Please follow my artistic journey through my 3rd year as a fine art student
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Thank you to everyone who is following my creative journey and supporting my work… if you wish to continue doing so… I have created a new blog to document the second year of my fine art degree.. please feel free to follow:
I have now set up my studio space ready for assessment commencing tomorrow. I am really pleased with how it looks. Laying out my work took a lot longer than I expected initially, as I found myself really thinking about presentation, how to arrange my final pieces on the wall, how to arrange piles of supporting work and where I should stick labels and my blog address. I felt that my 3D fruit bowl piece looked lost among the supporting work on the table and so I made a shelf for it so it could be displayed more professionally.
Now that all my field work and subject work is set up, I am slightly anxious but relieved. I think it is presented well and I have worked really hard this year and I’m hoping it is going to pay off. I have worked out of my comfort zone throughout and created works that I would never have imagined I’d create. I have definitely grown as an artist and a person this year and I feel as if I understand concept and am able to take ideas further than before I started creating these artworks.
It is great to see a years worth of work come together and to reflect on the journey you have undertaken creating it. I am definitely proud of what I have achieved.
Looking back at my subject work, I have really worked out of my comfort zone and steered away from the work I would typically create. When thinking about time as a brief, I instantly thought about things changing over time. After coming across Sam Taylor Wood’s “Still life” piece, I embarked on working on artistically portraying an investigation into food decay. I have used physical mould and decay as a medium to produce art and I have also tried to replicate the look of mould using mixed media techniques. I have enjoyed using materials that are not typically for use within art, like sugar and cotton wool and it has opened my eyes to the fact that it is how you use an d manipulate the material you are working with that creates successful art work, not the material itself.
I think the bread filled perspex box that I have produced is particularly successful because it gives me and the viewer an insight into how things decay. We would not usually leave bread to decay for that long in our households and so it allows others to see the colours that moulds produce and the hidden beauty of the natural things that we take for granted or find repulsive. I also feel that my photographs and video of my decaying art piece are particularly successful as they accurately capture change and decay over time. Also, visually beautiful photographs have been captured even though they are portraying something repulsive. I do wish that I could have left the piece to decay for longer but I simply did not have the facilities to do so safely. My experimentation with photo montage produced interesting outcomes and highly unusual subject matter to paint from. Working with Petri Dishes was a success in my eyes as they gave clarity and added a sense of realism to the fake mould that I had painted within them. It also encourages people to question what they think they see. I have never really worked with 3D or sculpture before and I think that my sculptural final piece for this project is a success. It is visually appealing and there is a strange juxtaposition going on between the perfectly formed fruit and the fake decay mouldy looking exterior.
Looking back, I do not feel that the coloured mould experiments I produced were particularly successful. I feel that they don’t really fit in with the rest of the work made within this project and that they almost look to appealing to the eye and no longer look mouldy or as if they are portraying decay. Filling perspex boxes with vegetables and fruits and photographing them was also unsuccessful as when the foods decayed they leaked liquids that the boxes simply couldn’t contain. They also attracted bugs and fruit flies and I had to get rid of them in fear of my health and the welfare of other students that were working near my desk.
In conclusion, I feel I have managed to create a substantial investigation into food decay inspired by a variety of artists and full of experimentation with materials and techniques. I think I have managed to capture a frozen moment in the decay process using artist materials a well as portraying how decay develops over time through 3D work and photography. I have analysed whether this body of work can be considered art and decided that setting is incredibly important in this. I have successfully created two final pieces that definitely demonstrate an investigation into food decay and worked with a subject that I feel has shown me and others that there are fascinating things out there that on a daily basis we take for granted.
Within the Subject module that I have been undertaking, I have been looking at two elements of food decay: The growth of Decay and its Documentation over time and producing fake mould that captures a frozen moment within the decay process. I have worked with the juxtaposition of the pretend and reality and tried to portray something that people consider to be horrible as more beautiful and accepted.
For this Final Piece, I have worked with the idea of capturing a frozen moment, after perfecting the look of producing fake mould through the use of sugar, paint, cotton wool, modelling paste etc. I have decided to use that skill to consolidate my findings and produce a 3D sculptural outcome.
The Initial Inspiration for this projects subject matter was a video piece called “Still Life” by Sam Taylor Wood. This piece documents the decay of a fruit bowl and in detail portrays how it decays over a period of time. Without coming across this time-lapse, I don’t think I would have embarked on this project and so it seemed fitting that as a final piece, I make a response to this video piece. In Sam’s work, She has captured how the fruit bowl changes over time, I have juxtaposed my work with this by almost producing a still of mould and decay overtaking a fruit bowl.
There is interesting ideas at work within this piece, there is a strange juxtaposition between the perfectly formed fruit and the replica mould that appears to be incredibly far in the decay process. I believe that this piece consolidates the findings of this project and brings together what I have been experimenting with and learning both conceptually and practically. In terms of concept and what I have learnt in my investigation into food decay, this piece highlights the fact that in the right setting, even mould and decay and be appealing and can be a piece of art. It makes people consider it as a piece of art and I think in doing so would and could make some of the public more open-minded about the art world.
In think this piece is successful in portraying the beauty of things that typically we would overlook. It makes you want to look at the colours and textures that I have created to replicate mould and from talking to my peers at first it initially makes the viewer wonder what they are looking at and confuses the mind. In my opinion, the piece is quite visually beautiful. I also think it is successful in creating a strong juxtaposition between the perfectly formed fruit and the mouldy exterior. Furthermore, this is a still life, capturing a still of decay and replicating something that would in nature change over time. I think this piece is highly successful in showing what I have learnt, How I have acquired this knowledge and what it has been inspired by. It is almost a homage to Sam Taylor Wood’s work and there is a direct opposition between our concepts. This piece brings an end to my subject module. As well as documenting decay, making people question reality and consider mould as art, I believe it is a visually appealing sculptural piece that encourages people to consider mould as an art medium. Even though it is not created from real mould and decay, for a moment it makes people wonder whether it is and broadens their horizons. I think it shows people how much beauty you can miss and makes you consider that things as simple as some mould on a yoghurt in the fridge can be attractive and how much we miss out on and take for granted.
Undertaking this project has opened my mind into what I take for granted in nature and has given me the opportunity to document and notice changes undergone during Food Decay myself and to produce art in response to what I see and think about visually.
Because this is a final piece, I wanted it to look polished and finalized. I decided to photograph is professionally with lighting and a grey gradient background to achieve shadows and to show the details of the piece on camera.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this project, The work I have created within it is not typically the kind of work I would usually create and so it has been incredibly interesting to work out of my comfort zone and I have learnt a lot about myself as an artist and as a person.
Within the feedback I was given around Christmas time, I was directed to consider whether the work I have created during my investigation into food decay can be regarded as art. I feel that throughout my blogging of this work depicting mould and decay I have stated that I felt I was opening peoples minds to what they take for granted and what can be considered as art in its own right. In my opinion, anything visually beautiful or appealing to somebody can be art.
However, I think when thinking about the work I have created, Setting is highly important. For example, If the decaying bread sculpture that I have created encased in a perspex box was displayed on a plinth in a gallery, people would be encouraged to think it was art because of the setting. However, it would be an entirely different story if that moulding bread was in your fridge at home, then it would be considered as more repulsive and I doubt anyone would then look at it as a piece of art. I suppose you could argue that I gave the work the credentials and components to decay, but nature actually created the art here. That I feel is true, but I would argue that the decay that I have witness informed my paintings, mixed media experiments and progression within this module.
I would assume, that typically the public would be more inclined to see my painted fake mould and mixed media experimentation as artwork over the works I have produced using actual mould and decay as the medium. In my opinion, all the work that I have made during this module is Art. It has been made in an art studio to satisfy an artistic brief and regardless of the medium or method that has been used to create it, it is exhibited and displayed as art.
Going back to setting being the deciding factor of whether my work is art or not, I feel that even if I put my small replica mould canvases in a fridge or on someone’s plate, they would be considered very differently in comparison to if they were displayed in a gallery and it is doubtful that they would be seen as art.
To demonstrate this, I have included images of my replica mixed media mould on a plate of food and in the fridge. I have then juxtaposed this with an images of a canvas painted with the same replica mould hung on a white wall. It definitely seems more repulsive when evident on a food item in the fridge. It is clear which environment allows for the work to be considered as art.
In conclusion, I consider the work I have created to be art. However, when it comes to others considering my work as art, I feel that the setting of where and how the work is displayed is highly important. If the work was displayed as art in a gallery it would undoubtedly be far more accepted as works of art.