I just had a very busy and stressful week. I did however manage to get through my tests, projects and meet deadlines as I moved through the week in a sleep deprived haze. It does however feel amazing to be off for a few weeks! I am looking forward to some down time and family time during the holidays.
Today I had the opportunity to lead a workshop for my art class on a couple ways to decorate cupcakes.Since I began baking, and then decorating, I have noticed the importance of food being aesthetically pleasing.We not only eat with our sense of taste and smell, but also sight. So I was very excited to share with my class how easy it can be, and everyone seemed to enjoyed the sugar! Being that it is so close to Christmas, I made green icing and brought in green, red and white sprinkles. I soon found how challenging it is to run a workshop, for twenty two people with icing and sprinkles. First, I gave a demonstration showing everyone how to create the very popular 1M Swirl (1M is the icing tip), then each person was given a some wax paper to practice their swirls and designs before they got their cupcakes. I also demonstrated a Christmas tree cupcake, using a drop method. Once each person was given their edible canvases, two peppermint chocolate cupcakes, everyone was given the opportunity to decorate however they like. The classroom became a scene of people decorating cupcakes, eating icing, passing the sprinkles around, eating cupcakes in a beautiful chaos of joy. The joy of sugar and sweets is one that cannot be explained. It was a great way to enjoy the end of the school term and kick off the beginning of winter break. Everyone was alighted as to how their cupcakes turned out. It is surprisingly easy if you are just given the right tools and a delicious canvas.
Installment Artist Statement
Foot pointed, chin in, she braced herself for the flip. The gymnast turned to the rows of seats, bright lights piercing her skin. To the spectators her routine was merely a fluid collection of movements. To her it was the struggle between balance and beauty, a constant battle with the ever present threat of failure. On the platform it was only her, her decisions, her routine, her life. At any one moment she might miss a step or land with the wrong stance. This idea haunted her, following her through each day. This led her to worry about being overcome with failure, not only at the bar but also in her life. So easily she felt she could be pulled in to failure, pulled from the security of the bar, or the security of familiarity by something as simple and unpredictable, as a locked joint or change.
She looked to her audience again; thankfully all she saw was a blur of colour. She could pretend it was only her, like when she was a little girl and this was for herself, at that time she did not worry about her score or what anyone else thought. The gymnast gripped the bar, clutching to the essence of safety, radiating from it. She moved through her routine, gracefully, not missing a single step, and then it was over. She dismounted the bar, the crowd’s noise became brash, an uncomfortable contrast to her harmonious movement. Breathing deeply, as sense of relief engulfed her.
The intent of my piece was to embody the fragility of life. Like the girl in the story, failure constantly shadows behind us, creeping, threatening. Sometimes, overcoming us, as a fallen gymnast was intended to represent. In order to enjoy the pleasures of life, we mustn’t fixate on this. Rather, we must enjoy the beauty of life, the beauty of the routine and movements for the gymnasts. One of the greatest desires is to achieve balance in our life, this idea parallels to literal balance required in gymnasts. I hoped that this piece would encapsulate the essence of this, through the strength, balance, beauty and sometimes failure of the gymnasts in this piece.
Today I completed my first ever plaster project, and it was messy! Our task was to create an installment with figures, true to the human form. My idea was to create gymnasts, as they contort their bodies in unimaginable ways, balance upside down on the palm of their hands, and fearlessly flip in threes. I began the process, sketching bodies, true to proportion. Once I had a clear shape with clear gestures, It was time to start the process. Underneath layers and layers of plaster is a wire structure and cotton balls. Working with wire is a challenging task, twisting it around and manipulating it in to the desired shape is nothing compared to drawing. Working in the third dimension requires a keen attention to detail. Once a frame was created I used cotton balls to fill the body in and strips of soaked plaster atop that. The plaster had to be smoothed and smoothed and smoothed to prevent cracking, and improve structure. It was a long process. I installed my gymnasts on a stair railing, letting them balance along that as if it were a gymnastic bar. The finished piece is here!