Isabel Barrett

For my project, I have been investigating imperfections and ‘by-products’ that exist within architectural structures and decorative/ornamental features, including the Birmingham School of Art. Within these structures lies details (e.g. negative spaces within decorations, chipped wood and leftover stains from previous events) that seemingly have no materialistic or decorative value upon first inspection and are therefore unnoticed. However, these aspects within such structures contain memories of a different time period as well as a collection of previous events formed by people who have lived, worked or studied in the space. For example, leftover paint found on the studio floor is a visual memory of art exhibits and individual development of one’s practice; that on its own has a level of value because it is an experience preserved by the structure. The colours and patterns that are found there is a representation of thoughts, ideas and exposure from various elements having decorative value, especially in terms of contemporary art where such details can be reinterpreted as new and unique designs through modern processes. Through research and my own making, I explored how using such techniques and materials, inspired by imperfections and by-products, can be used to create something that is contemporary and materialistically relevant in today’s society.