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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Currently in my subject work I have been looking at the natural and organic forms created by the nature and weather on the rock pools in Southerndown. I drew this idea of taking inspiration from the landscape from my original chosen artwork by Teresa Lanceta ‘Rosas Blancas’, who draws inspiration from Morocco, especially its textiles. I have created these asymmetrical ringed shapes from the natural shapes I gathered from the rock pools.
As I have discussed before, I have developed a fixation with the colours orange and blue, and the harmony between the two complementaries. Therefore I decided to continue my orange and blue studies on and use them to layer up in my screen prints. I really like how they have worked with my prints, as I think using the method of screen printing has also been complimentary to them as of create flat, bold areas of block colour. I especially like the areas of my prints in which the two colours overlap as it creates depth against that flat surfaces of one colour.
Although I am really pleased with my prints and their ever-changing compositions, I can’t help but feel like something is missing. I want to take my prints to the next level. I discussed my prints with both visiting artist Julia Hopkins, and the printing technician Tom. Both suggested some really interesting ways to develop my work. Hopkins talked about playing with the transparency of my prints, due to her also agreeing that the most interesting areas of my screen prints being where the lines of the forms overlapped. Whenever I have screen printed before I have stuck to bold, flat colours. Although I like the use of dense thick sections of colour, it would be interesting to play with the transparency and hence the layering up, and how far I could push it.
When I spoke to Tom about my prints he discussed the use of puff medium, which creates a raised surface if you apply heat to the print. I had no idea you could create a raised surface in screen printing, and this is definitely a technique I want to look into further, I might see if I can buy some to trial this with.
After my two discussions with Julia Hopkins and Tom, I have also thought about how I could disrupt my shapes. Be this by cutting them up and braking the rings, collaging them back together in a way that may not make sense, taking this idea of playing with shapes and colour even more. I may try and combine my current shapes as well with concentrated patterns and textures and experiment with layering these up. Another brief idea I have thought about is printing on a textured surface to break up the strong sections of colour and shape.
I am pleased that we had the opportunity to choose our Field projects this year as I have found both of my projects really beneficial for the development of my subject work, however Home Truths was particularly important in this development.
Home Truths was beneficial in the expansion of my ceramic knowledge and skill development. I was able to experiment with a variety of different decorative techniques, including glazes and slips that I had previously never worked with. My final pieces made me realise how much I enjoy hand building. I created a collection of sculptures mimicking mass produced holiday souvenirs and combined them with personal family photos with links to these specific places. Although I am pleased with how my final pieces turned out, in any further ceramic work I do I definitely want to move more towards the abstract and expressive. I really want to explore the material and see how far I can push it.
I have further researched into some sculptural ceramic artists that I plan on carry on looking at, such as Takuro Kuwata, who pushes the material to its limit, exploring colour and texture. I have always had this interest in ceramics, but have very limited knowledge. I now have a lot more confidence in exploring ceramics further, which I have begun to do within my subject work with my clay reliefs and sculptures. My biggest take from Home Truths is that I want to explore materiality and really focus on my interaction with the material. I want to experiment, pushing clay to its limits and exploring texture, to see if I can convey the sense of a specific place.
I have begun to explore form by making some small scale sculptures out of air-drying clay. This is only as a starting point to give me some initial ideas into how I can use clay to make sculptures reminiscent of the landscape. I am not sure how I feel combining my pattern with the sculpture as I think this detracts from its intended organic nature. As opposed to this use of pattern, I want to experiment with texture and thus interactivity as I feel this will push me much further, both in skill set and conceptually. This is a concept I will further explore.
I have attempted to focus my site venue work as close to my practice as possible, as to try and gage an idea for different ways in which I could exhibit what I am currently working on. I am so used to simply hanging something on a white wall, and I am at the point that I think that that is a bit boring. Ways of exhibiting has allowed me to generate new ideas into alternative ways of showing my work.
For my cardboard box exhibition I channeled inspiration from Made in Roath. I visited many of the different venues of Made in Roath this year and found it really inspirational at the time for my own practice. I especially liked the idea of displaying work within a normal house, as it was nice to see work removed from the normal white wall setting of a gallery. Artwork intertwined with personal belongings, marked walls, and crowded rooms, to the point that it was not always obvious what the art was. I like the idea of removing it from the gallery setting, as I think it removes a bit of the stigma that artwork is precious and not to be touched. Therefore for my cardboard box exhibition, I made a mini scale of my living room back home in Worcester to see what it would look like if I were to exhibit my own work within it.
For both my diorama and my locker exhibition I have channeled from current working I am creating within my own practice. In both I have used bulbous and asymmetric forms combined with precise patterns.
I wanted to create the idea of synthetic nature within my locker exhibition. Looking at the form alone, I have tried to create the idea of something growing up the side of the locker, like a plant such as ivy may do to a building. The shapes I have used I took from studies of the rock pools in Southerndown. I have combined this with on one of the patterns I generated using the colours orange and blue which detracts from the natural shape, giving it a more synthetic feel. I like how through the combination of natural form and unnatural pattern and colour, that the sculpture becomes stuck between the two, existing in a state between the two.
I had a similar idea for my diorama in the sense of suspending between natural and synthetic.I thought about how I wanted this sculpture to be a miniature version of an installation for a gallery, and so to use such a multitude of bold colours on what would be in real life, a giant installation, would be a visual overload. I like this idea of pushing it too far as I am curious as to see what would happen. My diorama is comprised of three segments, in which, if it were real, people would walk around and through the installation, which would become almost a maze of colour