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.
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.
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.
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.
I was pretty pleased with the Feedback I received in conjunction with my Time project, considering it was the first formative feedback point of my Degree. I didn’t really know what to expect, I have worked really hard and was really hoping that was recognised and portrayed within my work. A system of Tick boxes was used under different categories ranging from very poor and insufficient up to excellent. I managed to achieve my ticks in the second from top box, The comment being very good, professional and interesting.
I was happy with the mark I achieved and the words that described my work, I was also given very valuable feedback, positive points and ways to improve my body of work. My tutor said I have had a strong term of experimenting with many different mediums and bring great enthusiasm and dedication to my practice. They said I had produced a large amount of work around my mould theme but in my diligence and hardworking enthusiasm there seems to have been little time for reflection. A criticism was given that it was not clear what my two final pieces were and that it would be interesting to reflect on whether I consider my work to be art at all. Another criticism was that there has been little cross-fertilization from the lessons learnt in undertaking workshops into my studio practice. I do feel I have used what I have learnt in workshops but may be this is not made clear enough and there is no harm in doing more. There were many positive points in this feedback and my tutor talked about how I had really good contextual referencing both in my notebooks and on my blog. They said my blog was really well executed which I was particularly proud of considering I have never blogged before.
The underlying point of my feedback was that all that is missing from my work is TIME FOR REFLECTION.
From this feedback, I got the impression that I had worked well and had a very good first term on my degree programme. The Criticisms seen here, are things that I can work on and improve my work and attitude as an art practitioner as a whole. I will make critical judgement on my work, experiment with incorporating things I’ve learnt in workshops into my work more, reflect, write a piece on whether I consider my work art and reflect some more. I will make it clearer which pieces I have chosen to be my two final pieces and reflect on why. After this I am hoping that I will have satisfied more of the criteria set and boost my grade upwards. Overall, I am pleased with how I have done and am glad that I clearly know how to improve on it.