28/11/2016 ‘lakeside willow’
28/11/2016 ‘lakeside willow’
After some hard thinking and work I finally finished them. These are the pieces I’ve chosen to put in the exhibition.
Due to unforseen technical difficulties I’ve lost some of the scans and these are the only ones I managed to recover.
All of them are painted with acrylic onto MDF covered in black acrylic. It felt amazing to be able to finally paint, rather than plan and do technical things like scanning, editing and blogging.
These will be suspended so they hang at eye-level, arranged so they form the backwards narrative of the creation of our universe.
finally finally finally!!!
I started painting my final pieces, after a wait that just felt like a small eternity. Annoyingly enough, I had to first prime the boards, so I can paint them without damaging the wood – that was resolved by a quick solution of watered down PVA from a massive tube in the studio. Next up was the black base – now that was tricky because I was running very low on black acrylic and I didn’t have money for supplies at the time. I had to turn to my friend in Fine Art, Arthur Jarvis, whose work pretty much focuses on dark and sticky substances and for it he uses a lot of black paint. Fortunately he had some left, which I thought would run out quite quickly but miraculously covered all the boards and there was even some left to spare.
After having experimented with wet on wet painting I started thinking of how to do it well with acrylic. The process of making the Space piece and the Cosmic Tree piece was the most satisfying experience – watching mesmerised as the paint flows through the watery layer, plays, settles, moves, swirls and makes unexpected shapes and mixtures. Such things cannot be achieved by the human hand but only induced by it and I liked having that idea add to my work.
A few days ago I was playing around with neon markers and ended up making these two images…
frequencies has a lot to do with the dream-themed images I’ve been doing for the exhibition in Bristol (Within/Without). I like to think that when we dream all our frequencies are in tune so this is about them coming together slowly and all at once.
distortion comes from the same headspace but that has more to do with my final project for the degree show at the end of the year. In trying to figure out how to represent the god/consciousness that created our world I thought to experiment with the ‘blank TV screen’ visuals – that black and white distortion which is in constant motion that I once heard was in fact frequencies emitted from the Big Bang.
I’m planning to turn those into prints to have at the show, so if you like what you see, you know where to look :)
I hadn’t paid attention to the album artwork of Iron & Wine until recently. I did a bit of research and was beautifully surprised to find out Sam Beam (known as Iron & Wine) was not only a film tutor before he started making music, but he also did most of his own album artworks.
In an interview with Rachael Maddux he shared that he was always drawing as a kid. He went to art school where he specialised in photography and film, but he always loved drawing and painting.
“…it’s fun to take an image and sort of try to match it with the style of the music on your record — in a surreal way sort of tangentially comment on the music by painting yourself. I like the challenge.”
“The original idea was — remember when we were kids and you’d color on a piece of paper with a crayon and you’d paint over that with black Tempera paint and then etch out the drawing?” […] “The idea was to do something like that, so I actually did a bunch of physical ones. But I kept fucking up, so I did it with, like, black ink and a brush — just drawing on white paper. And then we flipped it in the computer and then we were able to color it. We did a bunch of different versions of the colorization and still kind of kept that main idea of all those random colors you get when you actually do that kind of a etching kind of thing, where the color bleeds into the objects in the background. We were able to do a bunch of different versions. . . . We toyed with the idea of including ones for people to draw themselves, but it was kind of a big commitment.”
-S.B. (on the cover art for ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’)
This was the artwork that inspired this post and the research into the visual side of Iron & Wine. Not only does it coincide with my first attempts at album cover art, but also with my recent experiments with inverting images. Reading about his process has inspired me to try it out myself – keep it simple with black and white and then add colour digitally. I do enjoy having a coloured original which is probably why I haven’t thought to try this out yet.
It was actually the cover of Our Endless Numbered Days that I saw first, though I’d been listening to his music before, I hadn’t paid attention. In the interview he says he likes the idea of a recognisable cover, where you always know that it is this or that artist, but he just works the opposite way. He has different versions of the same self-portrait for Our Endless Numbered Days, Such Great Heights, and Passing Afternoon.
The cover art for The Shepherd’s Dog is an incredibly captivating painting. The use of colour and positioning give off the hint of a certain dark madness in broad daylight – an exciting way to perceive the music in the album.
I did a few copies of the refined image in order to try out a few colour combinations. Because of the meanings of specific colours and because I was working on a yin-yang background I faced a few challenges, so to speak; for example the moon had to be the light circle in the dark and the sun had to be the dark one in the light (which I found quite interesting as stars turn into black holes at the end of their lives).
The last colour test I did proved to be the combination I’d been looking for so I got to work as soon as I finished it. I’m really happy I got to use my gold and silver pens as well – it makes an interesting light effect on the dress and a few other spots.
And then there was colour!
I did more finalized concepts for two of the stories. The Mermaid Who Couldn’t Swim Deep and A Trip With a Dirigible. I did a colour concept drawing for Dancing in the Moonlight. There’s a few more images but I’ll be keeping those in my own albums.
After the third year degree show our tutors told us if we wished to exhibit any of our work in the space the third-years used, we were free to do so.
I was instantly hyper excited about it as I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to curate and exhibit my work properly. Or at all.
Another interesting aspect of this is that we had literally just 2 days to choose our space and put up our work. I had no idea what I was going to use but over those couple of days it was like the works just chose themselves and I just put them up at the end. In all honesty I wasn’t sure how to explain most of them, as they didn’t fit in with any of my Subject work, but then after seeing them together I finally fully realised for myself what it was all about.
And here is a photo of my work in the exhibit, accompanied by a short statement/explanation.
I was beautifully surprised to get to choose from so many interesting Field options this year. Even though the ones I chose were both short 5-week projects, I got to experience an artistic cleansing of sorts, an opportunity to see my ideas, process and artwork in the context of two incredibly different practices, both of which I was already quite interested in. Throughout ‘Painting Performance’ and ‘Gorillas in the Roses’ I went through several drastic changes of the scale on which I was working on, the materials, and the very process and its pace. And dealing with all that, as well as my Subject work, I started delving deeper and deeper into the mysteries of how my own mind works. The different kinds of artistic freedom of expression the two options presented were what led to the inevitable influence in my way of thinking and my artwork ever since. I found it incredibly exciting to think of both practices as illustrative, and clearly intertwined. They both now seem to be vital parts of my repertoire as an artist, mostly because of their incredibly clear methods of interpretation – the understanding of meaning through the traces of the intrinsic connections between mind, movement and material.
During Painting Performance, we were introduced us and allowed to experience the history and development of performance art for ourselves, and so we started heading in our own directions within our groups – researching artists, themes and techniques more similar to our collaborative ideas and interests. As the module was all about action, the documentation aspect was very important and the final outcome was a short film based on my experience. It was interesting to practice my video editing skills and exciting to work on the outcome but the true power of this module (both Field options) for me was in the implications of deeper meanings and context to every single aspect of an artwork and the process of its creation. That proved to be the real ground for my collage outcomes in Gorillas in the Roses. No matter how chaotic and crazy my collages were becoming, they helped me find the order in the chaos and the excitement and almost godlike qualities of creation via destruction.
Out of my whole university experience since I’ve come to Cardiff, this year’s Field module has definitely been one of the most memorable experiences. In all fairness, I didn’t think I could have so much fun while learning and growing as an artist and I truly believe that the artwork I’ve created and the techniques I’ve learned will come in handy over the next months, and hopefully years. I will continue to explore my mind and its mysterious ways, and now that I have learnt about performance art and collaging, I feel like I have much more solid ground to work on – with research, technique and ideas.