ASSESSMENT: SUBJECT AND FIELD: SET UP COMPLETE

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 


REFLECTION – COLLABORATION

I have really enjoyed the collaboration process and could not have asked for a better group of people to create artwork with. I have been incredibly lucky in that I have made friends from collaborating as well as creating interesting artwork as a group. We immediately got on and started thinking about how we could amalgamate all of our strengths into a group project. We quickly noticed that the one thing that we had in common was drawing and set to work on researching artists that have produced collaborative drawings together. We met up numerous times to produce collaborative drawings in coffee shops and café’s as well as at university and I can confidently say that creating these drawings didn’t seem like an inconvenient effort to any of us and that we all thoroughly enjoyed spending the time creating art together. I think the secret to our success was that we kept the sessions very casual and never put too much pressure on anyone, we just took in the experienced and enjoyed each others company.

In terms of the work we created, we were all amazed by how well the drawings that we made were turning out and wanted to challenge ourselves further. We decided to incorporate mixed media into our work. We met up and each brought something to make marks with that we felt related to our discipline or sketchbook work. The pieces ended up being textural and sewn into and covered in tissue paper, drawn on top of, sketched into and painted on to create incredibly successful outcomes. We felt that all the drawings showed a little piece of each one of us and our individual projects as well as containing our journey as a group. I have learnt a lot about working with others and acquired further social skills from working with strangers. Looking back, I don’t think that anything was unsuccessful about collaborating with these people.

A few things didn’t quite go to plan like we had to rearrange meeting up sometimes and sometimes members of the group had other commitments but I quickly learnt that that’s life. The works we created have all been successful in their own right but in my opinion the most successful work is our final stop motion animation. It shows all of our drawings coming together to create one drawing, just like us individual students came together to form a collaborative art group. I had never experimented with clay before and animating it was a lot of fun. I have learnt a lot from the members of my group. Some of them used tracing paper to draw on in their sketchbooks which inspired me to incorporate its use into my photo-manipulations. It has ended up being a key component in the consolidation of my individual work and I don’t think it would have been without participating in this collaboration.

I would definitely not have produced a stop motion animation of my photo-manipulations if we hadn’t experimented with producing them as a collaborative because I’m not sure I would have been confident enough because of the sheer number of photographs that were included. I was shocked by how well our collaborative drawing animation turned out and it definitely inspired me to make one of my own as a final piece portraying the hidden loneliness of city life.

We all agreed that the journey we have undergone has been far more important to us than the outcomes that we have created.

I have learnt so much from the collaboration process and would definitely recommend it. I feel it has taught me how to be more of a professional art practitioner from having a professional relationship with others. We enjoyed our time together but we knew we had work that we needed to get done so I feel we all learnt how to formulate a healthy balance of work and play. I am delighted to say that we all agreed that we would stay friends and that if we ever needed any artistic advice then we would all be happy to help each other out as it is always useful to obtain the opinion of students specializing in another discipline. We all went for a drink after our final presentation and reflected on what a positive experience collaboratively making art has been for each of us. I have learnt that collaboration is very give and take. You have to work together, take in the input of others and give your opinion in order to be successful.


VIDEO OF IMAGES OVERLAYED WITH TRACING PAPER AND FIGURES FROM MY PHOTOGRAPHS

During my feedback tutorial, In terms of consolidating and linking all of my work together, the tutor felt that to amalgamate the elements of experimentation within my project, I should consider combining my paintings with my tracing paper and photo-manipulation experiments. We talked about the idea of “The Transient City” and how the people around you change and are only around for a short time. There is no time to build conversation or relationships with others in the city. We discussed how this can add to the feeling of loneliness and how the city around you can become overwhelming and a blur. When thinking about the city being a blur, I thought about my tracing paper experiments and how the paper blurs out the background of a photograph. We came to the conclusion that more focus should be put on the figures and how combining tracing paper with my paintings could produce a foggy effect. When thick fog descends on a city, you cannot see anything or anyone else and you feel isolated and alone within a misty atmosphere. I came to the conclusion that combining tracing paper with my paintings would undoubtedly add to the feeling of loneliness within them.

I started experimenting but felt that the figures were lost behind the milky paper. I decided to heighten the feeling of loneliness further, I would stick people from my photographs on top of the tracing paper and match them up with the white silhouettes in my paintings. It seemed fitting that I incorporate figure overlays for all of the figures but one. I thought that leaving the coloured figure that is already isolated in my paintings without an overlay would add to the aesthetic of them being singled out and feeling alone amongst a sea of passers by. After experimenting with these ideas, I decided to photograph the result and incorporate the pictures into a faded video.

I feel that this clip brings together everything I have learnt and experimented with into a conclusion portraying the fact that it is a sad affair that in the city, people can come into contact with and see others every day but feel out of their comfort zone, lonely and isolated. I think this piece shows how to you things around you might as well be foggy and hazy and to others you might as well be invisible as you go unnoticed and unappreciated. The ideas and concepts at work here emphasise the hidden loneliness of City life and therefore I feel that I have successfully portrayed the concept that I set out to depict and adhered to the brief I was given. I am incredibly happy with the body of work I have managed to create, working with figures was highly out of my comfort zone and showing the feeling of loneliness was very challenging to me. I have really pushed myself this term and I feel that is what undertaking a degree is all about.

 


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.

 


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.


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.