For my exhibition I wanted to use my favourite medium, charcoal, because I love the texture and deep it creates. Alison Lambert, born 1957, studded Fine Art at Coventry School of Art is an established British artist. Lambert is a charcoal artist who produces expressive portraits. The works are of a very large scale using multiple pieces of paper place together like a jigsaw. She uses a lot of charcoal especially compressed charcoal to create great depth and darkness to her work. I am inspired by the way she uses to charcoal and is not afraid of using too much in her work. The way Lambert joins the scraps of paper together is interesting because it is al most as though she is building the face or figure through the paper. The jigsaw effect works with the charcoal to create more texture to the work and gives life to the portrait. By this, the combination of the two materials gives a sense of experience and memory to the piece. It is fascinating how Lambert uses this to her advantage to emphasise the meaning of her work. I have chosen Lambert as an artist to use because her work is very similar to my style of working and I have learnt a lot by the way she uses the charcoal and how it interacts with the paper. Her work is relevant to mine because of the materials she uses and the topics she chooses.
Jenny Saville is another artist relevant to my project because of the topics she works with. Most of her work is portraiture and figurative. She mostly uses her own body in her work which is interesting because most artists do not. This way of working is more personal and she is either body-shaming or body-praises her own figure rather than others. “Flesh is the most beautiful thing to paint” she states because of the contours and textures in flesh. Some of her work depicts the lines and markings made on the body before a person has liposuction. This work comments on the cuttings and traumas the body goes through when people change their body through cosmetics and prosthetics. The idea that social media, celebrities and modern day fashion styles has a massive influence on own body image and has a huge impact on peoples cognitive and mental health when it comes to our body. It is able to manipulate us into how we perceive ourselves.
Andy Goldsworthy is an artist who works in nature. He uses leaves, wood, rocks and earth in his work where he creates circular shapes. His work is all nature and therefore only temporary. He photographs the work to preserve it as he and nature have control of it. His work is usually bright and colourful. “I cant edit the materials I use” he quotes which makes his work challenging because he has to work with the materials available to him rather than changing him to what he wants.
I am fascinated by Goldsworthy’s art because it shows human interaction with nature. The temporality of the work means although humans can interaction with nature however, nature remains in control of itself. The works are beautiful and delicate. I have used his theme of circles in my own work because I feel they create unity and bring the work together.
Antony Gormley is another artist who works in nature. I am inspired by these piece below, because the figures interact with the environment. For example, the image of the left gives the impression gives a sense of freedom and looking for something whereas, the image on the right is more depressive and longing. Gormley thinks a lot about the positioning of the figures and how the interaction with the environment.
I enjoy the way he works because the figures are very simple and yet become more complex when faced in the environment.
“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 it’s about something we know very little about or something we now much.” (Vincent Van Gogh, ninasartspace.com).
Ron Miller is an astronomical artist who specialist in science fiction illustration. I came across his work when looking into space art on the internet. Miller’s work is fascinating because it is so photo-realistic. The work is formed from scientific data and research. Then research allows him to create these extremely realistic works. I am not an artist who works in a photo realistic way however, I found this work very aesthetically pleasing. This work is research for my project because it shows how other artists perceived the Universe and the ‘unknown’. There is a lot of research and image taken in outer space however, there are only a small number who have seen it first hand. Miller’s work does however, give a great representation of space and does start to make me think about planets and life on other planets.
The illustrations create the most realistic representation of space out of the two artists. They are from very different eras in time – Miller’s is the most up to date because it refers to modern day research.
Molly Williams is a textile artist based in East Sussex who specialises in felt and ceramic figures. She creates the figures using wire, wool, homemade felt and clay. The ‘dancers’ are mounted on found pieces of wood which are sanded and polished. The dancers usually have very long limbs and slim bodies and are posed into distorted expressive positions. A lot of her work is very colourful as she is inspired by Ottoman cultural. Molly spent her childhood in Africa and Turkey and so has a strong connection with the cultures and has first hand experience with the designers, fashions and bright colours of both. The figures, although slim, have great structure and muscle to them through the use of wool to bulk out the work. Molly makes the felt herself using bright coloured wools to form the ‘skin’ for the model.
Her work is relevant to my own because she too looks into the expressive of dancers and how they have the ability to perform beautiful elegant poses. She attends a lot of life drawing classes and spends time sketching figures and the body. I am fascinated by the way she can produce these figures through felt and metal. I am likely enough to have first hand contact with her and am able to bounce ideas from her as she is very experience in the topic. She hangs the work in a way which emphasises the pose. Hanging the work on fishing wire creates a very light enjoy sense to the work whereas, hanging the work over metal poles creates a lot more expressive to the work. The material she uses to hang complements the work. This is important because it could or could not impede the art and change the meaning the artist is trying to create. This is very important to art and should always be considered during the hanging.
The contemporary artist, Jenny Saville, is one of my favourite artists because I am fascinated by her use of oil and acrylic paint to create very expressive emotional pieces. Most of her work is nude images of her own body which has been distorted and changing the proportions, shape and ‘beauty’ of it.
Some of her work depicts the lines and markings made on the body before a person has liposuction. This work comments on the cuttings and traumas the body goes through when people change their body through cosmetics and prosthetics. The idea that social media, celebrities and modern day fashion styles has a massive influence on own body image and has a huge impact on peoples cognitive and mental health when it comes to our body. It is able to manipulate us into how we perceive ourselves.
Wodiczko is a Polish artist renown for his large-scale slide and video projections. Some of the main themes include war, conflict, trauma, memory and communication in the public sphere.
‘Homeless Vehicles’ of 1987-89 is a piece that he redirected “attention from the work of art as dissent to the work of art as social action”. The project is both useful and symbolic: the artist’s first work to use a collective process to legitimise the problems of a marginal community without legitimating the crisis of homelessness. I am fascinated by his work because it creates a reaction from the audience. I like the way he has form the vehicles using scrap material to directing represent that which a homeless victim would have to do in order to survive. I do however, find it a little controversial that all of the pushers of the vehicles are black….maybe it was acceptable at the time? Maybe this is the reaction Wodiczko is trying to create…he definitely got it from me!
Andy Goldsworthy is a contemporary British widely known for his site-specific artworks. Goldsworthy uses natural material from the environment in which he is installing the work. He uses sticks, leaves, branches, rocks, water and other natural materials in the work. After completing the work, Goldsworthy documents it through photography as the physical work is only temporary. The photographs are what is displayed in galleries and exhibitions. He installed his work in England, Scotland, North Pole, Australian and the USA. These environments have great beauty and help Goldsworthy understand nature by directly participating in it. I find that Goldsworthy doesn’t necessarily plan what materials he is going to use but uses what he finds around him. “Its not about art, it’s just about life and the need to understand that a lot of things in life do not last”. I find this a really interesting way of working and find it is extremely evident in his work. The materials he uses are temporary and organic.
I enjoy Goldsworthy’s work because it is aesthetically pleasing. His work has a strong sense of nature’s beauty and fluidity and yet you can tell there is human influence and presence here.