It was an extremely busy day spent exploring a range of hard to find galleries. The exhibition spaces were mainly dedicated to digital, Hi-Tec, interactive art and media projections.
The first experience was an introduction to an art community and their developing ceramic studio located at Rochester Square 1. This is an ongoing project of transformation of a derelict garden centre into a space for celebrating art as well as a physical ceramic workshop, which is opened to the public.
The next visit was a viewing of digital prints by Aaron Sheer at the Annka Kultys Gallery. He manipulates compositions of onscreen software windows to create bizzare overlays of individual virtual collages. These are either printed as screens or developed further towards large scale digital painitngs.
I was particularly impressed by an exhibition in a brand new arebyte Gallery located relatively close to the London City airport. The exhibition was titled Re – Figure – Ground. The work on display was a visual appraisal of issues affecting our lives and existence in the context of the contemporary world, ranging from obesity and loneliness to self image and human interaction. I had a lot of fun exploring a new to me type of VR experience within the context of fine art communication.
A collage of photo-observations from the day.
The tour was initiated by the viewing of David Troostwyk’s exhibition at the Camberwell Space at the college. Following a briefing and an introduction by the curator, we had a chance to explore and investigate individual pieces on display.
We have also walked through Camberwell and viewed two additional galleries: Assembly Point and Picnic Gallery, which is a part of South London Gallery.
The day was inspirational. I especially enjoyed talking to two young performance artists. Both have just completed their MFA courses, at the Royal Academy and Goldsmiths. The essence of their work was to create an art making community on a mattress of the floor in the middle of the gallery. This unique spaces formed countless opportunities for reflections and discussions with guests and visitors.
I have created a group chat on WhatsApp and included three of my fellow students, Michelle, Friederike and Matt. My train arrived 2 hours late. Nonetheless, we have all managed to meet up and view an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery together. It was a great pleasure to finally meet them in real life.
The current group show on display is titled:
”Black Mirror: Art As Social Satire”
The highlights of my visit are below:
Thses medium to large scale paintings on canvas were created using and addition of UV paints. The surface of them was covered with wrinkles and scabs of dried impasto in contrast to smooth and glossy backgrounds. The exhibition was displayed in controlled light conditions with spotlights pointing at each individual piece. I must say that the work was very visually appealing and quite fascinating to watch and discover intriguing and mysterious detail.
The artist made references to the degradation of nature and biological processes.
This is an exhibition of large pieces made from moulded metal with a heavy Emanuel layer, adding colour, dynamism and vibrancy. The artist is now in his 80s and is of a Russian origin.
Tutorial with Jonathan Kearney on Tuesday, 16th January 2019 at 4 p.m.
Jonathan has helped me to regain focus on what I am trying to explore during an hour-long video call on Skype. When discussing my individual ideas, his particular attention was drawn to the brutality of the process of blasting of images in contrast to the sensitivity and gentleness of individual layers achieved. Jonathan emphasised the value of this type of experimentation and reinforced the importance of the creative practice in visual research:
“the physical process of blasting images is in the centre of your research and practice”.
(Kearney, J. 2019)
He also suggested that my trajectory was clear and a degree of hesitance and uncertainty of direction is very much a part of the overall process of risk-taking and visual experimentation.
The option of transferring images onto reflective surfaces was discussed and partially rejected. This is due to the destructive aspect of the behaviour of the audience in the context of this type of interaction. The attention of a viewer could be placed firmly on their “look” and impression in the mirror rather than the intended reflection on the meaning of the work.
My immediate work plan is to continue with the process of blasting images and over-layering them using screen printing, painting and image transfer. The portfolio of my primary sources will be triangulated and extended during the planned trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan in April, and Thailand and Burma in July and August 2019. I will also consider using sources from my local environment.
The principle of the working process and methodology will remain the same.
It was also recommended to look at the work of Mark Bradford. His unique collages and paintings on paper possess an organic quality and are frequently based on a grid-like composition. The surface of his work has got a highly textured, layered and almost typographic quality, making references to the dynamism of a metropolitan landscape.
This is supported by the bleeding of colour and layering.
Mark-making and painterly gestures are also very important elements in the overall work – all making a contribution to the painterly process.
mixed media on canvas
59 1/2 by 70 1/2 in. 151.1 by 179.1 by cm.
Executed in 2018.
Rat Catcher of Hamelin III
mixed media on canvas
304.8 x 320 cm (120 x 125 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2011.
I have recently been inspired by the work of Kehinde Wiley.
His projects consist of a global survey of countries and their respective traditions and cultures. He explores and investigates their socioeconomic dynamics and interdependence in the context of globalisation. His models are random strangers, who are identified during street castings. His bizarre, balancing on the edge of kitsch images, are a unique chronicle of life and culture, amalgamation of colour and pattern, which is juxtaposition-ed with stylised portraits. The background repeats are created by manipulations of typical and indigenous vegetation to Haiti, such as okra and sugarcane – products, which were exploited as a cash crop during the times of mass slavery.
They are all staged, unnatural and almost suspended in vacuum. Superficially, his oil on linen paintings appear to be of only decorative value. Are they though?
This has given me the idea of isolating individual characters from my photographic library of documentary photographs from Haiti and superimposing them with a range of painterly and printed backgrounds, which I have recently developed, including video records of blasting prints.
The three images below are my initial visual thoughts, which I am planning on developing further towards a more refined stage, possibly involving animation. I would also like to link these ideas to my experimentation with exploring the process of waiting through a gradual appearing and disappearing of objects of need, necessity and desire.
I am considering image manipulations using Photoshop and Premier to discuss possibilities of initiating working using physical processes of painting, screen-printing and, perhaps, image transfer.
I am using an image of three young Haitians girls, dressed up in preparation for Christmas celebrations. They appear to look into their future with uncertainty, almost being afraid of disappointment. The white gloves and flowers are symbolic of purity and innocence, and their eyes are full of hope. The viever, however, immediately knows that their futures are very uncertain.
The special and theatrical clothing emphasises further the contrast between the farshness of their daily lives and the the hope and smiles on their innocent faces, just like on “Afgan Girl” photograph by Steve Mc Curry.
‘Afghan Girl’ Is Arrested in Pakistan, in 1985, National Geographic Photo, Steve McCurry
LOUIS XIV OF FRANCE , 2014
OIL ON LINEN 60 X 48 INCHES
PORTRAIT OF DYOUANY BERETIE VERLY , 2014
OIL ON LINEN 36 X 28 INCHES
JUPITER AND THETIS , 2014
OIL ON LINEN 84 X 63 INCHES
THE MARCHIONESS OF SANTA CRUZ , 2014
OIL ON LINEN 36.5 X 72
The show looks very diverse and exciting. It is such a shame that I was not able to be there for the opening. I also wanted to help with the setting up of the display. However, I was able to see some work by other students. I really like the opportunity to understand the creative practice of others. There was a good channel of communication via Instagram with regular updates on progress and development. This gave me a general idea of what type of art is being produced by my peers on the course.
My submission was an animation; an integration of paintings and screen shots from What’s App messages with background sound.
I am really looking forward to the low residency course in February!
Four images of my work on display are below:
Total silence is perhaps the most appropriate environment for contemplation of uncertainties and a deep reflection on my research question. Waiting in silence is of significance. It has also a metaphorical meaning. The absence of sound, as a stimulus, creates a unique atmosphere, expectation and inspires imagination. I would like to reconsider my previous ideas, which incorporate spoken text with my paintings. My references come from the following thoughts regarding a silent piano concerto titled 4’33”.
John Cage’s 4’33’’, 1952,
“Originally we had in mind what you might call an imaginary beauty, a process of basic emptiness with just a few things arising in it. . . . And then when we actually set to work, a kind of avalanche came about which corresponded not at all with that beauty which had seemed to appear to us as an objective.
Where do we go then? . . . Well what we do is go straight on; that way lies, no doubt, a revelation. I had no idea this was going to happen. I did have an idea something else would happen. Ideas are one thing and what happens another.”
(John Cage, 1961 p. 220 – 222)