Call for Digital Artist Residency

My submission is as follows:

Thank you for creating this exciting opportunity for artists during a time of global crisis.

Isolation format does not support the creative community. People with imagination and exciting ideas strive in the environment of collaboration and bouncing ideas of each other. They need to be bombarded with stimulus to allow them to formulate new and deeply reflective responses.

I have spent my life travelling to the most distant places (currently 99 countries).  My creative intention is to observe people, who are suspended in the vacuum of waiting. Perhaps, the best distraction from this process is to focus on entrapment in hypnotic repetition.  Interaction with people, interviewing them, drawing and photographing allow me to establish a unique sense of rapport and cohesion.  After all, we are traveling through space on a piece of rock through space. 

Recently, I have started to use a washing machine and the process of washing as a metaphor for cleansing and erasing.  A bizarre process of an OCD-like sterilisation and removing images from their existence on canvas.

Therefore, I propose to interview a selection of people from the streets in a one-mile radius of your physical gallery space at 87 Princes Avenue, Hull, HU5 3PQ.

Perhaps, with your help, I would identify a number of possible individuals and contact them via Skype.

Following online interviews and photography, I would create a number of paintings to evidence the hypnotic repetition of waiting for the end of lockdown.

Video recordings of the washing of these canvases would become ready for submission as digital projections.

Erasing memories of isolation.

Many thanks

Pav Szymanski

Current research issue – Waiting: Hypnotic Repetition

Through my projects I feel that I discover my inner fears, longings and re-evaluate my uncertainties. My work seems to be an attempt to explore and question by metaphorical presentation my response to the hidden truths of the world. The essence of the value of these works is in their inherent meaning and an atmosphere, which manifests itself in the dusk of the space portrayed, thus the light may appear, where the hue of colour fulfils clarity and sounds with harmonious melody.

https://hypnoticrepetition.com/

https://www.behance.net/pavszymanski

https://www.instagram.com/pavszymanski/

https://spark.adobe.com/page/fQ9VytzHNpWq9/

Zealous Portfolio Challenge

I have spent the whole day preparing my submission to this fantastic opportunity created by Zealous. Their aim is to motivate artists to review their practice in the time of crisis.  As a reward, selected three winners will receive a portfolio review from industry professional, David Ferry, who is the President of the The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers.

Additionally, unsuccessful entries will receive another chance to reflect on their work. Zealous offer to arrange a comprehensive system of Peer-to-Peer Reviews.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the process of organising my portfolio online using their platform. Currently, I am nervously awaiting to hear back from the organiosors.

My confirmation email is below:

Dubai Ideathon- Day 2

Inspirational experience in a difficult time!

Day 2 was also extended to most of day 3. My team – 11B got very passionate about crating a holistic and xcohesive platform. Our concept was to bring people together in a time of crisis, social distancing and isolation.

We produced a very comprehernsive proposal for a range of ideas and supporting online platforms. I was selected by the team to present our proposal to the forum of 174 observes via Zoom videoconference. Our proposal was very well received and the team and I are awaiting further news on a range of possible developments.

Bye Bye, Wheel of Fortune Seller

This is my recent attempt to respond to the current situation. My project has redefined itself a few of times during a very long and turbulent journey through 9 countries. My observations and reflections have substantially changed their focus.

My initial interests were firmly placed on the uncertainties of tomorrow. The context for my investigation was mainly related to a range of economic disadvantages of people in the countries, which I visited. I was both: fascinated and terrified to learn how they deal with their daily lives. How inventive and creative they must become in order to survive.

Subsequently, I realised that everyone is waiting for a new pivotal occurrence. Something important to happen and bring about a significant and positive change. One way of dealing with this lengthy, stagnant and monotonous process is to get subjected by the conditioning of a hypnotic repetition.

My visual exploration of workers, who were suspended in the vacuum of that process, followed. I become intrigued by creating painterly responses based on analysis workers in Asia. This has allowed me to produce some of my recent and key achievements:

  1. Thai Masseur

2. The Wheel of Fortune Seller

3. Three Burmese Monks

My video of the washing cycle of The Wheel of Fortune Seller is broken down into a number of independent parts. Each one is intended to be to have a separate meaning and be a metaphorical parallel to a chapter in life; from the start to the end:

  • Introduction of a middle-aged man with a face mask holding a Stanley knife. This scene is full of anticipation and automatic questioning: Who is he? What are his intentions? What is going to happen next? Are his intentions sinister?
  • Engagement of a background sound recording. This is a repetitive voice of an Asian female. It is difficult to understand and decipher. Her broken accent becomes much more clear with time. Her messages contextualise the scene.
  • Cutting the painting out and the shaking off. What is the intention? The voice starts slowly to become annoying. The shaking off is metaphorical for causing a loss of something and undergoing or suffering from a misfortune. My creative intention is to communicate how special and significant is the current pandemic situation in all broader contexts.
  • Magic of loading the washing machine. The painting appears to fly into the drum on its own. There is something theatrical, unreal and intriguing about this. It appears to be a bizarre ballet, a performance in the surroundings of a dirty corner – full of stains and clutter; in front of a red fire extinguisher, which symbolises a state of predicted and unavoidable emergency.
  • Washing – mundane and foreseeable. This part, coupled with a lengthy spinning cycle, is designed to test the patience. A new thought is born in my mind – when will this finish? Here again, this is a current question of primary importance and substance – perhaps on everyone’s mind (sic!)
  • Unloading. The female voice comes back. Something is finalised, concluded, yet the ‘old’ is reborn and reformed. It comes back like a haunting ghost from the past.
  • Final shake. It is intended to agitate – to get rid of what is there. The old is removed and no longer desired. The Wheel of Fortune Seller is erased from the surface of the painting. The old memories are gone. Let us hope, the real person behind the primary source character has a new and better life to enjoy and celebrate.

My intention was to create an almost religious and spiritual connotation.

Ultimately, the washed canvas will be stitched back onto the original stretcher. This refers to and implies a cyclic quality of life and its all events.

Bye Bye Burmese Monks

I have made some real progress today. I set up a video recording session of the washing of the Three Burmese Monks piece. Everything was arranged in the print room. As the DLSR run out of power, I had to result to using my iPhone XSMax with a tripod.

Following a discussion of details included in my storyboard, Georgie, our technician, agreed to help with the washing performance.

My picture frame was purposely wanky and crocked. I wanted to include a glimpse of a fire extinguisher and PVC pipes in the view. I also thought that bleeding stains on dirty floor make a valuable contribution to the overall impact of captured images, their meaning and the recording.

The raw footage is relatively long and full of accidental disruptions. They will all need to be edited out in order to create a cohesive video piece. The details of my plan will emerge soon, and continue to evolve and grow.

I enclose the final washed up image of the Three Burmese Monks piece and some raw and culminate footage below:

New Face

Following a long period of consideration and reflection, I have restarted work today on the Thai Masseur piece.

The main issue was to complete painting the face. On the one hand, I wanted for the portrait to be recognisable, on the other, I have struggled with solving a number of ethical issues regarding a possible reaction and rejection of my work by the model. I experienced this kind of a situation with one of the former pieces. Subsequently, this unpleasant episode had let to the destruction of my own work and several alterations to other experiments.

My new idea is inspired by deeply glazed and moody flemish paintings. I am especially inspired by Metsu and his self portrait. He positioned himself inside a window arch. This implies a composition within a composition. I am also using a double rectangular. My creative intention is to achieve a sense of ambiguity while drawing all attention to the centre – on the masseur. I want to rely on a visual suggestion of portraiture rather than a descriptive portrayal of a woman. The plan is to leave her facial features undefined, like a ghostly outline of what is really there.

https://www.rct.uk/collection/405943/a-self-portrait

GABRIEL METSU (LEIDEN 1629-AMSTERDAM 1667)

A Self-Portrait c.1655-8 Oil on panel | 37.7 x 31.4 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 405943

To give the surface more vibrancy, I used water solvable oil pastels. ‘Dancing’ with a crayon on top of the painting allows me to achieve a sense of mystery – secret light, which brings out parts of the skull and the jaw – all in the dusk of the space portrayed.

The next stage of the painting process will be to glaze the overall piece with a variety of transparent layers of an acrylic medium, perhaps combined with some watered down PVA glue. This is to prepare the surface for the overprinting stage using the silk screen technique and enhance a feeling of unity between the different formal elements and parts of the composition.

I have already prepared a new pattern based on decorative elements, which I have isolated from the interior of the massage salon. I will use this design to create a random over-image. This, in turn, will have a dual function. The first is to help to engage the centre in the overall painterly illusion. The second aim is to increase the amount of detail and enhance holistic and expressive qualities of my piece.

At this stage, I am considering using a range of gold and crimson tones. This initial plan might be subsequently altered in favour of a more spontaneous and instinctive decisions and reflections in action.

I am enclosing photographs of the final stages of work today and a close up of the ‘New Face’

Current Map of Progress.

Today, we had the last Skype meeting before Christmas. We were introduced to the new brief, which is full of exciting challenges. I am very motivated and committed to producing a body of exploratory work and questioning my creative intentions with reference to their meaning, sophistication of my concepts and the overall use of the visual language in my projects. I really appreciate the life-changing impact of this course and am very eager to realise my full potential, while investigating new possibilities and discussing alternatives through risk taking and further experimentation.

In the light of both, my recent written feedback and the requirements of Unit 2, I have decided to seriously reconsider the direction of my research journey and create an updated map of progress. The diagrammatic format of this chart gives me a clear overviewed my current position.

I have also worked hard to design a solid structure to my presentation for the forthcoming symposium. Participation in this event is a requirement of the assessment. However, I would also like to maximise all benefits from this process and, in turn, enrich my visual practice through both, insightful feedback and the experience of preparing for and presenting work to an important, visually trained and sensitive audience. The entire process can be crucial in my continuous search for identifying meaningful quality improvements and building on the overall awareness of self perception, quality of thinking, critical analysis and art work.

There Is No Time!

Waste of Time

MAP – the arrow of time.

  • The thermodynamic arrow of time
  • The cosmological arrow of time
  • The quantum arrow of time
  • The perpetual arrow of time
  • The psychological arrow of time

The arrow of Time (entropy).

The second law of thermodynamics states that in case of systems, which are isolated, their entropy can only increase. It cannot ever decrease. Therefore, measuring entropy is a way of differentiating between the past and the future.  It allows us to comprehend, what is already behind and what is yet to occur.

I plan to experiment with this idea and design a map of time with references to different levels of certainty.  Will anxieties of the past become much more obvious in the future?

What would happen, if I contradicted Machian’s theories of dynamics and quantum geometrodynamic perspective by stating that there was no time! (Butterfield, 2001)

Does it mean that my experimentation with moving image should develop and progress, therefore stop? Should my work remain still?  Is stopping time the answer to all uncertainties of the future?  The list of questions could easily flow.

In the context of the potential to save money in Haiti, time as concept is irrelevant.  There is simply not enough income to put anything aside.  There are not enough resources to sustain life.  Therefore, dreaming about purchasing unnecessary objects and the associated frustration of wasting time to be able to save ‘nothing’ is a morally unsound torture.

I propose to experiment with images, which indicate desire to possess “something”, something physical.  There is, however, absolutely no potential or chance for this dream to come true and materialise.  Everything is suspended in the sphere of wishes and imagination. The time has already stopped there.

The dream of owing a kettle becomes more and more vivid, but it never gets a chance to materialise itself and become real. It gets ‘stuck’ somewhere in the sphere of imagination, between needs and desires.  The most disturbing is the fact that when you expect it to fully form and appear to be real, the film challenges the predictability of the narrative by stopping the kettle in the process of appearing.

Staring at a grey wall deadpan, day and night.  This is all that what is left.  Human suffering has no impact.  We have seen this all before.

“Underlying this chamber is a number of allusions to recent Polish history – the ramp at the entrance to the Ghetto in Warsaw, or the trucks which took Jews away to the camps of Treblinka or Auschwitz, for example. By entering the dark space, visitors place considerable trust in the organisation, something that could also be seen in relation to the recent risks often taken by immigrants travelling. Balka intends to provide an experience for visitors which is both personal and collective, creating a range of sensory and emotional experiences through sound, contrasting light and shade, individual experience and awareness of others, perhaps provoking feelings of apprehension, excitement or intrigue.”

(THE UNILEVER SERIES: MIROSLAW BALKA: HOW IT IS

Time Needed To Buy A New Watch

Initial experimentation with footage.

Full film as a starting point for further development:

Each second of this film represents one day of income for 57% of the population of Haiti.

Therefore, the overall length of this piece is representational to the amount of days needed to buy a second-hand wrist watch.

“The perception of an arrow of time that we have in our everyday life therefore appears to be nothing more than an illusion of consciousness in this model of the universe, an emergent quality that we happen to experience due to our particular kind of existence at this particular point in the evolution of the universe.”

(Avelve, 2018)

Further considerations for quality improvements and refinements regarding visualisation of quantitative data:

  • dirty hand (manual labour) vs delicate hand (office work)
  • young hand vs aged skin – discrepancies in income of different age groups
  • juxtaposition of average cost vs time needed to buy good in the West and in Haiti
  • consideration of other luxury goods, such as cars, TV sets, mobile phones
  • inclusion of everyday items like food, hygiene products
  • life expectancy/ retirement age
  • family size
  • differences in earnings between genres
  • pay in the capital vs the provinces

Uncertainties of Tomorrow

Removing certainty from Haitian landscape.  All elements, which can be take for granted have been covered with printing ink.

lets the story begin with “spark”…

Please, click on the link below:

https://spark.adobe.com/page/fQ9VytzHNpWq9/

Denying poverty.

screenshot_20180906-223614

No one is prepared to accept reality. How can we embrace the idea of tomorrow if we reject the dynamics of today?

poverty brainstorm

My key responses:

Deadpan. Watching poverty with patience; knowing I can escape from it at any time.

However, can I equally escape from my own uncertainties of tomorrow?

I am becoming increasingly focused on the following  contradictory interdependence between certainty and uncertainty:

Uncertainty becomes the norm.

Certainty becomes very uncertain and sparse.

Certainty is the contemporary “gold dust”.