Over the course of the last six months I feel as though I have developed the most as an artistic individual compared to any other term during the course. This could be due to becoming more confident and sure in my idea through more experience and time studying, but also because of the constant inspiration and drive that being involved in the field projects have brought me. Some times, with so much focus on Subject, I don’t appreciate the way that Field has inspired my work and ideas so it is rewarding to reflect on this aspect of the course and appreciate how much further my work has developed with the experiences I have had.
This year I have focused more on the field projects than I did last year, which in turn gave me more ideas and motivation into the subject practice and my personal interests. Previously in first year, I found field to be more of a ‘side project’ or an additional requirement, not fully understanding its benefits or taking parts in projects that really fuelled my ideas. However, this year I really found links between subject and field, turned my current interests into newly developed ideas I wouldn’t have before and have become a more experimental and brave person. For example, after choosing my artefact for the ‘Object’ project in first term, I involved my analysis on shape and form from sculpture into my drawings of landscapes that came out of the field project ‘Things Behind The Sun’. Focusing on landscapes as a subject would not usually be a topic I would aim for, but I took the opportunity to visit a new area, and in return really enjoyed learning to record my environments quickly, study my surroundings and take on a new subject matter. Within ‘Things Behind The Sun’ I got the choice to choose a material practice which lead to me experiment with printing which also fed into my subject, making my art have a range of material matter.
I have also learnt how to choose projects that can feed into one another, really choosing topics that not only interest me, but that I might find challenging or completely new to me. Visiting Marrakesh in the second term Field project was very overwhelming and frightening for me in many ways as I have rarely travelled before, and especially with such a contrasting culture it was a shock to me to adjust to the environment. However, I wouldn’t have started using text to represent my experiences following on from then and using chaotic drawings and recordings to express my emotions. I feel that I have developed so far in my work that sometimes I am surprised by the work I am making as I wouldn’t be mature or brave enough to create such conceptual work in the past.
In the third year I am hoping to again take the same experience I have had this year from the Field module and feed it into Subject. Although trying out new subject matters and process has been beneficial, I feel it will be more wise for to me to pick subjects more attuned to my interests rather than choosing challenging or new projects. This will help me to really develop my work to its best level for the end of my degree.
Previously in second year of the course I have looked into landscapes, form, printing and line drawing – inspired by the field project ‘Things Behind The Sun’ which was hugely enjoyable for me and brought out so may more ideas than any project had previously. For the second term I chose Morocco, mainly due to the opportunity to travel abroad, which is rare for me and I have ever done in relation to my art study, but also to be surrounded by such a different culture and atmosphere. The contrast between the cool welsh air by the cliff-side in Pembroke-shire had such a different feel to the humid bustling streets of Morocco. However, whilst I was in Morocco, I mainly focused on pattern, colour and architecture rather than the sense of my experience.
When returning home I focused my art on combining patterns and contrasting between mad-made architecture and natural shapes such as plants or flowers. I found that this felt forced and unnatural and I wanted to be expressive about the overwhelming experience of being in Marrakesh. I would never had focused on the subject I am now if it wasn’t for stepping outside my comfort zone and then trying to represent my experiences in my work. This started with looking at all my line drawings and blind drawings that I have always loved, and recreating them based on memories from Morocco – especially as images weren’t possible to take of people and we were so busy and surrounded by travellers, street-sellers and traffic. This made me thing about memory, emotion and experience – How could I represent it in my work?
Over time I use these thoughts about what it means to be aware and how to represent it, to record and document everything around me. This was through blind drawings – letting me really take in what I was seeing without fret over its appearance – text and written commentary. This has progressed into my work becoming very personal, researching into text-based artists such as Keith Arnatt, Richard Long and Jenny Holzer. I look back and see such a difference in my work from back in February when I was mainly focused on field and still feel shocked, however, I would not have progressed into such brave and confident ideas if it wasn’t for the influence of experiencing Morocco on the field trip.
Although to the outside audience it may seem as though my work doesn’t flow from the Morocco field project into my Subject work, and the same with my subject and field projects from first time, I do see how it has all linked and fed into each other. This was something I found extremely challenging in first year and didn’t achieve that outcome. I have constantly added aspects of each project together this term, using vibrant colours and large overwhelming text and drawings to exaggerate overwhelming emotion – all inspired by the Morocco project.
Completed possible final piece, acrylic on A2 cartridge paper, exploring the idea of personal art and the boundaries we put in place to hide real emotions and thoughts. I have darkened the words ‘I DON’T LIKE THEM’, giving it a deeper level of communication and taking longer for the viewer to study my work.
Painting text has been challenging and tiresome but I hope an audience is surprised by the craftsmanship up close as it isn’t immediately identifiable as a painted piece. I am unsure about how I feel about displaying this as I am not sure if the grammar is completely correct and if it will be noticeable, but I like the idea that the words have come straight from my mind, quickly and without scrutiny and then painting so largely and intensely for others to read.
This is the final outcome of the text painting that I have showed the process of previously. I am pleased with the precision in the painting and the text used. It was a challenge to paint the background as well as the writing because I had to keep layering each colour to make the edges neat and correct. However, this further exaggerates the idea of taking something so slight and drawing attention to it in such a large scale. I have enjoyed the process of slowly creating large paintings that depict small thoughts and moments of life.
David Shrigley is widely knows as an illustrator who uses text and child-like drawings to create humour. He started off in the fine art based field but found he is wasn’t fully appreciated or understood. His work has become more present in books and prints for mainly commercial purposes.
I love the brave use of text that illustrates struggles in life, awkwardness, social situations, unpleasant thoughts and honesty but displayed in a humourous and ironic way. He brings light to uncomfortable topics and uses strange, odd sketches to illustrate and exaggerate them. Also he plainly states unconventional conversations and talks in a child-like, direct way that creates amusement. I hope to involve this sense of honest and pureness in the text I use for my final collection of work. I feel that if art conveys true emotion, thought and expression it is more memorable and thought-provoking.
Using my sketchbook full of drawings and experiments, the book displayed at the Jacobs Market Exhibition, I have cut out squares from each page to be used in a collage. Here it represents the last 3 months of my experiences, a jumbled timeline of ideas, words, diaries, recordings and portraits. The vast array of styles, focuses and experiences are shown in contrast to each other, but with an organised composition so as not to make any area more eye catching than another. I made this to create a mind-map like piece to represent my recordings of my encounters over time.
After having cut sections from each page, I found that when pages were laid on top of one another, there were overlapping compositions that really interested me. This accidental outcome from an organised process is really compelling and I love how the vibrant colours contrast to text, portraits and writing combine, representing the disorganised idea of experience.