SUBJECT: Final Piece: Decaying Sculpture: Fruit Bowl

 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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SUBJECT: IS MY WORK ART?

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.

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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.

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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.


FINAL PIECE: Inspired by the Collaboration Process

Within this City project, I was asked to create two final pieces individually, one inspired by the fine art painting project and another that reflects the ideas, thoughts and new processes that I learnt during the collaborative process. As a collaborative we made drawings and stop motion animations. It seemed obvious to me that for this second piece I would like to create an animation that includes drawing to fit in with what I have learnt and worked on with my collaborative group and to portray the hidden loneliness of city life. The collaboration work we made as a group has already informed my individual work and I have started playing around with animations showing loneliness in the city.

I thought the experiment I made where all the people were cut out of a photo one by one apart from one individual was quite interesting and had a lot of scope for progression and so I have decided to make a stop motion animation incorporating the manipulation of my photographs to portray inner city loneliness as a final piece.

I have included two aspects of loneliness in the city within this piece. The imagery where all the people are cut out/scribbled over/painted in portrays the fact that you might as well be alone in the city when surrounded by others because you interact with  no one. If the only people you see are the passers-by of the city then you are going to be highly lonely because you would never converse with anyone face to face. The imagery where only one person has been singled out conveys the fact that you are insignificant which heightens the feeling of loneliness and that to all the other people you might as well not exist. Also, singling one figure out portrays them as being alone within an urban environment.

Within this piece, I have experimented with manipulating photos in a variety of ways to show loneliness. I have also included drawing within the piece and the use of tracing paper and paint. I think this piece is very successful and consolidates all the photo manipulation work I have produced throughout the whole of the project. These photo alterations inspired my paintings and kicked off my ideas to create this body of work so it seems only fitting that they make up one of my final pieces. The track that is playing behind this animation is “The lullaby of Loneliness” by Aaron English, chosen for obvious reasons. I have uploaded my final piece to YouTube so it is shared with the public and I can gain feedback from the users of the site. I think this piece is successful in portraying the hidden loneliness of city life and demonstrates a skill that I have worked on from making animations with my collaborative group.


FINAL PIECE: Based on the Fine Art Painting Project

I have decided to submit my monochrome shaped painting that I started within the last fine art project session as a final piece. It communicates all of the material skills that I have learnt throughout the painting project and accurately consolidates my body of work surrounding the hidden loneliness of life in the City. Participating in the project has taught me a wide variety of skills, I had never explored the technique of underpainting before and I learnt how much an underpainting really can inform a final piece. I also acquired a knowledge of dry brushing and allowing an underpainting to come through the top layer of paint. Creating a shaped painting was a new and interesting concept for me as well as like many other painters, I tend to traditionally paint on square or rectangular surfaces. I wanted my final piece to convey all of the skills and knowledge that I have gained from attending these sessions and I feel that this monochrome shaped piece with a green sort of under glow definitely does.

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Previously, I experimented with making the people the focus in my work  rather than the architecture and making the buildings more gestural. Like I said, I do think that this was highly successful, but in this piece, I think the buildings really add to the feeling of loneliness within the work because of the eery and sort of uneasy green underglow that is coming through the monochrome overlay. I employed the technique of dry brushing within this piece so that the green underpainting is really a valued part of this final outcome. I feel this piece really consolidates my city project. It portrays everything I have learnt, the things I have progressed with, the things I have not taken any further but learnt from and the meaning and concept behind my take on the city itself. I have included a coloured figure surrounded by white silhouettes within this piece because it has been my most successful portrayal of being surrounded by others in the city but alone. You might as well be alone in the city because no one interacts with you or notices your existence. You may as well be surrounded by bodies with no defining features – white silhouettes. I definitely feel that it is worse being around people and being made to feel alone in the city than actually being around no one. This piece represents how you are alone in the city regardless of being surrounded by others and that if the only people you see all day are the passers-by of the city, then your time in the urban environment can be an incredibly lonely, with no interaction or conversation with others.

As this is a final piece, I thought about the fact that it should be able to be presented and hung on the wall as a final outcome and so fixed a block of wood to the back of the board so that it can be hung upon nails or screws.

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I definitely would not have made this piece without attending the painting project sessions, they have been extremely valuable to me and even though I have had to create a final piece based on what I have learnt in these sessions, I think I would have made a piece inspired by them anyway because of how many new techniques and methods  I have worked with. Underpainting is definitely something I am going to be considering in the future as I feel it has really informed and added to the outcome created here. I think this piece is highly successful in portraying what I have learnt in the sessions as well as highlighting the hidden loneliness of City life and how you are alone and a singular figure in the city even when you are surrounded by others. I am incredibly happy with and proud of this final piece. It is definitely not something I would have usually created but that has taught me that experimenting with new styles and techniques can make for highly successful outcomes.

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PAINT WORKSHOP: Shaped Painting Exhibition

In the first hour, we were given the task of putting the final touches to our shaped paintings in preparation to informally exhibit what we have created within these sessions to our peers that have been working in other discipline sessions within fine art.

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I am incredibly pleased with my shaped painting, so much so that I am thinking of presenting it as one of my final pieces. I think the green glow coming through the monochrome is quite eery and heightens the feeling of loneliness within the painting. I have spent a lot of time working on this and I feel it definitely shows, I was really excited to exhibit this piece along side the shaped paintings of the other members of my painting group.

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It was really interesting to see how each of us had approached the task of creating a shaped painting very differently. All of the pieces had our own stamp on them and were painted in completely different techniques. Some people had completely covered the green underlay, some had let it show through as I have. It was fascinating to me that we had all been given the same brief and interpreted in very varied ways. I think presenting all our work as a mini exhibition was a great way of consolidating all that we have learnt the past weeks and the perfect opportunity for each one of us to take a step back and look at what we have achieved. I have really enjoyed attending these painting sessions on a monday and I have learnt a massive amount. I had never experimented with green underpainting or dry brushing or creating a shaped painting before and I have acquired valuable skills that will continue to influence my work and that will stay with me through the rest of my artistic life.


Experimenting: Loneliness: Wearing Headphones in the City

After undertaking the still life painting workshop, I was forced to think about an object that linked to my theme of the city. It took me a while, but I suddenly thought about how many people wear headphones when walking through the city. I started thinking about how if everyone around you in the city was wearing headphones to avoid its loneliness and to avoid facing the fact that you will interact with no one, then the people who don’t wear them must feel even more isolated.

I wanted to portray these ideas and experiment with firstly showing how common it is to see people wearing headphones in the city, and secondly how alone someone would feel in a city surrounded by “headphone beings”. I started sketching.

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I was really happy with these quick sketches and felt as if they accurately portrayed a body wearing headphones that you do not interact with and just passes you by in the city. I wanted to work these beings into a piece and decided that using actual headphones within the work could be interesting

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As an experiment, I think I have successfully explored the idea of being surrounded by people wearing headphones in the city. However, I think the concept of being surrounded by others but never conversing with them and the thought that they may as well just be silhouettes is more successful.  I do not think this is a particularly successful piece and to me it looks quite amateur. I feel this might be too literal and is not an area that I am going to continue to experiment with. I am glad I experimented here however, I learnt that thinking about how people avoid loneliness makes others lonely is not a route that I want to take my project down. I will now start thinking about finalising final pieces and consolidating my project as a whole.


PAINTING: Working with Monochrome and Being More Gestural

After attending a tutorial on Monday, I was glad that the tutor gave me some direction and new ideas and techniques to work with. After looking at my work, she suggested that I work with Monochrome and use the tones of grey to enhance the feeling of loneliness and make the individual coloured figure appear even more singled out and alone.

She also felt that my work was not really gelling as a whole and that I was working with three different realities and had to express the relationship between the figures, the single figure and the architecture. She said she thought the detailed buildings that were included in my work detracted from the figures and from the message within the pieces. She suggested that I experiment with contrasting colours, monochrome and full colour as well as contrasting languages, the gestural and the more realistic. I was encouraged to make marks and shapes that represent the buildings and to make them more gestural rather than focusing on every detail, window or door etc. I have experimented with making less detailed marks to create the city landscape with both brush and palette knife.

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I feel that working with a palette knife definitely helped me be less controlled and more gestural but doesn’t really gel with the figures painted with a brush and therefore is unsuccessful so I have experimented with more gestural brush work.

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I think this is far more successful and the monochrome definitely heightens the feeling of loneliness and the colours of the lone figure. After producing this piece, I decided to experiment with how much of the surrounding is seen within the painting, because even though the technique is successful, I feel that the buildings still are overwhelming the figures here.

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This definitely puts emphasis on the lone figure and draws the viewer to wonder why they are the only one not painted as a white silhouette and consider their loneliness rather than being distracted by the buildings in the piece.  These are highly valid experiments and have inspired me to create a final piece working with monochrome rather than the sepia alternative I have worked with previously. I feel this colour palette and deeper contrast portrays a more negative vibe and adds to the feeling of loneliness within the work.