Summative Assessment

Personal Statement 

Throughout the course of the year my practice has developed considerably, however most recently I have focused upon materiality and form. This interest stemmed from a visit to Southerndown, and the effects upon the coast’s rock pools caused by the weather. This interest involves both the natural eroded shapes and textures of the geology. It is these textures and shapes I have chosen to explore, attempting to convey the physicality of the place alongside my personal interpretation. The making process and my interaction with material is of great importance to me, thus the use of clay has allowed a fully hands-on experience with my final pieces. Colour’s role has also had a huge influence on my practice, with particular focus on the colour complementaries orange and blue, and how they interact with one another. The exploration of texture, form and colour to convey a sense of place and observation of landscape is the sole focus of my practice.

Field

Evaluation of my Field experience

Documentation

Material and conceptual advances that led to my final pieces

Key aspects of Site Venue

Developed technical skills

Clay prints

Final piece

 

Contextualisation

Influential idea gained from Key Concept

Ken Price

Ways of Exhibiting 

Brendan Stuart Burns 

Pitt Rivers and Museum of Natural History

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Final Pieces

Visiting Southerndown earlier this year, my work since has all completely shifted and stemmed from my exploration of the landscape. Both my sculptural work and my screen prints are heavily inspired by the natural formations within the rock pools, impacted upon by the weather. I had no plan for this when visiting Southerndown, but I became fascinated by the detailed and intricate shapes and how nature alone could cause this.

In turn, my work revolves around these organic formations, both through sculpture and print. The sculptural side to my work focuses on form and documenting the physicality and nature of the rock pools, through bulbous, concaving clay forms. In contrast my prints focus on the documentation of the natural shapes I recorded on my visit, and through the use of puff medium, bring dimension to a traditionally flat medium. For my final installation I decided to have a combination of both sculptural work and prints as I think they both highlight the primary focus of my practice this year, materiality and the natural shapes of the landscape, and I think they complement each other well.

The format in which I have chosen to display the sculptural element of my final piece, reflects that of a museum’s format. This was especially inspired by a visit to the Museum of Natural History in Oxford and my fascination with their geological collection on display. As of such, I have chosen to present my sculptures as if they were a discovery from my visit to Southerndown, with an engraved plaque to support this. Due to the business of the plinth I made the decision to keep the wall of screen prints simple, in which they are spread out amongst a white wall. Through the combination of prints and sculpture, I hope for there to be an entire sense of texture and form.

The choice for the overall colour theme of orange and blue and the experimentation with the combination of the two stems from a year long exploration. As well as to satisfy my obsession, they work to create a play between natural and unnatural. The forms I have created are quite natural and organic, whilst the complementary colours are quite unnatural, especially in relation to Southerndown. Doing such in attempts to suspend my work between the natural and synthetic world.

The context to my practice has involved exploring and communicating my experience of the landscape of Southerndown, and the naturally occurring shapes and textures of the rock pools. My decision to utilise both clay and screen printing was used in hopes to convey such, as each material has opposing qualities that pair and complement each other well. When I have the opportunity, I think it would be interesting to bring my sculptures back to Southerndown and photograph them integrated with the environment in which they were inspired by.

 

 

Material and Conceptual Exploration

Although my work has explored several different mediums and covered different concepts within the year, the material thinking that has embodied my final pieces, was evoked especially by a plaster casting demonstration with Laura. The technical skills and outcomes I was able to achieve in the demonstration have greatly inspired both aspects of my final pieces.

My first trial involved my attempt to convey the sense of Southerndown through texture exploration without the use of reactive glazes. I pressed several of the impressions I had taken from the Southerndown rock pools into a sheet of clay that I later cast with plaster. The results were incredibly effective. Once dried I painted this textural exploration with the reoccurring colours in my practice, orange and blue, using one of the natural shapes I had gathered from Southerndown as focus. The success of the textures in combination with linear outline led my screen prints into the incorporation of puff medium, to create unusual texture.

Additionally, the plaster casting workshop allowed me to initiate my first steps into the making of actual sculptures that I had long desired within my practice. I was able to create these bulbous forms that protruded and sunk, in attempt to mirror the effects of the weather on the rock pools of Southerndown. The plaster casts and my colour use within them led me to start my exploration into clay, and furthermore into my final pieces, which I believe successfully capture my interpretation of the landscape.

The plaster casting workshop has helped me to contextualise my thoughts through material exploration. The conceptual side to my work lies in the exploration of the Southerndown landscape. The way in which I can use form, colour and texture to convey both a physical and personal interpretation of my findings, as well as suspend my work between natural and synthetic.

Museum of Natural History Oxford

On a contextual trip to Oxford I visited the Pitt Rivers Museum and the  Museum of Natural History, which were both influential to my practice.

The Pitt Rivers Museum was mind blowing in its unorthodox display of endless objects.  The giant room was overfilled with thousands of objects from all walks of life. The idea of a collection is something I naturally seem to keep coming back to, and so have done to a certain extent this year, with my collection of sculptures. Personally within my art I have always been drawn to creating multiple pieces that complement and play off each other, I find that my work feels more final.

More importantly, was the influence of the Museum of Natural History which had a vast collection of different geological formations. My practice this year has focused upon materiality, texture and colour.  Each of these rocks possessed entirely different forms, shapes, colours and textures. I could not believe the extensive array of divergence between the collection, and that the bold colours and intricate textures were natural formations. It brought me back to when I was younger, when I used to collect all forms of rocks from different places I visited, that had exciting colours, surfaces and formations. I think it is this disbelief of the naturally forming surfaces and my subconscious history in the interest of geology that inspired my final sculptural work. Especially inspiring the surface decoration in my own sculptures and my choice of synthetic colours and mediums.  I became slightly transfixed with all of these natural formations and really wanted to incorporate some of the textures into my own work. I found using clay was especially effective in translating these textures.

As well was the fascination with the geological formations themselves, their display format within the museum also ended up influencing my final installation. After my visit I came up with the idea of creating my own collection “rocks” that I had “discovered” in Southerndown, and decided I wanted to display them in a similar way to the museum. My final installation has become a pastiche of the Museum of Natural History in Oxford and most museum’s layout of geological collections and I have even had a metal plaque engraved as if my sculptures were discovered in Southerndown.

Museum of Natural History geological collection:

Ways of Exhibiting

Partaking in the Ways of Exhibiting Site Venue project has opened my eyes to new and exciting ways to display my work. During the course of the project I created an exhibition within a shoebox, a locker, and made a diorama.

We examined several artists for contextualisation that exhibit their work in alternative ways to the gallery setting. Most interesting to my practice was the installation of Sarah Sze’s ‘The Stones of Venice’ in the Venice Biennale 2013. The main lump of her work was displayed within the Giardini, but other boulders were placed all over the city of Venice where they didn’t belong. I wish I could have seen this piece as it would have been great contextualisation for my subject practice, as her work shows similarities. I imagine it was quite a strange view for people who didn’t understand it was art as it was out of the usual contextual setting. I really like this idea of taking the artwork beyond the gallery; who says that in needs to remain within the four white walls. I won’t have the opportunity before the end of year show but I think it would be really interesting to take my sculptural work back to Southerndown and photograph it within the landscape that inspired it. It would be interesting to see peoples reactions to my sculptures if I was to remove myself from the area.

We also looked at site responsive artwork around Cardiff, particularly interesting for me, Made in Roath. I especially liked the idea of displaying within Made in Roath as I visited this community exhibition this year and found it so interesting how people’s artwork fit in around their home environment. I would definitely like to participate in Made in Roath in the future. Taking inspiration from Made in Roath, I decided to make my shoebox exhibition into my living room back in Worcester, and place my own, scaled-down artwork within it. It was interesting to see my work put up into a everyday living situation, and enabled me to gage an idea on how I would be able to display work in my own home.

Original Post

https://eviebanksart.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/site-venue-ways-of-exhibiting/

 

For my final exhibition however, I decided to display my sculptures in a similar format to a key contextual artist I have been looking at, Ken Price. I decided to place all my sculptures onto one large plinth as I wanted an uninterrupted surface for my work, as of it being already so vibrant. My thought was that any other background would detract and confuse. Additionally, the plinth slightly resembles the different geological formations set up on display at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford. And as to a certain extent my work is a pastiche of the museum setting, I thought the plinth would be complementary.

Evaluation of my Field experience

Home Truths

Before beginning Home Truths, I kept my ceramic work and artwork separate. Home Truths gave me the key to begin to integrate these two parts of my life together, as I tried to relate my Field work to my Subject work through the commemoration of place. The use of clay within Field has translated into my practice now, with half of my final piece being ceramics. It has been incredibly refreshing to interact with clay and its materiality, and it is something I want to continue on with in third year. 

Additionally, before Home Truths I really struggled to get all the inductions I would need to be able to fully utilise the ceramic department. Since, I am fully inducted in using the throwing room, slip casting and use of glazes and slips which I have begun to use within my practice, and will do even more so next year.

Surface decoration was the area in which I lacked knowledge especially. Thanks to Home Truths I have now had experience with resist painting, using oxides, slips and coloured glazes. Using resist painting allowed me to achieve precise and intricate shapes that I would not have been able to achieve with a paintbrush alone, and would work well with the shapes I am painting now and in the future. Also I have never really worked with coloured glazes before, only underglazes. Now I have a more developed understanding which I hope to develop into understanding of reactive glazes to create incredibly textured surfaces. 

Morocco 

I chose to got to Morocco for my second Field model as it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore a completely new culture. The majority of my work at the beginning of the year focused around colours and patterns, and the ways they can be used to create different effects. Before Morocco I felt I was coming to a roadblock within my work. The introduction to a new culture allowed new ideas to flow, with translation into my practice through the exploration and personal interpretation of a place.

Visiting Morocco has given me more confidence. I was nervous before as I didn’t know if I could handle such a culture change and being the minority. I found it was a completely different way of living, but this was refreshing. Being the minority warranted a lot of attention which was intimidating, with a few people trying to take advantage of us. However it meant that I learnt how to deal with stressful and difficult moments, and take control over these situations. I think this will translate across into my practice when it comes to making difficult decisions and taking charge. 

Working as a group was stimulating, especially with students from different disciplines as I was opened to new ways of thinking. Before Field, my working as a collective was minimal as I like to have control. However I learnt that it can be beneficial to work collectively, especially with people from other disciplines. Since working with textiles students, I have noticed that this concept of patterns has strengthened within my work. Additionally, now knowing textiles students, I feel more able to ask them for help within textiles mediums, including puff medium, which I used within my final pieces. I plan to utilise collaborative working when I visit Scotland with Kirsty Alley over summer.

Through the Morocco Field option, I partook in a video editing workshop working on Premier Pro. I have never worked with video art before and have always found it a really daunting concept. I never thought I would be able to use the software to create a successful video. However, after having the induction, I have found that it is not that hard to do and it allowed me to create a successful video with my group for part of my final piece within the Morocco Field option.