Developing my exhibition work

For the final exhibition I wanted to go back the the brief sketches from the charity shop object in the Site Venue project because I was fascinated by the shapes and the movement created through the materials. Throughout this project I looked into the ‘self’ and how we can maintain the state of calm. I myself do not dance but I feel through dance, you can express a lot of emotion because of the movements and the passion the individual puts into it. I find dancing feels an individual freedom to let go and express themselves. Not everyone can relax as they feel pressured, watched or intimidated but as you start to enjoy the movements, these worries lower or disappear. I wanted to use charcoal in my work because I enjoy using it and it creates a lot of depth and intensity to my work. I believe the charcoal compliments my themes and is the best material to use because of the power it forms.

I started by creating quick sketches using ink to form free-flowing pieces to help restart my drawing. I haven’t drawn properly in a while with other projects requiring different forms of creating so this process helped to retrain my mind and hand. I enjoyed these drawings because with only a few marks they held a lot of motion. I moved on to forming quick charcoal sketches to start off the development towards my exhibition pieces.

I attended a life drawing class at home where I was given the chance to create a range of studies of positions. The poses were very short so I needed to move quickly to form the shape and contours of the figure. I was not able to give each a large anoint for shading in the given time. I also attended a dance class where I was able to sit and draw quick sketch of the dancers. This experience meant I needed to work quickly and was only able to produce very basic drawings. I used charcoal for this exercise because I can cover a larger amount of surface quickly than I could with pencil. The charcoal always gives more texture and I feel is my expressive than pencil, as well as being able to form a more 3D shape than pencil would create. I would like to attend another class in the future as well as more life drawing classes to build up my portfolio of figurative drawings.

The life drawing and dance dance have helped me create my final pieces and I will be using the classes again in the future.

I asked my housemate to pose for me to capture her movements. I sued this along with the images from the life drawing and create my final pieces. I enjoyed drawing these pieces because they were challenging when it came to getting the shape as the bodies are distorted. I used a lot of compressed charcoal in the work to form a very deep intensity to my work. I find this brings the image out and helps to form the 3D shape to the work. I will be continuing this through the summer and maybe into third year.

My work

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Contextualising the final term and exhibition pieces

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.

 

Contextualising the Site Venue Project

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.

Development of Site Venue

During the first few weeks of the project we were given different tasks including a drawing walk through the park and taking an everyday routine and changing it to help get the ball rolling with ideas. Some of the exercise were stimulating, some were not but, I feel this enabled me to find my feet in the project. One task involved finding an object in a charity shop and working with it. We needed to respond to it in our way whether that was through drawing, painting, writing or sculpture. My object was a quirky mug with figurative ink drawings on it. The mug was an irregular shape, white, tall and thin. (Below). I took to the drawings on the mug as I enjoy life drawing and working with figurative movements because I feel a lot of emotion and expressive in them.

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I started to work with the figures through sketching with ink and charcoal which made me feel very calm and mindful. I wanted to work outside and was recommended by my tutor to go outside and create something within a time limit to stimulate my ideas as development. Looking at the materials outside I started to get the sense of the five element of life – earth, fire, water, wood and metal which were all available to me. I found an egg shaped ceramic which I cracked open to represent life. The idea of the five elements reminded me of tribes and tribal dances around camp fires so I started to exhibit the work in this way. During the exhibition, I asked students to dance around the display. This involved them in the work and created a very light warming feel to the piece to deter the audience away from any idea that the work could be very deep and heavy. I enjoyed this project because I was able to experience with installation and nature directly and use these to interpret my themes in a different way.

Dancing around the fire

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After the assessment, I tried out creating the fire in the dark because it would give a better effect to the work. I enjoyed creating this and enjoyed sitting listening to the sound of the cracking wood.

Fire in the dark

Contextualising the Practice Based Research Project

“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).

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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.

Working with the image

After the research lab session in the first few weeks of second year, my image and ideas started to develop with the help of fellow students interpreting my ideas in their ways. This method was fascinating because it enabled me to think outside the box and think of different ways in which my image could be depicted rather than it following down my usual themes of mental health and the ‘self’. One student expressed how the image reminded her of explosions and war because of the wax. It took me a little time to understand where she was coming from but with a few sketches and moments to interpret it in my head, I started to understand where she was coming from. The work then triggered my mind to started thinking about Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Nights. The stars in the work look similar to portals and the Universe. I started to develop paintings of my interpretation of a portal in space. I decided to use pinks and purples in the work to link the original chosen image with my work.

I started working with this image by sketching ideas and explosive images in a sketchbook to get the ball rolling and to start the development into the idea of portals. The purpose of these sketches was not for others eyes. I use this method to organise and interpret the ideas I have and to form an idea of a pathway of where this project is going to go.

One of the tutorial group sessions with Davida talked about revealing images and whether they are seen as pornographic and whether the context of the image affects this. This session was interesting because it got me thinking about the context of art and how is affects the response from the audience. For this project I could have exhibited the work in a dark room through lighting which gave the effect that the audience walk into the portal painting. This would make the work more interactive and the audience is more likely to respond to the work.

I enjoyed created these pieces because it took me out of my comfort zone as I was using paint in them. I don’t use paint regularly as a medium in my work as I haven’t the confidence with it and haven’t had the chance to be tutored with it. I enjoyed experimenting with the painting, blending and mixing the colours to create a 3D shape to the work.