addressed and one leader is spending time discussing the corruption of another. A number of chairs are going to be deconstructed and then reconstructed into the form of a lifeless body.
The piece I call “Smooth Talk” is about the beautiful, colourful talk that leaders give in order to persuade people to vote for them. It consist of a foam head that is covered with magazine clippings of words and political newspaper clippings. Some of the articles are shredded and stuck to the head in order to portray fluff that comes out of the speeches of the leaders. This bust is placed in a ballot box made out of plexi glass.
Some speeches cause leaders to commit “Political Suicide” if they do not live up to the expectation of the people. This piece a gun cut out from a book that is based on politics. This book is about the Jamaican voice and the speeches of P.J. Patterson. Using political satire in the form of a gun, the piece will say that PJ Patterson experienced many obstacles that could have cause for him political suicide and it will also pun on the fact that Jamaica has the highest murder rate in the world because of the number of illegal guns.
Is political suicide coming as a result of a people who are inexperienced where politics is concerned because of such a long period of colonization? My next piece is going to be about three children sitting together, however they will be like puppets on strings. One will cover her eyes, the other cover his ears and the last one will cover his mouth. The children will represent countries in the Caribbean that are being hung on strings by the Metropolitan countries or their influences. I intend to use mixed media, such as photography, painting, drawing and ink.
‘Sitting of the House’
Did not come about as I found difficulty finding old chairs for this investigation.