REFLECTION – INDIVIDUAL FIELD – CITY – LONELINESS

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.

 

 

 


VIDEO OF PAINTINGS: The Hidden Loneliness of City Life

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.

 


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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COLLABORATION: Final Presentation of our Journey as a Group and Outcomes

As a group, we delivered a final presentation of our journey as a collaborative, showing how well we believe we have collaborated together and the outcomes that have come out of us working with each other and learning from one another. We also watched the presentations of all the other groups and made notes. I found that our presentation was more about the journey we have all undertaken together rather than our outcomes and individual work. Most of the other groups were very focused on presenting their individual projects and research before getting to the collaboration half way through. We didn’t feel this was relevant and so started our presentation by stating that the one thing we all have in common is drawing and how we decided to build on that to make collaborative work. Below is a Link to our final presentation.

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I have also included some screen shots from the presentation above:

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We all felt creating this presentation really consolidated our collaborative journey and showed to us how much we had achieved and how well we have all got on. It has been a positive experience for all of us and we have each learnt from it and it has even informed our subject and individual work. We included all of our drawing sessions into the presentation and displayed the outcomes from these sessions to the audience. We mentioned all of the artists that have inspired our collaboration, both our drawings and animations and that our communication via facebook and in person has been incredibly important to our success. The book we made full of documentation was a centre piece of the presentation on a table in front of the projection for people to browse through, it is a highly personal document full of each of our handwriting, feedback, ideas and outcomes. We felt it deserved to be acknowledged. Playing our videos as part of the presentation was a definite success and showed the audience physical evidence of what we have produced. It was great that we were able to show both 2D and 4D work feeding into each other within our collaborative.

The delivery of our presentation went really well, we all got involved and spoke as a collaborative rather than individually. Everyone sounded really passionate about what they were talking about and it all ran very smoothly once we got going. Our presentation definitely showed that we had worked really well together but we felt we needed to express quite how much we had enjoyed it and that we had learnt so much for one another. We all agreed that we would definitely be meeting up in the future and if we ever needed any opinions about our work from the angle of another discipline we would be calling on the people we have worked with in this collaboration.

After we had successfully delivered the presentation, we celebrated our achievements and went for a drink as a group. It was quite an emotional end to a body of hard but highly enjoyable work and everyone appeared sort of sad that it was coming to a close. I would definitely work with these people again and as well as working successfully with these people, through this process I have also made new friends.


Hidden Loneliness in Cities – Colour Exploration – Artists That Have Explored Urban Loneliness Through Brighter Colours

After producing quite a successful and substantial body of work focusing on the use of monochrome colouring and sepia tones, I have decided to investigate whether these colours are affecting the loneliness of my work. After producing my green shaped underpainting, I started thinking about the fact that the figures didn’t appear to look as lonely as in my darker works and so I would like to clarify this by briefly investigating and producing some brighter works and analysing their success in showing the hidden loneliness of city life.

To start, I thought it would be beneficial to investigate whether existing artists have attempted to show loneliness in cities through bright colours. I have come across a few, but I do not feel that the figures within them feel as lonely, because darker colours create a negative atmosphere and bright colours a positive one, so the figure seems to look like they are just happily walking through a colourful city even though they are alone, rather than feeling down and depressed by the fact that they are.

Leonid Afremov – “Alone in the City”

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I am really drawn to the technique adopted by Leonid Afremov, however, in terms of portraying loneliness, I just feel that the figure looks as if they are walking back from somewhere by themselves. In my work, I am investigating portraying loneliness in the city where there is others around you. It is horrible to think that there are so many people but you interact with no one which heightens how lonely you feel in my opinion. This is a beautiful painting but I am not sure it portrays the same message as my work or is successful in showing loneliness in the city, partly because of the bright more positive colours and partly because there are no other people for the figure to feel lonely around or feel like they don’t exist to.

Miki De Goodeboom – “Lonely in the Big City”

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I think the abstract nature of Miki De Goodeboom’s piece is highly successful, even though there is no city like imagery behind the figure, because of the square and geometric shapes our brain seems to associate them with one. Here, I do feel that the figure looks lonely, I think it is because of the chaotic looking city and the figure seems to look overwhelmed being alone within this chaos. Also, the colours here are not as bright as in Afremov’s work.

Casoni Ibolya – “The Rainbow City after Rain Alone”

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I like the softness of the work here, Even though the colours are not as vibrant as the other two artists I have looked at, the artist has still used brighter colouring to portray inner city loneliness. Again, here I feel that the figure does look lonely. I think this is to do with the fact that the world around them is colourful and they are painted in blacks and greys. The work makes me feel as if the figure feels alone and as if they don’t belong in this environment.

After exploring how existing artists have portrayed loneliness in cities through the use of brighter colours, I am going to investigate it myself, I will produce some coloured works and experiment with the idea of there being lots of people around you but no interaction, just as I have in my darker works. I will then analyse the success of this and decided whether it is more affective to paint Urban Loneliness in bright or darker colours and continue to work with whatever the verdict is.


Painting Workshop: Creating a Shaped Painting

Today, in the Monday paint workshop I have been attending, we started thinking about creating a shaped painting. We looked at artists to influence our pieces and to gain an idea of what a shaped painting was and how it might look. We looked at the works of Anthony Green mainly, David Hockney and loosely touched upon the work of Patrick Hughes.

Anthony Green

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I was highly drawn to the work of Anthony Green. I find it highly interesting that he uses shaped paintings to play with perspectives. He inspired me to think about creating an irregular shaped piece rather than a generic one like a circle or oval. He inspired me to think of a scene to do with my city project and map out an interesting outline of how it looked to cut out of board to create the canvas for my shaped painting. His work is incredibly clever and really made me want to work with an irregular shaped painting as I wasn’t really able to visualize what I might achieve before.

David Hockney (Tea Painting)

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We looked at David Hockney’s shaped painting  – “Tea painting in an illusionist way” as an idea of a more geometric shaped piece. The picture employed a shaped canvas, the first work by a Royal College student in which the stretcher departed from the traditional rectangle. Hockney made the stretcher himself. His intention was that, if the blank canvas was already illusionistic, he ‘could ignore the concept of illusionistic space and paint merrily in a flat style – people were always talking about flatness in painting in those days’ (Stangos, p.64).

Patrick Hughes

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Patrick Hughes’ work looks simply rectangular but when you look at it from a side view, it is actually incredibly shaped and 3D, his work inspired me to think about creating a relief effect within a shaped painting and maybe building more shapes on top of a shaped piece to create dimension, this is something I could certainly look into in the future.

We started by drawing out the shapes that we had decided to cut and went down to the woodwork area to cut out the pieces using a band-saw. I decided to paint a city scene from Cardiff with a view to painting loneliness within it and silhouettes of figures. I chose St Mary’s street with the castle at the back as I felt the turrets would make for an interesting shaped painting to be cut out. Then, I just started cutting. I am very happy with the shape I created and look forward to painting it very much. I started priming the surface of the shape today also, ready to produce an underpainting on top.

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I have never done this kind of thing before, and tend to always paint on rectangular or square shapes, so I feel I will be learning a lot when producing this work.  I spent the evening in the studio, drawing out my piece ready to paint it. I am keen to get stuck in and start painting my shaped piece. I will be working in the studio this week creating a green underpainting just like I did when creating my still life piece ready for next monday’s session.