Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Maddie Smith- Initial ideas

Hey cowboy

Hey cowboy-

How was your road trip.

It’s cold and I’m drinking cocktails.

The swing dance band is playing hard-

So let it-



I like the way you shake your tail feathers.

Each and every word a poem.

Come back to mine and let limbs tangle till dawn.

No heartache will happen-

Or dive into your own dreams and stroke away your own desires.


Don’t cry-

Because in my mind, in my mind’s eye,

The sky is glorious,

Not purple and polka dot,

And you are the queen of the bees’ knees.


Hold my hand-

The swing dance band is playing.


Follow the people with the painted faces,

And the dark green bottles in their hands-


To scrape the stars into a dirty jar-

With long and pointed nails.

Into an exquisite pot of jam,

To gaze at till





Into rivers of chocolate milk on the floor.

Go fetch a straw-

Brothers of blues and lovers of so much more,

And we will drink it all.

Long island ice tea, darling.

Kiss me nice darling,

The circus and the clown

 Will spin round and round-

And let them.

This poem deals with love, friendship and music. It conveys an exotic sense of celebration alongside hints of anxiety.

I am exploring distortions in reality and a sense of strangeness through the use of unusual materials.

Colour is key and taking inspiration from the poem I aim to create something beautiful and bold.

I have filmed-

 A mouth filled with sequins, blue and orange lipstick. This footage, with its bold use of colour expresses a sensual strangeness. Mouths are a very sensual part of the body, used for kissing, talking, not often for containing sequins.

I also explored the lines

“To scrape the stars into a dirty jar-

With long and pointed nails”

Here I painted long, pointed false nails purple, scattered some multi coloured sequins on some fabric and scraped at them with the nails. The footage zoomed right into the tips of the nails. We also explored filming this through a kaleidoscope, to distort the image, creating an absurdity, linking back to the hallucinogenic qualities within the poem.

Installation- I have had a few ideas for installation including-

Projecting onto grey organza, this would mute the colours and the weave of the fabric would create distortions in the film.

Projecting onto three walls to create an almost overwhelming explosion of colour.

The idea that is at the front of my mind at present, is to create half a big-top made out of red and purple fabric. This would work on a number of levels and it would help to block out some of the light in the gallery. This concept also links to the line in my poem “The circus and the clown will spin round and round- and let them.” I understand that this is quite an obvious idea conceptually, but it is something to experiment with. I like the idea of giving my film a space of its own. The film would be encapsulated within the fabric, the fabric would hang over it slightly. Inside the tent would be an almost mystical film.

After watching “The Last Circus” directed by Alex De La Inglesia, for inspiration, I decided that, at times, I would use the materials of the circus in an unusual way. This includes using sequins and smoke as well as the potential of experimenting with hints of animal print.

I plan to stitch out the poem to be displayed on the walls of the gallery. I will use calico as a blank background and brightly coloured thread. I have a couple of display ideas to discuss with the other artists when we meet.

1 comment:

  1. Really exciting ideas Maddie. I love the idea of projecting onto organza if it was suspended so you could walk around it that would be really interesting, so you see it from back to front too. it might move slightly when someone walks past?