Thea Penna is a contemporary portrait painter who has produced triptychs of portraits. They are either of the same person or of different people and show different emotions in each. They are quite imposes of the model and to the viewer because the model is looking straight at you which makes you feel as though you could see into her soul. The portraits give a sense of the person as they show the character and personality of them. Each image has different light which influences how they feel and are seen by the audience. I have taken the idea of how the light in the portraits is influencing the personality of the model and shows how lighting has power and can change the way we see things and are seen in society. Although I am not producing painting, I am inspired by this work because each image affects each other and work together to form the whole piece.
The first day of the Fine Art field project was really interesting and allowed me to use my conceptual skills more freely. My group consisted of fine artists and maker students so we had a good range of people with different ideas and skills to be used in the project.
The first task was to make a 1 minute video based around light (the overall theme of collaboration). I’ve done very little video work as an art student so this was something quite new to me but I was still very keen to create a conceptual piece about society and the power social media has over us. We decided to create some which explored how light has power and can change how reputation or view. We related the work to society and how social media has a huge impact on our lives and how we do things. We decided to use mobile phone lights and for them to be shown in the video because it relates to how social media is twisting and distorting our lives and it controlling them. Social media has an enormous impact on our lives especially in the last 10 years social media is controlling what we do and how we do this. Memes, trends and lifestyles are all influenced by Facebook, Instagram, twitter, snapchat and many other forms of it especially with young people in the modern day. Through our video we wanted to show a small glimpse of how it can affect us.
After producing the videos, each group had to swap and then respond to other video. The videos had a range of skills and uses of light in them. Some were more conceptual than others and had a more entertaining purpose than others. The video we were given was complete by a group of students from all of the courses. The video was portrait of one of the students and explored the affect light has on a face and how it can change, distort and alter our image and personality. The constant change of light on the face change the mood and atmosphere of the actor and a mysterious, deep sense to the work. For the second part of the project we had to respond to this, so we decided to take the lower body and create images with different lighting which affected the body in a way that portrayed a dark atmosphere. We used three of us in the work to form a trio of poses. The poses were the same but with the different outfits we were wearing formed a range of atmosphere and personalities to the work. We decided to explore a number of arrangements and positioning including seating on chairs, standing a group and capturing the light from in forward, behind and above to capture the different atmospheres and feelings associated with the work.
We decided to keep the ideas of power and control but altered it to explore the way light can give us power and dominance in society.
The third and final part of this project was to form an installation which responded to the video we given and the photo from another group to form a triptych. The work we are to respond to are exploring tension and balance. I still wanted to continue the idea of using ourselves in the work to keep a consistent flow in the project and also to experiment with how we could respond to work in a more interactive way. We decided to use other objects in this piece including jenga blocks and balancing objects to give the audience a sense of tension and uncertainty when experiencing the work.
For the next field project I was based in the Artist, Designer, Maker studio where I was placed into a group of five and tasked to explore the wonders of the pinhole camera.
As a group we decided to make two camera of different shapes. A round one to produce a curve image and a square camera to produce a flat image. The size of the hole needs to be small so not too much light is let in and the image is not whited out. We tried a 0.8mm hole to start with and tested it by placing a piece of photo paper in the tin and exposing it through the hole. After 2 minutes of exposure we had to develop the image in the darkroom. Very quickly, we saw that the image had been whited out because the paper was totally black (a negative of what the image should be). After the trial and error with the size of the hole, the best size was a pin sized hole (ironic) so we now were able to produce a number of image of the university – inside and outside – and work on our theme of architecture.
The longer you expose the paper for, the clear the image but you need to make sure you don’t expose it for too longer otherwise you will whited out the image and ruin the paper. It was really interesting exploring the pinhole cameras and being able to create abstract distorted photos from them and I think it was definitely something I will use in the future to create my work and explore ideologies and themes I am working on.
Steven Pippin is a photographer who uses pinhole cameras made from everyday objects to capture abstract photographs. The work tends to look destroyed and distorted which links back to the object that the camera is made from. Pippin’s work is so fascinating because he is able to produce photographs in a less conventional way and the photographs demand more focus to understand them. They give a vintage, old look which shows the significance of the object used. He used a range of objects including washing machines, furniture and even his own home.
I was inspired by Pippin because he was able to use such random and interesting objects to create his work and so I will be able to form images using metal tins. The cases me make were inspired by the beautiful designed products of industry and the regarded result of the mass production but it also links to the tin itself which is just a unwanted object.
For the second day of this field project my group and I spent the day taking more photos from around the university exploring different textures of the different buildings and surfaces on campus. As well as taking photos I began to sketch some different textures using the inspiration from the campus buildings. These were very experimental and used in reference to the photos we’ve taken and as inspiration for the cases for the cameras. I From this I was able to decide on the textures we would use on the cases by trying them out and working out which ones create the best atmosphere for them.
The cases have different textures because they represent different stages if industry. The larger square has a very clean ‘pretty’ texture which represents the beautifully designed products made in industry whereas, the round tin case was the an interpretation of industry causes on society and the environment. The processes within industry to make cars, mobiles and other everyday products is causing huge strains on the planet and increasing the rate of global warming and the ice caps melting so we decided to make the other case dirty and destroyed to represent the damage industry causes.
The AR is a programme used to project videos or images onto target images chosen by the group. We decided to project videos of cars in industry onto pieces of cardboard which were torn and damaged which represented the discarded result of mass production.
After enlarging the photos we had taken they were glued to pieces of card which were there placed together to from a structure. We had a clean, well designed structure conveying the beautiful product formed in industry.
Cornelia Parker is a very well known artist especially for her piece ‘Cold Dark Matter’ which explores the wonders of light and shadows. The blown up shed hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the room creates shadows which circulate the room and form an impact on the whole room and creates a powerful controlling influence on the audience. The importance of this piece was to expose how a safe place can be destroyed and secrets can be revealed.
For the ceramic project Parker’s work inspired me to create something with gaps and holes and abstract shapes which would project a range of shadows on the room walls. The shadows create a sense of mysterious and depth as the objects block the light. Our piece doesn’t have a theme but only to explore what shadows can be created and how by moving the object they can be distorted and rearranged.
After a long detailed induction, we were given 6kg of clay per group (those made yesterday) to start to experiment with the different techniques and begin to making the final piece for this field project.
As a group we decided to make triangles and join them together using the technique shown to us in order to create an incomplete form which could show creative shadows when a light is shown onto it. The clay was still a little too wet so it proved difficult for the piece to hold it shape. We used newspaper to support it and used a hair dryer to harden the edges as we continued to add to it. We worked quietly freely and randomly as a group because we weren’t sure how the piece would hold together and it give the exercise more excited because we weren’t sure how it was going to work out.
We rotated the piece on a plinth which meant the shadows changed creating a range of alternative shadows. The rotating of the plinth is more evident in the video below.