On reflection, I feel that the work I have created surrounding the Hidden City Brief is highly successful. I have been extremely out of my comfort zone when working on this project in a vast variety of ways and I feel that I have really pushed and challenged myself. I have always considered figures and the human form to be a weakness of mine when it came to drawing or painting them. When I had the City Brief, it seemed like an obvious opportunity to experiment with the figure and work on a project incorporating people to improve my skill. I have never really worked with photo-manipulation in this way before either and I have certainly never used my photo-manipulations to inspire paintings that I would create. I have worked with a variety of new methods including under-painting and working with grounds, and I feel as if I have learnt a huge amount, developed my skills and grown as an artist.
I really thought about what I was going to base my project on and I feel that it really paid off. I feel that the Hidden Loneliness of City life is a highly interesting concept that is so relevant to today’s society. I started by experimenting with portraying loneliness through working with photography and manipulating techniques. I was highly inspired by the cutting out all of the figures from my photographs apart from one, to portray the feeling of being alone in the city even though you are surrounded by others. I thought about the fact that all the other people in the city may as well not exist or at least might as well just be white silhouettes and I started working with paint and illustrating these ideas on board. Attending the paint workshops on a Monday has been an incredibly valuable use of my time and allowed me to work with new techniques and painting methods. I think my painting skills and knowledge has definitely been heightened.
In my opinion, there are quite a few successful elements to this body of work. The amount of experimentation I have done and how much I have learnt and progressed because of this is undoubtedly a success. I think all my paintings are successful in their own right because they have all taught me something. I worked with a sepia colour scheme and experimented with the scale of the people and use of background, because of this I came to the conclusion that monochrome was more effective in highlighting a feeling of loneliness than sepia and so I started experimenting with monochrome painting. This informed one of my final pieces and I definitely feel that it is only a successful final outcome because of the prior experimentation.
One element I feel is particularly successful is my consolidation of the work I produced and how I have linked it in to the work that I produced as part of the collaboration group with other students. I think that including stop motion animation into my project portraying loneliness was the most fitting way to link in what I have learnt through collaborating with my peers. Stop motion animation has turned out to be the perfect way to showcase the photo-manipulations and tracing paper experiments that I have been producing throughout the project. I feel as if I have successfully created a body of work that has a deep concept and portrays the fact that you can be surrounded by others in the city but you may as well be alone as you rarely interact with anyone. I also feel I have accurately shown how you may as well be invisible to others in the city and that you are singled out which heightens people’s feelings of loneliness.
However, there have obviously been things that haven’t really worked within this project which I feel I have quickly moved on from. For example, I attempted to show loneliness through bright colours but it didn’t really work. The art looked far too cheerful and I quickly pushed this idea to the side. Also, I don’t feel that working with a palette knife was a success as it detracted from the concept and the figures in my opinion. Finally, even though the concept of headphone beings was interesting, Looking back, I don’t think that the outcome is particularly successful. I think it looks quite unprofessional and amateur.
In conclusion, overall I feel that this project has been a success. I have challenged myself, experimented widely, practicing drawing and painting figures and learnt many new skills and approaches to art. I feel I have managed to demonstrate the hidden loneliness of city life and visually portrayed the fact that in the city you can be surrounded by many others but still feel so alone. It has been an incredibly interesting subject to research and create art work in response to. I will definitely notice others more in the city and make the effort to smile and make conversation with people because I know how lonely they might feel even though there are many members of the public around them.
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.
I have been brainstorming a wide variety of ideas for each of the topics I have been given in the hope that something will reach out and grab me that I would like to create a project based around. I find it really difficult to come up with projects that have a lot of scope for development and moving forward, so I find brainstorming and considering what I could create within these ideas really helpful.
“The movement from one part of something to another”
When considering Migration as a theme I first started thinking about moving from one country to another and it’s causes. A desire for change, natural disasters, war, famine, oppression, job opportunity and structural change are all factors contributing to people’s need or want to migrate. People moving from other countries into Britain means that the population of our cities is growing rapidly. Cities are expanding and some people argue that there are less jobs for British citizens because of migrants. In History, The Closed Door Policy meant immigrants were stopped entering Britain for fear of over population. Another thing that migration has caused is a wider range of religions and beliefs within cities, causing clashing opinion and divide.
As well as people migrating, I started thinking about the migration of goods and imports. Many of the things that we purchase from the shelves today are not made in this country. Also, without migration us British would have a much smaller choice of cuisine. It is because of other ethnicity migrants that we have Indian, Chinese, Turkish, Japanese food etc. available to us at all. Imagine what our cities would look like without any Chinese takeaways or Thai restaurants etc? The City would be a very different place I believe.
POWER AND TECHNOLOGY
Power is quite a versatile subject when considering the city and you could look at it from a variety of angles. I started thinking about higher powers such as the government controlling our cities and how sometimes higher power decisions cause unrest and protesting. Sustainability links in with this topic too as many cities are now running on renewable or sustainable power sources. Parts of cities are run using wind power, solar energy and other alternatives.
The advancement of technology has undoubtedly changed our cities. Many cities now have large screens showing sports matches or the news within them and inner city WI-FI for anyone to use. It is almost unimaginable to consider what city life was like before all the technologies that are used nowadays. The new arty and wonderful architectural buildings that exist today would not have been produced without new technologies or at least would have taken a lot longer to build.
It is quite interesting to think about how much people are actually missing because of technologies. If you are staring at your phone whilst walking through the city, you are missing everything that is going on around you, not to mention the fact that you are also being extremely unsociable.
THE HIDDEN CITY
There are many interpretations of and possibilities within the topic of the hidden city. If you are someone who only goes out in the city in the daytime, then the nightlife is completely hidden from you. Parts of the City that no one uses are also hidden really, such as derelict buildings and old alleyways. I think that city life is highly glamorized so it may be interesting to look at the hidden lives of those who are on the poverty line or homeless within the city. There are many undiscovered artists hidden within the city, beautiful murals and graffiti pieces can be found all over cities.
People take many things for granted in the city, I think its beauty is one of them. Even though it is industrial, the sunsets in Cardiff for instance are incredible and the architecture is a highly interesting focal point. In Cardiff, the city is so clean in the morning, if you didn’t go out at night or early hours of the morning, you wouldn’t know about the hidden filth and mess that is cleaned up by a team of council members before you go to work in the morning.
I have also started thinking about the fact that a hidden city could be a new city. A new city could be made up of all the amazing architecture from a few existing cities that people on a daily basis take for granted and is hidden from them.
I am still finding it really difficult to create a project based on one of these titles that is inspiring and interesting to create, so I will research artists that have used the city as an influence to their own work.