Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Presence of Daphne's Absence: Claire A Baker


For all of the artists involved in this project their creativity is a driving passion, how they earn their daily crust and present in all aspects of their life. As a result this often means keeping a lot of 'plates spinning' at the same time.  Claire A Baker is no exception to this; textile & surface designer, maker & lecturer who last Autumn also began an MA at Manchester Metropolitan University. A busy person indeed.

Here Claire talks us through her response to the glove brief and the presence of an absent Daphne.

"I have found it incredibly difficult to try and fit this project in but I have been determined since the beginning to create something aesthetically pleasing at the very least. However, it has, I admit, been much more difficult than I thought. And now it comes to producing the final piece my intentions are faltering again. technically, I keep disappointing myself.
My thoughts and ideas have only slowly taken shape and evolved. I wanted to 'suggest' the absent wearer (Daphne), a trace of her if you will, hopefully to provoke a sentiment, a connection, questions...
For my MA I have been researching memory; items left behind that suggest past lives, then conversely objects that could/would be evocative but are no longer there (physically) and trying to work out how to invent this using fabric and thread.
After much experimentation into technique albeit based on a different visual, I thought I had an excellent plan for Daphne's glove. The reality is though that great ideas rarely look so great when immediately put into practice. So I struggle on...
Claire's original glove in positive & negative form
"I am working on a fabric piece, eventually using a somewhat darker palette than I started with, suggesting/indicating that Daphne has passed, though her femininity and (futile?) attempts at 'ladylike-ness' remain.
Using screen printing techniques and a photographic negative image of the (opened) glove I have 'removed' the image from the fabric only leaving an imprint of it, as Daphne did on life."
"The florals were printed using a stencil inspired by a pattern on a piece of torn wallpaper I photographed in an abandoned derelict house discovered in Cork, earlier this year - a room forgotten. I originally wanted the piece to be faded, imperceptible, almost not there but growing with vibrancy, detail and colour towards the 'end', that time when you no longer care about what other people think or how they see you. Caution to the wind and all that."
"However using the dark background means the discharged elements stand out starker than I first wanted."
The orginal colour palette was quite pale
 "I could overdye the whole thing but I would prefer the glove to stay white so I may dip dye the lower part of the design to knock it back a little, although I really like the contrast. We shall see after I have slept on it. Then I MUST start stitching! I sampled the domestic digital machine as it is all I will have access to for a while but I do intend to also hand embroider...quickly!"
Machine embroidered sample

You can see the full version of Claire's post on her blog HERE

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