Throughout the Figurative Modelling Field module I learnt a lot about different types of clay, how best to work with it, as well as how to create body parts in the best way depending on the clay type. These workshops really helped me to figure out what I wanted to carry on doing for the rest of the year, as I enjoyed working with clay so much I decided to carry on using it in my Subject work.
In Figurative Modelling the first thing we did was life drawing, and it was made very clear that drawing is extremely important in building bodies with clay. Therefore, I spent a lot of time going to life drawing classes and trying to get a better understanding of how the body looks, of movement as well as the different forms the body can make. I did a lot of this in my sketchbook work, and then continued to make larger life drawings. I found that this did in fact help a lot when it came to building my bodies out of clay.
Another part of this module was going to Art Galleries; we went to Craft in the Bay and Bay Art. Both of these galleries were very interesting, but the artists that most stood out to me was Richard St John Heeley and Christie Brown in Craft in the Bay and Alex Hanna in Bay Art. Richard Heeley particularly stood out to me as the energy of his drawings seemed to give him a real knowledge before he painted his vessels- therefore giving him a better understanding of what the materials feel like. There was also a sense of flow and movement in his work; it seemed that it isn’t always about vision, rather the energy of the mark making. Whilst I found Christie Browns sculptures the most interesting, especially how disjointed they are. I also liked how her sculptures are so peculiar as they are a mixture between animals and humans. It seems that Christie Brown likes to use a lot of drawing to help develop her work, it’s almost as if she’s pre-designing her clay sculptures- transferring her drawing skills into ceramics. Working in an iterative way, she seems to develop from her drawings. When she came to University to talk to us she emphasised how our brains will start to make new connections to different ways of thinking through drawing- the more you push yourself and test different approaches to drawing and clay. Whilst at Bay Art Gallery the majority of the work exhibited didn’t appeal to me, however I did like the textures and bland use of colour in Alex Hanna’s pieces.
For our Figurative Modelling exhibition we had to work in groups, and display our work in the Art Departments foyer. The work consisted of different pieces by each of us (in a group of 5 people) that we have done over the length of time that we have done Field. Our original idea was to focus on the head and body parts, to have the head on a plinth and then hang ‘insides’ from the head with string, then have the legs underneath stood on the floor. We would then surround this almost Frankenstein-like creature with our paintings and drawings.