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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Who Decide is an exhibition currently on show at the National Museum in Cardiff which consists are many different artists including Mark Boyle and Dan Rees. The exhibition contained Mayne different types of artwork including paintings, drawings, ceramics, video and mixed media with a range of meanings some of which were personal and others were simple. Dan Rees and Terry Setch are two artist in the exhibition which created their pieces of artwork that are inspired by family memories.
Terry Setch produced an abstract painting using oil on a canvas titled Axminster II. It was inspired by his family Christmas tree and the lights and colours on it. The greens, reds and yellows give a warm calm atmosphere which gives a festive feeling to the work and is well suited to this time of year. If there was no written definition of the piece it could be interpreted as flowers or countryside or possibly fireworks. As the exhibition states ‘who decides’ what is art, the interpretation of the pieces of art in this show can be of a variety depending on each person.
Dan Rees is another artist in the show who produced a piece based on personal memory titled Art Painting. It was inspired by his grandmothers home in Swansea. The description of the work then asks the audience what their earliest memories of home are which got me thinking… my earliest memories of home are chaos, animals and laughter. I grew up in a crazy family with many animals and older siblings who typically treated me as the baby my whole life. I have loved my upbringing with the ups and downs.
Mark Boyle and Joan Hills exhibited the Liverpool Dock Series which was a collection of pieces from their travels. The pieces of captions of earth recreated using mixed media. I have known the Boyle Family’s work for a few years and used them as inspiration during my GCSE and A Levels because they created very textural realistic works.
The exhibition had an area near the beginning which allowed the visiting audience to vote on what was exhibited in the gallery by writing the number of the piece down on a piece of paper along with a comment explains why you would wanted it to be shown. This is the first time I have seen this style of curation and think it is an extraordinary idea because it allows the public to get more involved in the artwork and the gallery especially art students at the local universities. This exhibition was so fascinating and is definitely one of the best I’ve been to because it had a range of people curating the work including everyday people such as a management officer in Cardiff.