The first few months of 2019 have seen a few changes happening. After the bizz of last year, I found myself lacking in the work department and wondering how to remedy it. Doing all the networking and contacting and harassing folk until they give in, I've still a way to go but after a few fortuitous meetings, I feel I've made some headway. In the meantime, I have a new workshop!
After taking over my mum's garage and house to make the Touring Network Box, I felt it was time to get a better/bigger space than my tiny spare room. My mum thought it wise too as I don't think she would happily let me make such a mess again! So after a bit of thinking, I asked the good folks at Surge if they would let me use some of their cavernous space at the new HQ in Cadogan Street. Fortunately, they said yes and we struck a deal. I've spent the last month or so moving things in bit by bit, buying new tools and thinking of new projects. I've got some new puppet making on the horizon with Mother's Ruin performer Jessica Innes, so fun times ahead.
I'm a big fan of Instagram and have documented how I've been getting on in my Insta @PigsticksP. I've also joined in this year's March Meet the Maker Instagram challenge. Set up by artist Joanne Hawker, she invites makers of every discipline all around the world to post an image or video a day with prompts that she's given in a list for the whole month of March. It's been really interesting and inspiring seeing people's work, methods and spaces. I do love a monthly challenge as it really gets you focused.
To make this blog a bit more interesting (hopefully!) I'm now going to post my Instagram ramble posts here. There's supposed to be an app that can do it automatically but I'm not convinced. Anyway, will see if it works! If you'd like to see what I've posted for the first half of the month, go to my @PigsticksP Instagram account here and if you're already on Insta, give me a follow to continue reading my very interesting ramblings.
School is out and summer is here!
And summer really is here with sunshine and everything!
The culmination of my college course was ushered in with an award for Best Advanced Model making at Craft Ex 2018 for my Prototype Car and a coveted place at New Blades graduate recruitment fair. New Blades was a great experience. So great and inspiring to see everyone's models all in one building. I brought down Baby (without Mother because we were going by train), Humungous, The Secret Commonwealth novels and the Prototype Car. Got some good feedback and some contacts to follow up. Well worth the big round trip.
Mother and Baby are now officially "Mother's Ruin" and they had their debut at Solas Festival in Perthshire at the end of June. Brought to life by Jess, my performer, we equally delighted and terrified in good measure, making only two or so children cry. Must work on that. Got good feedback again with one of the Solas organisers saying,
The Gallacher brothers were my favourite thing of the weekend, and Mother's
Ruin was certainly the most nightmarish!
I'll take that as a compliment!
Next stop is Dundee Summer Streets Festival on 21st and 22nd June and then to Surge Festival in Glasgow on 11th and 12th Glasgow. The urban festivals will be an interesting change from the captive audience of the tiny Solas Festival.
So otherwise onwards and upwards and towards a new life. CV is brushed up, portfolio is gathered together and website updated. Time to flood a plethora of companies with the news of who is going to be their newest employee. They're such lucky people!
So I'm running head long towards the end of my HND Model-making course at City of Glasgow College. I've learnt so much on this course and had a great time doing it but I think what I have found the most satisfying is I finally feel that this is what I should be doing. I have repeatedly said that I've felt like I've been wandering all my life and never quite found my real passion, until now. Some people find what they love doing and excel at early in life, some never find it and that's ok as long as you keep looking for it. What the 'it' is? That's the tricky bit but you know it when you see it.
Final deadline is the middle of June and I can't say slight panic isn't setting in. I know what I'm wanting to do but everything I do seems be for the first time which gives me the fear and procrastination inevitably creeps in. However, deadlines won't wait so it's definitely time to feel the fear and do it! So my final project is going to be...drumroll please...a giant mother and baby puppet! Hmmm, an interesting choice you may sarcastically think and yes, I'm glad you asked the searching question, "Why the hell are you doing that because it sounds so dreadfully boring?!" Well, it's not going to be any ordinary giant mother and child of course. It will be a floaty, serene, pagan-esque mother with a demonic, obnoxious, pissing baby puppet. Yeah, not sounding so boring now, eh? Standing about 8ft tall, the passive mother, holding her darling charge will wander amongst you whilst her baby causes havoc. The build is going well so far but not satisfied with giving myself enough pressure with a mere college deadline, I have managed to wangle myself a bursary that will enable said puppet to be actually performed from the end of June. Yes, I am finally announcing that I have a Surge development and performance bursary that means Mother's Ruin will be performed at Solas Festival, Dundee Summer Streets and Surge Festival this summer. Yikes! Time to get the skates on and get it working right?! It'll all be fine...juuust fine!!
So what else have I done? One of my completed projects is my upscaled toy car that has secured me a coveted place at the New Blades expo in London in June. 5 out of 20 students were selected to go down to represent the college course at the talent fair that will show the cream of the latest crop of makers of models, sculptures, props and costume from colleges and universities around the UK. Very exciting stuff and will hopefully bring new opportunities and networking my way.
I've also made a model of my interpretation of a Martian Fighting Machine from H.G. Wells' novel, War of the Worlds. Didn't get this one quite as I had intended as we were having some particularly difficult times with family loss but I think I did damn well and produced a Machine worthy of the A grade I got for it. If that doesn't show that I can work under pressure and still bring up the goods I don't know what will.
Otherwise, we still have our group project, an upscaled table saw sculpture that will be exhibited in the College building along with 3 other sculptures of model making tools that the rest of the year is completing in groups. Should be a great end of year exhibition. The preview evening will be on Tuesday 12th June if anyone is wanting to have a gander. Unfortunately, due to date clashes those of us lucky enough to go to New Blades will be taking our work down to London the next day so if you want to see them on show, you need to come along to the preview night. Or go to London but that might be a bit of trek. However, the exceptional work of the rest of the class will be exhibited in the college for the rest of the week and will definitely be worth a look.
I'm not one to publish my personal woes but the last year and half has been particularly challenging for me however, this course; what I've learned and the work I have produced has been a rock to keep me sane and focussed for the future. I have to say a big thank you to all my family and friends who have encouraged me throughout and not complained about me posting the deluge of work in progress pics on my social media. Thank you to my tutors and classmates who have helped bring a multitude of ideas together. And an impossible mountain of thanks of course go to my parents, who enabled me to do this financially, encouraged me without exception and always believed in me. You are the reason I am able to keep searching for that 'it' and the reason I may have found it. I love you from the bottom of my heart but you know this already.
So, now to get on with the final push and make the big finish. Just got a giant table saw and a giant Mother and Baby to go! If you gotta go, go BIG!!
Jennifer Kilgour is an artist and maker specialising in model making, sculpture, painting and drawing.
She also loves making other things like wee animations (trained in that and everything), small coffee tables (singular) and walking the family dog in the woods.