Covid-19 and a refreshed look on my art

The recent events and the shutting of University has forced me home. The initial outlook was a very negative one on the way I was to proceed with my work. After great thought and not taking and discussions with tutors and family members. I decided to not totally rethink my idea but plan ways I could develop it into something more virtual for my final exhibition.

After looking in Yvonne Rainer I was massively inspired by her Hand Video, 1996 because I felt it created a funny creative mood of a hand. I have been attempting to explore how a hand can be distorted and stressed through movement and how use certain materials would help to reflect this further but, I was ignoring the beautiful and sense of a hand as a whole. The hand can be described as the physical voice of the mind. Hands hold so more power and tranquility and yet hold anger. A person often expresses their feelings through hand gestures and yet in society they can go unnoticed. I decided to create my own hand video on a white background and nothing but the hand. By doing this, I feel I have more to explore within the subject and have been given the opportunity to explore more directions. Video editing to very new to me but I feel I can make something great with it.

The new location for my working is also refreshing because I now have different inspirations around in including social interactions and environment. Obviously, being isolated and not being able to go out into the environment though. I am fortunate enough to have a large garden and a work space for me to continue my art. Not only this but, the idea of a virtual degree show is unexpected and challenging but I feel something great could come from it. I have decided to produce my own virtual gallery space to show my work. I will also explore other places I could virtually display my work. I could edit my work onto the walls of the Saatchi Gallery or other Gallery for that. I think this time is an eye opener and has opened me to many opportunities to explore and experiment.

 

My exhibition and how I want to exhibit my work

The large scale drawings on the ripped paper will look better unframed because the framing will limit each piece. The sides if the frames will contain the work but I feel it will be too enclosed and ‘finished’ for my work. The torn paper creates an unfinished feeling but also reflects the emotions in the image itself and so by framing the work will diminish this. However, the problem with not framing the paper raises questions of how to exhibit the pieces. I don’t want to have large screws or forms of hanging showing because I feel it could disrupt the work. I have decided to hang it on white walls because I want the back drop to be neutral. The background does not have anything to do with the art and so white is a strong neutral shade to go with. The richness of the charcoal will also contrast with the white background and so the art will stand dominant on the wall.

The Cardiff National Museum held a photography exhibition which I visited in January to explore ways curators and artists exhibit work. Although photographs are very different to the way I work, it still helped to see how different types of art can be exhibited. The two separate rooms in the exhibition curated the work in different ways. In one exhibition the work was contained in small fitted frames which were screwed to the wall using small screws fixed behind each piece. The fixings were small and discrete and so they didn’t take any attention away from the art itself. However, in the other exhibition to photographs were unframed and pinned to the wall using circular flat screws. The unframed effect gave the work a more unfinished look and made the work look more to resemble propaganda and posters. The whole exhibition was unframed which worked however, I believe photographs should be framed or at least fixed to the wall in a neater, more organised manner. It was interesting to the different ways artists decided to display their photographs in their work depending on the concept. I feel with a more contemporary concept the work is displayed better unframed because it is not as though the work is vintage and necessarily needs to be preserved. By this, I need older more vintage photographs look better framed because it suits their time more. It was interesting to see the different ways the artists had curated their exhibition and wanted the audience to perceive their art.

Alison Lambert draws on paper and does not frame her work. It is unclear how exactly she exhibits her work but, there are no visible pins or screws so I think she has managed to find a way to secure the work from behind. I am inspired by this method because it means there is no attention taken away from the drawing its self. The almost ‘self hanging’ idea creates a sense that the work is simply there and is a presence in the exhibition. The lack of visible fixings gives the impression that the work can be easily moved and exhibited in a range of places.

When I have been creating my own work on torn paper I have found a way to hide the wall fixings by placing more paper on top of them. I feel the wall bindings could take away any focus from the work and also eliminates any need for the work to be framed in order to hang it from the wall. When I was looking into ways I could display my work, I did not exclude ideas such as hanging from the ceiling or simply fitting the paper to the wall using pins. The issues which I encounter when looking at this ideas included: I did not want to fix the art completely to the wall; rather I have to gently resting against it the wall. Hanging the work from the ceiling could have been either against the wall so the work is only resting across it or hanging in the middle of the space. By hanging the work, problems such as the paper ripping could arise and ultimately ruin the piece. Hanging the work in the middle of the space would be interesting because the audience would be able to walk around the art and it could be seen as a journey, depending of the pieces I decide to use in my exhibition. I have decided this way of hanging would not suit the concept within my art. In conclusion, this discussion has allowed me to think through the different methods of curating the work and with that, I have decided to fix the work to the wall with invisible fixings which are covered by more paper around the edges. alison lambert copy

Alison Lambert, Portrait

Visiting a range of different exhibitions and shows to explore a wide range of ways to exhibit work has created a thought process for me and the way I want to present my work because the way it is curated affects mood and the sense of the work.

Picasso and Paper

The Royal Academy of Arts, London, is currently holding an exhibition to both record and celebrate the artistic career and lifetime of Pablo Picasso. The exhibition starts at the beginning of his artistic career when he attended the Fine Arts School in Barcelona where he father worked. Picasso was only thirteen years old when he attended the school and so clearly had a keen interest in art from a young age.

The exhibition was intriguing because it acted as a timeline exploring the different stages and experimental periods during the artist’s lifetime. During his early years Picasso studied expressionism through his work with many studies of hands, figures and self portraits. ‘The Artist Drawing and studies of hands’, 1897-99 [figure 1]  is one of the pieces found in the exhibition which I found interesting because it is a simple study created during his Expressionism period. The use of crayon and charcoal on paper has created a simple piece with little detail. Picasso has used shading and tone in the piece but has refrained himself from added detail. The style of Picasso’s work throughout most of his career refrains from great detail and focuses more on simple yet effective tone and shading. Not only this, Picasso regularly used single lines to outline the body of the work without using lots of little lines. By doing this, the artist is only capturing the single lines of the model and not creating what I would see as more movement by adding a few lines in an attempt to capture the figure. The singular line does however, form a clear fluidity to the work.

For me, there is not one stage of his career which is most inspiring and relevant to me because when walking around the exhibition I focuses mostly of the hands within pieces and the studies of hands which he produce throughout his lifetime. Within the different eras, the hands are shaped, contoured and even how they are interpreted. Picasso, whilst exploring Expressionism will have interpreted a hand differently than during his exploration for Surrealism.

The exhibition focused on the way Picasso used drawing and painting on paper. The exhibition showed how he used anything and everything to create his art especially during the war where materials were limited. It is evident in his work that he used paper of different sizes, qualities and even torn pieces within his work. This type of work is relevant to myself because this is the style I enjoy creating because I feel it creates texture and detail into the work sometimes without needing to add too much pencil, paint of charcoal.

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Figure 1. A Artist drawing and study of a hand, Pablo Picasso, 1897-99, crayon on paper

Tactile Bosch

Tactile Bosch is a Cardiff based group who have exhibited around the world. They are a very Labyrinth group who strive to challenge their audience. They work is about enjoying and experiencing the room by taking it in fully. This can be quite a challenge for some people especially those who may not be exposed to conceptual art a lot of the time. As a Fine artist I can allow myself to fully experience the work by relaxing and just taking in the work. Tactile Bosch came to talk to us about how we as young artists could get involved in the group. They have taken us the opportunity to potentially exhibit our work in their upcoming exhibition in Cardiff or to simply help with the setup as an experience or curation in the real world.

Citizen 3 was an exhibition in 2012 based in Cardiff on 23 June – 15 July. The annual projects look into painting, drawing and printing but, this specific year was exclusively devoted to painting. Painting has continued to evolve through a dramatic and unceasing system and the method of working still inspires and fascinate artists today. The painting in this exhibition contains more conceptual approaches and perspectives than traditional or traditional contemporary painting. This could even be on a single canvas. There are many artists in this exhibition from Wales, the Uk and internationals. I thought this exhibition was inspiring because it challenges the traditions of painting and makes the audiences question how paint can be used in art.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

 

Exhibition Build

My work is going to be very simple to mount and exhibit because it is collages and a painting. The work will be mounted on the the wall simply so that it stands out is the focus. I will have two collages from the consolidation project and a painting on a piece of wood. I have a corner space so I want the two collages side by side because they are the strongest connection out of the three pieces of work and compliment each other the most. They will be hung against the wall and fastened to it by small metal plugs to keep them flat and smooth. The connecting wall is half the size of a standard wall so I will have my painting of the eye on it because although they work does relate, it is not directly connected and therefore I want to use the corner as a slight divide between the works.The walls will be white so the paintings stand out because the whiteness highlights the artwork. The top of each pieces of art will be level but the bottoms and widths won’t be the same because they are all different sizes. I think the different sizes will give the display movement and diversity. I want the tops of the artwork to be levels so it is square and neat.

However, when it came to the installation of the work. The layout and artworks I decided to use changed. I decided to only use the larger collage because it was the most detailed and the better one out of the two. I wasn’t entirely happy with the eye painting so I get home a produced a charcoal drawing. I was so much happy with the charcoal drawing because it is more my style. When I hung the drawing and the collage on the wall I felt there was a gap between the pieces so I tried out the painting in the middle. I think it work really well and brought all the work together.

 

Andrew Salgado

Andrew Salgado is an artist I discovered when browsing the Internet for painters relevant to my idea and concept. I was lucky enough to visit his three day exhibition in London on June 2nd. The exhibition was small in terms of the amount of work but most of the paintings were large scale and very powerful. Salgado explains how he’s work challenges the “deconstruction and reconstruction of identity” as well as the conventions of painting itself. Salgado uses bright colours to challenge these conventions and as an act of the progression of painting from traditional methods into more contemporary styles. I think this makes the artists work ethnically, racial and sexually diverse because the colours and markings he has made give a sense of peace and love. Salgado has used both men and women in his work although the exhibition is called ‘nature boy’ which may give the assumption of an all male show. His work reminded me of the struggles of female equality and how our identity has been suppressed and ignored by men in history. The work is very noble and peaceful which could be related to my project of female equality because it is also monumental and a mark of triumph.

I decided to visited the exhibition in person because I feel looking at work in books and on the Internet doesn’t allow me to truly experience the it but, standing in front of it does help me to respond better and develop my own personal feelings towards the art. This is how I enjoy working – allowing the audience to respond to my work and develop an understanding in there own way. I focused on his painting of eyes (these weren’t present at the exhibition) because they showed a lot of emotion. I was inspired by Salgado’s work because he uses very expressive brush strokes which promotes the emotion Salgado is trying to capture. Throughout his work, Salgado uses colour to tone and highlight the features of the face and eyes. Rather than uses blacks, he has used blues, greens and reds to tone and some white along with yellows and pinks to highlight and sculpt the face. This keeps the painting warm and welcoming which is an aim of the artist according to his explanations.

The Fleshy Body – Review of Luke Roberts’ exhibition.

Luke Roberts has responded to the idea of human life and how the human conditions is seen through both the physical experience and the emotions of a person. Roberts used oil paint to create texture and form a realistic depiction of the human skin. You are unable to identify each painting because they are all close up of the skin which creates abstract expressive work. This has also enabled Luke to form the emotion to the work and able the audience to see the representation of this physical life experience he is attempting to create in his own way. The paintings are mounting on the wall in a way which draws the audiences eyes across all of the artworks rather than just focusing on one piece. They compliment each other.

I am fascinated by Lukes work because he has used different thickness layers of the paint to form texture and materialisation. I find the pieces appealing and aesthetically pleasing because they show some emotion and are as though they contain a story or history. Roberts uses tone to produce a mixed mood and highlight that internal emotion associated with every person. Our emotions and life experience are what make us unique and shape our personality and character. Roberts is uses this to convey his own understanding and interpretation of this theory. I found this fascinating because as well as giving his response, Luke has allowed space for the audience to interpret the work in their own way. I believe this is a key factor in Fine Art because is challenges a concept or theory in a more expressive creative way.

Women in Focus – National Museum of Wales

The Women in Focus exhibition is a two-part exhibition. Currently, the first part is on display which focusing on ‘Women Behind the Lens’ which celebrates a range of female photographers throughout history and some pioneering female photographers in Wales. This exhibitions including the work of Clementine Schneidermann and Mary Dillwyn. The brief at the beginning of the exhibition gives the audience an outline of it to help them grasp an understanding of the work whilst exploring through the different works, themes and representations. The brief also stated that this exhibition is to celebrate the first stage of progression for equality – the right to vote for women in 1918. Over the last 100 years men and women have become more equal especially through the arts.

I was particularly interested in the work of Sian Davey’s who displays two pieces: Martha and Alice which were two series of photographs she produced. I mostly focused on the piece ‘Martha’, an artwork which involved 10 young women, the artists’ daughter and her friends posing with a range of attitudes and reactions to their exposure. I over heard from another visitor in the exhibition that Davey’s spent almost two years gaining the trust of her daughters friends for this photoshoot. I interpreted this photo a trust and confidence photo because you can see from the positioning of the girls and each of their expressions they all have different levels of security and willingness to be visible in it. When looking at this piece of art the question “What if it was a male photographer’s work?” comes to mind which would change the response of the audience and possibly make the work into an objectification piece. At first glance, the image looks as though the models are being exposed and documented behind the lens but, when you begin to look more closely at their expressions, you can start to see a softer, more insecure representation. This made me realise the work was not to objectify but to gain the trust of the models.

I feel I responded well to this exhibition because it conveys similar subjects as my theme of female equality and, made me question the common reaction it is getting as well as  how it could be very different if the artist was male.

It really was a Discomfort Zone!

The Discomfort Zone exhibition was based in Three Doors Up, a space in the middle of Cardiff. A group of Level 5 students included objects and videos which made me really very uncomfortable and even cringe. As you entered the exhibition you were immediately hit by high pitch sounds and the disappointment that the so-called Buffett was in fact a piece of art – quite disturbing sandwiches and salads contained in jelly. The further you travelled into the exhibition the more uncomfortable it got because there were different features added for us to process. This made it difficult to focus on the work but develop a response from the audience which I think was an intension of theirs.

I really liked the way the artists made the exhibition interactive; there were many activities for everyone to do including popping balloons between someone, hitting a piñata and revelling secrets and confessions. This made me think about how I could make my work more interactive using my common themes of politic and social issues. The thought of installations are our of my comfort zone but I think in some way I could produce something using my themes and this style of work. Tracey Emin is another artist who produces socially interactive art so I will be looking into her art in more detail.

This exhibition has made me think about how certain behaviour i.e. playing with particularly body parts, changing sandwich fillings and scaring others can cause such a disturbance in our feelings. I thought it was very interesting how they used very common disturbances which would affect everybody. When talking to others in the exhibition as we walked around there were some mixed views; some really enjoyed it, some couldn’t wait to leave and others didn’t really know what to think of it.

Out of the three exhibitions we visited throughout the day this was definitely my favourite because it provoke a strong response from myself and my fellow class mates. This is relevant to my practice because I to create work to give rise to a reaction from the audience. My work tends to be political, social and emotional related which provokes thoughts of my audiences on the matter at hand. However, I have no yet explore installation art making the visual presentation of the work very different to my own style. The interactiveness of the exhibition was very interesting and helped me to understand the concept behind it. My response to the exhibition was light-hearted and humorous and I thoroughly enjoyed it.