Log in

Previous 10

May. 27th, 2013


Mon, 27/5/13

Less Than A Week To GO...

Current Thoughts:

Well, the work is up and ready, infact it was up many days ago now; it has just been the fact of putting finishing touches to things; cutting the piece Disintegrate 2 further (and knowing when to stop..!) and also painting the floor.  I have to say, despite the many hours of cutting these shapes out and shaping and moulding my ideas over the previous weeks...the resulting final work is actually quite MINIMAL.  I have come to realise over this last week that i have a huge love for Minimalism.  The overall effect of the finished work is only what i could have hoped for;  they're small in comparison to other displays across the studios but i also feel the works are very powerful is what they say about painting and the importance of the frame, but also art and craft.  There is an element of both PAINTING and SCULPTURE; hours have been spent blending the surface of the canvases before they were cut out, then the 'cutting' could almost be referred to as sculpting the surface.

I feel having a completely white cube-like space and painting the floor white has also helped with the impact of these works.  Over the past week i have found myself thinking about previous exhibitions i have been to that have used overwhelmingly bright spaces that disorientate the viewer, such as James Turrell's exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery a few years ago.  When i step into my space now, i'm overtaken by the brightness, like stepping into a different environment.  I hope this has the same effect for the viewer at the show.  Only concerns here have been the WHITE FLOOR and having viewers step on it; as the floor becomes dirty, the impact of the works will quieten; i feel it needs both the wall and floor to remain white.  Dustsheets are down at the moment and i have prepared some shoe covers for viewers wishing to enter the space on the night.  I only hope this isn't too extreme - and does not put viewers off entering my space! However it was agreed by others that this may make the viewing of the work more exciting.


Final Display Installation View
Final Installation View, 7th Floor Studios MK Building, University of Wolverhampton.

Disintegrate (2013)
Luminosity...Disintegrate 2. 
After i had cut into it further, i left the scattered pieces as they were on the floor whilst photographing the work.  I have since removed them, however i think i prefer them there..

Side View 1
Disintegrate 2 & Futile

Side View 2

Left: Evidence of a Struggle


Pure Minimal Colour...inspiration from James Turrell

The Light Show, Hayward Gallery March 2013
Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation (1965-2013).

Other Thoughts:

There were very strong ideas about putting my shredded piece Relentless in with the display.  However, after many hours of positioning the piece and taking parts out and rearranging it both inside and outside this space, i came to realise it just didn't contextualise with the other three works.  They don't need it because they're strong enough on their own.  So despite the hours gone into shredding those pieces i came to the conclusion that it would a) lower the tone of the wall pieces, taking attention away from them and b) it wasn't as well thought out a piece of work - even though i enjoyed making it and the repetition it involved and finally C) I feel it would've been perceived as TOO OBVIOUS, shredding canvas. The studio floors will be painted tomorrow, and i may see if it can be placed elsewhere, however overall i have happy with what is already on display.  Now for the show....

*                  *                      *

The Big Move...

For the past 5 years i have kept this blog going with all my random thoughts, ideas and inspirations, and well as discussions at university. Writing it all down every week, including tutorial suggestions and feedback from others has helped me develop my practice no end, and i would recommend it to anyone.  Equally i hope it inspires others to do the same! However upon beginning a new chapter of my life and career at the end of this course, i am now organising another blog over on Wordpress; Random thoughts, new ideas and directions for my practice, discussions and inpirations will now reside there, in pretty much the same way! My LiveJournal will remain open and accessible and i will have links to it if anyone wishes to read it!

Over & Out..............!

May. 19th, 2013

Counting Down The Days..

Sun, 19/5/13

Fine Art Self Directed

Current Thoughts and Ideas:

Currently everything i'm working on is geared towards my final display for the degree show.  There are going to be three main pieces, the new yellow version of Disintegrate, Futile, and Evidence of a Struggle.  There will quite probably be a fourth piece on the floor and this will be Relentless, the newer shredded piece i'm working on, though i'm not sure it will contextualise with the others.  At the moment in the space i have had all three frames attached to the wall, ready for their cut-out canvas surfaces to be attached.  I have also re-painted and had parts of their frames cut away to match their surfaces, adding to the general theme of disintegration.

Working Photos:

I actually love these singular painted frames on their own, without the material on top - the colour is striking and LUMINOUS with the then effect of fading into nothing - blending into the white of the space, a very Minimalist aspect i feel. This liking of these is probably due to recently reading Minimalism by David Batchelor, but also my general love of geometric forms and radiant colour.  Feedback from others have often involved asking me why the use of these colours particularly..i feel it's because primary colours were the simplest and it originally started out being more about the concepts behind the work rather than their colours.

The task here was RE-PAINTING these frames..the white surroundings brought out the patchy effects of acrylic paint on wood, so i've had to re-blend them more or less all over again.

The frame for Evidence of a Struggle

Next i had some parts of each frame taken away.  I feel this already says something about painting and the FRAME without having the patterned canvas over the top now.  However, having recently tried the material over the top of this i feel because there is so LITTLE of the canvas left..it doesn't detract away from the frame.  However i feel they will say something different with their canvas on, which may not get as good reception by the viewer perhaps.
Nonetheless I now plan to place their canvases on over the next few days, re-paint the floor white and add the shredded piece to the floor.

Other Thoughts:

At the moment i am also finishing cutting the yellow piece of canvas for the centre yellow frame.  At a size of 7ft x 4ft it has been the biggest piece to cut so far; in addition to the canvas shredding i feel the work has been heavily about REPETITIVE actions and perfection.  There has been a huge aspect of perfection in blending both the surfaces of the canvases and also their frame; trying to blend colour seamlessly and going over and over it again.

The yellow canvas for the new version of Disintegrate.  Really enjoying how this is turning out - using yellow has made it much more striking.

Some interesting and seductive close-ups.  I still feel there is very much an association with textiles in my work; there is definitely a love of fabric, surface and material.

But what to do with the pieces?? I also love these - layed out as a single floor piece perhaps.

Shredded Progress:


I have now finished another piece to add to Relentless, now in Viridian green.  In order to go with the other wall based pieces, the next piece i will add will be blue doing back into white, going back into unprimed canvas..hopefully then it will look like the colour has drained away, just like the canvases are breaking up on the walls.  This involves doing another two pieces of which then it will be finished. For now...

May. 7th, 2013

Stretcher Acrobatics....

Tue, 7/5/13

6FP005 Fine Art Self Directed

Current Ideas and Thoughts:

At the moment all thoughts and concerns directly relate to my pieces for the Degree Show, coming up in about three weeks time.  I have basically been putting together three pieces of work that i will show, and possibly a fourth. These pieces consist of a piece entitled Futile, a piece made a few weeks ago that needs some more work, a piece entitled Evidence of a Struggle, the beginnings of which i posted in my last entry - and also a NEWER version on Disintegrate, this time in yellow.  For some reason i felt there should be three pieces in primary colours; i have also acquired three walls in an installation space which i'm extremely pleased about.

I have been considering where my inspiration for the colours have come from, and it's only recently i've realised it was from a piece of work by David Batchelor called Magic Hour - that i saw at the Hayward Gallery not long ago! I feel it was a key inspiration in terms of seeing not only the radiance of colour but also the inner workings of something; his coloured light boxes facing towards the wall, their many wires and plugs facing the viewer instead.  This piece was also interesting in terms of observing the younger visitors trying to get to the colour that was denied to them.  This resonates with me in terms of my piece Disintegrate; in denying the viewer the satisfaction of seeing the whole pattern perfect, as there is a sense of sabotage.

More amazing works by David Batchelor: http://www.davidbatchelor.co.uk/works/3D/

Working Images 

Evidence of a Struggle, Acrylic on cut canvas.

Really pleased with how this turned out; it has yet to be placed back on its frame, however i enjoy it on it's own, simply stapled to the wall.  I feel it's a step further from Futile, even MORE HOLES; there is hardly ANYTHING left of the huge robust piece of canvas i started with.

A sense of something BROKEN; the corners of the canvas dilapidated...

But also a sense of delicacy and Drawing i feel.  A future idea could be to turn my many close-ups back into FLAT paintings, re-draw these motifs by hand onto a flat surface.

Recent developments in my work have also included painting BOTH SIDES of the canvas; as well as the SIDES of the pieces, and the FRAME.  However painting both sides has caused difficulties in cutting, leaving cracks and marks across the now delicate weblike forms, leaving them more prone to rip and tear. I disliked this aspect at first, however i now feel it adds to the theme of breaking down.  Painting both sides is also an attempt to make the work more OBJECT-LIKE rather than a true painting.  I'm still interested in the idea of something hovering between painting and sculpture.  Having recently begun the yellow version of Disintegrate, and whilst removing the one painted side from the stretcher and re-stretching it to paint the other side, i noticed the interesting effects of a 'back-to-front' painting, and thought about what it could say about painting overall.

I enjoy the INSIDE-OUT effect here!!

The Stretching Before Cutting: This is the first side that has already been painted which is now on the inside of the stretcher.  I have since painted the other side and will be removing the canvas from the frame very shortly to begin cutting my pattern out once more.

Other Ideas:

Robert Morris eat your heart out....

The shredded piece is still currently developing.  I am currently unsure how this will be eventually displayed, whether partly on a stretcher and partly on the floor, or simply just on the floor in a pile or trailing along it.  I am also unsure how it will contextualise with the three other works, and will be testing display in the coming weeks.  This piece should eventually be a piece consisting of several pieces of canvas sewn together, shredded, blending from one colour to the next.  It aims to be in-keeping with the themes of disintegration and breaking down currently in my work.

All Pieces So Far:

The beginnings of Relentless. I love the messy aspect of this - but there is also a certain beauty and aesthetic to it also i feel, very fluid and liquid-like.  I also feel it suits the floor well.

Green added, this will hopefully next run into a darker green, then blue, then purple.

Apr. 25th, 2013

There's a Whirlwind in My Head..


6FP005 Fine Art Self Directed

Current Thoughts and Ideas

For the past two weeks i have been working on developing new working ideas and samples into pieces on a much bigger scale.  From my previous piece entitled Disintegrate - i realised there was a few aspects i wanted to work on.  Many aspects were small and were simply from feedback i received, such as painting the sides of the canvas.  Although i still feel this was successful as a piece of work, and did what i wanted it do, which was give an impression of something falling apart. However when i cut some of the frame away to match the disintegrating surface, i found it bowed and was no longer flush against the wall.  It was also very hard to photograph.  However I felt it presented possible problems of display for the Degree Show.  So for the time being, i have been concentrating on the disintegrating cut motif FURTHER, it has now developed into both SMALL and LARGE holes; even more suggestive of a surface that is BARELY THERE, just CLINGING ON to its support (the frame).

Current Works:

Barely There (2013) - Acrylic on cut canvas

This was the left over part of the frame taken away from previous piece Disintegrate.  What is both tricky and interesting is trying to re-stretch the material back around the frame after the motif has been cut out.  I feel this says something about both the material and the frame.

Futile (2013) Acrylic on cut canvas

Futile (close up)

I love and am so excited at how these ideas are developing..the idea of something so fragile and just clinging on. I also very much enjoy the shadows the cut pattern creates on the wall.

There is something very much in association with DRAWING here i feel; like drawing with scissors..

Feedback and Outcomes:

The general feedback on this piece of work was very positive and encouraging; particularly in the sense of how far the work has come.  It used to be about simply painting something, taking it off the frame and displaying it in various positions on the floor.  However some issues were raised which interested me greatly and i found i agreed with.  Firstly my need of painting the frame; in Disintegrate i found it was necessary to paint the frame as part of it was cut away and the whole piece was now almost an OBJECT in itself, rather than simply a painting.  I feel this recalls and develops my interests last year in terms of making something that hovered between PAINTING & SCULPTURE.  However, in painting the frame in Futile it was felt it defeats the object; an intact frame denotes that the frame is simply back to being just a SUPPORT, whereas there had been a reason to paint it before as it has been cut away.  I agreed with this; partly because i feel the frame is becoming more and more IMPORTANT as the weeks go by.

Food For Thought: A Word On The Frame;

In having the task of recently putting together a presentation for next week, i came across an important seminar i attended at the end of 2011 as part of a week of seminars at the university.  It was entitled The Complexities of Surface, run by tutor Dr Alistair Payne, and i feel set me on the road to thinking about the frame, changing my thoughts about painting in general.  Having been reading my notes taken at this event i feel this has played a part in the frame coming back into my work.  Many points discussed touched on texts relating to the works of critics Leo Steinberg and Rosalind Krauss:

There is a plurality of how surfaces can be constructed today and how we have moved so far from the surface being considered a singular plane; there is now often dissatisfaction with the single surface.
How the surface can be seen as an object of architectural space.
How painting could be considered EXTERNAL (surface) and sculpture INTERNAL; telling the viewer how it has been made, the honesty of the work.
The viewer and how the work can change from alternate views. How many sides of the work do we want the viewer to see?

Most importantly: how the FRAME also CONSTRUCTS THE SURFACE.

The piece above entitled Barely There, illustrates the idea of the internal perfectly - the viewer can see right through to the frame, to the paint, and at the ends, to the bare wood.

Therefore it was suggested that as i have already indicated the VOIDS in the piece Futile (above), perhaps those areas are eventually the places where parts of the frame could be taken away.

*               *               *

New Pieces:

I am also currently working on a new SHREDDED piece of work.  Again it is in faded colours; this one aims to be much longer and hopefully trailing along the floor.  It will hopefully be a piece that begins on a frame then extends onto the floor in much the same way as some of my previous works have. However i havent decided how i will finally display this yet; the part that begins on a frame may be displayed slightly slipping of it for instance..so parts of the wood will once again be exposed.  I've also realised how important colour is becoming; the reason why i have worked so much with BLUE was because it was simply the colour i began with at the start of the year; it was moreso about what the surface was DOING. Now however, i feel the use of faded colour was a conscious choice as it matches the breakdown of the canvas.  However also because i'm interested in what engaging effects i can achieve..for instance it was suggested to me to paint different colours on either side of the canvas.

My current 'Shred' piece.  It will eventually be partially displayed on the floor; there are many more pieces to add to it.

Again the idea of LABOUR & TIME...and REPETITIVE ACTIONS, what i feel my work has always been about.  This year i feel i'm exploring it much more somehow.


It's made me think about the artist Jill Townsley some more...how her work is often about almost robotic, repetitive actions..There is a piece she made a few years back entitled Spoons, a huge pyramid made simply of plastic spoons and elastic bands.  Taking hours and hours to complete, she then filmed the finished pyramid as it slowly fell apart after, when the rubber bands came loose and the whole structure disintegrated.  It makes one wonder for what reasons it was made in the first place, if it was only eventually going to fall apart.  The only conclusion i can come up with is the SATISFACTION artists gain from building something piece by piece, or watching a drawing or painting slowly come together.  To me, there is a psychological self satisfaction about it all (call it the Feel Good Factor perhaps..) - and i feel there is a connection between Townsley's work and my own methods and ways of working; for instance painting a canvas to then CUT most of it AWAY.

I also particularly love the blue and yellow layed over one another..


Other Ideas:

I have recently started a new 'cut-out' piece, this time a faded red one. Again i'm working on the motif, and larger and larger holes so the pattern will be slowly disappearing off the frame, even moreso than Futile. I also feel the SURFACE of my works have developed even further as i am now painting BOTH SIDES of the canvas before cutting.  This was due again to looking back on previous work and the aspects that were not working.  I found on previous pieces, unprimed canvas could be seen when the fragile surface twisted when on display.  Painting both sides also means the surface is a lot STRONGER.

Using household gloss combined with red acrylic paint has given a shiny surface and a feeling of PVC

I feel the holes are definitely morphing and spreading into other areas...

Apr. 14th, 2013

In The Land Of The Fairies..Part 2

Sun, 14/4/13

6FP005 Fine Art Self Directed

Thoughts for The Week:

Currently I am working on a new faded blue cut-out piece that follows on from Disintegrate, except it will demonstrate my newer ideas of the holes getting BIGGER the further the eys travels downwards on the surface.  This time i have also used a much older, thicker and traditional frame, which i will paint the same colours as the canvas once again.  The frame itself i've realised is quite dilapidated, with holes and pieces of wood missing here and there; i'm hoping this will lend itself to the cut canvas and also the whole 'painting breaking down' theme occupying my work at the moment.

I am also planning to begin a new cut out piece, on another, different frame, very soon.  This will be a faded red version.  I feel the work is very much still about engaging the senses, which is why i would like to use simply primary colours. For the Degree Show therefore i am hopefully going to have 2 or 3 hung 'cut-out' pieces, each with different kinds of holes, but all based on the themes of my practice and this idea of something disintegrating.  I am also continuing with the shredding, having started the work for a newer, much larger version of my previous shredded sample piece.  This piece will hopefully be a spectrum coloured floor piece which will partly also be attached to a frame; i'm aiming to paint many pieces of canvas over the next days and weeks to come, then attach them all together so they're trailing and meandering along the floor, as well as having been shredded; viewers will hopefully have to walk around it or sidestep it.

*                     *                         *

Apr. 6th, 2013

Feel The Burn....

Sat, 6/4/13

6FP005 Fine Art Self Directed

Thoughts & Ideas For The Week:

This week i've been preparing a new large faded blue canvas alongside working on smaller ideas which are to be eventually made on a bigger scale.  I have been thinking about way of developing my cut-out pieces more; i would like to create a series of these but not for them all to be the same.  I have also been working on ideas of SHREDDING the canvas; the idea of something disintegrating still really appeals to me.

  However, ideas regarding how i cut the canvas have shifted slightly, due to evaluating my previous piece of work, which i now regard as a prototype.  The original ideas involved cutting the dense, improvised pattern out of the painted canvas and then re-attaching it to the frame, then 'messing up' the pattern and cutting it further towards the bottom.  So as the colour faded, so the canvas disintegrated and dragged on the floor, falling apart.

Disintegrate, March 2013

In terms of developing this more through feedback i've received,a this week I also came across the work of artist Simon Periton, who in 2002 created a piece of work entitled Flag, delicately cut from aluminium foil.  To me it's a beautiful piece, and was a reflection on the disintegration of flags in castles and historical places, the idea of something fading away over time. This prompted me to think about how else i could show the canvas as disintegrating.  I don't feel i want to change my materials in any way, as to me, they're still paintings.  However i have since had the idea of making the holes gradually much BIGGER, so less and less canvas is there, the painting would be 'barely there' instead.  It would be an idea to show this gradually, in a series of pieces.  Also to perhaps leave areas of canvas uncut and unblemished, but holes gradually building up in some areas, so it looks like they're eating away at the surface, eating away at the SOLID FOUNDATIONS OF A PAINTING.  So a few small canvases this week have tested this out.  To me, as with my previous piece above, this is not only appealing in terms of the visual, but raises so many issues:

  • The two materials, both the SUPPORT and CANVAS are becoming AT ODDS with one another, the RELATIONSHIP between the FRAME and the MATERIAL.

  • This is especially true in terms of my routine of making, constantly STRETCHING and RE-STRETCHING canvases; i've been stretching them for priming and then painting, then detatching them to cut the surface out, then RE-ATTACHING them. However, once they're cut, theyre so much more difficult to re-attach - the FRAGILITY OF THE MATERIAL.

  • The idea of PUSHING A PAINTING as far as it can go.

  • What does this say about the importance of the FRAME in my work? Or the importance of the frame in any painting?  Part of my new ideas involving bigger holes is that one can see the frame more, can see the inner workings of a painting.  But i have also taken to PAINTING the frame to match the canvas; i feel i'm trying to highlight the importance of the frame in some way, revealing some kind of honesty in the work, as though this support is more important.

  • However the idea of painting the frame also lends itself to making the 'painting' more of an OBJECT, more SCULPTURAL.  I feel this recalls my previous work at the end of 2012 - the idea of the HYBRID, something between painting and sculpture, so perhaps i'm now exploring this in a different way, elaborating on those ideas.  I am reminded of Donald Judd's essay on Specific Objects in 1965.

  • Finally i think the relationship between ART & CRAFT is definitely being shown, as are my issues with perfection and imperfection.

Working Images:

Small study for new ideas, bigger holes...the edges are also disappearing.  This is partly due to some feedback from a friend asking what i was going to do with the EDGES of the canvas, as they were previously unpainted.  Now the cutting has extended to the edges and has started to explore the idea of something being 'barely there' - just hanging off the frame.

What does this start to say about the frame? Really enjoying how these ideas have developed.

Ideas of leaving some parts filled in...

Ideas of Shredding:

An experimentation with lightweight canvas.  Three pieces sewn together.  Wasn't sure at first if the idea of 'shredding' would be too obvious.  I really love the appeal of this though.  However, if i developed it more, i would like to paint both sides of the material, and perhaps blending from one colour to another. Perhaps the piece would be longer, with a spectrum of all colours, eventually blending to white.

Really enjoy the appeal of this, appeals to the organic and improvised side of my work.  I feel it also recalls previous pieces i've completed of whole canvases crumpled on the floor, the idea of mobility - it can be arranged any way, a different piece of work each time.

Still intrigued by the idea of something SPREADING, TRAILING across floor...

*                                                                   *                                                                 *                                                                 

Mar. 28th, 2013

# Confusion...It's Such A Terrible Thing...Confusion...You Don't Know What You're Saying...#


6FP005 Fine Art Self Directed

Current Thoughts & Ideas

So the new version of Disintegrate has finally been put up, and i'm very pleased with this piece.  The idea evolved from having the canvas disintegrate to also having the frame disintegrate alongside.  Therefore i have cut the ends off the frame and sanded some of the acrylic paint off.  The whole idea behind this piece i've realised is that it's to do with our fascinations for pattern and perfect surfaces.  And how nothing is perfect so this is why the painting starts to collapse before our eyes.  I feel this has a connection with my previous piece entitled Blue Bloom, in which i struggled to replicate machine made patterns by hand, and the differences between the hand made and machine.

Disintegrate, 7ft x 4ft

 However it has raised some interesting observations in my mind. The first intinct about this piece is perhaps i may have cut it a bit too much? However the whole idea is that the 'perfect' pattern is falling apart, and myself being a slight perfectionist perhaps makes this difficult to look at.  However this has provoked further ideas of perhaps having a series of these paintings that slowly begin to disintegrate; the first one being perfectly cut, the second with slightly bigger holes..finally the last one would have nothing much left apart from the FRAME, which again would be painted.  This would also raise issues of how important a frame and support is in terms of painting - which is equally an important aspect of my work.  I have been thinking about the FRAME frequently lately, and how many times i have been stretching and re-stretching these canvases, removing them and re-attaching them, painting the frame etc.  The support has become VITAL and part of the ROUTINE of my work.

However further observations whilst cutting and displaying this piece have also surfaced.  For instance the idea of the material, and how the work is partly and EXPLORATION of materials; PUSHING the canvas as far as it can go, in this case untill it's a delicate piece of net like fabric that breaks easily.  Yet canvas is usually a ROBUST fabric, woven and stiff to rip and cut.  Yet i feel i have been ALTERING its PROPERTIES; i quite enjoy this aspect.  This reminds me of a quote by American sculptor Elizabeth Turk, who makes intricate carvings out of marble.  I identify with her work as it involves long, drawn out hours carving pieces of marble into lace-like forms and PUSHING HER MATERIALS. She refers to her work as it being about having 'conversations with time'.  I agree with this, as one goes through many emotions whilst making a piece of work; you enjoy it, you critique it, you sometimes dislike it or sometimes gain new ideas whilst making it.  It's indeed like a conversation:

"..before the force of gravity would be too much and it would crack.  It's a slow conversation, and some have broken.  I think it has someting to do with the memory of the stone, because the breaks happen early on.  The sculptures have supports, and when i took them away the sculptures broke.  if i can't intuitively feel how the piece is being held, then it's going to break.  I've pushed too hard."

I cut Disintegrate further, only after i had re-attached its cut-out surface back onto the stretcher.  So i noticed the TENSION in the fabric could be felt; it was already then being pulled by the sides of the frame. It was now very WEAK canvas, so once i cut into the pattern the tension could be seen spreading into the next section of the surface.

The next aspect i have come to notice about this piece was that i love the HAPHAZARD PARTS of it that are now dragging on the floor.  There is something very beautiful about them, the fact they're just lingering there, delicately.

Very waterfall-like, the bedraggled pieces are almost not there at all.


I love how it lingers around the broken frame like ivy.  Which leads to another aspect i noticed whilst cutting part of the frame off.  I really like this idea of a BROKEN, part frame.  Like something is missing or has disappeared.

The rest of the frame that had been cut away.  I would really like to do something with this piece.  I plan to paint it once more and make a separate piece that perhaps will investigate my idea of shredding more.

Food For Thought:

The final point that occured to me whilst finishing this piece is HOW MUCH is it to do with DRAWING? The way the pattern has been cut out of the surface is to me very suggestive of drawing, and indeed some of the close-ups i have taken look like separate drawings or paintings, so something that these photos could be turned into

Mar. 24th, 2013

What's Yer Profit Margin??


6FP005 Fine Art Self Directed

Current Thoughts and Ideas

So the first of the proposed 'cut-out' pieces is nearly complete; however a few more ideas and questions have arisen whilst making this piece.  Whilst cutting out the motif from the canvas, i had the idea of painting the wooden frame itself, origionally so everything would blend together and the frame would almost go unnoticed.  Therefore i have painted this 7ft x 4ft frame in the same faded shades of blue as the canvas. However i've since found i enjoy the frame as a piece on it's own.  I've had some positive feedback on how it resembles a doorway on its own, creating a calm and pieceful mood.  As my work is also very much about engaging the senses, i have also therfore been thinking about making a series of these painted frames.

Acrylic painted frame

However this raises questions about themes that are creeping into the work, for instance:


  • Due to the now weakened surface upon it - should the FRAME be made a more PROMINANT feature?

  • What does SHOWING THE FRAME mean? What will it say?

  • How could this work become more about SUPPORTS? How important IS the SUPPORT?

  • Will this take away any importance of SURFACE?

I remember studying and featuring ideas of support and frames in my work last year, so perhaps this is still quite important to my work.  Overall it is important to emphasise that the work still remains to be about painting and switching elements around and what a painting can change into.

Further Ideas:

I next plan to continue with this larger version of Disintegrate, by indeed cutting parts of the wooden frame away so it matches the disintegrating surface.  An idea for my next 'cut-out' piece has since developed into the idea of shredding or cutting strips into the surface, instead of the motif this time.  I have currently stretched some more pieces of canvas, painted simply yellow this time, and i plan to take the idea of 'disintegration' further. The canvas will hopefully start out the same, perfectly stretched - but as our eyes follow it - it will start to disappear.  The frame will be seen and also hopefully painted the same. The idea of shredding has been inspired by the wool works of both Rosemarie Trockel and Judith Scott, both seen on the recent London trip.  This idea of 'shredding' has equally raised some questions:

  • What exactly is the PURPOSE of SHREDDING? How would it follow on from what i have already done?

  • The idea and process of something breaking down - how is this related to my love of both ORGANIC and REGULAR pattern?  Will it be a representation of our attractions to  both and equally my frustrations of perfection and imperfection?

  • How will i keep the idea of LABOUR and intricacy here?

  • Will i need MULTIPLE LAYERS of canvas to achieve the desired shredded effect? Multiple layers of different colours? Or a continuing piece that follows on from the frame and starts to spread out onto the floor, reflecting previous ideas of some thing growing/multiplying?

Experimenting with how the frame plays a role..

Mar. 12th, 2013

In The Land of The Fairies...

Tue, 12/3/13

6FP005 Self Directed 2

Weeks 5 & 6:  Current Ideas & Thoughts + London Mini Reviews

This Week:

The large version of Disintegrate is currently in the process of being cut, and will hopefully be finished by the end of the week to be re-attached to its frame and further developed.  Further ideas include painting the frame itself, then when the sides are cut to go with the disintegrating canvas, some of the paint will be sanded off also.  This idea received some positive feedback.

Working Images:


Removing the painted canvas from the frame, for the motif to be cut out.  Really like the effect here, of the material drooping away from the wood.  The idea of supports and being able to see the frame has creeped back into my thoughts, reminding me of when i was making constructions out of wood last year.  The frame/support - is a fundamental part of a painting, and although i'm not removing the frame as i once was, i still feel it's important for the viewer to see the inner workings of a painting, what holds it up.

Other Ideas:

Although i'm still enjoying the idea of creating 3 of these large 'cut-out' pieces, i would still like to work on other ideas.  One such idea involves 'shredding' the canvas; the act of cutting strips INTO it rather than cutting out a motif. This idea was met with approval and is inkeeping with the whole idea of something disintegrating and fading away.  So i also plan on doing a sample of this idea later this week. This was inspired by the recent London trip - inparticular two artists; Rosemarie Trockel and Judith Scott:


The first exhibition we walked into was Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos at the Serpentine Gallery.  This was like a retrospective of the artists' work and included some very disturbing artefact-like objects, handmade sketchbooks and drawings, but also some very inspiring wool and fabric works.  The wool works were painterly; canvas stretched on a frame and then hundreds of strips of wool delicately arranged as though woven on the surface.  From a distance they could have been abstract paintings.  These appealed to my love of regular repetitive patterns, and has inspired some new ideas involving shreds of canvas rather than wool.  In another room there were some equally inspiring glazed ceramic sculptures displayed on the wall; their organic appearence at odds with the repetitive lines of wool seen beforehand.  Overall, i enjoyed this show, however none of the works seemed to link together - though it was apparent each group of 'artefacts' were from different periods of her life.   What i did love, was the relationship this artist had with craft, skill and material, this appealed to me the most.  I was reminded of artists Louise Bourgeois and Annette Messenger. In another room were some additional wool and fabric works from another artist, Judith Scott.  These were completely different altogether and had a messy, completely intuitive feel to them.  Pieces of wool had been wrapped around and around in all colours and were slightly unravelling, as though the artist had had a burst of frustration or emotion whilst making.  They also reminded me of 'pass the parcel'; as though objects has been wrapped in every layer, indicated by their bulky appearence.

The following day we visited the Hayward Gallery/Southbank Centre to see the much anticipated Light Show, currently running until the 28th April 2013.  I very much enjoyed this exhibition, not all inspiring - but definitely entertaining for anyone. One of my favourite pieces, just because it appealed to my love of beauty and intricacy, was Leo Villareal's Cylinder 2 - the first piece upon entering the Light Show:

from: http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/light-show

What a stunning piece of work, with 19,600 LED lights.  Again the idea of multiple strings or strips of colour.  The flashing lights were programmed to run on different sequences, and very often looked like fireworks or fireflies.

On of the most inspiring pieces of work for me overall was the next piece observed, David Batchelor's Magic Hour (2004).  I know relatively little about his work (author of Chromophobia) but i do recognise it is about colour and this is what inspires me.  The work itself is about the use of "synthetic colour", striplights, neon signs and all the colours found in busy cities like Las Vegas.  It is about the artificial aspect of it all - but there is a certain beauty about the way cities like Las Vegas light up at night and come alive; i think this is what it is about - the artificial beauty combined with the slightly dirty aspect of the city:

"...[artificial lights]..that transforms the sky above Las Vegas..back to front stack of recycled light boxes...intense synthetic colour that characterises cities and how it co-exists with a degree of darkness.."  (Work summary)

There are many aspects that are most interesting to me about Magic Hour.  Firstly it was the fact the work was facing the wrong way; the stack of lightboxes were facing the wall so merely a glimmer of light and colour could be seen, like a halo against the wall.  This enticed younger viewers to push themselves and their heads flat against the wall to try to see the front of the piece.  This is what i enjoy about the work; the way he DENIES the viewer the colour; the part that engages the senses is 75% cut of from view, so we are only seeing part of the beauty.  Therefore, natural curiosity takes over and we edge further and further towards it trying to see the front, like a moth to a lightbulb.  However, by having the back of the work facing us, the hundreds of cables and plugs are therfore also visable, and consciously bunched together as a reminder that this beautful colour is no act of nature, but a seedy collection of recycled lightboxes found in a city.  I loved this work and the concepts behind it.  Secondly, another artist who is a main inspiration of mine, Polly Apfelbaum counts Batchelor as one of her main inspirations.  Looking at his work i saw the connection between his use of synthetic colour and her use of synthetic materials to create vibrant, floorworks of an organic, intuitive appearence.


from: http://www.standard.co.uk/incoming/article8471348.ece/ALTERNATES/w620/AN15259321Magic-Hour-by-Dav.jpg

David Batchelor - Magic Hour

There were a few other pieces that also inspired me here.  One of them was a piece entitled Throw (1997), by Ceal Floyer - a projected light on the floor that looked instantly like a splat of colour.  However, my second favourite piece was a piece called Lamentable (2008) by Francois Morellet.  This was described as "dislocated sections of a circle" and was made up of several arcs of flourescent light tubing in a bright blue.  To me this looked like a 3D line drawing or doodle - and inspired me to want to draw.  Overall, despite this being a show predominantly about LIGHT, i found it to be extremely painterly.

Another exhibition that was inspiring in terms of craft and drawing was Eva Hesse: 1965 at Hauser & Wirth.  These were all works from a period of her life where she completed a residency in Germany, based in an old textile factory.  To me these works were PURELY INTUITIONAL; they had come from her, non cohersive, free associative, stream of consciousness style works.  In particular i really enjoyed her reliefs, again there was a use of cord and string, often wrapped around sections and left sticking out and hanging from the work itself.  I found these pieces beautiful to look at, there was a sense of touch (relevant to my own work) and calmness about the work; one could imagine the maker pouring over the piece for hours, carefully selecting the colours.  However there is also a sense of machinery about them, shapes that create lever-like forms, this could also be seen in the drawings, which were mainly linear and delicately made.


Oomamaboomba (1965)

I love the fading of the colour here, as colour, particularly graduated colour has become a focus of my own work recently.  I also love the precise winding of cord, and the idea of something jumping out of a surface.

*             *             *

A Very Quick Word...

Talk: Visual Art Trader: Chris Grant-Peterkin

Yesturday i attended a lecture about advertising and selling art work online.  I am completely enthusiastic about online selling, though i only know a surface amount of information needed to sell artwork online.  This was a talk with a twist, i felt.  Problems were presented about buying art online; for instance, the tangibility and aspect of seeing the work in the flesh isn't there - so it puts potential buyers off.  Additional problems include the fact there is a hierachial pyramid of well known artists (Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin etc) that are always going to make sales - people will always buy their prints and every scrap of merchandise they can. They have become a kind of brand.  We were shown one website that offers viewers to buy limited editions of prints from such artists - out of perhaps only 1000 made.  A kind of investment - but one that you can neither download or print, it's just there, it's yours and only available to view on your computer screen.  Also other online galleries only seem to cater for their own audiences, and have a certain selection criteria for you to get in.  This again, narrows the gap of success for emerging artists or graduates.  Additionally there is a certain Eliteist aspect of the fine arts which, according to Grant-Peterkin, puts potential buyers off.  I do agree with this; i feel the general public going about their day to day work would not generally understand or want to understand the complexities of the Fine Arts, and all the movements and terminology.  And this eliteist world i feel is guided by public institutions - it's their say what is 'good' art.

The general idea of Visual Arts Trader (a new online art site, where artists have their own page) therfore, is to advertise new artists' work by its physical attributes, 'figurative' 'abstract' 'semi-figurative' etc - and allows viewers/potential buyers to simply select what they LIKE, for instance if you wanted a portrait of a family member or a landscape. I gained the impression that this allows for more commercial artists to gain recognition - it gives everyone a chance, embracing ALL kinds of art, including sculptural/installational.  It doesn't have a criteria in which you're judged on to meet certain buyers tastes.

It was also mentioned about the online promotional resources like Newbloodart or Saatchi Online, that offer emerging artists their own webpage, where potential buyers or collectors can view your work in a professional capacity.   Although they are extremely good for networking and getting artwork out there (Axis Web is probably the best for this) - it appears they still have flaws and often still selection criteria.

I understood the idea of Visual Arts Trader perfectly, and am in total agreement with what they do; however it's like the age old war of Art Vs Craft; it's going to get frowned upon by the hierachies of the art world in that it's lowering the tone, bringing down artwork to the working classes.  It's a step up from sites like deviantart (which i love, some wonderful inspirational stuff on there) and has that artist/community feel, very professional and artwork can actually be bought.  The opposition of the instititutions will never be won however, us Working Class Heroes will never get to the top of that pyramid...

Or maybe there is no Eliteism at all? Maybe it is all in our heads..

*    *    *

Feb. 27th, 2013

(no subject)

Wed, 27/2/12

6FP005 Fine Art Self Directed

Current Thought & Ideas:

So it's been settled then to try and attempt to make a much larger 'cut-out' piece following on from previous works.  This week will really be about preparing the frame and painting the canvas of size 7ft x 4ft and then beginning the cutting out process, leaving very little of the canvas left so it looks more lace-like, as though disintegrating.  In the meantime, i have also been working on some more ideas.  I've recently been trying painting and cutting different materials the same way as the canvas and the result was not a major success, as the material becomes too weak as it's not as thick.  However, still pleasing to the eye, having used different colours this time.  Is it still a painting though?:

I still really enjoy it, though weaker and less robust - there would need to be so much more cotton sheeting to make this worthwhile doing.  I also left some gaps this time, not cutting ALL the material.

Still feel it's visually stimulating.

A few more ideas have included using the left over canvas pieces from cut-out works to make a floor piece, inspired by the work of Polly Apfelbaum, inparticularly her seeming fascination with the ordering of colours.

Ordering of shades of blue...

To form...

A work that reminds me of the ebbing and flowing of the tide..I would love to do a much bigger version of this and hopefully will be able to once i've aquired more leftover pieces.

Previous 10

May 2013




RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com