During the first year on the contemporary art course I have mostly enjoyed the studio work and the freedom of choosing all your ideas and the chance to experiment in ways I haven’t before such as using origami. I found I preferred to make installations and interactive pieces of work to get the audience involved as this allowed me to receive feedback. For the second year I feel I know my strengths are in choosing suitable materials for my ideas so I hope this will help me produce interesting work throughout the second year.
At the beginning of this course I had no idea what career I wanted to do. As the projects allowed me to explore other interests I had such as psychology I found I enjoyed combining the two so this has helped me decide I would like a career in art therapy. As this course allows me so much freedom I can explore different media which I can use later on in my career.
Another element I enjoyed was listening to guest lecturers, my favourite being Luke Drozd. I found it interesting to listen to the different ways artists work, their ideas and where they take their influences from. As we are given time to question the artists and have the opportunity for them to give us feedback on our work, it is something I will do during next year as it will be helpful to get a variety of opinions/ideas that will help me improve the style of my work.
Next year I wish to read more academic texts as I find some to be quite challenging to understand. So to overcome this I will create book reviews or write about each chapter and note the key ideas. Hopefully, this will help me get a brief overview of what the text is about. By understanding complex language this will help me improve my writing style and include proper terminology into my essays as I feel the language I use it quite simplistic.
During my studio practice I wish to improve upon my sketchbook and use it as a documentation of ideas, images and thoughts rather than me sticking in an image and on the opposite page writing about it as this is quite bland and appears too organised when a sketchbook should be busy with a few notes for me to explain what is going on. I also want to produce more work out of my sketchbook as I have lots of ideas for installation pieces but I have felt like I can’t make these as we have such little room in the studio so I have had to create pieces at home when possible. To overcome this I could maybe create pieces for outside or try create my pieces when the studio is free.
If we are to create a blog during next year I feel I need to add more reading material and discuss quotes I have found and add my opinion whether I agree or disagree with what has been said. I feel my first year blog just contains lectures and pieces of work. If I was to create another I would include articles, artists, videos etc I have found as over the year I have found a lot of useful material that I have forgotten to blog.
Overall, I feel this year has changed my ideas on what art can involve and mostly what a drawing can be. I feel next year I will have a good idea of time and how to use it wisely. Also, I feel more confident of how to approach projects and I will be putting this into practice.
Appropriation and Originality Essay Review.
As I had quite a few ideas for this essay I found it relatively easy to plan out what points I wanted to include and how the essay was going to be written. I feel I found appropriate quotes from a variety of sources to back up my opinions. This then led me to write paragraphs for each opinion and this then allowed my essay to flow well as I wasn’t jumping from one point to another.
One aspect I feel I need to work on is fitting the quote into a sentence rather than making a point and then putting the quote in a sentence by itself. I still feel the essay needs a title which sums up the arguments of my essay but currently this is something I struggle with.
So far I am quite pleased with how I handled the essay by finding my own resources, planning out how I wanted it to read and finding artists I felt were suitable for the chosen words. I feel writing is one of my strong points so next year I plan to expand on vocabulary as I feel I use quite simple terminology. To help me do this I will read different writing styles such as magazine articles to academically written books.
Looking back at my manifesto I feel the visual aspect was a good choice as it relates to points made in the manifesto such as art being quite an academic subject with philosophy and psychology being included and the use of a book was a good representation of this. Also, I wanted a name for the manifesto which included the word art so the ward ‘impartation’ I felt fit well as the word literally means the transition of information. After reviewing various other manifesto’s I found some to be quite hard to understand so from this I decided to write mine quite simply so everyone could understand and didn’t have to read too much into it. After each initial statement I added a piece of advice or feelings as others artists will/have come across similar situations so they may feel they can relate to this manifesto.
However, as the statements are quite blunt and to the point the manifesto could be seen as a set of rules and I didn’t want my ideas to be put across that way. I feel the text could maybe have been displayed differently. This could have been done by the statements being written in the pages inside the book so then this allows the audience to have interaction with the piece as they search through the book looking for each statement.
Making my own manifesto made me realise the aspects I included such as experimenting and not caring too much about mistakes is something I feel I need to work on in my own practice so for next year I will keep this manifesto and take my own advice.
Gluttony - As part of my deconstruction project I have put together an animation of a collection of junk food packaging over a period of a few weeks which I took from family and friends. I wanted to show how much junk food is consumed nowadays just over a few weeks from a group of people. When putting this animation together I edited each of the images to increase the saturation as colourful packaging is eye catching and more appealing.
On Lily Cole Art Matters documentary she found out about the work of Marc Quinn. I am a fan of the Young British Artists and I found I have become really interested in Marc Quinn’s work.
The themes of his work include manipulating nature (his blood head), life, death, survival and the celebrity culture. I liked the Kate Moss sculptures of her in very weird positions and using this idea of how celebrities are ‘worshipped’ today instead of the Gods. This is a topic I fully agree with and in my deconstruction project I have touched upon how the public ‘lust’ after the perfect woman/man and this is mainly a celebrity. He also creates sculptures of human ‘imperfections’ where people have disabilities such as missing limbs. He creates these sculptures out of marble again to symbolise the marble sculptures made to represent the Gods. I like how he approached this topic of imperfection and using marble to apply that these people are actually perfect.
I also really liked how he used DNA and bacteria to represent an individuals identity and portrait. He also uses photo’s of the iris and changes the colours to create these abstract pieces. I like this idea of using an aspect of a person which is individual to them such as a finger print and using this as a portrait of the person.
Marc Quinn is an artist I will take influence from in the future as I like how he thinks about his ideas and chooses a suitable material to represent his ideas.
The film artist Tacita Dean was interviewed by Lily Cole on the Art Matters documentary where she explains her films are made using a celluloid camera and her drawings are made with chalk on blackboard as she is trying to preserve old methods of working as we are now in a digital age. Her films contain holding a single shot for a long time as this is her way of producing a landscape or portrait ‘painting’. As she used a celluloid camera I can see how this could happen as the shots didn’t pick up every detail as shadows and colour were quite bland and dull.
One of the themes of her work I enjoyed was how she incorporated incidental moments into her films and this is something I could explore in the future.
I found this documentary to be quite boring in places as her work seems to be quite similar and I feel she could be stuck in her ways and only produces work in the same media. In contrast I feel in my work I try out various methods and media as I think certain media works better for different ideas.
'Art for Art Sake' - Christo
On Lily Cole Art Matters she followed the sculptural artist Christo on his journey of creating a new installation piece in Abu Dhabi. Christo makes his art ‘for art sake’ but during this documentary I feel he contradicted himself as his work consists of concealing landscape, which we would not really take notice of and cover it in fabric as this will then draw our attention to the beauty of the concealed landscape. In effect he is trying to show when something is covered/hidden we start to miss it and appreciate it more. So there is some degree of meaning behind his art.
One of his most famous pieces is the ‘Wrapped Reichstag’ where the meaning was to show freedom and that we shouldn’t be controlled by politics. This piece would relate to everybody, everywhere but mostly personal to himself as he was part of the communist side of Germany and this meant every part of his life was controlled so I think his work is created for a purpose.
An interesting aspect of this documentary was how long the process is of creating these installations. Firstly, he comes up with the idea and draws out the design which includes photographing the desired place and collaging the design onto the photo. Next, he has to talk to local communities to try win them over with his idea and get permission from authority. The project he is currently working on has taken 30 years so far and I didn’t really realise the process could take this long.
From this documentary it has given me an idea for a future project of drawing attention to beautiful things we miss in everyday life.
'Drawing is a way of thinking without words' - Antony Gormley
On Sky Arts I watched a documentary called ‘Lily Cole Art Matters’ where she interviews artists, watches them work in their studio and visits their recent exhibitions. I haven’t really been a fan of Gormley’s work but after watching this documentary I found the ideas behind his work really interesting. Gormley is a sculptural artist who creates his work using his own body casts but uses these human figures to show a political message that he is concerned about the future of the human race as we are creating our own extinction, but he is also very fascinated by what happens inside of the body and how aware we are of ourselves. The exhibition ‘Event Horizon’ was one I particularly liked was where he placed sculptured human figures on the top of buildings across a skyline and this was to make the public aware of their environment as it did look like a human was about to jump off the buildings and this caused people to stop and feel quite shocked/cautious/wary that the figure may jump or some people felt they were being watched.
I didn’t know that Gormley also liked to draw and the techniques he uses I found could be included into my drawing project as he believes drawing should be controlled by intuition and what feels right. One drawing I liked was he drew round his feet and then started to draw lines away from himself and also he creates drawings by scratching into paper to show the energy from the body and applying a wash of black pigment and casein over the top which allows the scratches to soak up this wash which shows the line drawing he created. As an artist I can relate to this idea of using intuition as I feel I do this a lot and sometimes I find it hard to explain why I chose a certain material for example as some things I do naturally.
He believes art should be accessible to everyone and he shows this by getting communities involved in making art with him, making his exhibitions free and displaying his work in public. ‘One and Other’ was the piece I really enjoyed as anyone could stand on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square and this allowed the public to build up their own platform for their own opinions, talents, ideas etc instead of him simply displaying one his own pieces of work he allowed the public to become involved and get known. As a contemporary artist I like this interaction he has with the public and this is something I want to build upon in my own practice as when I exhibit my own work I like to involve the audience whether its just simply getting them to write down their own interpretations.
Rachel Goodyear - 21st March
We were given a talk by Rachel Goodyear who is a contemporary artist and was influenced as a child from the Grand Masters of art. One artist she was particularly influenced by was Goya, where the image contained bright red clothing against a dull toned background and contained a Magpie and this led her work to include mythology, folklore and superstitions. To start with she draws images spontaneously and builds upon this where she will work into that piece changing and adding elements. One of her ways of working I think I will try is taking amateur photographs which she works from and when I do draw I tend to draw from observations or existing images, so I think I will take my own photos for reference. The layout of her exhibitions contains the element of space and as me being a contemporary artist I find space is important in my practice as it can affect how the public see and read your work. Rachel displays her work in photo frames which are clumped together and this then allows the public to find the relationship between each images and after speaking to Christian he suggested I try this out with my text project and frame pieces of decaying wallpaper, decaying fabric, decaying flowers and clocks to allow the public to see the relationship of decay.
Luke Drozd - 7th March
Luke Drozd is a contemporary and illustrative artist who gave us a talk on his work which I found really funny and interesting to listen too. To create his work he collects random objects such as stationary pen tester pages, chewing gum, hair etc, and keeps them for years until he finds something to do with them. I related to this way of working as I myself am quite a hoarder and keep objects until I find a use for them. I really liked how he put time management into practice by setting up a billboard and by a certain time in the day, no matter what the piece looks like, he would display it up on the billboard. This is something I feel I need to work on as I am quite a perfectionist and I could work on a piece for hours and throw the final result away if I hate it, so I need to learn to just include all the things I make into my work even if I hate it. He made a point that art should be confusing as when you know the meaning or function it doesn’t allow for open interpretation and as a contemporary artist I like my work to be openly interpreted sd I find it interesting when I get feedback of what the piece makes the public see or feel and maybe this is why I create interactive pieces for exhibitions. I really enjoyed his talk and it has allowed me to see how an artist flits between both practices.