Constructed Identity…

Well, yesterday’s late night, looking through my old art and thinking about identity and what it means to me, definitely revved me up for today. I was up at first light, drinking black tea, (I drink a lot of tea, but never with milk), and I used the last tea bag in my box of Dilmah. I picked up the box and I was off on a mission which got bigger, and bigger! I love how my mind works sometimes, even if it does mean I have to hang on tight and be whizzed around at lightning speed.

The empty box made me think of how the world puts me in a box, as it does to most of us. Those who hardly know me probably label me, as most of us do to others, without thinking. I guess my labels would say stuff like:






Going grey etc.

But, I am way too big for that box, and I don’t fit and it is not comfortable, and actually, apart from Mother I don’t fit any of those labels very well at all. OK, I will give you woman, sometimes, but I prefer earthling. I don’t feel very female, or very male either. I may be fifty and middle-aged, but I feel like twenty nine. So I decided to make something to demonstrate this. To construct a new identity, a bigger, better Bobby. Actually I am just fonally beginning to appreciate myself and all I have accomplished in my life, and this project is somewheat of a celebratiuon of that.

I have previously been playing with half tone photos blown up to just dots and I used one of these to cover the box with.

Inspired by the process, I made a huge poster of me in bits. I used one of my favourite photographs of myself, the one that really feels like Bobby. I printed it on to sixteen sheets of A4 paper, and pasted it  onto a giant recycled cardboard box.  It looks fantastic to me, and this is ALL ABOUT ME!!! So now I am outside the box…

I was not sure about the posters making a box though, as my original thought was that I was too big for a box. So I cut off the sides of the box and ended up with a giant cardboard poster, which I thought I could hang from the ceiling so people could walk around them.

I have been through my photos and found some more images that I am going to treat the same way. On the back of the cardboard mounted posters I will write bits of my own poems.

In fact I believe they are mainly life size or a bit bigger. They are made up of thousands of dots, because I am made up of thousands of points in time, each dot represents a point in my life that went towards making the person in the image. I have used recycled cardboard because I have been recycled over and over and made into different things, I am not perfect, there are rough edges, like the posters.

I will hang these posters from the ceiling, it is important to me that they move, that people can walk around them and life can flow through them, just like it does to me. If people want to touch them, draw on them or write messages, then that is ok too… because that is what life does and that is how I got to be the person here t0day.

I have made an image with labels, I am trying to decide whether to use these on the front of the images or not. Each of the images represents a part of who I am, or have been. There will be posters for daughter, sister, wife, mother, lover, poet, artist, grandmother. Some may have multiple labels.

I wanted to make more today but my printer ran out of ink, so I have ordered a new toner. I also need to go and find some huge cardboard boxes to recycle. Warehouse stationary often has some in the size I need, I guess desks and stuff come in them. Or maybe Powerstore, giant TV or fridge boxes would be good!

Oh and the box that started it all, well maybe I will make things to put in it… isn’t that what boxes are for …? Here is a small picture of one of my images that I am using, with labels added.






I don’t sew, but…

I had a great conversation this morning with Colleen, one of our technicians at college. We talked about the textile art stuff I did years ago, and what she does etc. It reminded me that although I don’t sew, thread and needles and fabrics are a big part of who I am.

When I say I don’t sew, I mean I don’t sew curtains or clothes or anything that requires straight lines or precise corners, unless it is art. I like to use my old Bernina, with the feed dog down and the foot off. Together we whiz our way, through paper, card, all kinds of fabrics, tomato puree tubes, you name it! I enjoy recycling stuff, adding layers to it’s life, and more words to it’s narrative. Even if the original is painted over, it is still there, and that matters to me. There is much more to history than we can see.

The previous sentence reminds me of another talk I had today with Klaasz, one of our tutors. I had an idea for a series of screen-printed T-shirts, for the Identity project. It was inspired by my thoughts of everyone else defining me. The concept was to have a silhouette of myself surround by images of others, other parts of my life, so that in effect, the images were defining my outline. The silhouette would be left unprinted. This series would slowly have the empty space that was me, fill up with new things about me as I discover them. I chose T-shirts because they are something most of us wear, and we also use them to identify ourselves, and what we believe in.

Anyway after talking to Klaasz, I think I have decided not to go ahead with that idea. I have somehow lost all the notes I made last week, they are in none of my sketchbooks or notebooks, so I am going to find them and go through all of my ideas and make a decision by tomorrow. We only have 3-4 weeks left and in that time we have to present stuff and do the PowerPoint etc.

I have my other courses just about in order I think… although I have the exhibition for Professional Practice and my seminar presentation for Visual Culture 3 to think about, and then there are two essays… de dum de dum de da…..

On that note, I will leave you with an image from my ‘learning to draw’ digital sketchbook…!


by raggedpoet



I am made of polka dots…

I had a brainstorming session in my sketchbook, about who I am and what defines me. What a lot of labels!

I have decided to do most of my brainstorming on this blog, and although I will use my sketchbook as I always have I will probably just photograph the pages and put them on here, rather than handing the lot in. The tutors are more than happy with that, and things don’t get lost etc…!



The above page was made with letters cut out from a photo of me that I converted to half tone and blew up until it was just dots. Like putting my identity under a microscope, and seeing all the tiny parts of my life  that make me who I am today. I6 woud be very cool to make a huge image with a dot for each minute or day or hour of my life. But I have neither the mathematical genius nor the time to work this out right now!





Highlights of the Show

Yesterday we viewed all the mural presentations. It was a great morning, and time flew by.

The first PowerPoint by Group Two was one of the best PowerPoints I have seen, I really do need to become aquainted with this tool as people in college seem to like it and use it a lot. I shall endeavor to get over my Microsoft thing! Last year, Edwin, my fellow would be castle dweller and scripting teacher extraordinaire, introduced us to Prezi. Prezi was fun, but now we are back to MS and PP ! So, inspired by today I shall get better, and learn to love that P-word.

Group four’s mural idea blew me away. I absolutely loved it and I want to be part of making it happen, in Nelson in August. The concept was to celebrate the anniversary of gay marriage being legalised. The image is a pair of wings made up of hundreds of male symbols, ♂ like this. It works! Although the final image presented was a mural, they had originally thought about a light projection.  I love this idea, I can imagine those wings being projected all around town huge and tiny. It is such an amazing concept, the wings of freedom and equality, flying over Nelson.

They were partly inspired by muralist and street artist, David La Mano,. La Mano uses repeated images or symbols to make up a bigger picture. I like the way it speaks of one thing and when you get up close you see the real story… I wonder if your viewpoint is changed?


Also a special mention for group five… the video of the stream was a touch of mastery, and I would love to see that building decorated…

All the projects were really well done and thought out, we had an oil rig in a stunning blue sea, a giant pair of hairy feet, lazy workmen doing nothing, a dark and dingy tunnel, and seagulls pooing over Countdown… (tic).

Great comments in the critiques session, although I felt that there should be a little more room for praise too. Ok, so we proved we know how to critique,  we have no fear of letting it all out. BUT… there has to be balance. Credit and praise where it’s due. There was some bloody awesome work shown, and I was very happy to say so in my very British, dominant voice :o) The tutors also, were admirable in their encouragement. We are blessed with some great leaders in our team.

Sometimes the whole serious side of  ‘ART,’ can get a little too heavy, but there has to be light in order to see the shadows.

Image by David La Mano retrieved from:  on 12/3/204


Identity of the Fool

Our next project is about identity.

Thoughts so far… Fools, lots and lots of fools, big fools and small fools, painted fools and embroidered fools, printed fools and fools on shirts. Somewhere in there, is bound to be a bit of me…

Why Fools? because I have always identified with the Fool… he is in a good place, he has no number so he can be anywhere at any part of the journey at anytime. The Fool is innocent, but he can be wise, he has a new journey ahead and choices to make, and yet he knows that after all of that, he will come back to another beginning and another journey.

I will write more about Fools, as the weeks go by…






Up Against the Wall…

So we have presented our slideshow, and it was ok. I have learned a lot from this project and that is what it’s all about.

The presentation could have been better, more arty.  I am inspired – especially by group two’s gorgeous presentation, to play with PowerPoint and get over my mental block!

Morgan made a comment which was invaluable, he suggested that our image could read the opposite way to that which we intended, ie the workers were smashing the beautiful landscape instead of unveiling it. I can see that totally. I think in future I would get someone like Morgan or maybe Staju who both think in very different ways, to give me their opinion on something, it is good to get input from all angles. When you are in the middle of something of your making it can be very difficult to step back and be truly objective.

Other comments were subjective, and more about the painting of the scene itself than the concept, which is fair enough. But as they were quite diverse and people were saying the opposite of each other,  we let them go.

Another useful comment was that the workmen did not look like workmen without their orange vests and yellow helmets. This got me thinking about why Banksy’s policemen worked but our workmen didn’t…

Kissing Coppers

The ‘Kissing Coppers’,  have changed very little in colour in the stenciled version. The handcuffs and truncheon make it obvious that they are policemen too. Our workmen lost their identity by losing the colour of their vests and helmets. I thought the pick axe made it obvious, but as Morgan says, it could have been any vandal!

I learned too, to read and check off every little detail of the brief. Make sure it is clear exactly what needs to be in the presentation, and what goes elsewhere. Last night having believed I had finished,  I had to reduce the PowerPoint size by 100 MB!  Although I had kept my half of the PowerPoint small I had forgotten to tell Jemarve. Sadly his wonderful Google Sketch movie had to be left out of the submitted PPT, although viewers did see it. I am wondering if the size  is why it kept crashing the computer yesterday!

The other thing I had to do last night was produce a full proposal from all our combined research and images etc! I thought that the proposal only had to be in the PowerPoint and our individual stuff, and then I found another forum for proposals *ahem*!

So, although I am happy to have done this, and it was a valuable experience, I am glad it is over. Group work is challenging and can be more about administration and politics, than making art, but then that is the nature of real life.  Our group situation was particularly fraught as we lost two of the original members, and other commitments in and out of college made it difficult for us to to meet up all together.  It may not have been what we would have done, had we had more time. However,  given that we were left with three members, a half inherited idea, and one week to do most of the work, I think we stepped up and performed very well. The group pulling together is a big part of an exercise like this, and we triumphed in the face of adversity!!

Cheers to Roxy and Jemarve and all of the other groups who were part of this project!


Photograph retrieved from: 12/3/2014

All this and Autumn Too…

Tomorrow we have to show the PowerPoint presentation… it is ready… just! Jemarve and I did it between us, he is great at the animated stuff, and he made the most *AWESOME* 3D model of our building in Google Sketch. I just finished adding the final touches and getting the colours in theme.

I have never been a fan of PowerPoint and I wish we could use Prezi, or stop motion video for presentations, but maybe I just need to get better at this Microsoft stuff.

In the meantime I have been thinking about the next group project, (Light Nelson), and I have ideas brewing already. Something I would really like to do, with Leigh and whoever else wants to play. If it can’t fit into a group theme, I may propose it on my own…

Oh and I believe that we start a new individual project tomorrow…

All this and autumn too…



Some sketchbook pages

Just some thoughts and scrawlings from my working sketchbook for our mural project.

Warped Reality

Looking around the web I found some incredible trompe l’oeil murals in cities around the world. I really like the photographic and digitally produced ones.  Some are quite phenomenal, like this building shown below. They can really warp reality to the extent that you could start to feel dizzy when walking towards them. It looks more like something you would see reflected in a lake than standing on a busy Parisian boulevard.


These two images are of the Beecker building on Avenue George V in Paris. This effect was created using digitally manipulated photographs
by artist and photographer Pierre Delavie. The installation was created to hide the construction work going on behind the facade and was only in place for a year or so. Imagine coming across this after a few glasses of vino… or maybe not!


Images sourced from:

Flowery inspirations…

In an earlier post I showed this photo of a tiny flower growing at the bottom of the wall, between the cement and the tarmac on the footpath.


What if the flower became like the magic bean in the fairytale of Jack and the Beanstalk?  Imagine the whole wall suddenly covered pink flowers and green leaves…


I really like this, I think it’s because of the splashes on the floor that brings the wall out… or  takes the viewer in! It’s bright and fun and I am sure it would bring a few smiles! Also it is inclusive, most people could paint something like this, from 3 to 103.  I believe that a big function of art should be to inspire others to create.  If the distance between the viewer and the art is too great then this cannot happen. So although this does it in a slightly different way to some other ideas I have had, it could still change someones thoughts about their environment and themselves. The viewer could become part of the change by actually going and painting their own garage wall or something.