Experiments within limits and constraints

Experiments within limits and constraints — Shelcy Carpentier

Applied Context  2021—2022

Visual experiments made within limits and restrictions, some of which can be applied as a print to textile. The common thread in this material and object research is the notion of limited space and how it can be a source of inspiration, by looking at the daily environment in a different way and being able to work with only a limited supply of materials.

This project contains a material and object research trough experimental images, that began within the strict constraints of the corona crisis. The common thread in this research is the notion of limited living space and how it can be a source of inspiration, precisely by looking at the everyday environment in a different way and being able to work with only a limited supply of materials and elements.

The main idea was to look beyond what I see every day at first sight. My work can be seen as an analysis of the living environment and a different representation of perception. During this project I only worked with materials and elements out of my direct environment. I obtained all experimental images by looking deeper than the surface and studying, capturing and reworking the limited space. Not only have I worked around the entire space, but I also focused on smaller elements and details within this space, such as objects, shadows, textures, materials, patterns and transparencies. I treated these different observations in various ways by working with diverse techniques and materials such as letterpress, photography, Chinese ink, collage, graphic processing, 3D designs and painting in various ways.

Another important aspect in my work process is the unknown and the unexpected that arises through experimentation. This way I have learned to deal with uncertainty and imperfection, and allowed me to let go of my strong focus on predetermined results. Unleashing this result orientation created a more light-hearted atmosphere where I could reinvent myself and it offered me a fresh perspective to assess my work. It also made me realize that I have always limited myself. I always focused on trying to develop my own signature and thinking of what I wanted to represent, which made me lose sight of my real passions. By being more open and not choosing the save option, within a safe limited environment, I have pushed my own boundaries.

This research shows that sometimes very obvious techniques and materials can be interesting to make visual work with. Also having an eye for the unexpected and capturing these elements has contributed a lot to this project. In the early stages of this project I wondered if some of the images weren't too obvious or stereotypical. I eventually got rid of this thought, because a large part of this project is just about looking for an aesthetic in the obvious, the coincidence and the unexpected. Many of the experiments I did on canvas or paper should not be considered as the work itself in their physical form, but rather the digital version that could serve as an application for print design. The possible application of my work as a print on textiles did not influence me while doing the experiments, but it did broaden and clarify my vision on print design and its process. Many of the images in this book stand alone, but some of them can also be seen as a possible print that can be applied to textiles. I have learned that not just any image can serve as a print. This is why I chose just a selection of images for my print book that, according to my aesthetics and my short-term work experience in the field, would function well as a print on textile, possibly within the fashion industry on clothing.