So excited for this! group xhibition invites is here! Opening night on 19th May!
It certainly has been a crazy year. It was challenging, and 100 times harder than second year. I enjoyed second year so much because there were more projects to be explored. I was quite relax entering the first term of my final year. The subject matter I chose was something that I care and passionate about – Alzheimer’s disease/dementia issue. I find myself interested in social and cultural issues that inspire me in giving response that balances content and creativity. At first I was not sure about choosing dementia/Alzheimer’s as my subject matter because I have a personal experience where my late father passed away because of it and it is a sensitive subject. But after few tutorials, I decided that because it has a personal connection therefore it will give more weight to the content.
I started the year through in-depth research i.e. going to dementia related seminar, consultations with a Neuroscientist from Bristol University and also by becoming a Dementia Friends, as well as experimenting with thread and textile to explore the brain parts that could be damaged by Alzheimer’s disease. During the process I realised that thread means so much more than just something that connects objects but also a tool to mend and reconnect. The main process I applied within the whole project is by using soluble fabric that dissolve when washed in water. This process represents the loss of memory, personality, independence and life taken by the disease but also represents a moment of holding the time and memories that slowly disappearing.
I played around with several ideas for the outcome for my project and I feel that I need to express the loss endured everyday by patients of dementia through a multi-sensory installation that explore a bodily- experience (visions and sound). I also think that I need to communicate information about what is Alzheimer’s disease in a form of a book that feature colourful images so that it would attract public to read and understand. I aim to change the old-perception that Alzheimer’s is an age-related illness.
I also find the professional practice workshops (self-promotion) for preparing ourselves to face the real world once we finish the degree is very valuable to me. I need to build my confidence up and make more works so that I can build my professional portfolio. Including myself in group exhibition also helps me in building network and seeing what is the art world reality is. It is also a way of promoting my work and practice as an illustrator with principles. I understand that as an illustrator I want to put myself as a facilitator to communicate social & cultural issue that need to change, challenge the authority that put public’s needs behind them by being part of the change.
I’m definitely going to miss my final year. It has thought me so much about myself and things that I really care about. Things that I need to improve and even tho I has been a long journey, I have certainly grow a lot as an illustrator. I’m looking forward to my gap year and enjoy myself before planning for the future with master degree study.
I always try to be on top of things and be organised and I did not think that I could feel this much pressure and tiredness at the same time until penultimate night of show build where things went not as planned. My preparation for the degree show has become a bit more of a priority at the beginning of term two. Days after my proposal for the exhibition display is approved, I started to do some research to get cheap breakfast table & chairs from the internet. While looking for the perfect furniture set, I wanted to do my second fabric newspaper, unfortunately the stock fabric was not available so I ended up remaking my 1st fabric newspaper with hand embroidery, in which meant it’s taking the time that I don’t have left to do other project. Once the newspapers are stitched, I made a model of the multi-sensory installation from doll-house furniture and foam board so that I can see what would it look like when the newspaper is suspended from the ceiling. The installation will also include buzzing sound using a headphone and a book explaining about Alzheimer’s disease. The book is meant to give an interesting new-way of looking at brain parts and its functions that could be damaged by the disease. The book was made by hand stitch and machine titled Alzheimer’s: within. Up until the crucial two-weeks of show build, I’ve made plans of what things I want to do first for my designated space and help each fellow out so that we can have a fantastic show, but unfortunately expectation and reality are two different things. I had fun and learnt so much from building our show and space. I learnt that compromise is the key to a great show, especially when we have limited space and time. Although, I do feel guilty for asking the show supervisor and technicians for help. I feel that I would rather do things by myself and I was not able to communicate my thoughts and plans smoothly and clearly. I was afraid of sounding like a demanding student. Nevertheless, I honestly cannot fault the help and assistant I received from everyone.
While working toward my degree show, I joined a group exhibition with my fellow final students (16 students). The Within/Without exhibition at PAPERArts, Bristol was a very valuable experience as it was my first “organised by our own show”. I learnt about curating the art and space from other students who had the experience before me. I also used the group show as a platform to practice my team work skill, networking and confidence.
For my own promotional reason, I sent our invitation to several organisations that deals with dementia such as the local Cardiff Alzheimer Society, Life org, carer org and CARIAD and SURPS members. The feedback I received so fas is that they are pleased with my reportage illustration – embroidery work and they are planning to go and see my work at the opening day. One positive thing that came out of sending personal invites is opening opportunity for me to be a part of group exhibition at Llandough Hospital gallery, University Hospital Wales. The show is meant for participating in the dementia week. The show will run from 9th May to 1st June, 2016. The object I am displaying are the brain parts which functions are significant for a person’s life.
I’ve decided to send separate invitation to the summer show to several organisations that I had good cooperation with, i.e. CARIAD, SURPS members & Alzheimer’s society, other artist whose work had dealt with dementia issue and also to few carer company and life org. The invitation is especially set up for them to view my work. I’ve received good responses back and hopefully I will meet few of them at preview night or at the opening which make me feel more nervous actually.
Although, by sending out personal invitation has opened up good opportunity for me to exhibit my work. One of a good response I received is from NHS gallery manager who is interested in displaying my work at their gallery. They have organised a Dementia/Memory exhibition at Llandough hospital which I will be joining from 9th May to 1st of June, 2016. This is a great opportunity to be part of dementia week and raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease outside of university.
As a result of digital networking a.k.a. sending digital invitation to chosen organisations, I have been given an opportunity to be part of my Alzheimer’s project work in Threads: Memory in focus group exhibition at Llandough hospital gallery at University Hospital Wales in Cardiff. The show will run from 9th May to 1st June, 2016 and opening night will be on the 19th of May. I feel blessed that I’m able to participate at this exhibition as it is being held during the dementia week and I hope that my work could reach wider viewers and shine light to Alzheimer’s disease issue.
Professional practice workshop with Dan Peterson was absolutely helpful and insightful. It gave me an understanding of what it is like to be an artist/illustrator in the world of art and design, the need of building network and knowing how much our work is worth. Job competition is looking tough but so long as I understand what makes myself unique and stand out then hopefully the future won’t be so frightening.
Preparing the physical and digital portfolio was also a valuable workshop. Dan gave us input of what is necessary to prepare and things that need to be rid off, for example is like I have to always update the portfolio and to have a physical portfolio that is rearrangeable depends on the company/agency that I will be applying to.
In regards with creative CV, I attended few workshop with Uni’s career adviser. My CV is now based on structure that is changeable depends in what type of job I’m applying for. I also need to consider the visual impact of it so that my CV would be memorable enough for future employer to call me for an interview.
I also made a website with my domain name, and other social media accounts such as instagram & twitter to promote my work. All this is important so that I can have a place in the digital work and would be easy to search from the search engine.
And part of my self promotion pack, I’ve made a set of business card, CV and portfolio postcards ready to be sent out.
After few discussion with Prof Zunner from Bristol University and attended Alzheimer’s: beyond the gene? seminar, I feel that it is important to inform the general public about Alzheimer’s disease through a form of ambook that is full with colourful images and important info about it. The intention is so that public can learn about the disease and how it affects someone’s life & community as well as enjoy reading it through the interesting images.