Saturday, 23 April 2011

The space itself was quite easily modified, although there were many features that were unsuitable, and detracted away from my work, such power sockets in the middle of walls which intruded and took significant effort to disguise as these fought with the overall character of the room i was trying to create. I incorporated some of the existing features, such as the radiator, which acted as a support for one of my pieces. I tried out various arrangements of the work in order use the space effectively in keeping with my vision and my growing understanding of spatial awareness.

T. Before entering the room i had drawn up a selection of possible layouts, but was keen to stay flexible and react to the room. I utilised the available space in the room by creating a central piece surrounded by focal points in three of the four corners of the room, the unused fourth being the corner with the door. I also occupied wall space with individual pieces highlighted by the blank canvas created by the walls .I wanted to remove the natural sources of light in the room in order to generate an atmosphere using specifically selected and positioned lamps. I blacked out the windows using torn up card (for a rustic hand made feel).

 I used newspaper to make a piece for the floor which can be walked over, so the installation has another interactive dimension, which furthers the impression that the viewer is enclosed within a larger construct.  When entering, the light and shadow effects created by the curtained area draw ones eyes and trigger a sense of curiosity as to what lies beyond. I created this area as a partition within the larger room, to act as a box within a box. The pieces within were selected on the basis that they are  generally individually contained structures.

 As your eyes adjust to the dim light, other pieces become clearer.. The piece in the corner to the left is a sculpture contructed using fragments of a broken crate. The traditional form of the crate has been deconstructed and reassembled in a alternate fashion that still allowes items to be contained within the form. It spills onto the floor, invading the space around it in an organic manner.

Adjacent to the deconstructed crate piece is a collection of work which is more abstract free standing and has a darker theme to evoke a change in mood. Causing the viewer to consider darker aspects to their memories and past.

In the corner to the right is a piece made up of hanging wrapped objects. It could be seen that the objects are being partially obscured by the past, part-forgotten memories drifting almost ungrounded to the present. I have lit the floating objects from below and placed a singular drawer on the floor with objects that are less tightly bound, and more distinguishable to give a hint towards what might exist in the others. Again the narratives are left open to the viewer.

 To the left of this is a more enclosed box form, which invites the viewer to peer through the  opening, beyond the threaded interior which obscures the montage of photos/postcards within. I chose to hang it at eye level to encourage viewers to investigate the contents. Once the viewers have reached this part of the piece their eyes will have adjusted to the low level of light.

Alhough the prospect of filling an entire room was initially daunting; i have enjoyed the challenge and feel that the work has come together in a coherent form. Ive created a dark and mysterious atmosphere, in keeping with my previous pieces..  Ive tried to maintain a continuous level of curiosity within the viewer as they explore the room. I spent a good deal of  time inside the room in order to get a firm feel for how my pieces would interact with the space as a whole .Ive tried to consider the room as a larger spatial object encompassing my work, whilst also being a piece of work in its own right.  Ideally upon entering the room the viewer would become immersed in an amalgamation of memories and confused narratives that together challenge the individual to take an introspective look at their own past.
. Peter, one of the tutors popped in, and the first thing he said was 'theres a nice atmosphere to this space' in reference to the lighting/layout I'd employed (hopefully not in  sarcastic reference to the stressy tense atmosphere  I'd created around myself..). On Tuesday i plan to go into the space, check nothing has fallen off the walls, but a couple more bits up, tidy the floor, cut up the edges of the floor piece, neaten the windows, reassess composition, stick up artist statement then have a drink of the alcoholic variety and hope for the best.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Setting up installation tomorrow morning. Spoke to Miguel this morning and he told me to turn up without a fixed idea of what i'm doing, so i can just get a feel for the space and play it by ear.He actually said 'get a cup of coffee, sit in the space and try to enjoy the experience' this sounds nice in theory but no doubt i'll be up the wall tomorrow. This said i've done a few quick drawings so i've got a vague idea of what might work. This drawing is REALLY awful, so don't judge me. It was mainly for myself but i've thrown it on here to show i have actually thought about what i could do.

Should have posted this earlier- quick setup of recent work for last assessment. Not and ideal layout to be honest.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Yesterday the Introspection team met to print out and distribute posters and flyer's. They look really good, but now theres advertisements, it's all become very real. We went down to the union space, to find our individual rooms were filled with PC's and tables which all need clearing.  As i stood in the space, I had a mass of ideas of what i could do/ how i should show my stuff, just wish I wasn't so indecisive. Thursday and tuesday morning are the setting up days, i'm hoping that will be sufficient faffing time for me to work out what I'm doing. We also had to clear out our studio spaces which was pretty arduous, Juan kindly let me dump it all in his room for the time being.

Oh, a  facebook event has also been set up!/event.php?eid=149714751762976
 The main body of text goes as follows...

'Introspective' is an Art exhibition set up by nine students from the 2nd yr LJMU Fine Art course, our practice centres around a main theme of self-awareness and reflection.

There will be a multitude of visual delights including video, sound and installation. Hope to see you there, if not for the art, fingers crossed we can lure you in with the offer of some form of handheld confectionary.

As this is being held in the LSU, of course there is a bar for you to get merry and what not.

Much love.
Think that sums it all up pretty well.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Student Union Exhibition meeting tomorrow.

I'm hoping it will make me feel slightly better about everything. I just want to get all my stuff in the space and play around, see what works. Until its up properly i cant relax. That said, I probably won't really relax until its down again. Also, i showed  Miguel the curtain thing I'd been making whilst it lay flat on the floor. He said he likes it on the floor, and i could use it as a rug if i frayed the edges, and it would act as a piece as itself. This has completely thrown my idea up in the air, and I'm not sure what to do anymore. The only way i will know is through trying it i guess. Finally ....


Note capital letters used to terrify me. I really want to take this advice on board when setting up.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

More Berlin.
Holocaust memorial.
Freya's head protruding there ....

When arriving at the Holocaust memorial, we were naively unsure as to whether we were in the right place. Me and a couple of mates began exploring the vast maze of concrete, taking tourist-like shots, pointing in no particular direction, until one person climbed up onto one of the cubes of concrete, and was told by some guard type officer to get down. We were in the right place, and felt instantly embarrassed, and concerned as to whether such antics could cause offence. Looking at the piece through newly learned eyes it had a completely different feel. A vast bleak area of grey and black. The stone was cold, and the edges hard. It was dark and morbid, it cast cold shadows and stood still and strong. It was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and  consists of a 19,000 square metres (4.7 acres) site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs or "stelae" , arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field.  According to Eisenman's project text, the stelae are designed to produce an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, and the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason. Some have said the piece memorial is too abstract, and some have pointed out that many thousands of non-jews died during the holocaust but are excluded from mention in the memorial. Im still undecided as to whether I deem it a fitting memorial. Its very bleak, i'll give it that, but it's also face-less. There is no sense of humanity or soul. I suppose due to the massive numbers of lives that were lost in the holocaust, it would be very difficult to create a memorial that encompasses, and illustrates individuals, rather than simply faceless numbers/figures. Aesthetically though, it's striking, and can't be over-looked, which could be all that really matters.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Berlin. Whilst walking round Berlin i found myself saying 'i have masses to blog about' so here's my attempt at doing such. I'm going to start with the most memorable work i saw, which was actually the graffiti around the city. It was everywhere, some of it quite beautiful. I don't know if its legal in Berlin, but it really added something to this city. Few photos below...

 In parts i felt as though i couldve easily been in Manchester, with the tram, the Starbucks/McDonald's/all saints etc, then you'd turn a corner and find grand architecture, or a mass of graffiti clad buildings. Globalisation hey? After finishing that bloody essay i stumbled across tonnes of things that linked to globalisation but hey ho. The exhibition at the Guggenheim was globalisation materialised. It consisted of a mass of colourful toys/pieces that were interactive and tactile. They illustrated many recognisable landmarks, Easter island or the Taj mahal for example, and were made out of foam/fur/plastic/glitter etc. Children happily played around us, touching and moving the work, occasionally being told off by a guard for getting too excited. If I'm honest, i expected more from the Guggenheim. After seeing photos of Bilbao's offerings, and Dubai's plans for a Guggenheim, i was underwhelmed by the pretty average looking exterior.

I also went to an exhibition my Richard Long at the contemporary art museum Hamburger Bahnhof,  which was impressive. Ive always been a fan of Longs' work, and the setting of his work just made his work 'pop' for lack of  a better word. That's an awful word sorry. The building was so grand, and well lit, and the composition of his circular pieces worked beautifully within the space (couple of photos i took below). The circular floor pieces led to a giant wall at the back of the space which had another circle, painted in mud (i think) in which the hand prints of the artists remained. As i approached the piece it seemed remarkably flat. I was expecting to see some level of texture but i couldn't. As subtly as possible i touched the edge to see if it was in fact a print but got shouted at by a guard before i could register whether it was or not. I felt abit bitter about this. In the real world if there was mud on a wall no one would stop you touching it. Its just mud. it doesn't belong to anyone, but it belongs to everyone. the same applied to the circular rock formations on the floor. God forbid anyone to touch of kick a rock. but if you head out side you can kick rocks about to your hearts content. Art has the power to do this. I'm not sure i like this fact. Ive been considering doing my dissertation on ephemeral art next year, and potentially basing a project on it. Chances are this time next year I'll have a piece made from leaves that no one can breathe around, and i will have completely contradicted my last point.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Matt Weir and Philippa Dye.

Probably the best exhibition i've seen so far by fellow fine art students. The free alcohol helped though.

I'm in Pips crit group so have seen her work develop up to the final stages of her exhibition, and her piece really worked. It was based around her grandmother, and consisted of a room set up with chair, blanket, slippers, ticking clock and cross-stitch pieces. It was very well put together and felt well thought through and considered. I saw her piece whilst completely sober, which i think was for the best, as it was a very still and contemplative piece that i think required a level of respect/sober-ness.

By the time i sat down to watch Matt's films the alcohol had been flowing, and i felt as though i was at a house party rather than an exhibition (which isn't a bad thing). His films were also really well put together. The first was of a journey down a road, that sped up with time, and had looping sections. I dont know alot about film pieces but, the fact that it kept my attention shows it did something right. It reminded me of being on long car journeys as a child, and feeling frustrated that i was trapped in the car for the foreseeable future. Also flashbacks of being horrifically travel sick, and to be honest by the end i felt a little bit nauseous, but to be fair i was drinking whiskey which didn't ease the situation. The second film was really beautiful. It was really mellow, and i didn't feel ill at any point! It was an almost surreal mix of colours and sounds that flowed in a dream-like way. It was as if you'd closed your eyes and the changing colours were from light falling on your eyelids. Im aware how cheesy that sounds.

All in all i was very impressed by the exhibition on a whole, although it fuels my anxiety to whether my own exhibition will go down as well. Time will tell.