6FP005 - Self Directed 2
Weekly Thoughts & Plans
I started off during the past week simply finishing ongoing pieces of work, such as my current 'cut-out' piece. Feedback from a previous tutorial suggested i cut this piece further so it it became uneven and disordered. I wasn't sure about doing this, partly because i felt i was destroying the time consuming hours i had put in carefully cutting out each shape.
However having since done so, in taking more canvas away, i feel it's made the piece more complete. In effect i now feel it has begun to represent what my practice is about, and the new aspects creeping into the work. Recently the themes and concerns in my work have centered on the traditional elements and viewing of a painting and rearranging these elements. For instance in a previous piece Crumple (2012), i was asking the question of 'What if the frame were taken away?' - a stretcher being the traditional support for the surface - but instead i had just a painted surface, in which consequently had to be presented on the floor. I now feel it has developed into asking 'What if the canvas were taken away?', so now the support remains but the canvas has become increasingly fragile. By taking things away - the ideas of a traditional painting then start to become something else, so i think i am also asking 'At what POINT does it start to become something else? How far can a painting be stretched until it no longer represents a traditional painting? How far can you push it?' So the work still continues to be about blurring boundaries, inparticular, blurring boundaries between art and craft, painting and sculpture, and this is what previous works such as Blue Bloom were also about. I also feel these new works have given me the chance to explore elements of PERFECTION and IMPERFECTION, and our psychological attachments to patterns and repetitive processes more freely, so these themes have begun to take more of a centre stage in my work. Artists that have really inspired me over the past week include Jill Townsley and Ed Pien.
Jill Townsley - Spoons
Jill Townsley is an someone i discovered whilst browsing on the arts site Axis Web, who specialise in representing both emerging and well established artists. Her work strongly spoke to me in terms of the media she uses, such as everyday materials like plastic spoons and elastic bands (above) but also her concerns in her practice, which centre on intensely repetitive processes of making. Although the work to me and to many is beautiful and stunning, it has undergone vigorous hours and labour in terms of making, which makes me think of the limitations of the human - as many of these processes become almost robotic. This reminds me of the work i recently completed involving the use of net curtains. I was intensely fascinated by the beautiful and intricate forms of the patterns in these curtains (if a little old fashioned!) yet could not even attempt to reproduce them by hand, or even something similar, it just wouldn't work. So to get the effect i wanted on material i gave up and ended up printing the net curtain motifs onto the surface instead. So i really admire this kind of work that tries to mimic the work of a machine.
Ed Pien - Memento
Equally, the work of Canadian artist Ed Pien has been inspiring in terms of cut pieces! His work often involves giant installations of huge paper cutouts. This work appears to be very much about creating a mood or atmosphere - often recalling storytelling and mythical creatures. I feel in my recent work also, it's been about creating a mood - in a way it's very much about 'entertaining the viewer' - in this way i feel beauty and aesthetic are also important, however tacky and 'kitsch' many people think beauty to be. I feel it plays an important part still in many practices. I also feel with artists like the above, that it's also becoming very much about craft, and again blurring the boundaries - which is also my aim.
Outcomes and Feedback for the Week:
I've been thinking about many ideas for the degree show, including making a huge cut out piece, that expands across the floor - which is what i had in mind for a long time. However, due to the positive feedback of Disintegrate (above), this week i have discussed about making further huge pieces taking up most of the wall. It has also been suggested to not only 'disintegrate' the canvas, but also the frame. So in production at the moment is one 7ft x 4ft wooden frame, in which i will begin another 'cut-out' piece on. It will take a very long time to complete, however i have an idea to make three of these in total if the first piece works. I think the most important aspect about this work is that they will start out as perfectly stretched taut 'paintings' but gradually become disordered, both the canvas and the frame beginning to disappear and fall apart.