Friday, 20 March 2009

Fine Art Practise Consolidation

I have now been given my brief for my last project of the year - I can't believe how quickly my first year of University has gone, it really scares me.

The aim of this module is to consolidate all of my ideas and approaches that I have been developing.

I think I need to create a list of everything I aim to get done over the next couple of weeks.
- Study Proposal (for a small body of work which will be exhibited in the studios)
- To fill 2 small A6 sketchbooks and possibly an A5. One Sketchbook is for any photography linked in with the project and the other is for anatomical designs both montaged and sewn.
- To continue with my log book - more independent research is needed in there.
- My review of the Ikon Gallery.
- My essay (1500 words). I am yet to decide which question is right for me.

The reason I am attempting to do a fair amount of work over the easter holidays is because I am not a very organised person and I tend to leave things till last minute and with such a short time period for a project (little over three weeks), I need all the extra time on the project that I can manage. 

I am a bit unsure in which direction I shall be going in the culmination of my work. There were three definite areas of my work. I had;
- Old anatomical drawings rearranged and then sewn.
- Old dictionary pages worked on.
- Old postcards, and new images taken by me and merged in with the photographs.

I am not sure whether to continue with all three or go down one path.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

3rd Time lucky?

I have tried to publish this blog three times now - all as unsuccessful as the other. I am attempting to copy and paste a poem but every time it makes the page go funny. Being so rubbish with blogs does not help the matter! So I shall just write it instead (and retype the rest of the blog - Oh the joys!)

A Dream Within A Dream
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That My days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand - 
How few! Yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
Oh God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
- E.A.Poe

 I recently purchased a few books; 
- Tales of Mystery and Imagination by E.A.Poe
- Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
- Dracula by Bram Stoker.

I am afraid to admit that I had never read the whole of Dracula before now and so I bought it so that can now read it. Geek Love is a wonderfully weird and fascinating book. Full of wit and sarcasm surrounding views on human nature. It is written in a morbidly humorous nature but much darkness envelopes the story.

Talking about furthering my reading, there are also a few films which have been recommended to me;

- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Graham (My lecturer) and myself were discussing my work and this discussion naturally led onto films and directors. I mentioned my love of the director Tim Burton and of my fascination with the film 'Freaks' and he insisted upon my watching of the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

I definately shall be watching this in the near future - sounds like it's right down my street. I think I should now describe briefly what the film 'Freaks' is about. 'Freaks' is a 1932 horror film depicting the lives of sideshow performers. It is not a modern day horror but it most certainly is surreal at the very least. Most of the cast were well known performers of the time, some of them characterising quite disturbing 'creatures'. Every time I watch the film, however, I get more and more infatuated with the story, it is nearly heart breaking. The performers, most of whom are deformed to some degree, are shown as incredibly vulnerable and honest people, whereas the 'normal' people are shown as the real freaks - the monsters that they become in the film. The film is just brilliant at capturing human nature with all of it's faults. 

 -Martyrs. A French horror film released last year, directed by Pascal Laugier. I find European and Asian horror films so much better and far more powerful than their American counterparts. I nearly cry when I hear of an American remake of one of the classics in the genre. I watched Martyrs the night I was told about it - I was very impressed with it. The directing of the film was spot on and I am looking forward to Laugier's remake of Hellraiser. I'm not going to describe the film as I do not wish to spoil the viewing for anyone, but this film is definitely going to make it into my DVD collection.


I have described how my project started off with the Surrealists, my ideas then started to move forward, still looking to the movement but changing direction slightly. I began looking into the concept of found art, Marcel Duchamp's work did not necessarily excite me but I was really interested in where I could progress with the idea. I started to move into the area of artists such as Rauschenberg and Joseph Cornell.

I have a fascination for, and love collecting, anything old or unwanted. Things that people would throw away - Old books, music scores, metal whistles, old jewellery - Well I could go on forever, but what I wanted and still want to do with the continuation of this project is to explore how these items could be re-used, re-imagined into pieces of art.






Renewing a book 3 times - a love?

May Ray is just one of those people, who to me, is just pure inspiration. Provocative, raunchy, yet exquisite photography. Undeniable talent and an eye for that which some of us might bypass just as easily as one might bypass someone in the street.

I have always been a fan but on a visit to the Ikon Gallery recently (I will possibly post my review on the gallery soon - not impressed on current exhibitions though. Minimalism - I just DON'T get it, quite simply), I had a thorough browse through the book shop, the most fascina
ting part of the gallery in my opinion. I saw a lovely little book on Man Ray, and with the discount in there at the time it was incredibly cheap. I also bought another fascinating book - Art Now. I thoroughly recommend it. Beautiful pictures and such an insight into the current art world.

Back to Man Ray. I love his nudes. I painted an image of myself inspired by his work. This is 
the photograph:




































(I shall photograph my work as soon as I find that it is finished)

However, when we had our group crit, I felt like it was unduly criticised by members of my group - they seemed over the top offended by what I would hardly class as a nude, the majority of the photograph is burnt out leaving a small section of myself visible - mainly my face. Hardly cause for what I would describe as an overly heated debate. Paranoia, perhaps, but I did not see either the justification for the comments which, to me, were those of; Why are you painting a self portrait, are you really that happy with yourself, do you find it difficult to paint yourself, do you think that you painted yourself in a rather idealistic way. 

Again and again I found myself repeating the sentence, I painted an image, it happened to be myself, however, I saw it as an image and not a self portrait.

Frustration!

But then again, what use is a blog if you cannot extract your inner anger!

These images were what I originally started with for this project. I had recently had a lecture on surrealism - fascinating, I would need an entire blog for that. But this was the basis to my new project. I borrowed a lovely book from the library on surrealism called surrealism - desire unbound. Truly fascinating reading, in fact, I have renewed it 3 times now - I just cannot bear to put it back. Time to buy myself a copy? 

The image which started off this route in my work was a piece by Jaques-Andre Boiffard. (Image to come soon). Very similar to Man Ray, but perhaps a bit softer?

Must dash now - time for my lecture and to find out my latest project, must remember to purchase sketchbooks whilst I am there.

Philosophising about the whys and wherefores.

I have been trying (unsuccessfully I may add) for months, to keep up a diary of sorts for my Personal Development Program(me?) part of my first year University Course. I have everything written down in my diary but I have no space in there to expand - and so I think that online blogging would be much simpler. However, as with much of my life, I get distracted my everything and anything, therefore by the time I remember about my blog again, I have forgotten was website I started on. 

And so - My third blog begins, and hopefully shall remain slightly more successful. I shall be entering entries dated from before this and so I'm not sure whether to keep this page in or not - we shall see.


I started off the academic year on a Fine Art and Illustration course. From the beginning I realised that I belonged much more in the Fine Art side. Illustration was alarmingly more hectic (I am a procrastinator of the best sorts) and took up so much of my time, that by the end of term I unfortunately realised that I had done far too little Fine Art work. 

Then the next term began. 

I dropped Illustration a couple of weeks into term. I knew it was the right thing to do, but I still decided to spend a bit more time thinking about it.

With Illustration dropped, I had much more time to spend on developing my ideas, researching artists and attempting the project.

(Unfortunately I am attempting to sum up two terms worth of work in this one blog so it is about to become increasingly longer and more boring, I pray to be forgiven).

I am bad - extremely bad, at time management and this term pretty much flew. I had just a few weeks left and I decided to try and attempt to change my outlook, I am pessimistic at the best of times. I drew up a tick list of sorts and attempted to tick everything off. 

Then along came Sunday and I realised that although I had come further than I expected - I still had so many ideas I wished to per sue. Unfortunately, not even staying up all night would allow me but I at least began the development of some pieces. (photos shall come at a later stage, perhaps I shall take some later on today when I go into University).

On monday I handed in my 2nd Terms work. I know I still have not managed enough bulk to my work, but I do think that my practical work was far more successful. I feel that towards the end of the Term I have begun to develop a better approach to my work and therefore am eagerly anticipating my newest project which I am given today.

This new eagerness has lead me to begin this (hopefully) slightly more successful blog.

Also on a sidenote, I have used an A3 sketchbook for my last projects and I have now decided that A4 or possibly smaller (maybe 2?) would be far more beneficial to my work ethic - And far less scary to fill!


[p.s - thanks Ali, your facebook message reminded me of my need for a blog - and gave me a decent webpage to host it on]