The Bodhi Bears are here!

I am interested in the concept of using handmade sculptural objects to spark memories of our traditional ‘Do-It-Yourself’ heritage – advocating its reappearance in our consumer society and emphasising its value in design. As such the dichotomy between handcrafts and mass produced goods is a key area of my practice.

As an Indie Designer, my practice resides in the spaces where art and design intersect. The idea for these characters evolved from my research of designing talisman-like objects. Alongside this, the work reflects my concern with the metaphysical concept of the seven Chakras examined in the writings of psychologist Carl Jung. I explore notions of warmth and whimsicality in this work, and ways to elicit emotion and nostalgia for childhood.

With a priority on the process, these works have undertaken deep experimentation; hand-dying, pattern construction, textile printing and extensive idea development that began with explorations featured in my previous post.

exploring possibilities for an art doll/bear

These creatures/bears are the prototypes for my current project. I have been learning about traditional teddy bear making techniques and patterns, so that I could draft my own. Using whatever I have in my fabric stash initially, they are not at all like the final outcome. But I enjoyed bringing them to life with my intuitive creative processes that I am becoming more familiar with each day I’m engaged with the making of them. It’s been all about trusting the process. Final resolved works are nearly completed, and I look forward to sharing them with you soon.

my first born creature

Brown Bear by Vicki Reisima (2014). Fabric, thread, buttons and Polyfill. Approximately 40cm tall standing.

Brown Bear by Vicki Reisima (2014). Fabric, thread, buttons and Polyfill. Approximately 40cm tall standing.

This is the first textile creation of many to come in this semesters project. I want to experiment altering body proportions to make the forms feel a little awkward and less common than the usual teddy bear representation. I enjoyed making a toy with jointed limbs, as opposed to sewing them into the torso. This is what appealed to me in the teddy bear form initially. I cant see myself steering away from it now, but we shall see what manifests in the weeks to come. So far, in the experimental stages, I am up-cycling pieces of my fabric stash. I expect them to look quite different, as I use whatever is at my disposal. I believe it may be what gives them a charming appeal.

 

a new pathway

image by vicki reisima

Having spent last semester with my eyes glued into Photoshop, it’s been a while since I got my hands grubby with making things. Here are my intentions for my new pathway in my practice. Curious? Here’s the formal brief outline…

For the purpose of this degree programme, I will be lending my artistic voice to the ancient metaphysical concept of the seven chakras. A series of mixed media sculptural characters will be deeply yet subtly infused with metaphorical symbolism and my priority will be on an intuitive and exploratory process. I trust that there will be many opportunities for serendipity and materiality to influence the outcome.

The search for unifying factors in our daily existence, the search for understanding and direction, and the inevitable pull toward consciousness brings us to a critical evaluation of our spiritual natures – Anodea Judith  (The Wheels of Life)

As spiritual subjects are so often considered impractical or inaccessible, this project attempts to raise awareness of the chakra system within a narrative context. Drawing upon storytelling and metaphysical concepts, I aim to inspire people to consider simple and playful ways to incorporate spiritual well-being into their daily lives.

The next several weeks posts will feature influential artists, methodologies, and theoretical contexts of my project. Included will be works in progress that are inviting feedback during the making process. I’m excited to see what manifests!