Ubique [oo-bee-kwe] – by Laura McEwan (3)

“Archives exists in the present, yet their endless “waiting without forgetting” locates them in the past.” Ubique [oo-bee-kwe] brings together eight dynamic graduating photographers from UCA Rochester in collaboration with REMLA (Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive). In response to the archive the diverse photographers created individual works which shed new light on the historical material.

Follow the work of the students through their blog posts, and through a springtime exhibition.

Laura McEwan, Part 3:

UCA Post 3

I struggled choosing a set of vases, I had my heart set on two already and just couldn’t pick the third, so decided to ask the publics opinion.

I posted three options to Facebook explaining a bit about the project and asked for a vote, so it started becoming a crowd sourced project… until the overwhelming majority voted for no.1 the pink vase and I realised I didn’t agree. At first I was on board for listening to the public, until I stuck the images to the vase, and it just didn’t look right, the shapes didn’t match up.

It was like when people say you should throw a coin in the air, not to pick at random but because when it’s in the air you start to hope for the option you want. I also started to look a who was casting the votes, and decided that a vote from a crazy Aunt Gladys wasn’t as helpful as a vote from an art student.

Now it was clear what I was doing so it was time to start making my final pieces.

The process I used was first to stick the images only with blue-tack to make sure the design suited the vase. By doing this I could make changes early on. I had difficulties mostly with the wonky vase, because of the shape and bends the photos didn’t take to sticking easily to it. With persistence I got there. I then coated each vase with PVA. I left them to dry over night then stuck tissue paper over the top being careful to get rid of as many air bubbles as possible. The last step was to coat them in more PVA to reach a desired shiny finish.

I looked at the Japanese ideal Wabi-Sabi which is about finding beauty in imperfection, not just in art but life too. I am using this in my vases, so the wrinkles from the tissue paper is the imperfection. I also find it interesting thinking about how the British Empire looted other countries and now use the items to be displayed in museums, so now I too have “acquired” something belonging to Japan.