Somehow, I am in the final term of my degree. I have four months until degree show opens and the work I make up until that point will be the last works I make as a student.
Something shifted in me over the last month or so. Before Christmas I was terrified to graduate, looking at my options within postgraduate education, thinking about making applications to all sorts of programmes that would allow me to stay in a student 'bubble' for a little longer.
Now, I no longer feel that sense of urgency, I no longer feel frightened. In fact, I'm really looking forward to graduation; to compiling three years of hard work into a degree show that I can be proud of, to concluding three years of academic, creative, professional and personal development.
As I have been thinking towards my degree show, I have been thinking mainly about names for my next body of work. My most recent works all came under the umbrella title 'Excavation', because that's really what the works are about. Excavating colour from land, making pigments using earth and other foraged materials to make organic, raw and historically enriched hues.
As I move forward into my new project, one that explores the man-made landscapes in Cornwall that have come to be from the closing of the mining industries in the 1990s, I have been struggling to find a word or phrase that captures what I am trying to capture in the paintings. The ephemeral yet perpetual spirit of the rich, geological history in Cornwall, where land is both medium and subject.
I know that, as this series will be so deeply rooted in Cornwall and Cornish history, I want a Cornish word to title the work. 'KOWANS', the Cornish word for 'Excavation', has been rolling around in my head, alongside 'PALAS' - to dig / excavate.
'MOON' is the word for mineral and thus, 'MOON LIWANSOW' translates to 'mineral paintings'. 'MONYOW' is plural; 'minerals'. 'FOSSICK' is to search for something by rummaging, or to prospect for minerals; a word that was derived from Cornish language 'feusik', meaning 'lucky' or 'fortunate'.
I also want to have subtitles for the separate bodies of work that fall under the bigger entity. I am looking to make some ceramic sculptures which would be titled 'KARREK VESSELS'. Karrek is the Cornish word for 'rock'. I am booked onto a glaze making course at a ceramics studio called 'Brickworks' in Penryn, which I'm hoping will spark a new direction and give me a line of enquiry for making work after graduation when I don't have a studio of my own. The course will allow me to dip my toes into the world of ceramic glazes, so I can try my hand at making my own glazes from the rock powder pigments I currently use in my paintings.
KOWANS PALAS MOON MONYOW FOSSICK KARREK
Evidently, the titles are very much a work in progress... but to get to a finished title I am undergoing a thinking process that is driving the work and the meaning behind the work more than it ever has done before.