I signed up for a tutorial with Clinton as I have not spoken to him about my work in a while. I was wanting to speak to him about my concerns with my negotiated professional platform and make sure I am hitting the points I need to as well as asking him if it is OK to use some of my MA time to deviate away from the context of gender and test whether I can illustrate with clay and deliver to an editorial or publishing context.
We began by talking about the Tittymama army and how he felt that I was having an interesting discussion around my Pecha Kucha. After going through the issues mentioned on the day, it became apparent that the experience was not as negative as I came away feeling. I can use the suggestions to defend and determine my work and own it. We spoke about how I felt I was not delivering the Tittymamas to an audience but giving the women they represented a space deliberately not considering the audience. If the piece is responding to how we are seen, it is contradictory to design the piece around the people who are looking at it. The event of coming together, of collaborating, of giving people a voice and the space they are entitled to is what it is about. I am being put in touch with Sarah Lawton whose practice is based around collaboration ans Helen Felcey who is helping preserve ceramic workshop spaces and working to bring people to the institutions that still have workshops in use. I mentioned how I felt like I had hit a wall with the project as I was reaching out to people and asking for people to come together or share experience and was not really getting anyone latch on to the idea apart from white women. I said I felt that this was not the way I wanted to go with the project. He suggested that the project has to start somewhere even if I can not get anyone to physically turn up and join in. He also mentioned maybe not focussing on the project as an art or craft project as people may feel that there had to be a certain level of skill involved. Or maybe I could test homemade playdough recipes that people could make their models out of and photograph them and send them to me so I have an archive, a record of dialogue. I had not originally thought that this could be a barrier to interaction, if people do not feel they are artists, why would they feel they were able to contribute? It was also mentioned how I could test different patterns and uses of colour of different ethnicities and religions to represent a part of the community to put onto the figures. When discussing the possibility of offending people by asking to speak to people, Clinton thought that it might be beneficial to speak with different communities but acknowledge that it could provoke difficult reactions and discussions but progress can’t be made by having no dialogue at all. I will contact some of the societies and communities within the university and try. It seems that there is some possibility with the project yet and all options haven’t been exhausted.
I addressed the worries I am having about employability after I leave and how I don’t want to be making work just to tick boxes for my MA. I told him I was worried after my pecha kucha and after the AOI talk that my work, and myself, could be interpreted as negative and therefore I will put off many commissioners. He said he finds the work humourous and it illustrated people and the absurdity of gender expectations and if I concentrate on my visual language, including my image making before branching out to clay, clients will source me out. People who want my work purely for aesthetic reasons and can see the work in a different context, and those who are looking for that deeper, more investigative work rather than work purely for decoration. I could also find funding to work with communities and within the cultural sector. If I have something to say, I should not really sacrifice that to work for anyone; I should keep my integrity and people will value that. I asked whether it would be OK for me to take time away and experiment with clay to see if I can use it for other areas of illustration that I am interested in working with and he said definitely. I should see it as a drawing tool. My work will have to be seen in 2D form. Illustration is largely about being able to reproduce an image and disseminate. My work will only be viewed by a handful of people if it is always in a gallery setting. Where that is an option, it would be good to play with how the images look after photographing them, drawing over them, making prints of them, drawing from them; pushing them as far as they can go.
For professional platforms, I need to fill out the negotiated option form and send it over to him. I need to document everything I can and keep up with the blog. Use what I have got to show I could produce a lesson plan on my own due to the experience I have gained and the professional insight and reality of working in an educational institution. It would be beneficial if I could have visual evidence but there will be some ethical issues. I will have to receive parental consent to take photos of workshops or ask for the tutor to take the images for me and cover this my getting his consent. I could also take photographs of the students work with their permission and credit them. It seems there will be enough for me to go on.