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.

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UPDATE: THE CHANGES OF MY MOULDING PETRI DISH ART WORK

Within my subject module, as things physically change over time, it is highly important to document the developments of my work and take photographs of things that have moulded. Here are some images of my moulding Petri Dish artwork, It has demonstrated the juxtaposition between real mould changing over time and the mould that I created being a frozen moment in time highly accurately. The Fake moulding dishes have not changed but that cannot be said for the real moulds.

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With this Idea, I wanted to portray the concept of the juxta position and relationship between real and fake moulds. I also wanted to portray the fact that the things we throw away and take for granted i.e. moulding food can be art and can be seen in a different light. It is so interesting to see how these litle petri dishes have changed over the christmas holiday and it is a shame that we miss a lot by ignoring it or in this case, binning it before it gets to this stage. Below are some particularly interesting dishes and changes that have occured:

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In this project, I set out to investigate and capture food decay, I wanted to create an interesting art project and pieces that is not typical or usually thought of as art. I think I have definitely been successful in adhereing to both of these goals within this piece and the whole body of work that I have created.

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I have captured decay that we wouldn’t usually get to see and I have used mould to create art pieces, I have also reigned my ideas in from watching things mould and created fake moulds using art materials and paints. Juxtaposing these two elements within this piece has brought my project together and makes it feel a lot more consolidated as a whole. I will continue to work with these ideas and think about reflecting and discussing whether I consider my work to be art at all. 


Investigation into Food Decay – Influential Artist, Photographer and Microbiologist

“As far as artistic  methods go, it’s certainly creative. A photographer, and former microbiologist,  has worked out how to make portraits by growing strategically placed bacteria  cultures.

Zachary Copfer  developed the technique, which he dubs ‘bacteriography’, using photographs of  famous faces such as Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and telescopic images of  the Milky Way.

It works by taking  a bacteria such as E.coli, turning it into a fluorescent protein and spreading  it across a plate.

A negative of the  photograph is then layered on top of the plate and exposed to radiation with the  bacteria growing up in strategic places to bring out the image. It is then  coated in acrylic and resin.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2204850/Portraits-famous-faces-created-petri-dishes-artist-using-bacteria.html

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This is highly influential to my food decay over time project as like me, here is an artist creating art from mould and being inspired by Decay. I saw this artists work after creating my petri dish piece and thought it was highly interesting. It is amazing that he has figured out a way to control the mould to make it produce portraits. This contrasts with my work because I am letting the mould itself create elements of my project, where as he is guiding the mould to create specific things. It is interesting, the artistic possibilities that emerge from something that is commonly taken for granted or used for a far different purpose.


DANIELE DEL NERO: HIGHLY INSPIRATIONAL DECAYING BUILDINGS

Whilst exploring decay as an art from across the internet, I came across an article (link below) entitled “ARTIST USES MOULD TO CREATE DECAYED ARCHITECTURAL MODELS” and was obviously instantly interested.

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-11/30/mould-art

Artist Daniele Del Nero creates architectural scale models of buildings and then dampens the exterior of the structure and applies a thin dusting of flour. The model is then placed into a transparent case, which relates to my moulding perspex boxes. Mould starts to grow after a couple of days and dies within two weeks, leaving behind what the artist has described as “a dusty spider-web which covers the model like a rambler plant“.

Like me with my actual moulding artwork , He avoids having direct contact with the mould, removing the cover over the models only to photograph them. He has also related Food Decay to the Decay of the world in a way like I have. This is highly related to me using mould to show pollution and climate change in my factory piece. I have mentioned in my reflective journal a few times about how mould and decay can relate to the end of the world or its breakdown, I appear to have found an artist that feels the same way. He states “We are used to imagining our cities as permanent and definitive, but it’s amazing how little time it takes for nature to reclaim its spaces.”

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These works are AMAZING, they are definitely my favourite works out of all the other artists I’ve come across that use mould to create art. The photographs are beautiful as well as the pieces themselves. His work encourages me experiment with getting a more professional photo of my perspex boxes and other moulding objects as I don’t feel these would look as successful without the high level of photography and dark background. There is something very eery about these pieces, but I absolutely love them. Daniele Del Nero’s work is without a doubt a success. He wanted to “reproduce in small-scale the particular sensation of being in a lonely, abandoned place” and I feel he has without a doubt achieved this. He is a massive inspiration to me right now and his work definitely makes me want to experiment with creating 3D works and to use mould to create a certain feeling or atmosphere.


Does the Colour of Food Mould and Decay Add to the Stereotypical Repulsion of it?

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.

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To me, It is obvious which one of these paintings looks like mould because of its colour!

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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.

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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.


Preserving a Moment in the Decay Process

LARGE TEXTURAL PAINTING CAPTURING MOULD AT A FROZEN MOMENT IN TIME

After a vast amount of experimentation, I decided to focus on creating textural replica moulds with materials such as paint and sugar. I feel that my previous fake mould pieces are some of the most successful artworks I have created within this project.
  I also feel this concept is particularly successful because of its relation to TIME. By Painting mould that looks real, I am almost PRESERVING TIME and capturing a FROZEN MOMENT in the decay process. Also, Mould would usually take a LONG TIME TO DEVELOP AND GROW whereas this only takes a matter of hours to produce. Time is deeply embedded within this artwork physically and conceptually.

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I decided to work on a much larger scale and create this substantial Painting of Bread Mould. I wanted to see whether painting mould on a large canvas and displaying it made people consider it more of an impressive art piece than some small insignificant paintings of something repulsive. I feel that this is an attractive painting that is associated with and looks like mould but has no where near the same level of disgust as if this was on your dinner plate. From asking a few of my peers, it does make them look at mould differently and consider it more as art when displayed like this. I think this is successful in any ways, firstly its relation to time comes from many angles and secondly, I have evidence that it could change the human perception of mould itself.

I would now like to experiment with the NOTION OF TIME even more and create a piece that COMBINES THE PRESERVATION OF TIME AND CAPTURING A FROZEN MOMENT IN THE DECAY PROCESS WITH THE CHANGE AND DECAY THAT HAPPENS OVER TIME. I think taking these two ways of looking at time and finding a way of bringing them together will definitely allow me to create something visually interesting. 


Relating Food Decay to Life

I have been creating mould paintings and working with the idea of Food Decay being beautiful rather than repulsive for a while now, but to give my project a new angle I wanted to experiment with its relation to Life.

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Food Decay can definitely relate to the Decay of Life itself but as an artist I wanted to create a piece that demonstrated this thought. I started thinking about how I would do this and as stereotypically mould is thought of as being a horrid thing, I came to the conclusion that painting a horrid scene that is apparent in our world today but using colours and textures that replicate mould could accurately show the literal decay of things around us. This image of factory pollution above, represents Food Decay showing the Decay of our world and climate change issues. I think this is most definitely a successful experiment because it highlights its meaning perfectly. I may experiment with creating some more of these now that I know the decay of food and the decay of life can shown as one relatively simply.