The Universe in the eyes of an artist….me.

I have researched many different interpretations of the universe of contemporary non-contemporary artists which has given me a board understanding of how different artists see the extraordinary mystery outside of our world. I found the contemporary artists are very well-known, well at least to me because I’ve never explored this field of ideas. The non-contemporary or traditional artists are a lot more well know i.e. Vincent Van Gogh!

Using the original image [pain – echo – tree] and the idea of the universe developed by a student on my course as an exercise, I started to develop my own ideas. I love the colours used in the image, the purples, the blacks and the blues so I have decided to incorporate them into my work. Io interpreted my work as explosives and the sky. I took this further and research space and the mystery of what is outside of our world. There are many theories about other life in the universe, other planets with similar life forms? I believe there could be something else out there! Although humans are such intelligently evolved complex forms, we cannot be the only ones in these insanely huge universe. I started to think about portals into other dimensions with the theories on these internet. The colours I wanted to use would work well blended together to form a 3D portal into something unknown. I feel this fascinating and exciting!

I have never been bog on painting but this process has been interesting and I can started to move onto the more detailed stage of the painting. This could be something really interesting and exciting to look at! I’ll keep you posted!!

The Universe

The universe. We know more about it than we do our own oceans and yet it is still one of the most mysterious concepts. The Earth is hundreds of millions of years old and humans have been around for around 200,000 years. You would have thought with all that time we would know more about our universe and whats outside of the world. I believe there is definitely more out there than just us but what else there is is a mystery. I think with improving technology and the developing scientific knowledge of humanity we will be able to gain a better understanding of the universe. However, I do think the mystery of the universe is interesting and maybe we shouldn’t know everything about it.

Many artists have explore the concept of the universe through animation, painting, draw and film. As there is little information on the universe, the imagination plays a key role in the interpretation of space.

Vincent Van Gogh’s painting ‘Starry Nights’ conveys the nights sky from his asylum room. Van Gogh was a very unstable soul but he didn’t create some very interesting work. This painting [below] shows his imagination of the universe. During his time there was very little information of the universe and life outside of our world. The colours and texture Van Gogh creates, portray a portal to another universe… or could it be to another world. The imagination can be expressed so well through art whether its about something we know very little about or something we now much.



Perception in Practice: Week 1

Catherine Belsey stated that “there is no practice without theory”. I agree with Belsey because all art and design has a purpose or a concept behind it. All of my work has a concept, a response to an issue. I think this is what makes art art; it gives it meaning, purpose, a way for the audience to understand it. Even the things we take for granted, things we aren’t consciously aware of have a theory behind them.

Roland Barthes, the French literary theorist, talks about how children are “a homunculus”, a “microcosm of the adult world”. It explains that children are a smallest version of man. He goes on to talk about how children’s toys are “constituted by myths r techniques of modern adult life” meaning that these toys portray everyday jobs and systems of the modern man including:

  • Military
  • Postman
  • Fireman
  • Schools
  • Transport (trains, cars, trunks and buses)
  • Hairstyling

“These toys show what adults find not unusual, war, ugliness etc.”.

Even today young girls are unconsciously shown how to rear a baby with the new babydoll’s which urinate, cried and can even be fed. So many children have these toys and yet they are told not to get pregnant at a young age and to always use protection? This is contradictory don’t you think? I understand that girls may need help/guidance when it comes to having a baby but from such a young age? No. Times have change, society has change from the ideology that woman are baby makers.

Anyway, back on topic, all of the toys we play with as a child in the modern society, are replicas of issues with deal with as adults. We give our children toy soldiers, plastic guns and town builds with burning buildings and destruction. Is this a way of showing young people what normality is in our world? Or are we even conscious of the fact that this is what they are exposed to?

I feel more research on the matter is needed and the opinions of other theorists to develop my own opinion.

Responding to the Response

After a week of creating work from another’s image, we exchanged works and were tasked to response to this. Having worked with Io’s image I really started to build a strong idea I want to develop and explore. Although I have brought together some great ideas for this, I need to work with my original image.

I felt Io took my image in a very different direction to what I was originally thinking about. She interpreted the work as the universe and explosions. I thought the piece was very peaceful and calm with the colours and tones of the piece. The purples, blues and blacks along with the figurative shapes create the mystery in the work and the running ink helps to bring the whole piece together.

pain tree echo.jpg

Once why I received Io’s response back, I was quite worried because it was very different to my style of work and I wasn’t too sure how to go forward. The 1 hour response task proved pretty difficult because I had NO IDEA what to do!! It took a while, but 45 minutes in and I GOT AN IDEA!! I started to combine the waves and tides I had created in my response piece with the colours of my original image and began to see black holes and the universe. I started to understand where Io was going. It reminded me of the universe in our minds – our thoughts, emotions, experiences – and how it forms our personality.

I have decided I will be painting with idea onto a canvas as it will enable me to blend the colours more easily and be create a vibrant piece. Im hoping this will be an interesting artwork as well as developing my ideas further.


The Sea of Emotion

Having studied a fellow student’s chosen image (summer project) I was tasked to respond to it in a personally way. It was not meant to be a copied but my interpretation of it. After studied it for a while the obvious fish scene became less straightforward to me and the ideology of people watching and today society started to develop.

I wanted to keep to my strengths for this project and used charcoal however, it instead of drawing on paper I thought canvas would give a hazed, broken affect without added any other materials (paper, cardboard etc.). I was fascinated by the idea that we visited aquariums and zoos to watch wildlife go about their daily lives. What would happen if it was the other way around? Wildlife came to museums and containers to watch us. Would that be a thing? I guess we do watch people, at least I do!

I took the background of the chosen image and created an expressive response using the charcoal for my piece. At first I wasn’t really sure what I was trying to create but when I looked for the piece coming together from a distance I began to see parts of a face. I didn’t intend to create this, a happy accident, but I think it gives my work the intention I was looking for. I wanted to form the idea of how how emotions and personalities are a sea in our minds and that then can change depending on our mood and experiences. The slight presence of the human eye presents the experiences we see in life and society.

I wish to continue this ideology and research it more experimentation and contextualisation  and reading of articles and current issues.

All Too Human – Tate Britain 28 Feb – 27 Aug 2018

It’s a great feeling coming across an exhibition of your most inspirational artists in the Tate. Jenny Saville, Lucian Freud, Giaccometti along with many other artists displayed a few of their pieces based on the human body and human emotions.

Jenny Saville is an incredible contemporary painter who focuses on the body, its image, as well as portraying a grotesque piece for the audience to experience. I was always taught to always work from life, where possible, however, Saville does the opposite and always studies from images. She mostly works from her own body so photos are the easier option for this because her work takes a long time to create and her body will easily change positioning and angle. This does give Saville a disadvantage in the fact that she is working from the interpretation of the camera and not of her own eyes.


Jenny Saville Reverse 2002-03, Courtesy of Larry Gagosian 

Lucian Freud, another contemporary painter similar to Saville, is an artist I’ve enjoyed the work or because he captures the body and emotion using a mixture of acrylic and oil paint. Although I am not a keen painter I am fascinated by his ability to express his personal feelings in his work. He experienced many truma’s during the Holocaust. You are able to see the prolonged effects of this in his work. I am particularly interested in his figurative work because they really portray a sense of disbelief and tiredness which I find very calming and peaceful.


Lucian Freud 1996, Sleeping by the Lion Carpet

When attempting to convey a strong emotion towards a matter or experience, the work does not have to be aggressive and harsh but can give the impression of boredom towards the ongoing affect.


Practice based Research

Research doesn’t have to just be looking at books, the internet or visiting exhibitions. When studying art you are surrounded by other developing artists who have the potential to help you with fresh ideas and pathways for your work.


Our tutors took advantage of this idea and asked us to swap images and respond to it. This could be anything. iIt didn’t have to be a copy, but an interpretation, the first thing that comes to mind when you look at the work.  Getting the opportunity to respond to everyone’s image in the group meant they supplied you with a range of different interpretations and possible journeys to take your work on. I found that looking at other students’ work helped me to develop mine own ideas for my original image as well as helping my fellow classmates with their work. For example, one of the students used an old family photo, which I interpreted as being slightly spooky and sinister. I found it to be like this due to the ageing of the photography, as well as the facial expression of each member of the image. This made me think about the loneliness and the longing for connection of my chosen image. Andrea’s family photo showed the connections so many of us have then our families. I noticed mine was almost the opposite of this, the isolation that some of us live with.

Now we all had 15 different interpretations of our images. The next task was to pair up and swap photos. I was given a photo of fish [above]. I couldn’t quite tell if it was in a big aquarium or the ocean. At first the image didn’t do much do me as there was no obvious concept which came to mind. It was just an caption of colourful fish swimming in a big background. However, as I worked with it the piece became more and more interesting. I started to question the concept of the image, how we watch the fish swim. Its fascinating to compare them to humans. So many of us people-watch in coffee shops, retail stores, even when walking down the street. In the future could humans be placed into a tank and watched by others as they go on with their daily lives? It would be an interesting experiment and a more obvious type of people-watching.

This experiment has given me the opportunity to develop my ideas and allow my imagination to venture on different pathways to help stem my creativity.