Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Binding stuff with lace- Last photo, dolls head (personal favourite, not sure why)
Ive also been trying to get hold of a curtain to hang, in order to create a room within a room. Anyway i couldn't find one that i liked so Ive made my own from old newspapers, bought from Jim in Quiggins. Id like to take this opportunity to thank Jim for all the crap he's sold me recently. He goes on 'digs' and uncovers all kinds of great stuff. I bought some ancient kid shoes that he'd dug up yesterday for 10p. Bargain. I think he sells stuff to Elizabeth Willow too, who's work i really love. The papers are from 1957, and are pretty interesting as objects in themselves. Ive stuck them together (probably should have sewn them but it was too time consuming for a mock-up) and plan to fold the large piece in a concertina fashion. Ive also bought/made a lamp. Ive attempted to make an existing lamp look old fashioned and worn , and bought a tacky old lamp shade to put on top. Hopefully the dim light will suffice, and shine through the newspaper and look inviting. Fingers crossed. I have another assessment tomorrow so I'll have to set up something that could potentially look like the final piece. Keeping it vague.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Contemporary Art and Globalisation Essay- Finished  Thank. God.

Anyway I've been trying to look up artists who wrap/conceal things, to further develop the work I've been doing recently- the string stuff. There are obviously people like Christo, but I'm struggling to find others. Ive began wrapping clusters of objects in black lace and hanging them from the wall. It actually looks quite ominous, I'll take some photos tomorrow and stick them on here. I also went to a charity shop today in search of a tacky old fashioned lamp to potentially use to light my work. No joy there. I'm going to have to track something down before assessment though...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Wolstenholme exhibition. Re:Action

 Last night I went to see 3 fellow fine art students' work in the wolstenhome space. Our group had originally wanted this space but it fell through due to lack of communication. As I entered the space for the first time I was immediately jealous and dissapointed that i wasnt showing my work there. It would have been a perfect space. It was damp and cold, and falling apart a little. The walls were crumbly and the floor boards were worn. Quite a contrast to the union space, office-like and corporate. But, hey ho. Im going to try to make the most of what i have. Seeing this exhibition has made me question how i would light my own work. I think i'd like to keep the lighting dim in an attempt to disguise the business like environment. This could potentially be done using an old fashioned table lamp or maybe candles (though health and safety wouldn't be happy, and i'd probably have to stand in a corner with a fire extinguisher, which may lessen the experience as a whole).

The exhibition was pretty good. All of the students involved did performance art, a realm i've never dabbled in (probably due to lack of confidence) but enjoy none the less. Each were very different, and as i havn't heard any of the students speak about their work in uni, i was forced to come to my own conclusions as to what their work was about. All in all, it felt well put together... and the free food was nice.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy" [1989]

I was not emotionally ready for this.

If truth be known, I have struggled with this essay (contemporary art and globalisation). The topic is so vast, and encompasses so many aspects of art, that its hard to find focus. I entered this lecture, a little dubious to take in anymore references regarding the essay as i felt i had more than enough to work with already, and anymore information would induce a small scale mental implosion.

The first half of the lecture dealt with transnational feminism, with reference to many artists. During the second half we were shown a short film by Moffatt entitled Night cries: a rural tragedy. The film takes place in an isolated, surreal Australian homestead, in which a middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her dying white mother. Primarily concerned with a series of almost static vignettes, Night Cries reiterates many of Moffatt's visual motifs from her still photography - sets, an evocative use of sound and music.

I was completely immersed in this film from the get go. The relationship between the carer and the old woman was particularly poignant to me personally. My grandma has recently had a massive stroke, and needs round the clock care. Its been a very distressing period, and although communication with her is very limited, she has spoke about being a burden, and wanting to end her life. She is hugely frustrated at being trapped in her own body and hates that she needs such intense care. In the film i could relate to the carers frustrations, and the sacrifices she has made, as well as the sadness expressed by the old lady. Waiting to die. This is abit heavy for a blog post. I think i'll move on.

In Night Cries Moffatt attempts to draw ironic or romantic connotations in juxtaposition to the images and narratives, via her use of Jimmy Little who had a role singing at the start and end of the film.  Jimmy was dressed in a typical western outfit singing a hymn and had dark skin, and i later came to learn that he was from the 'stolen generation' in which people of aboriginal descent were conditioned to breed out their roots as part of a Christianity campaign.Moffatt also makes explicit references to Australian art history, drawing parallels between Indigenous history and the recording the landscape by non-Indigenous artists by quoting artists such as Frederick McCubbin's The Pioneer.

In conclusion, I was deeply moved by Night Cries, and if i hadnt been shown this piece in a public lecture environment, I probably would have got upset. That said, I also cried watching Scrubs later that day which says alot about my current emotional stability. It was a beautifully sad film, that left a lasting impact.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Amy MacDonough & Blue Firth- Post grad talk.

I wish my name was Blue.

Last week we had a lecture/talk from two young post grad students, concerning their experience within the art world and their study at the royal academy. Amy's work consisted of video pieces, referencing 80's/90's kids tv programmes. It was Blue's work however, that really caught my attention. She spoke about her work with a real ease and confidence that i envy, but wasn't at all pretentious or cocky. Her work was based on her personal interests, from psychology to ghost stories, it was all well researched and developed thoroughly.

'Blue Firth has a long–standing interest in the nature of local communities and how their history is recorded through vernacular crafts and practices. Through research of local history and customs, she seeks out arcane and often neglected information with which she aims to rediscover the forgotten character of a place.Applying this research–based practice to her time in residence recently at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Scotland, Blue anticipates weaving these local elements of craft, history and folklore into a series of collaborative re–enactment and site–specific works.'

Royal Academy Schools, 1-2 October 2010
Researching a series of unexplained incidents at this historic building, artist Blue Firth uncovered a first-hand account of apparent poltergeist activity in the artists’ studios.
Blue has collaborated with parapsychologist Dr David Luke and writer Mark Pilkington. As preparatory research they undertook investigative training sessions with the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena (ASSAP).
Bringing together their knowledge and experience of the paranormal and arts fields, the trio have devised an event that merges Blue’s art practice with David and Mark’s expertise in making sense of the unexplained. The end result is a unique participatory experiment in which the audience are both observers and the observed, the haunters and the haunted.
 Combining authentic investigative procedures with subtle performative aspects, Vigil examines and subverts the roles of audience expectation, spectatorship and belief.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Kieran Harris created this new poster for our exhibition. Pretty sure it's the best version I've seen so far. Its clear, eye catching and looks professional. Well done Kieran.

In other news, my project hasn't developed much recently. I posted some photos a few days ago of my objects wrapped in string. I dyed some string to see if it created a darker feel, and to be honest, it doesn't have a particularly striking impact. I still need to experiment with other binding materials.

 Recently I found a draw (strangely left on smithdown road on top of a bin) and painted it, which now acts as a box to frame a few small pieces. Using a draw could symbolise a personal space/secrets etc. I'm finding it hard to select one piece to show in the exhibition. Part of me wants to show the lot. All of my boxes together on mass, potentially put a tonne of shelves up hap-hazardly and have a jumble of pieces.This might just appear overwhelming and confusing. Id like to get back into my space and try some variations out. There is also the possibility of leaving small wrapped objects around the union space on ledges, or clustered in corners of rooms.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

We had a meeting a few days ago to discuss names for our exhibition group/ poster lay-outs etc. The original title was 'art and self reflection' but i didn't think this really made sense. Art AND self reflection implies two separate things. The exhibition is technically art AS self reflection if anything. We managed to agree to shorten it to 'self-reflection' which is simple and to the point, and more importantly, makes sense. I think 'introspection/ introspective' might be a more interesting word personally, but hey ho.

 As for poster designs, members of the group have put together different suggestions.  I personally like the first, the colours work well, and its eye catching and intriguing. The second black and white image does have its charms. My work is the back ground for a start which makes me feel all proud and whatnot, and frames the text pretty well. The format is clear, and you know what your getting when you see it. I think it will have to go to some form of group vote. I also think it might be a good idea to layer photos of all of our work until it becomes indistinguishable. that way everyone is on the poster, but in a more subtle way. Unfortunately i lack the skills to know how to put it together, and don't have photo shop or any decent photo editing software. It's an idea anyway which can be put forward to the group.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Manchester Art Gallery

Yesterday I went to Manchester Art Gallery, and it was genuinely a nice change to see old paintings. I feel as though I've been somewhat conditioned to view contemporary art this year, don't get me wrong, I'm greatly inspired by modern art, I'm still going on about Nam June Paiks lazer cone (I'm going to back see it with my mum at some point, i think its a pretty universal piece, that even she would enjoy), but I've been so far removed from 17th/18th/19th century work recently that it was good to take time to appreciate the beauty of painting.

I have always been a fan of Turner and marvel at his ability to paint light on water, how he can capture a scene so dramatically, and almost romantically in his use of colour and composition. One piece that was on show was 'Now for the Painter' (Rope) - Passengers Going on Board, which illustrates a boat being tossed about in the waves, highlighting the vulnerability of man in comparison to the power of nature. Delicate brush stokes showcase the intricate detail evident in much of Turners work.
A piece that I am always drawn to in the Manchester Gallery is 'The Desert' by Edward Landseer. According to one contemporary account, Landseer used a dead lion from London zoo as a model for this painting, but this is not evident from the dark rocky landscape in which the lion lies.The scale of  the painting acts to illustrate the size of the beast, and is instantly visually impressive. As you approach the painting the fur looks especially real, as if you could reach out and stroke this creature as it lies dying. This painting makes me feel a level of empathy, yet respect for this huge powerful animal. It could ultimately be a reminder of our own mortality, that even the strongest of us, will eventually die. Die alone.
And on that note!