What went well in my assessment:
My assessment was a great chance for me to sit with my personal tutor and talk about my work. I felt I was able to hear myself talk about my work which means I could clearly see what I was thinking about. I have
My tutor was really interested in my work especially my hand drawings. The intensity of the compressed charcoal and the ripped paper are really working for my idea. The collage I started was not so loved by her because she felt although the way I was distorting the body was interesting, it wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing with the charcoal and the coloured paper. Although, I have enjoyed the collage, we both agreed not to abandon my hand drawings.
Feedback on the hand drawings:
The feedback on the hand drawings was a lot more positive than the collage. My tutor especially liked the way the first hand in the hand sequence is finished on the ripped paper. I totally agree with this comment because I feel the connection between the ripped paper and the crawl movement completes the work in itself.
What to take forward with this feedback
The artists I have looked at are relevant to my work through materials and the concept of my work however, I have only used one contemporary artist so I need to look into a few more. Davida has given me an artist relevant to my work but I will be looking into a few more to broaden my knowledge and portfolio of artists.
In terms of my work, I need to look at the relationship between the hand itself and the drawing. I will start to build a portfolio of drawings of hands in different positions and even draw the hand drawing. By doing this I will being to build up the relationship between the two. Also, I was advised to used different materials to charcoal was depending on the image in the drawing, the charcoal can be too intense and heavy. She recommend I begin to think about the material I am uses for each study for example, use a lighter amount of pencil or charcoal for a gentler study and keep the dark intense charcoal for the more aggressive studies. By doing this, I am creating that relationship between the image and the gesture.
As a Fine Artist, I focus on exploring the body and human existence. I mostly look at the body anatomically rather than conceptually. I have study life drawing and working with dance schools to explore the body and how it can be distorted in order to express oneself. I have explored the idea of our existence in a range of ways including, the universe and societal issues of body shape and anorexia.
My current work looks at the hands and how they can express emotions. I am interested in the way hands can reciprocate the different states of mental health. I am working on a portfolio of hand drawings of different positions and movements. I am using my own hands because I want to explore my own state through my hands and how I see myself. Along with this, I am almost exploring movement through the continuation of life drawing and attending dance schools to record the dynamics of the body. These studies, both hands and life drawing are being incorporated into collage using other coloured paper and old work found around the studio.
I am fascinated by the way the body moves naturally in day to day life but I want to look at how we can purposely distort it through collage by changing the shape and contours of the figures in the drawings. The purpose of this is to create a piece of art which combines the ideas I have has with my drawings along with how I want to distort and create my work.
What have I done well in my essay?
My dissertation is an interesting subject because the definition and ideas behind it was still somewhat unknown and there are many approaches which can be explored to try to find an answer. Many psychologists have expressed their own ideas based on the knowledge already known as well as their own experience of the subject. I was really interested in investigating a range if different psychologists and explore their approaches because it would help to broaden my own knowledge of the topic. It was really interested especially the views of Kramer and Naumburg because of how they perceive art therapy. Whether ‘art is therapy’ or a factor under psychotherapy is a debate which I have investigated in my dissertation because they are two views which present different ideologies. Each idea is bias to itself but having looked into them I believe they both hold strong factors which strengthen the definition of art therapy. The broadness of the definition is what I believe makes art therapy a fascinating subject to have picked for my dissertation. I wanted to explored a range of psychologists including the two above as well as Sigmund Freud and Elinor Ulman. The really interesting part about most of these theorist is, they are also artists who have either experienced the ‘powers of art’ or have seen the effects all those around them. The different experiences and study range in all ages, abilities and cultures which makes the subject more diverse.
As well as exploring these ideologies from psychologists, I also wanted to explore past and present artists who have suffered with mental illness and had/have evidenced it in their work. The reason for this chapter of the dissertation was to give evidence for the subject and to explore the different ways different artist have express their feelings and emotions. I wanted to include real examples of the topic and provide some supporting evidence for the different uses and ways of showing it. Their artwork paints a picture for the audience and conveys a range of emotions. I think this is interesting because it is evident in the work where they gain their inspiration from and how they are trying to make said inspiration visual. The visual depiction helps the painter, sculptor, to create the emotions and to almost give them an identity. I decided to used four different artists in the piece, past and current artists because I think it gave a wide enough variety of different people with totally different experiences. Van Gogh simply conveyed his mental state at the time in his paintings and choice colours, tones, shapes within the painting which he felt were right at the time. Tracey Emin however, using art as a reminder for her reckless antics in her life. The reminders are not there to bring back that moment on time but to express the importance of remembering the good and the bad times in your life.
What would I do in the future to improve my essay?
I want to continue exploring the subject by researching more psychologists, art therapists and artists who may not necessarily express they are using art as therapy but, who I think could be. I will also be carrying out work experience which will help me to understanding the subject more and have first hand involvement in a therapeutic setting. In the future I want to research the work of Naumburg and Kramer because I believe their different approach hold interesting and very relevant ideas. This will also open me up to more researchers and expanding the knowledge on the topic. By obtaining more information, I feel it will help me with different clients and enable me to adapt my guidance depending on the client. Whether I want to approach the client in a more ‘psychotherapeutic’ way or to focus on the idea that the art making itself is therapeutic. The more detailed exploration of psychologists will help me in the future with my own career and give me the base line to potentially publish my own ideas which could be the basis for someone else.
Updated Artist Statement
- Large Scale Drawing
2. Life Drawing/dance class
3. Drawing with both Hands
- Alison Lambert
- Francis Bacon’s Life Drawings
- Francis Bacon’s Life Drawings
- Morgan O’Hara
As a Fine Artist, my work focusing on the exploration of human existence, looking at it anatomically as well as conceptually. I have explored the idea of our existence in a range of ways including, the universe and societal issues of body shape and anorexia but currently, I am looking into the expression of the human body through movement and distortion. I believe distorting the body enables you to truly see it. You need to look deeper, really seeing the body.
My current work looks at different anatomic parts of the through through the use of charcoal. Currently, the large scale static charcoal drawings I am producing are helping me to explore the physically and strength required by myself to produce such pieces. Along with this, I am almost exploring movement through the continuation of life drawing and attending dance schools to record the dynamics of the body.
I am fascinated by the way the body moves naturally in day to day life but I want to look at how we can purposely distort it to expose more and to begin to question emotions within the movements. Our bodies move, distorting our shape and contours forming interesting positions. I used charcoal and chalk in mist of my work because with the use of long fluid marks, you can begin to form movement in the work.
“Every movement of the brush on the canvas alters the shape and implications of the image” (Francis Bacon, unidentified newspaper cutting, 1960).
This quote by Bacon is fascinating because he understands that every brush strokes should be thought through and the artist should understand that every mark they make changes their work for better or for worse. I feel this quote can also be applied to drawing because no matter how big or small the marks you m are are, they all alter your work.
Francis Bacon used life drawing as a form of ‘notes’ as part of his portfolio of works. I am fascinated by his use of graphite and charcoal because he uses it kin a way which create long marks forming fluidity and movement in the work. As he uses them ‘notes’ you can almost see he’s thoughts in the work. Bacon is looking at the shape of the figure to understand it before beginning more complex interpretations. Bacon’s work has inspired me because the use of life drawing has helped develop his ability to draw and apply this to painting. The way he uses to graphite adds a sense of emotion and mentality to the work because although they are just ‘notes’, he still manages to add his feelings into the work.
Francis Bacon, Life Drawing, 1970, charcoal
Head Study, 1960, charcoal
The sculptural artist, Giacometti widely used drawing in his work however, he did not work from a model in his work. The reason for this is because the drawing accompanies his though process. Working from a model means you are focuses solely on the shapes and contours of the model in front of you but, as Giacometti worked with his thought process, the pencil was able to flow more so accommodate his workings. Giacometti worked through a stage in his artist career where he would draw old creations through memory. This exercise may mean the new work are distorted recreations which may even push for new ideas and new works.
Much of Giacometti’s work is categorised under ‘Surrealism’ which is art that releasing the potential of the unconscious mind’ As he worked mostly from memory in his drawing, Alberto allows his mind to flow in the creations of his work. I enjoy the way Giacometti works because he does not only use his surroundings in his work but he also uses his own mental state and thought process to interpret and influenzas ce the way he draws and creates work.
Alberto Giacometti, 1930
Alberto Giacometti, 1935
Alberto Giacometti, 1940
Surrealism is a more conceptual way of working and brings in the potential of the unconscious mind to take control and interpret the idea independently.