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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...


May 2013



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