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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
I looked into the way a few artists work where they randomly choose three words and enter them into google to find an image. When I started to think about what kind of image I wanted to use, I felt very stuck because I didn’t even know where to start with the type of image I was going to use. This method was quite fun and interesting because it meant I would be taking a random image to work with and develop my work. A lot of the images which came up were useless and didn’t stand out to me. The image below stood out to me because I liked the way the artist has used the ink and was to create the effect on the paper. I found choosing a random image meant the development of this piece was unknown and I didn’t really have a path for the work. This was out of my comfort zone because I usually have an idea of where my art could go however, with this, I had no idea. I decided to challenge myself with this to see how I responded to it.
I found the image really interesting because with the use of the colours and wax, it creates a longing almost lonely feel. The landscape in the work looks like a beach with the sea and horizon in the background or the view off of a cliff towards the ocean. The use of wax and ink is an interesting way to work because of the way to ink is repelled by the wax. Drawing with the wax and then washing over the work with ink of watercolour create this effect. I also chose this image because it was very different from the artists I usually look at and thought I would broaden my knowledge by looking at something different.
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.
For the idea I had about dancing being “freeing” and a way to express yourself, I decided to begin charcoal drawings of figures. I use charcoal a lot because I enjoy working with it and am satisfied by the way the charcoal and the paper combine to create texture. I use both willow and black compressed charcoal to create the form and shading in my work. I use the compressed charcoal a lot because it helps to form a deep richness to the work.
I decided to explore the figurative drawing because they express a lot of movement and motion. Although the works I have been creating are very expressive I find the positions to be very aesthetically pleasing. It is almost “spiritual” – which sounds cheesy – but for me, dancing is a way to voice yourself and your feelings. I am not a dancer myself but have always been fascinated by the way they were able to show so much emotion through movement and their body. Expressive dance is usually choreographed but I have found when Fine artists create expressive performance pieces they aren’t necessarily planned and therefore more freeing as the person is at liberty to move how they wish.
I enjoy using charcoal as my medium and feel I can create the expressive work I can using it. I will be continuing with different positions to create a series of works.