One of the things which came up during my masterclass crit was that my work would benefit from having more story and subject matter incorporated into it.
I was very comfortable with this critique as I have been working on narrowing my practice and consolidating my visual language. My work was all over the place before, but now I like the forms, the materials, the textures and the techniques I use in my work. I am at a place now where I could make infinite variations of the work I’ve been making which feel the same, but that becomes a bit boring.
I could make, but why make?
This leaves the question “What do I want to tell stories about?”
A lot of the projects I find really interesting are more participatory, and I’m interested in how this can connect with jewellery making.
I am interested in history, and it has been a topic of debate in the media lately how little New Zealand history is taught in schools and how little New Zealanders know about New Zealand history. Calls have been made to make the New Zealand Land Wars a core part of the curriculum, and to have a national day to commemorate Parihaka. Despite having a degree in history, my focus tended to be on women’s history, and my knowledge of the overarching narrative of New Zealand history is pretty dismal. I’d like to have a better grasp of New Zealand history, particularly with relation to the contested area of land, and to be able to engage with these stories and pass that knowledge on to other people.
My other interests are around sexuality, sex education and intersectional feminism, and I often engage with writing and vlogs on these topics.
So now begins the research phase. So far I have a book on “Socially Engaged Art” called Living As Form and the Penguin History of New Zealand as a starting point.
I’m sure between those areas there is plenty of scope for new bodies of work.