My Mother's Hands worn not by my mother.
A two part plaster mould was formed from the initial plaster mould. Clay slip was poured into the mould, until the desired wall thickness. It was left to dry, until it was able to hold its shape and then removed from the mould.
The clay made by the potter was made into slip and all the pots had a thin coating.
REENACT - PRESERVE
Culture is largely preserved through the collection of artefacts, sometimes far removed from the makers and owners. This body of work uses a method which is not purist or traditionalist. It begins to explore different systems of preservation through imitation, iteration and adaptation. Using the heritage and culture of Goa, India, I focus on 'My Mothers Hands' and 'Indian Pottery' as a means for investigation.
Hands are an implication of the human without the face, they do and feel in lots of different ways. 'My Mothers Hands' are gloves that act as a prop for re-enactment: wearing them as a way of placing cultural inheritance back into action. Within the work, hands are studied as a place of constant cultural production, focusing on the small incidental skills, that are inherited from them.
Additionally, the customary process of traditional Indian craftsmen who make terracotta cooking pots is re-enacted. The redoing of labour here, is not to romanticise the craft, but to act as a dialogue between the past and present. The making of the pot uses traditional methods which have been reworked to understand the complexity of the process and the scarcity of the material.
In an attempt to redesign the way we preserve culture, this body of work postulates that through the preservation of action over artefact, a greater cultural understanding is crafted.
The main body of work is recorded through film and photography, ceramics, textiles and graphics as a means of investigation.
The final outcome of this work was two films. Film one was the re-enactment of my mothers actions by a series of strangers whilst wearing the gloves of her hands. Film two was the reenactment of the Indian Pottery craft, trying to understand the process and how it could be changed and developed.
This body of work follows on from an earlier project, The Last Potters.
A digital archive of making, experiments, thoughts, research and conversations regarding the project:
Designing a process that will help to replicate the perfect pot shape. The wooden shape was first measured and then laser cut. Wet plaster was placed on a ball of clay, whilst continually spinning the wooden form until dry.
How can we use culturally alienating objects to create inclusion?
How do you make it into an object that collects stories and narratives?
What happens when you take something domestic and make it move?
GIFs showing the making process of the pots. The potters tools were used for this part of the process.
Experimentation of different firing techniques. This pot was pit fired.
Can dishwashing be a system?
Can the way in which we wash dishes be part of our cultural identity?
The makings of 'My Mother's Hands'. A photograph of her hands were Photoshopped and then the image sublimation printed onto white Polyester Lycra fabric.
The Gloves were sewed together by the owner of the hands, my mother.
My Mother's Hands.
The gloves being worn whilst the individual replicates my mothers movements.