Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Three Bear Flair

On a sunny afternoon, I had the foresight to photograph these bear friends together. They are all dispersed into the four winds now, so I am glad I have the evidence that they once lived under the same roof.

I was talking to Gary about these photographs and he asked me what I liked about them. I mused for a long time but the thought finally came to me that I liked seeing the collection of work together. When I see them in a group I remember how the creation of each bear naturally led to the creation of the next. Each creative product, simply put, is the result of lots and lots of decisions to convey a certain theme all coming together to form a final idea and image.

When I would make the decision to use black wool, in my mind I would often think; but what if I made the exact same thing in white or blue or green or pink? If I made the design decision to make it in say, pink, what impact would that have on the idea I am trying to convey? Maybe black is the right decision for this idea but the same piece in pink may generate a whole other idea, a piece apart. I find this happens to me all the time and it is why I so rarely make only one of something.

As soon as I make a definite decision in the making of a piece, all the alternatives are sitting there, looking up at me and crying out to be used or explored in a different way.

So here are three examples of different design decisions made, each one leading neatly into the next. A bad bear with dark wool, questionable morals and jagged teeth lead to the idea of a different perspective. I want to make something that is about the positive, the warm and the inviting, things about me made in a bigger scale and in a brighter colour. This then leads to questions about size and making things smaller and more compact. Also, the two gone before were explored through masculine form, what would it look like to me when they are in feminine form? What do I want my femininity to represent? I do believe it would go on like this forever if life did not interrupt with commissions, external inspirations in many different guises and the small matter of earning a living.

When I see them all together I see a family, a context, a place where they are part of something bigger and they are relatable to each other.  But in the same view it also allows you to see the obvious differences between them, it highlights their individuality and their separate messages or themes. They contrast with each other and yet are familiar so you can feel comfortable exploring their world. A language is developed in which you can rest in and absorb their information without being constantly jarred by ever changing images that bear no relation to each other.

I have created my own personal playground and I can play, create, say, sing and do what I like within it. The bears are the product of this experimental world and they become real and valuable expressions of the things I learn about myself as I play in this special place.

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