I have continued with the process of refining my final evaluation and review. The pre-pandemic part appears to be appropriately developed and covers the entire period of the ‘physicality’ of learning, research and experimentation. Additionally, it gives an outline of my personal and professional ambitions for the future.
The next step will be to focus on looking at how the context of lockdown has redefined my thinking. My new findings appear to contradict the former status quo.
I have thoroughly enjoyed an exciting, life-changing and broad-ranging research journey during this course. All my creative experiences and activities have been thoroughly recorded in my blog and, to date, I have published well over 200 posts. In order to give a structure to this ongoing document, I have organised all entries using the following key categories: critical analysis, reflection and experimentation. The others covered methods of visualisation, gathering of primary sources, viewing of exhibitions, reflection on tutorials and self-assessment of progress.
As a result of my world travels, I had a wealth of resources and unique observations of the dynamics of humanity across many countries. However, I was oblivious to a universal truth, which reveals a common link across nations, cultures and races. My initial research was concerned with the clarification of my creative intentions and learning to understand the potential and value of my learning and experimentation processes.
During a review of my primary sources and research findings, I noticed a number reoccurring patterns and characteristics across the different data. Therefore, my focus begun to be placed on investigating and questioning the concept on waiting for change in a hope for improvement. I recorded numerous people entrapped in poverty, who were suspended in vacuum of detachment, frozen in a bizarre inactivity without any chances for progress, development and achievement.
Waiting was adopted as a form of a coping mechanism and dealing with the truth of their world as it really was.
Experimentation with interrogation of primary sources through an amalgamation of painting with a running narrative followed. This possibility was further extended by looking at denial and inclusion of the dimension of time, which was required in order to make things happen while working hard to earn the necessary monetary funds.
Through overpainting in black, I tried to remove all symbols of luxury and wealth from my images. These are frequently taken for granted and, simultaneously, remain unobtainable. Gradually, I refined my research question and focused on the space in-between certainty and uncertainty. I experimented with video pieces, which were inspired by powerful recordings by Bruce Nauman. I started to alternate a violent act of blasting my paintings off with a powerful jet of water with the repainting process, always uncertain and full of unpredictability embedded in this method. I was never satisfied with early of superficial success and accidental effects. I forced myself to persevere and become consistent and methodical in my approach.
Distraction become the essence of my creation.
I developed this idea further by taking it to a more extreme and aggressive stage through an introduction of machine interventions. I produced a range of video pieces with impact and potential for further development.
My research findings confirmed that there was little certainty in life and the only constructive way forward was to persevere.
My work begun to become sophisticated and evolved during a long period of explorations of media, materials and processes, always trying to discuss alternatives and extend the intellectual properties of my ongoing debate and discussion.
My experiences, at this stage, were continuously updated by a large number of research expeditions and visits in search of new primary sources, references and inspirations. Subsequently, I was very intrigued by a newly discovered characteristics of uncertainty in the context of waiting.
Hypnotic repetition gives people an opportunity to loose themselves in an opiate-trans like entrapment in daily routines and automated activities.
This brain numbing approach allows for hope to flourish and despair to depart.
I have also looked at repetition in a variety of contexts and locations to triangulate date, increase authenticity and reliability of my research findings and observations.
I immersed myself in working with a range of characteristics across different cultures, who were subjected to surviving, while being lost and oblivious to reality.
The outcome of this experimentation started to be more exciting than the original piece. It also communicated my concept and creative intentions through the repetitive spinning motion of a washing machine without thought, further analysis and reflected the behaviour of the entrapped people through mimicking their automated and unconscious actions.
I painted a piece titled Burmese Captain, who was in charge of a ferry and totally disengaged with his passengers. The next significant painting depicted a Pool Player, who was forced to perform to perfection with no end in sight and portrayed a Snake seller determined to keep her market stall open.
There were also other works, including a story of a Wheel of Fortune trolley man and Burmese Monks taking break from their duties of collecting donations. Finally, a large scale painting depicting a foot masseur followed. Perhaps this latest attempt to extend my discussion by observing the mundane ritual of repetition in a Thai massage parlour made the most significant contribution to my thinking and visualisation.
Subsequently, I developed a meaningful plan for a range of options for my final exhibition. The essence of my ideas was to reveal the nature of this universal condition using hypnotic and repetitive tactics.
I am excited for my work to be shared across to allow for a broader understanding of the world and human resourcefulness to keep their spirits high and without self-pity.
Their paradox is, perhaps, most revealing that the people with the least have the most.
My project is on course to continue to develop and expand beyond the scope and time boundaries of this course. I have already planned for trips to Madagascar and Ethiopia to gather more experiences to respond to and enhance my current understanding and interpretation of the leading research question. I will attempt to develop a further perspective on related issues and observations. My approach and explorations will remain open-ended and without presumption of excitement and uncertainty of tomorrow.