How do you fancy being a part of my next piece of artwork?
Don’t worry, I haven’t gone a bit weird and started trying my hand at those group videos where thousands of people strip off in a wild and inaccessible place and get photographed whilst looking like a wave or something!
Do any of you remember my glove flowers from a few years back? You may have even contributed some old gloves (thank you once again if you did). Well this time, I am after old mouse mats, and my intention is to convert them in to “canvases” for my Internet Icons, and those icons will be stylized versions of your faces.
Let me explain a little bit more.
A couple of years ago I discovered the art of Sandra Silbersweig, a Canadian Artist who’s work hit just the right note for where I was in my life. So I started to play with my interpretations of her images and came up with this double page journal spread.
From that I developed my polymer clay brooches you see here.
Loving the direction of travel, I decided that this would be a great way to develop my ideas for the next Nolitex exhibition at the Steel Rooms in Brigg, North Lincolnshire in July this year. The title of the exhibition is I Exist In Two Places – here and where you are. The title comes from a poem (rather bleak ) by Margaret Atwood. It seemed to perfectly reflect the way we communicate and the connections we make, particularly with the rise of social media and the internet, but also applicable to every other form of communication: As I write this blog post, I am sat in my studio, but when you read it, I am there with you in your home. As I demonstrate on Jewellery Maker TV, I am both in the studio and in your living room. And you are too when you send me Facebook messages – or make a phone call for example
So last night, in one of my many wakeful moments, I had a brain wave. Why don’t I ask you to send me an old mouse mat and a photograph of yourself with your name on the back, and I will turn you into one of my Funky Faces and you will become part of my artwork for everyone to see.
Through social media, I am asking all my virtual and not so virtual friends (note, I did not say virtuous!) to send me something physical to turn into artwork that depicts the nature of the means of our communication. The very canvas that the work will be created on is your mouse mats that are inextricably linked to computers and our means of communication. You will be part of my art!
To give you a bit more of an idea of the sort of images I am working towards, you can see below some of my developmental drawings, journal and sketchbook pages.
Watercolours on watercolour paper – an attempt to depict the less than lovely side of the internet – trolls and stalkers.
Playing with just one feature and a different background
Journal page – playing with the faces and some doodling
Watercolour and gold leaf – the idea of the Internet Icon was born
Sketchbook pages of my icons, thinking about religious iconography and the shapes of the panels
Arriving at something I am happier with – these faces will have the gold leaf in them, and are in little rounded boxes that give a nod to the icons you have on your phone or your computer. This is where the idea of the mouse mats came from when I was considering what I would use as my substrate.
I am really hoping you will get on board with this idea, and want to have your face (changed beyond recognition probably!) as one of my Icons of The Internet. If you like the idea and want to take part, then I would love you to send your mouse mats and picture of yourself (can be face on, in profile, recent or old, but it needs to be clear enough for me to see your features well) to 61 Shelford Road, Radcliffe On Trent, Notts. NG12 1AJ.
The only thing is, I need to get cracking on this, so if you could possibly send them to me before the end of February, that would be absolutely fantastic. I have everything crossed that you like the idea and want to be a part of it. And of course I will keep you posted on the progress, and if you give me your email address, I will send you a picture of your finished mouse mat, as well as a picture of the whole piece of work.
I have put a feedback form below, so you can let me know what you think, and if you want to let me know that you will be sending me a mouse mat, or if you have any questions to ask me about the project.