Making a lot from a little

Select a personal object, something that belongs to you. This object is your starting point for the artwork you will make. Your object only needs to be of interest to you as it is what you will do with it that will make it of interest to others.

Your task is to do research and/or use your imagination to find the networks or systems that brought this object into your possession. How did your object get here, who made it, what are the networks of production that spread out from the life your object has lived.

These networks or the multiple processes that caused the object can be real or fictional. You can make poetic associations or wild allusions or plug it into a dream world.

My chosen object - Michael Quackson

My chosen object – Michael Quackson

The object I decided to use for this brief was a glow in the dark duck I was given as a gag gift a few years ago. I decided to make a comic book like piece to draw the story away from the real depressive side of reality, in order to make people laugh. I wanted in a sense, to detach from the object whilst presenting it, yet still have a tie to it in some way. From this I decided to include a character, called Captain Fruitpunch, who was based on a doctor who looked after during a rough time in hospital. For this piece I especially wanted to show the scared child side of it, so for the comic book style of drawing, I made it even less detailed, to give a sense of a child’s imagination, and comedy through gag jokes throughout. Whilst making the piece, I read a book called Ways of Seeing by John Berger, which in the first lines says ‘Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak’. It seemed to connect somehow to the style and story I wanted to present.

Finished piece installed

Finished piece installed

For our Contemporary Art Theory lecture, we was assigned a piece to read, called ‘Mythologies’ by Roland Barthes [translated by Annette Lavers], in particular a section called Myth Today, which features Barthes discussing the importance of product place in our society, in a sense creating a soft propaganda to influence peoples views. I liked the idea of effecting peoples views of the world as it reminded me of a child, being able to be easily influenced. Which to me connected even more to my idea of a child like story with superheroes saving the day, hiding the circumstances in which I was given this object.


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