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.
DOES THE COLOUR OF MOULD ADD TO THE HUMAN REPULSION OF IT?
IF IT WAS A DIFFERENT COLOUR, WOULD IT BE LESS REPULSIVE AND THEREFORE MORE ATTRACTIVE?
IF YOUR FOOD SUDDENLY DECAYED IN BRIGHT, APPEALING COLOURS WOULD YOU BE LESS DISGUSTED BY IT?
These are some of the questions I asked myself when producing this series of six different coloured moulding canvases.
To me, It is obvious which one of these paintings looks like mould because of its colour!
In these six pieces, I have experimented with making mould in exactly the same way as I have in past replica moulding canvases. However, here I have painted them in more attractive colours as well as the stereotypical greeny brown colour that mould is. The textures and materials used are exactly the same in all of the pieces but the colour of the pieces definitely change how you think about them and their visual appearance a lot. In my opinion, this set of six as individual pieces and as a piece as a whole are highly successful.
Although all of the pieces are incredibly interesting, THE GREEN COLOURED CANVAS IS THE ONLY ONE THAT REALLY LOOKS LIKE IT COULD BE MOULD. Therefore, the colour of mould DOES effect our ability to identify it and our repulsion of it. The fact that colour affects how we associate and see things is an interesting concept indeed. My experimentation here was a success and my assumption turned out to be correct, colour is a massive contributing factor to our understanding of what something is or what something looks like.
Here, I have used one of my earlier Photo Montages to create a mixed media piece with a view to making something created from the old look like something new. I want to kind of convince the viewer that this is a real moulding thing that I have painted rather than a fictitious object made up of existing ones.
I have experimented with a variety of Materials to produce this piece and played around with different ways of applying paint. I have applied paint with a brush, rubbed it on with cloth and my fingers, used old glue spreaders, stippled on and used palette knifes as well as crumbling on paint mixed with sugar. The materials used within this piece include: Acrylic Paint, Sugar, PVA Glue, Tissue paper, kitchen towel, cotton wool, coarse texture gel, modelling paste, watercolour, corrugated cardboard, ink and salt.
Below is the montage that inspired my mixed media piece, without experimenting with montage I would never have progressed to producing a painting like this. It is an odd piece, your brain can’t quite work out what you are looking at.I believe there is a fine line between what is real and what seems real and I feel I have created a very believable looking art work that is highly thought-provoking. I think this piece is very successful and I am going to experiment with producing a few more inspired by some of my other photo montages.
I think that using materials that are not normally considered to be art materials can sometimes bring out the best work, here I have had to think of ways to create the textures and surfaces seen within the montage on a canvas.
Above are images of some mixed media pieces on canvas that I have produced, in the aim of replicating mould and decay. I experimented with a vast variety of materials to see what gave me the best effect. These pieces are highly mixed media and are made out of: Acrylic Paint, Sugar, Salt, Modelling paste, Cotton wool, sponge, thread and Water. The paint has been applied in a variety of different ways and I found that mixing paint with sugar and thickening it with modelling paste gave me an amazing granular effect which lent itself very well to working on top of in layers to create a mouldy feel. I also surveyed a variety of people to ask them what they thought they were looking at and they all said mould, some of them even said bread mould which was more specific. I really enjoyed making these pieces and playing around with unusual materials, I feel these pieces are incredibly successful and that I have captured decay in its roarest form. I had to document decay for quite a while before I felt able to replecate the mould that was growing in paint. I definitely want to experiment more with mixed media and maybe create mould pieces like this on a much larger scale.