Can it really be that I've neglected the website for another whole year? Truth is I'd still rather be making than being on the computer.... and with that in mind I've added a spangly new page linking to my Instagram photos where you can see what I've been doing ...should you so wish.
Can't believe its almost a year since I wrote on here.. I tend to use instagram (@artistkarenapps) and facebook these days but have been working steadily so may add some photos at some point... I'd just rather be making than typing.
I'm off to Norwich this weekend for Turn the Page Artists Book Fair.
I'm taking some more carved soap babies amongst other things, and these poor scraps.. literally as they are cast using the carving waste . They will be hidden in and around the fair with the hopes they will be discovered and find a new home. You can read more about the project in the last few posts.
The project is drawing to a close now (or maybe just a pause?) I continue to find the history of the Hospital fascinating and think the infants who were admitted to the Foundling Hospital were probably the lucky ones in many ways. They were fed, clothed, educated and taught the skills with which support themselves in adulthood but the experience of being stripped of everything they owned, including their name, had a profound effect on many of them.
The project was originally inspired by the words of one of the ‘Foundling Voices’ at the museum who speaks of ‘the functional but loveless care received, and the longing to be hugged or comforted’. I was struck by the way the children were washed and baptised on admission as both a physical and spiritual cleansing and imagined that bathing, for the children, may have been their only physical contact and the nearest thing to a comforting hug.
Soap conjured up many associations for me; The way it is worn by touch like the erosion of the children’s identities and individuality, and how for the mothers the ‘slate was wiped clean’ (so often not by choice) enabling them to resume their lives - soap has even been used as a crude method of abortion. The film came about because the soaps felt like before and after the events and I wanted to think about what happened in between..
When I collected the soaps that I'd left at the Foundling I discovered only one had been used.. I felt a slight pang of disappointment but was reminded that not all the babies were admitted to the Foundling Hospital either. Just as the foundlings' identities were lost through the process of cleansing so my one ‘soap baby’ was irrevocably changed by its time at the Foundling Museum.
The Soaps and film are now on exhibition at City Lit for the next two weeks.
Well.. can't avoid the box/display issues anymore. Need to make a decision as I had to deliver three soaps this week .. but more of this later...
Made paper box first before trying out a one piece box I'd seen on Youtube .. they card was too thick so the corners didn't meet up so gave up- tho' the size at least was ok.
Cut out another set of sides and base and ( another Youtube tip) tried uhu non-string gel (they fibbed) ... looked horrible and abandoned that too... It rarely, if ever, pays to take short cuts.
I played with the Hospital's emblem of the lamb creating stamps for the tissue paper but decided that neither box nor tissue work particularly well as they look a bit 'gift shop'. Back to the drawing board.
I'm following my bliss.