Ramsgate Carnival 2017.
This was an event that was entered by the Ramsgate Arts Group and was an opportunity for me to get involved in a sociable art project. Since March we have been dedicated to attending 2 hour workshops every Thursday and creating props for the Ramsgate Carnival and the Ramsgate Arts festival, both very busy summer events for the local community.
I have mentioned this before in a post called Art Residential project. The reason I’m revisiting this experience is of something that I noticed when writing my written statement and overall evaluation for submission. I questioned the reason why I had started using other material in my work, other than the sources gain from visiting exhibitions such as
- Robert Rauschenberg,
- Phyllida Barlow,
- Michael Armitage
- the amazing; Entangled (Threads and Making).
The process of creating props for the festival was a progression or a way of escaping from the course work I was committed to as an art student. Working with Willow and paper pulp, all environmentally friendly products was so different from working with paint and charcoal. The same elements applied with regards to planning the outcome and pre thinking any challenges I would have to deal with along the way and pre-empting how to overcome these restrictions such as lack of materials, prop being movable, weight of prop and storage space. Working as a collaborator was very beneficial and I was lucky to learn with others and gain information from very experienced Rio Carnival organizers.
At the time I saw the activity as a way out/to get away from my studies, but on reflection I now understand that this work encourage development within my own work. The props I worked on were built up over time, they became characterful and we ended up giving them names. My favourite Prop or puppet is a willow entwined, ribbon covered fish. The theme was ’dream marine’ so a floaty colourful fish with foam lips and Christmas bulbuls was appropriate I felt. When the day came to take the props, (or our creations) out to be paraded, showing it off to thousands of people that lined the procession, while dancing to a cacophony of music, I was a fantastically rewarded by realising how committed I am to my work.
This free social work shop called ‘Carnival club’ has had a tremendous impact on the development of my work and will encourage me to understand my work as becoming more anthropomorphic, especially the time consuming techniques I have implemented recently. I am not a believer in ‘working smarter not harder’ mostly due to the way I learn to deal with how my brain works. I don’t learn subjects like most people, some like to call Dyslexia a learning disability but I consider this negative labelling and I don’t have a disability; I just perceive and work differently to most. I do have to work harder, reflection is extremely important and allowing the time for ideas to be nurtured is a luxury that I have at the moment. Karl Marx is considered one of the greatest thinkers and he wrote that workers need ‘to see themselves in the objects they have created’. This relationship with ourselves and our work is hardly comprehensible today and was one of the issues discussed at the above mentioned workshop; being paid to be creative can cause resentment towards the practice of work. Years of capitalism has had a detrimentally effect on the environment, has breed a culture of ‘always wanting more’ which has caused contempt and distrust towards each other and ourselves. My work is a self-healing process of turning my back on capitalism (by leaving work to become a student) and by learning to analysis my work via learning from other sources, I have been able to connect links with the development of my practice and now notice myself in the works I am creating.
Great Thinkers by The School of Life and Published by the School of Life in London 2016.
Ramsgate Arts- ramsgatefest.org