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 has also occasionally made the odd animation, wooden furniture and walking the family dog in the woods.