Site Venue Finale

Today was the finale of all three site venue projects. The day began in university, exploring the information critique artworks displayed all around the building, that each found different ways to disrupt and critique information.

Obstructed reflection was found in every location with a mirror for vanity within the School of Art and Design. The aim, to investigate into how we rely on our reflections. Coloured abstracted shapes, some of which were double-sided with different colours. What really attracted me was the abstract coloured shapes, as colour and form are two major focuses within my practice this year. I think the aim was to obstruct visual information and the way in which we see things. Instead of seeing a clear picture, my reflection was broken up by colour, only allowing me to partially see.

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The Discomfort Zone was taking place at Three Doors Up. An exhibition with a multitude of installations and activities to make the audience uncomfortable, ranging from high pitched noises, to gross food, to the cone of shame. The concept of making the audience uncomfortable through the exhibition is really interesting.

Finally, there was the exhibition of my group, Ways of Exhibiting, in which we displayed our dioramas and shoebox exhibitions. It was really cool seeing all our work coming together, as everyone had created such different works. A couple of my favourites involved the use of changing colour lights and the used go collage. I displayed my diorama in the window of the exhibition, as it needed a lot of light, to make the colours stand out, and it was surrounded by plants as the diorama was inspired by nature and organic forms. It didn’t matter so much where my shoebox was placed as the whole concept behind it was looking an exploring inside of it.

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Plaster Casting 2.0

Carrying on with the success from yesterday, I decided to make some more casts today, but this time I wanted to make them more sculptural and colour them.

I did so by lining the inside of two silicone bowls with clay, and pressing my ceramic prints into the walls of the bowls.

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Within the plaster I mixed in some of the paint pigments I got from Marrakech. In my first trial I mixed in way too much of the red pigment. In the dry plaster it hardly looked pigmented, but as soon as it hit the water it went bright red. Although the colour was really effective, I found that the majority of it set in the bowl before I could pour it into the mould. I managed to get a little bit of it into a practice mould before it could all completely set.

The rest that had set I scooped out onto the side. Although it had technically failed, I quite liked it as a mini sculptural piece in the way it sat. It showed resemblance to a mini Anish Kapoor. Also it served as a good test for any future casting work I do, and the quantities within mixtures for successful casts, as I had too much pigment to plaster in this first trial. I plan on mounting the “failed cast” onto a board, to almost create a sculptural diorama, it was a happy accident.

A really weird effect I happened upon with my tester sculpture, was that if you have wet hands, your fingerprints are left on the surface of the sculpture when you touch it, and as it dries they disappear. I really like this concept of being able to interact and change my sculptures with touch alone. This is something I want to look further into, and may be able to incorporate into my final pieces, as I really like the concept of getting the audience to interact with my artwork.

After the technical fail of my first coloured plaster cast, I then retried the casting process, using less of the pigment. I made my sculpture in blue this time. It worked much better using less pigment, and I was able to pour it into the moulds. The casts turned out fairly successful, however I think there is still plenty of room for improvement. I found it impossible to fully mix the pigment, and ended up with concentrated spots of pigment that turned purple. I somehow want to attach these two casts together to make a complete sculpture, but I need to wait for them to fully dry out, and I will need to shape them slightly to fit together.

Plaster Casting

I really want to develop my work into ceramics, exploring glazes to create reactive surfaces that are heavily textured. However, as it is coming up to degree show time, I understand that getting my work to the technical level I want to achieve, might be difficult, or impossible, with the strain on the ceramic department’s technicians. Therefore, I have started to explore plaster casting, as I think it would produce similar results in this surface texture.

As a starting point, I decided to make a flat panel, in which I have pressed my ceramic moulds from Southerndown into, to recreate some of the textures I collected.

Plaster casting has worked really well for reproducing these textures, and is something I am going to carry on exploring towards my final piece this year. I think this will also be a good starting point towards any ceramic works I create next year. I want to combine colour into my plaster casts as they are a bit plain right now.

Formative Assessment

Personal Statement

After visiting Venice at the start of the year, I decided to begin generating work in response to Teresa Lanceta’s ‘Rosas Blancas’, in which Lanceta took inspiration from her visit to Morocco. Her tapestries analyse repeating motifs, this concept of repeat patterns was something I particularly wanted to focus on, and is something I am still exploring at this later stage in my practice.

Since this starting point, my work has evolved from paintings of pure pattern and colour, and has started evolving into a series of screen prints, and the initial stages of sculptural ceramic work. I am especially enjoying creating my series of screen prints at the moment, in which I have begun printing shapes I have taken from Southerndown and playing around with their composition and colour.

I have started to progress my work into ceramics, starting lightly by taking reliefs of different textures of the rocks in Southerndown, and how they vary as a result of the weather. I am currently really fascinated with exploring the idea of texture and interactivity. As of now I really want to move my work into the sculptural and materiality, as it is a concept I have never explored before. I want to experiment with colour and texture, and how the two can work together to capture a place. I want to really push my skills here and learn new techniques. I plan on spending a lot more time in the ceramics department to develop these skills. I plan on carrying on my screen prints as I think the two could compliment each other quite well, and I think it would be interesting to create a sculptural aspect within my prints if that it possible.

Documentation 

Continued ideas in response to original chosen artwork 

Material exploration

Site Venue: generating ideas

How field has influenced my practice

Screen printing progression

 

Contextualisation

Influential ideas gained from key concept 

Robert Pepperell

Field artist that has influenced my practice

Site Venue contextual research 

Tutorial with Julia Hopkins

Field Artist Research and the Effect on my Studio Practice

Lubna Chowdhary

Lubna Chowdhary is an artist I looked closely at within my Home Truths Field module. Lubna Chowdhary’s work relates closely to my own practice both in intense use of colour and her motifs. She connects ideas and aesthetics from Eastern and Western worlds, exploring their relationship together. This is a concept I was considering exploring, after my artist talk with Julia Hopkins, as I was thinking about combining the organic forms I found in Southerndown with the intricacy and mathematics applied to the ornamentation of zillij I found in Marrakech.

Luna Chowdhary’s work is “a kaleidoscopic vocabulary of colour, shape and patterns” that “offers unlimited possibilities that can be implemented on any scale”. The use of colour and pattern has been a huge part of my own practice this year, therefore I think Chowdhary is an artist I need to re-explore as her work may be beneficial and offer insight for the development of my own practice.

I am especially interested in ‘Metropolis’ which consists of over 1000 small scale sculptures positioned in a line formation along a section of the floor in the V&A. This idea of sculpture is something I now want to draw on within my practice as I want to create a series of experiments where I play with textures and colours, and think a series of small sculptures would be a viable method for doing so. Chowdhary’s ‘Metropolis’ documents the material culture of our environment, showing the complexity of human production and the man-made. Her sculptures draw on memory, which is an idea that has a link to my subject work as my screen prints currently are of my interpretation of the effect of nature on the landscape, and act as a permanent memory at one moment in time for shapes theatre constantly changing. ‘Metropolis’ is an ongoing project that Chowdhary is still adding new objects to, to the original installation. I like this idea of the instillation changing for different viewers, depending on when they visit the exhibition, no matter how minute.

Robert Pepperell

After attending the seminar held by the fine art tutors of their artwork that stands outside their normal practice, I came across Robert Pepperell’s work. Pepperell spoke about how he had always struggled understanding his role and what he is doing as an artist, which I really relate to. I feel myself that I have no specific direction in which I’m going in or my own type of style. Pepperell talked about looking at paintings by Matisse, Braque, Newman and wondering why their paintings were so highly acclaimed as technically, they were bad paintings. This leads to the question, what’s the difference between a good work of art and bad work of art? The very reason you think a work of art is terrible, is why it may be so successful.

Pepperell’s contribution to the exhibition was titled ‘The Orange Problem’, which talked about how there’s no orange in the environment or the nerve system. Like all colours, orange is not actually there. The world is devoid of colour, the colour we see is generated by wavelengths processed in our eyes. Pepperell described how if you stare at a colour for a long enough time, it begins to turn grey as our visual receptors get tired. Pepperell also talked about colour deception within his own practice. He found that when he put a lighter orange on top of a more vibrant orange, it looked a light green. This is a really interesting concept that I really want to explore as I’m currently focusing my own practice on colour. I think it would be interesting to play around with optical illusions solely with colour. I could experiment with layering up my prints with different shades of oranges or blues. I may also experiment with this idea of a colour changing depending on its background by printing my orange Southerndown shapes onto various shades of orange, to see how or if it is perceived as a different colour at all.

Taken from Robert Pepperell’s website,

“Many of Pepperell’s paintings and drawings induce an indeterminate mental state in which what we see cannot be matched with what we know. Instead of recognizable objects the viewer is presented with — what the art historian Dario Gamboni has called — a ‘potential image’ containing a multiplicity of possible meanings, none of which ever finally resolves.

More recent work attempts to capture the experience of looking at objects in the world using a new form of ‘natural perspective’ based on the structure of human vision. The aim is not to record what is in the world, but the experience of seeing the world from an embodied point of view.”

I especially like Pepperell’s ‘Laws of Form’ series, which are meditative and contemplative, inviting the viewer to think about the nature of reality and existence. Pepperell used the image of the circle to represent the distinction between nothingness and something. What I especially like about the paintings, apart form the immense used of block colour, is that they are painted entirely freehand, requiring intense concentration and complete control of materials.

 

Bibliography

http://robertpepperell.com/forms/

https://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/908209

Most Influential Ideas learned from Key Concept

Failure

I have begun to feel like my work has started to fail as I am struggling to see a concept deep enough to allow my work to develop and evolve. However I remembered the key concept we had on failure and how it is such a vital attribute to eventual success. In the words of Samuel Beckett “to be an artist is to fail”.

Taken from this lecture I need to remember that failure is impossible to avoid. Through failure one has the potential to stumble upon the unexpected. Therefore my plan is to carry on with my current screen printing work and slowly think about ways I can adapt these prints. I also realise now that I really need to push myself. I want to begin making incredibly textured sculptures but need to be proactive in talking to Matt, the ceramics technician, as without guidance I will not have the initial skills to be able to do so.

In addition to this, I think I need to begin to really contextualise my work by looking at artists that work in a similar way and the concepts behind their work, as well as gathering information that links to my own current concept.

One art performance that really struck a cord with me was Jan Ader’s ‘In Search of the Miraculous’, in which Ader set out on a voyage from the USA to Ireland in a tiny boat. It was obvious that this Ader’s voyage would most definitely end in failure, but it was about the attempt, the strive for success despite probable failure. In some way this was a suicide mission, but in others it was just failed art. Jan Ader was never found, and the boat was found in pieces. Although failure is the key to development, you can’t set out to make work about failure. There needs to be an attempt at success, even if there is a minute chance, or no chance of it at all.

Following from this, this term I aim to be really proactive in my ceramic sculptures, I really want to explore form and its possibilities and not worry about failure. I think failure is a huge part of the ceramic process anyway, as it acts as a learning curve for following work.