For the exhibition, I am currently aiming to create a series of small mixed media drawings, and paintings which represent my emotions and reflections whilst studying on this course. These will likely be on paper, as I am working on now, and mounted as is. As of now, I intend for these to be presented on a blank wall and do not require any specific lighting, as long as it isn’t a dark space. Currently I have no special requirements and do not require technical equipment, as everything can be hung easily on the wall.
Looking back at the statement I had written for myself in the workshop, I had decided to expand on what I had already written to explain my intention and artistic direction in further detail.
For next term, I intend to make this statement appear more final and professional.
As I attempt to uncover and decipher my thoughts, I create work as both a coping mechanism, and a tool to understand myself better. Using a mixture of found archive footage, collage, painting and drawing, I piece together my thoughts, dreams and interests in a way which reflects my constantly changing mood and frame of mind. Themes I have been incorporating into my work are popular culture, manga and horror, which reflect my interests at the time. Previously, I have focused on painting and drawing, but I am beginning to explore film and digital art. Digital can be considered a form of presentation and publication of popular culture, therefore I take great inspiration from this in my work.
Taking heavy inspiration from the portrait of my housemate, along with my interest in dreams, I created a large collage and drawing, inspired by a recurring dream of hers she had as a child. In this dream, she would be stood in a field of flowers, and would pick just one daisy, which would trigger the whole world to explode. The subject is asleep in the drawing, representing her dreaming state. The flowers collaged behind her were printed in negative to signify the confusing and ‘off’ feeling of having a dream. The one daisy towards the bottom right was printed in colour to stand for the single daisy in her dream which would trigger the explosion. What interested me specifically about this dream was the potential of what it could mean for her unconscious, and her regular waking life. The idea of her picking just one flower, a relatively harmless act, could trigger the end of the world is frightening, and could represent her fear.
I intend to add more flowers at the bottom to create more dimension and better close off the edges of the piece. I am also very interested in expanding the piece by adding more flowers, with imagery representing the destruction and act of the explosion.
We had a workshop presented by Sean and Paul which focused on writing an artist statement. After being presented with real working artist statements, we were able to see different ways we could form our own statement.
We began by taking notes of a partners’ practice. For Melissa, I had written:
Elements of humour,
ridiculousness of everyday life, everyday objects, ‘junk’
Intention: confused and intrigued
absurdity, confrontation, challenging
objects that are everywhere, discareded stones and rubble, Greece, importance of found objects, too important to be forgotten, sentimentality, cheap materials (we love a what shop queen)
why do I use these materials? Relationship with cheap things, what’s ‘important’, highly skilled, what defines value
Mainly sculpture and installation,
Considering what I had seen from previous students’ statements, I had decided to keep this fairly short, summing up the purpose behind her work.
My statement for Melissa:
The mundanity and repetitive structure of everyday life often stops us from truly seeing the artistic power of a simple, common object. Through sculpture, my work explores the ways in which we view the things around us every day, using found objects, and currently, more skilled practices, such as stone carving. A recent trip to Greece has piqued my interest in artefacts, being surrounded by evidence and ruins of a rich history. In my work, I aim to push the limits of what we deem ‘materials’, and to confuse and intrigue the audience with what they see at surface level every day.
Melissa’s statement for myself:
In an attempt to try to understand her unconscious mind, she draws on sub-cultures around her, archieved footage and everyday life, trying to piece together the ways in which they effect her. The material form of her work is constantly changing as it reflects the ups and downs of her mind. As she comes to terms with her emotions, she uses her creations as a coping mechanism. Her work ranges from painting, drawing, print and film
There were a few differences in this to how I would have written it, however that gave me an outside perspective of how I explained my work and how it was received. This in turn made me think more cautiously and independently about myself.
My own statement:
As I attempt to uncover and decipher my thoughts, I create work as both a coping mechanism, and a tool to understand myself better. Using a mixture of found archive footage, collage, painting and drawing, I piece together my thoughts, dreams and interests in a way which reflects my constantly changing mood and frame of mind.
I believe I could expand on this and explain in greater detail, the premise of my work.
The focus of my work is currently relating to my everyday life, as I have recently begun counselling, and recording my daily activities. As I am discovering more about myself, I’m finding the way I’m working is affected mostly by my environment. This in turn, means my work is reflecting the emotions I feel alone, at home. As I come to terms with my emotions and thoughts, my artwork will be a medium for me to understand myself better, therefore everything I create is a documentation of how art is helping me. After looking into surrealism, I intend to create a series of automatic drawings in response to my feelings when I wake up. I believe this could be helpful to me with understanding myself, and the ways I prefer to work.
Using my experience of being isolated in my bedroom, I wanted to create a drawing which reflected my state of mind whilst being alone. Using my housemate as a model, I drew a high contrast portrait of her lying on my bed, looking forlornly across the room, much like I had been doing for the past few weeks. I decided to use pencil so I could create a softer, more unfocused image, as opposed to paint or pen.
My bed, or being laid down is something that’s appearing more and more in my work, as it’s becoming apparent that’s where I do most of my thinking. The emotions I feel in this position are often sadness, anxiety and futility. To convey this, I thought about the facial expression, the first place to begin, therefore had her look vacantly worried to the side, as if thinking.
As it is becoming a growing interest in my work, I decided to use digital editing to change the appearance of the piece, to stray away from just a traditional portrait. As scanning graphite pencil is so difficult, I just took a photograph of the drawing and used glitch effects, which I felt enhanced the sense of confusion. The blue GIF has inspired me to begin making work in GIF form, as this can be translated easier onto video work which I intend to continue with. I would like to use this image as a recurring symbol, if not to use again directly, take inspiration from again.
Automatic drawing is a process used by surrealist artists as a way of accessing ‘the unconscious mind’. I am using automatic drawing as a form of expression and method of understanding for my emotions and ideas. I found this to be a very relevant and broad way of working which I can learn from and experiment with to form ideas, and create an initial image before I start working another way.
I began by making simple drawings in pen and marker, not paying too much attention to the direction of the marks I was making, however I still seemed to follow some sort of direction, as if the drawings weren’t truly ‘automatic’.
The choice of colour at first was ‘random’, but I began to realise by randomising my use of colour, I was eliminating the chance of similar colours appearing adjacently, as I had been choosing contrasting colours.
After deciding these drawings weren’t ‘authentic’ enough to me, I began by making small marks on a page without looking, when I woke up after a dream, and in the evening. I would then pay greater detail to the lines and marks, and add small details without thinking too much of the direction, thinking mainly what would appear to happen next naturally.