Monday, 31 January 2011

The Bluecoat- Underwater Exhibition.

'Underwater is about the experience of total submersion; we invite you to return to the watery depths once more. The exhibition of painting, sculpture, photography and video by ten international artists brings together the most compelling underwater- inspired artworks of the past decade, and proposes that underwater is a compelling motif of our times.' (

I had heard strong mixed reviews about this exhibition and these strong opinions were echoed in the comments book, which i read after my visit. This exhibition seems to induce a love/hate reaction, and reactions varied from ' a beautifully constructed imaginative exhibition' to 'psuedo art, lacking in originality'.

The first piece that I saw in this exhibition was Dorothy Cross's film piece, constituting of a naked woman floating in clear water, surrounded by an abundance of translucent jelly fish. Her face is out of sight, floating above the water, and her hair swirls and pulsates, reflecting the movement of the jellyfish. This all sounds very poetic and beautiful, and although it had the potential to be, I personally found the way that it was filmed didn't quite give it justice. In contrast, the lighting and general editing of the piece are much more impressive in Bill Violas piece 'Becoming Light' in which a naked man and woman tread water in a deep blue abyss. They appear to be in a trance like state, dancing, and flailing around together. This piece was particularly mesmerising, and I particularly liked how the water reflected onto the skin, forming ripples of light and shade.

Other pieces which caught my attention were Seunghyun Woo’s sculptures of imaginary aquatic flora and fauna.This could have been due to the fact that they took up so much gallery space, and were physically unavoidable. On a positive note, there was something playful and childlike about these pieces, speckled with neon candy colour that appealed to the child within. The work was not obviously aquatic based, and looked more like specimens from an alien landscape.


My one-on-one tutorial was generally positive. I was advised to consider scale, and how I want my work to be viewed. The term 'relationship with the floor' was used, which confused me at first. I wasn't aware that I had a relationship with the floor, but in an art sense, using the floor can dramatically alter the viewers perspective, on a physical level, and in how we react to the work itself. My work in my studio space is arranged over a table and window sill. It is messy and unorganised, and doing itself no favours. I was advised to try to separate my work, by displaying it in different forms. I got hold of a small table and put two of my small collages onto it. These immediately gained a sense of importance, that they lacked when engulfed in the mass of miscellanea that is my studio space.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

I have made yet another box. This is the first glass fronted box I have made and is reminicent of the Wunderkammer cabinets, that i've previously referenced. The items in the box are bought from a junk shop and asembled based on intuition more than anything else.
Wolstenhome Exhibition.

In April, me and 6 other second year students plan to exhibit our work in the Wolstenhome space, based under the theme of self awareness and reflection. I am yet to see the Wolstenhome space in person, but i've seen photo's and heard good things. Hopefully we will view this space as a group this week, and discuss the types of space we will require. We have individually wrote proposals, and collated them into an email, which has been sent off to Wolstenhome. My proposal was as follows:

Louise Hastings-
My current work has ultimately been inspired by Joseph Cornell's boxes. I have been incorporating personal nostalgic objects and imagery, with pieces/photos from second hand shops (buying other peoples memories). Observers are encouraged to work out their own connections between the objects in the boxes, forming their own narrative. For this exhibition I plan to ‘think outside the box’, by keeping the form of a box without the physicality of a box structure, potentially through suspending collected items to form an assemblage. Preferably this would be set up in the corner of a room within the Wolstenholme space.

I've tried to keep this proposal vague, as my project is changing and developing all the time and has potential for change. We've also created a facebook group which will act as a kind of blog and will be useful for keeping updated!/home.php?sk=group_141309599263671&ap=1

Stuart Haygarth- Found objects suspended to form a shape, similar to my ideas about creating a box of objects without the physicality of the box structure.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Exhibiting my work....should it be an installation or object based? I need to start considering how I want my work to be seen. The idea of filling a space is tempting. I've done installation work before, and was suprised by how much I enjoyed it (the piece below isn't mine, trying to find artist reference currently).

Still thinking 'outside the box'

I've been trying really hard to break away from the box structure, whilst incorporating memories and a sense of nostalgia. The pieces below look a bit darker, especially the piece with the rusty nails and dolls arms. The other piece which i made, constituting of two pieces of wood, and a cobweb -style tangle (created using a glue gun) has a torn up photo dispersed in small pieces. Whats this all about?! I hear you cry. Well... you tell me. I think it kind of portrays memories cast aside, forgotten, bitter, and confused. I'm leaving it open to debate. I feel like I'm still fishing around for a solid direction. If I'm totally honest, I'm still not massively sure what I'm 'trying to say' with my work. Its all very confused. So confused in fact that I'm considering basing this project on confusion itself. I'm constantly frustrated by my inability to turn off my thoughts. I over think EVERYTHING. I think if I hadn't thought so much about where this project is going, it might have actually gone somewhere. Perhaps if I could combine this sense of confusion with an air of nostalgia, mixed up memories and thoughts. This said, i might end up just confusing myself further.

This is some collage style work that I also did, still using bits and pieces I've kept hold of over the years. I used pre-made boxes which have a ribbon loop at the top, for hanging up and displaying. When I make art i tend to want to make tonnes of the same thing, altering it slightly each time until it feels like Ive got it right. Part of me really wanted to just make an endless amount of boxes, but i know I've got to try to develop and progress, so i did these, hoping it would lead somewhere. It didn't.

Friday, 14 January 2011

A few days ago I attended a lecture regarding freelancing and self employment. If I’m totally honest although this idea sounds appealing, I don’t think it’s my thing. Shocking as it may sound, being on a fine art course, I don’t plan to be an artist (controversial, i know). I’m on this course because I enjoy art, I have an interest in it and I’d like to get a career in a creative industry but I’d happily work for someone else. I like being set a brief. I actually prefer to be told what to do. When left to my own devices I tend to procrastinate and lose focus. This said, I did find the lecture interesting, and they do put forward a good case towards being freelance. There are obvious benefits and perhaps in the future when I have a steady income I would be interested in furthering my art career independently. This all seems quite far off though, and for now I’m focusing on getting through this degree then going onto further education in the realm of social work/art therapy.