Field ReflectionPosted: May 29, 2016
For my field module this year, I did a 10 week project called Fo[u]r Rooms during which we designed and installed the interior of one of four ‘glass box’ rooms in the university. Part one, which was before Christmas, was all about the research, designing and material experimentation and part two was the making and installations.
In part one, I was put into a team of 8 and we chose post modernism and nostalgia as our themes. I did a lot of individual research on what sort of thing I associated with my own childhood, and what made me feel nostalgic about the 90’s. Everyone in the team was a ’90’s baby’, and everyone using the room while it was installed would either have been born in, or lived through this decade, therefore if we stuck to this theme well, would relate. We looked at all aspects of the 1990’s, including television shows, music, fashion, junk food and toys.
These two themes link together really nicely in terms of colour palette and shapes and we worked with this and kept in in mind while designing each component for the room. Our proposal for the room was colourful, playful and humorous, which set us apart from the other three teams. The only worry at this stage was the fine line between this sort of theme looking tacky and over done, and a professional looking, well executed room.
One thing that was a problem for our team was that we were all from very art/textile backgrounds with little knowledge of how to construct furniture. To over come this, we stuck with the original chairs in the room and the only thing that was made was the table, which was created around an existing one.
My individual responsibilities in the team were the seating – cushions to go onto the existing chairs – and the artwork to be displayed on one of the walls. I also helped another team member to create the television stand out of VHS tapes.
For the frames, I decided on doing something to do with the food that we remember eating as children, and I looked at a number of artists for inspiration. There were six frames in total (which were bought second hand and spray painted bubblegum pink) and all of the pieces in them were stitch based. They portrayed ‘Fab’ ice lollies, party rings, iced gems, marshmallows, ‘rocket lollies’ and battenberg cake. These were then paired with digitally stitched lyrics from hit songs released n the 90’s, from artists such as Bewitched and the Spice Girls. I felt that it was important to get a reference to the music of the era into the room because for me personally, this was one of the things that defined my childhood.
With the eight cushions, I decided to make them to look like love heart sweets, in order to carry on the theme of childhood food with the frames. The heart outlines were done on the machine using a satin stitch and the lettering was done using digital embroidery. The fabric used was a white moleskin which was perfect for replicating the soft dusty surface of a love heart.
I enjoyed constructing these and learning how to create covers for circular foam pads, and how to insert a zip neatly.
For the installation, we were given one night to have everything up and completed.
I think the cushions worked really well and was very happy with how they looked on the chairs.
I also created a comments book for the room, which was a simple sketchbook with a digitally embroidered fabric cover. I’d never made one of these before and was very happy with the outcome.
The television stand was very difficult to transfer from the place that we made it up to the room, but once there looked very effective. I also had a lot of comments about it after installation so am very happy with the outcome.
I did some research in the first half about how the sense of smell can be powerful in helping to recall memories, so we hid some bubblegum air fresheners which created a very sickly sweet aroma in the room.
Personally I took a lot from this project and think that I can apply some of these new skills and attitudes to my subject work.