Practice Progression

Material Experimentation

Although using lard has helped develop my practice and been a material which has been ideal for making my feelings a visual entity, I wanted to experiment with other materials to try and find a material which would partner better with my Body Mapping. Due to the process of Body Mapping being very hands on, where I feel my body whilst also manipulating the material, I am finding lard to wet to do this with, and as it requires two hands to manipulate, I can’t feel my body whilst also manipulating the material. Although I want to continue experimenting with lard, I also want to refer back to my Body Mapping, as I think this could still be developed far more.



The first material I experimented with was wax. I wanted to try this, as although it isn’t from the internal, I was interested in its plasticity and was keen to experiment with the material as it dries, unlike the lard which is non-drying. However, As I melted the wax, I realised the issues which were beginning to arise. Once I got the lard to the right temperature, I couldn’t manipulate the material without the wax gradually building up on my hands. I also found it more difficult to manipulate than the lard due to the build-up, and the gradual drying of the material which limited the time I had to manipulate and make the sculptures. This meant that I couldn’t focus on body mapping or even trying to make my feelings a visual entity, as I was constantly concerned about the drying of the material. This limitation restricted my work so much that I decided to not work with the material again.


The other material I experimented with, was glycerine soap. After melting the soap down and then cooling, I only had about 30 seconds to manipulate the material before it dried completely. Again, this was too restrictive and meant that I couldn’t focus on making the sculpture or connecting to my internal feelings. This made me realised even more though, how important lard is as a material to my practice. Its ephemeral quality and manipulative form that means I have enough time to make my sculptures, meaning I can make my feelings a visual entity.

In terms of going back to my body mapping, I thought about why I stopped doing it in the first place. The reason for this was to get away from the aesthetic of paint and to use a more internal material, which was lard. However, after experimenting with performance, I have realised that the aesthetic will always be a part of my practice, and that by embracing it, I can juxtapose internal feelings, with the aesthetic. Therefore, I am going to look back at painting, and see how this can now be developed further, now I have reflected on my work and researched it further.



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