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:
Constellation has been an extremely valuable part of my first year studying at degree level. Attending the Key Note lectures within the first term of undertaking the constellation module opened my eyes to new ways of thinking. They taught me to think beyond what I see and to question a theory, artist’s work or object further than my initial thoughts and assumptions. I had never even considered philosophy within art before Clive’s lecture: do I have ideas or do Ideas have me? I found myself questioning this lecture for hours afterwards as it really grabbed me, it encouraged me to think about what art really is today. Although I was engaged in the lecture room, If I’m honest, I’m still not really convinced that I understand the literal and the phenomenal through no fault of the tutor and may have to research that further. Learning about artistic periods through history such as the arts and crafts movement has broadened my historical knowledge and within constellation, I have quickly learnt that you have to have knowledge of the past to create new artwork today inspired by what you know.
Study skills sessions not only allowed me to choose an appropriate tutor to aid me in my essay writing, but allowed me to gain a wider knowledge. As an artistic individual, I was not really familiar with the world of sonic arts and so it was interesting to learn about music and sound being considered and utilised as an art form. Although I’m not particularly interested in this medium, I saw how effective sound can be and within my field module thought far more carefully about the music I decided to add to stop motion animations that were produced. Something I found particularly overwhelming before attending John Clarkson’s skills session was being faced with a piece of academic text that is incredibly wordy and far away from the main point. I feel in this session, I learnt how to find the key points and to summarise academic text into my own words in order to understand its content a lot easier. This is undoubtedly a valuable skill to gain as when reading books as support for my essay and analysing artists work and information I feel I have been able to understand texts a lot better and in return been able to write a far more successful essay than if I had not attended this session. I have referred to the thoughts of Clive Cazeaux’s study skills session when writing academically also. Cath Davies’s option taught me how to analyse an image in depth and look beyond what I am seeing and consider why objects have been put a certain way or why a person created a piece of art and what message is being conveyed. I think this impacted on me as an arts person the most, as I feel I analyse my own work and the work of others a lot more successfully than when I first started the course. Ranking this as the most valuable skill I learnt, I chose her subcultural option which incorporated image analysis to write an essay from and I am definitely glad I did.
Cath Davies Subcultural Sessions that I have been attending every week have changed the way I read imagery and made me think a lot more about what I’m painting, why I’m painting it, What materials I am using, the connotations behind them and messages that I want to convey to the viewers of my work. Also, I look at other artists work far more in depth and aim to decipher why elements of their work are the way they are. I understand how artists make appropriate decisions now and how even if something looks abstract and like it doesn’t really represent anything, it most definitely does. In terms of subculture, I have learnt an incredible amount about how you can reclaim objects and change their meaning to portray a new one. My field work has been far more successful than my subject work in my opinion and I feel this is partially down to this constellation option. I have really thought about portraying a concept and how the imagery I use would portray a certain meaning. I have thought about how certain colours have connotations and will aid me in emitting a certain mood from within my work. I can confidently say that I would not have looked at images in such depth before being asked to produce my constellation case study. I chose to write about a punk aesthetic and I definitely approach my practice differently after undertaking this. Being interested in fine art, learning about destruction being creation in punk artwork could definitely inspire future projects.
Constellation has helped me achieve a lot really. It has equipped me with such a variety of tools that I will take with me throughout my degree. My eyes have been opened to the work of so many artists that I wasn’t aware of and I have learnt to consider decisions that I make within my artwork more carefully. I now think about statements that I am aiming to make and how powerfully they are being conveyed within my work. However, there is still room for improvement and I feel that my knowledge of analysing images, understanding academic writing and having a knowledge of the original meanings of objects in order to change them will grow as I continue doing so and practice. I am sure that the concepts behind my art, its appearances and the thought processes I go through will improve as I progress through the course. Constellation has been an opportunity to progress as both an artist and an academic. We have been given the chance to take the skills we have and improve them and I have been shown new ways to understand and develop. I am confident that constellation has already made me a stronger contender for whatever I may wish to do in the future.
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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.
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.
I was incredibly pleased with the feedback that I received within a tutorial that I attended before the Easter break. I was delighted to hear the tutor mentioning successes within the body of work that I have created and agreeing with me that creating a stop motion was a great way of consolidating my photo manipulations and works well as a final piece to this project. We talked about how everything seemed to inform something and that you could see my journey and progression throughout this project rather that there being lots of random experiments. I was very pleased with this feedback and we then moved on to discuss how the tutor felt I could finalize this work and bring everything together. He felt that making a fade video out of photographs of all my paintings would be beneficial and would allow people to see the development in my work and consolidate a large amount of blog posts and images into one outcome.
After producing this piece, I feel that to me, it shows progression and all the hard work that I have put in to produce paintings alongside my photo-manipulations, animations, experiments and my collaboration work. In terms of the title of my project, I feel that when looking at these paintings you get the feeling of loneliness. I have worked with the topic of the Hidden Loneliness of City life when producing these paintings. When experimenting with photo-manipulation I found that cutting out figures and leaving one left behind portrayed 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. These paintings were inspired by my photo-manipulation work and I have experimented with grounds, colours, loneliness representation and scale throughout. I think the theme of the white silhouettes running through the video heightens the feeling of the single figures feeling alone amongst the masses in the city.
Overall, I feel that both these paintings and the video portraying them all are highly successful. I think this video shows the journey that I have undertaken during this project and brings together all of my paintings so that they can be viewed all at once. I hadn’t realised quite how much work I have created and I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved within this project. The loneliness of City life is heightened within this piece and it showcases my work in a professional and consolidated way.
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.