Last night I had a very useful and productive online chat with my sister... all about my work and the trouble I was having with it. It was really good to get some perspective on it all. Who says being on Facebook is a waste of time?
So... I'm including a transcript of the relevant part of the conversation... it is, after all, part of my design process. And it really helped to get some things clear in my mind.
think i need an opinion that's not mum's
mum just says it looks pretty
can you ask my opinion or do I need to 'see' something to give it
which is nice, but not helpful
it's more articulating the concept that I find hard
Ok, try me
Ok, so am creating a series of pendants that are based upon the connections we create with people as we go through life. As such, the pendants are able to be split into separate components, representing the disconnect that occurs in death or even with the physical separation that occurs over long distances.
make sense so far?
Therefore, even though the pendants might be split in two, the fact remains that they can be rejoined - a representation of memory and a reminder of the other half... your other half...
or reconnection in another life, yes?
ooh, yes, that too
Actually, that's what I'm struggling with... how 'literal' to I make these things. Does every aspect or component have to represent something? Or can I just work with themes and shapes inspired by certain concepts, and let a little bit of interpretation up to the viewer?
Well what are your assignment instructions? If you have free reign I think you 'should' think about symbolisms
like now... the afterlife thing was your interpretation, and something i hadn't given much thought to.
the brief is VERY open, which is good
ok, do you need to write a report or something about the pendants?
it's up to us to be able to explain the concept and justify all our decisions
no, nothing like that
we have to present in front of a panel of lecturers
so what is the opinion you need? Do you want advice on what aspect to ficus on?
no, more like what i just said... how literal should i make it?
does each pendant need to tell a story, does everything in it need to symbolise something in particular?
should it be a little bit open to interpretation?
I think you're better off making it less literal, especially considering the fact all this is coming about due to the concept of death. Death may in fact be a literal thing. Somethin we can see. But we certainly can't see what happens afterward. So that should be open to interpretation. Therefore, the reconnection of the pieces after separation can symbolise whatever is relevant to the person who possess them. Just like song lyrics speak to people on different levels depending on how they are feelling.
ok um, also
plants reproduce after they die, they either leave seeds, or turn into mulch etc, so even after death the live again. so the reconnection of the pieces could be a rebirth, or a new formed life
I love you for that
LOL for being on the same wavelength as me. so much of the other stuff I've done for this studio has been about cycles of death and rebirth.
well there you go. You have your answer. The constant separation and reconnection of the pieces can easily represent the forever expanding generations of life
and that's both literal and symbolic
:) again, that's another aspect to what I've been doing that i hadn't considered that much... the focus has been on creating pieces that can be left with the dead, and the other part with the living.
i guess you could create a pendant for a child, too, for example... empty on the inside, ready to be filled with ephemera collected within a lifetime, all those bits and pieces we keep and hold onto that tell a story about who we are
hm, that's a really nice idea. That's kinda like a locket
the inverse, too... a pendant full of a lifetime's worth of memory
yeah, have made a locket... basically 2 hearts that connect with magnets
well I don't think you should limit yourself
can't you list an array of possiblities>
i guess this STUFF, all the conceptual stuff has been in my mind as i've been designing/making, but i haven't gone, 'this pendant will be about this' and then made it... I change my mind as I go based on what physically works or what re-inspires me as i make these things
the thought of making a list is overwhelming
I write like that
I decide on themes as I go
it just gets a bit much, sometimes... all the possibilities, as well as the weightiness of the subject matter
i'll get it together eventually
thanks so much for your thoughts.
:) :D :*
I see what you mean. You feel overwhelmed then and think you should have a clear cut reason for each thing?
that's exactly it
you just summed it up, took me 10 mins to try and communicate that
You can have different reasons for each piece right?
that was always the intent
allocate one reason per piece you have. no matter what reason, because I'm sure they all work symbolically. Then you evaluate them separately and expand on each idea accordingly.
just give each piece a reason to start with
so their purpose isn't lingering in the midst of indecision
that sounds good to me
at least then you won't feel so lost
all the designs have the same function behind them... the splitting
you have something solid in front of you even if it is going to change later on
there is a vague idea behind them all, too
i guess i just need to consolidate it somehow
ok what's the one idea that links them all? The splitting?
draw a spider graph
lol a what
you know what that is?
when you write the central them in the center and then from that central idea, you link other ideas. and from those other ideas you link others, so it lookd like the shape of a spider, legs coming out everywhere
i just never heard it called that
might help you get all you thought in one spot
i think that would help
its ELT terminology ;o)
thanks so much
no worries! any time! :)
i should put this conversation on my blog
lol go for it:o)
... and now it is. The conversation on my blog, that is. Apologies for slight incoherence, typos, excessive use of 'lol' and smileys.