Bill Morrison

The American Film Maker born 1965 is a contemporary artist who, throughout his career has been inspired by history. Through this inspiration he uses old decaying film and imagery. During the early stages of his career he took new film data and edited it with dated effects. As his career progressed Morrison uses old film data where the chemicals in the work have broken down causing it to smear and the image is unclear. This idea rather than using new data and making it look old, means Morrison is keeping that specific memory or clip in time in the minds of people now.


Decasia meaning ‘fantasia of decay’ is one of the artists film which I found most inspiring. The reason for this is the broken up film in this piece is relatable to my torn paper in my drawings. The old footage used is broken and uneasy to see in parts. In relation to my own work, damaged media has been used in way which creates depiction of the era Morrison is exploring. The film itself is a combination of old footage and music especially written for this pierce. The footage consisted of workers in an industrial area surrounding with material, dust and building. This is companied by piercing intense music which could be described as ‘noise’. The instruments used have created a true sense of the real sounds found out the sites in the footage. The imagery in the piece continues into more blurred film which I feel gives a ghostly look referring in back to the past. Another depiction from the art is Morrison is attempting to educate the audience of the past but also get across the idea that not all of the past can or should be remembered.  When looking at the film it feels very dramatic with the intense music and hard work in the film itself. Morrison has used materials with a range of different conditions. Some of the materials is extremely damaged so the imagery is not very clear at all whereas, other materials is not so damaged meaning the imagery is clearer than the rest. Morrison has combined these pieces to form his art. Morrison has even overlapped the work to create a ghostly dramatic effect to the work. This style of creating relates to an old dramatic war film form the fifties or sixties. It is obvious that Morrison has almost edited the raw footage by making it look more damaged. Although with the music, it has created an interesting piece of work.

Bill Morrison’s ideas behind his broken footage has inspired me in my drawing through the use of damaged material to create art.

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Bill Morrison, Decasia, 2001, 35mm film, (colour, sound), 67 min

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.

Formative Assessment – 9th March

What went well in my assessment:

My assessment was a great chance for me to sit with my personal tutor and talk about my work. I felt I was able to hear myself talk about my work which means I could clearly see what I was thinking about. I have

My tutor was really interested in my work especially my hand drawings. The intensity of the compressed charcoal and the ripped paper are really working for my idea. The collage I started was not so loved by her because she felt although the way I was distorting the body was interesting, it wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing with the charcoal and the coloured paper. Although, I have enjoyed the collage, we both agreed not to abandon my hand drawings.


Feedback on the hand drawings:

The feedback on the hand drawings was a lot more positive than the collage. My tutor especially liked the way the first hand in the hand sequence is finished on the ripped paper. I totally agree with this comment because I feel the connection between the ripped paper and the crawl movement completes the work in itself.

What to take forward with this feedback 

The artists I have looked at are relevant to my work through materials and the concept of my work however, I have only used one contemporary artist so I need to look into a few more. Davida has given me an artist relevant to my work but I will be looking into a few more to broaden my knowledge and portfolio of artists.

In terms of my work, I need to look at the relationship between the hand itself and the drawing. I will start to build a portfolio of drawings of hands in different positions and even draw the hand drawing. By doing this I will being to build up the relationship between the two. Also, I was advised to used different materials to charcoal was depending on the image in the drawing, the charcoal can be too intense and heavy. She recommend I begin to think about the material I am uses for each study for example, use a lighter amount of pencil or charcoal for a gentler study and keep the dark intense charcoal for the more aggressive studies. By doing this, I am creating that relationship between the image and the gesture.

Up to date Artist Statement

As a Fine Artist, I focus on exploring the body and human existence. I mostly look at the body anatomically rather than conceptually. I have study life drawing and working with dance schools to explore the body and how it can be distorted in order to express oneself. I have explored the idea of our existence in a range of ways including, the universe and societal issues of body shape and anorexia.

My current work looks at the hands and how they can express emotions. I am interested in the way hands can reciprocate the different states of mental health. I am working on a portfolio of hand drawings of different positions and movements. I am using my own hands because I want to explore my own state through my hands and how I see myself. Along with this, I am almost exploring movement through the continuation of life drawing and attending dance schools to record the dynamics of the body. These studies, both hands and life drawing are being incorporated into collage using other coloured paper and old work found around the studio.

I am fascinated by the way the body moves naturally in day to day life but I want to look at how we can purposely distort it through collage by changing the shape and contours of the figures in the drawings. The purpose of this is to create a piece of art which combines the ideas I have has with my drawings along with how I want to distort and create my work.


Creating a collage using charcoal drawings

After looking into the work of Lee Krasner, I decided to tear up and play around with a few of my drawings. I also used old artwork found around the studio to integrate into this piece. The reasoning behind this idea is not very clear at this point but as I start to piece the work together I can feel something interesting and intriguing happen with the art. Before I started this I felt slightly lost with my work because I just only producing charcoal hand drawings. After a discussion with a tutor I decided to start producing this collages. The idea behind them is not quite clear to me but I something quite strong and aesthetically about it.

I started by using masting tape to hold the pieces onto the paper just as a temporary hold so I could move them around and decide where I wanted them. I began to add in coloured paper and use my charcoal to draw over this. By doing this I was creating the connection between the original drawing and the coloured paper. I enjoyed using the lighter pink with this collage further than the dark pink painted paper in Figure 1 because the dark was too rich and didn’t give as much contrast as the lighter paper. As I continued to work with this collage I felt a strong positive feeling towards it and felt as though my work was going somewhere.

I am still in the development stage of my work but in the next few weeks I will have experimented with these collages and will have set in stone work for my exhibition. For these collages I will also be including work from my life drawing portfolio.

Lee Krasner

Lee Krasner is a contemporary artist who’s work has a strong connection to figurative painting because most, if not all, of her work holds an essence of figures. It is obvious in the work she has an interest in this way because it has come very naturally to her and the figurative painting may be unintentional within the work. This pieces of her work which I found most inspiring are the images below because when looking at the work you can begin to identify figures within the collage. The figures she has used are cut up life drawing works from her earlier studying. Along with the integrated colour she has produce very interesting pieces of art. The way the art draws the eyes of the audience cross the whole work by creating a busy compact artwork.

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.

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