As I moved on from my work in the first part of the year, I planned on experimenting with the idea of making tools. In particular, tools and pieces of cutlery to restrict gluttonous or greedy behaviour. My initial thoughts were to alter and modify different tools and cutlery in lots of different ways, to rearrange knives, forks and spoons. Then to create pieces of cutlery out of inappropriate materials to lessen their utility. To start off I created some pages of possible materials which would be unexpected for a fork or knife to be made from. I suggested tissue paper, sponge, wax, ribbon, cotton, papier maché, aluminium tin foil, cling film and others. Many materials are found domestic items. From this I created textile cutlery with cotton and salt to make 'bean-bag' items such as knives, forks, spoons and chopsticks.
I then created matchstick items with the use of extra long matches and wire. I also made some wire frames in order to hold together pieces of ribbon and fabrics but I liked the effect of the frames on their own and so I left them like that. As well I have experimented with the use of melted wax and how it can be manipulated and shaped to create new things. My work has been quite exploratory so far, through the experimentation of different materials and the unknown results of their manipulation. My interests lie in observing behaviour and creating tools and interesting objects to use. Objects made from materials which are familiar to the viewer yet unexpected and unfamiliar to the object's utility. One material which has particularly caught my attention in the use of paper. Paper and origami is something I have experimented with, illustrators and artists who predominantly use paper in their work have inspired me to work with this material. I researched origami and looked at origami cutlery and utensils. Drawing on different papers and on text is something I have always enjoyed, and so continued with this when I was pleased with the results of wire shapes against plain backgrounds. So I developed some work towards using the wire shapes on busier backgrounds with the use of text. I started off using pages from a book, unrelated to what I was drawing (Shakespeare). And as I continued drawing, I found some more texts which were of more relevance to my work. I photocopied pages from a cookery book I found and also drew on recipes from these books.
At first I used whatever materials I could lay my hands on, for the bean-bag items I used floral cotton filled with sea salt. It only occurred to me later on that I was creating the cutlery from domestic materials, often associated with eating and food.
Elizabeth Berrien: illustrator and sculptor. 3-dimensional and illustrative wire images.
Plans for the future:
I enjoyed using photography to record my ideas but I feel like I didn't experiment with this as much as I could have done or even at all. There are certain parts of this project which I'd like to select and push forward in terms of ideas and further development. I'd like to continue using wire as I still feel this is fairly new to me and I'd like to get to grips with it in a more complex way. Some ideas I had were to do with still combining photography and drawing and creating wire shapes and images. I have started to consider landscapes and how these can be put together and displayed in different ways. Turning 2-dimensional images into 3-dimensional images through the use of 2-dimensional media is something I'm interested in looking at and experimenting with. I'd like to incorporate paper and wire to create more complex images of landscapes. Looking at landscapes for this way of working interests me because I feel like landscapes are an appropriate subject in terms of depth and scale. As opposed to portraits, landscapes often show a lot of depth and different layers which I think would be perfect for experimenting with layering different materials for the development of my next project. I'd like to produce perhaps black and white 3-dimensional landscapes with paper and ink and wire to begin with. Then I could move onto the use of colour of more experimental photos to work from and develop the size and scale pf my work.