Visual art exhibitions and events with a platform for critical writing
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By: Jo Farnell
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# 11 [13 December 2011]
Wallpaper Portrait 2#
In danger of repeating myself (I know I've said this before), but this blog has given me some benefit of distance to my work. I get to see it printed and isolated from it's usual environment. Which is a good thing.
The second Wallpaper Portrait admittedly is a bit spooky; this was unintentional. My man wrapped the wallpaper round himself and I cut out two rough holes for his eyes and in the print you can see his eyes peeking through. The printing ink didn't catch so well on the vinyl (that's OK too) creating a flat colour pane.
I've learnt not to be too precious about my work now, intuition and sod's law are assets.
# 12 [14 December 2011]
see blog posts 2, 3 and 9.
If you've seen my blog posts you will know that I've been working on a project called The Meeting on and off for a while now. Too long in fact.
This project consisted of a meeting held outside by the garages out the back, around a small Ikea table (rescued from the dump). I asked four people who are not artists to discuss contemporary art. It produced around 16 photographs and a transcript.
The table was an important part of this meeting. looking back it served as a physical rooting point for each person, they stood around it, shuffled a bit. I took the table apart last week really just looking at it and asking if it was something worth keeping as an artifact.
I've decided to transfer the transcript directly onto the wood, probably with black permanent marker. It won't be in any particular order and it needs to look rough as though the notes were scribbled quickly. My only dilemma at the moment though is how to re-construct the table. Here are some initial ideas I've had....
The table is a monument to the meeting. I'm planning on holding another meeting soon in the same place with the re-constructed table. Perhaps this table is representative of of the four participant's feelings about contemporary art?
# 13 [14 December 2011]
I don't know why but I've bought ALOT of doilies from c.shops lately. I'm sure I bought them along the lines that they had some sort of possible function. Once I start buying something then I'm always on the lookout for it. I didn't buy them to use around the house.
I had a quick idea yesterday - to get out the can of fluorescent red spray (my fav) and use the doilies as a stencil. Mmmmmm. Interesting.
Then I spent an hour - yes an hour - tracing each little doiliey hole onto a sheet of squared graph paper. Quite a good result although the pen is too faint to upload a pic here.
It's not easy working and trying to make your own work as well. That's an understatement I know. I'm trying to do something whatever it may be, every evening at least. This blog is actually making me work since I've promised myself to add a new post every night.
Wondering if writing a blog has the same effect on anyone else?
# 14 [17 December 2011]
Scotney Castle: 500 Lies
(jigsaw puzzle pieces)
Jigsaw puzzles are useful to me: I have a healthy interest in boredom. And c. shops are full of jigsaws.
There's nothing more to this at the moment, just playing around. No concept, no reason. So I'm leaving it at that.
Oh, it's 500 Lies because there were only 443 pieces.
One technical issue though, originally I wanted to fix all 500 pieces together on top of each other with glue. I started but inevitably gravity won't hold up a wobbly tower of tiny bits of cardboard. Next puzzle tower will have to be drilled through if if it's going to stand.
Playing around with a piece of work or idea can be useful in itself, it's almost a means to an end. Really it's about making something without thinking about it - employing intuition maybe?
It doesn't have to do or be anything. But I know that this approach can only go so far, at some point a conceptual thought process is required to move it along.
# 15 [18 December 2011]
New approaches to drawing.
I haven't drawn for ages and ages. Drawing has become defunct in my practice, I rely on photography and writing. I've been looking for a new way of approaching drawing, something to make it relevant again.
I found a good book, it had a few projects whereby a typical aspect of the process of drawing was altered in some way. Most of these projects were familiar from my B.A, but I hadn't tried them for a while. So for instance, drawing: from memory, with two pencils tied together, from a distance, without taking your eyes of the subject, with the other hand, by feeling the subject, etc.
Still, it was a bit of a revelation, it made me look at drawing with a new perspective. The most interesting approach was drawing with your eyes closed and feeling the subject. So that's what this drawing here is - by feeling every aspect of my face I made marks to describe what I could feel. Eyelashes, mouth.
What was interesting was that it loosened up my hand, each mark was descriptive, but more essentially it was free since I did not have to consider what the image I was making looked like.
Imagine doing this with a life drawing, urgh! You'd have to be either brave or know them well!
# 16 [21 December 2011]
I've been thinking about how to use drawing in my practice again. Personally speaking, mark making for its own sake isn't enough. There has to be some real intention/ point to it.
Looking back over the ideas and projects I have on the go, I've decide to incorporate drawing somehow. It doesn't matter though if the drawing doesn't figure in the end result, it's another way to discover and develop an idea.
The Stephen Fry image is a good place to start (see post 7). Originally, my intention was to photograph a re-enactment with a bear head. I'm still going to do this. But it might be more interesting to re-enact this image with a blind drawing, and feel what's in front on me.
The black crow cuts a beautiful figure, this here is a half drawing. The best thing about it is that it's not finished.
# 17 [22 December 2011]
Blind self portrait life drawing
Elena suggested I should try the blind drawing technique to draw my body. I had to warm my hands up first.
First off, it's difficult and I have to concede the technique requires some practice. So this here is a first attempt.
Spatially there are are issues; hands explore the surface, but in 3D. This alters the mark making process to the extent that whatever is drawn is logical but only to a certain point. Normally an arm is drawn to look 3D but feeling it and then translating this experience radically distorts the original form.
In theory it could produce Cubist images since every surface is felt and translated.
At some point the brain needs to work out a personal system of marks to describe what is felt. This drawing here reflects contours only, so I think I would work on this aspect next time.
How to tackle the issue of losing place? Once the pencil loses contact with the paper all that remains is guesswork to reconnect. The answer must be to draw a continuous line - no good for gestural texture I might add - or employ a logical and systematic approach whereby the object is explored in the round.
# 18 [28 December 2011]
Hope everyone has had a good christmas?
Right I'm giving hand made gifts next year. We've all got too much stuff already. I'm going to have to get on with it now though not the week before. Decision made.
It's been great to have a proper break and recharge batteries. I got back into the swing of things this arvo, (admittedly I haven't done much today).
The table from the meeting has made a few outings in this blog already - today I wrote out the transcript onto the wood, onto the top and legs. It's a kind of monument to the words of wisdom uttered that day. I figured that when we have another meeting I can give the table a sheer coat of white paint then write the next installment on top.
# 19 [30 December 2011]
Thank you David Riley, (A D V E R T I S I N G) your comments have inspired me to crack on.
I will be writing out my ideas onto the surface of this box, then painting it over, then repeating the process. Each idea will be encased in paint, building up layers.
I found this jewellery box at the dump today, I was on the look out for something unwanted, small and evocative with enough surface area to write on. To think that it belonged to someone. They kept their jewellery in it, they wore their jewellery out and about. It's easy to attach preconcieved notions to this little object and that's what fascinates me most about used and second hand things.
Turns out this is a cathartic process; I never got round to starting the idea on the box. Once it's painted over it's gone. My intention was to collect all the print outs from the a_n jobs and opps online page that I had been interested in over the space of a year. This was in realisation that I hadn't done anything creative for a year. It felt like a year wasted.
But with each new idea comes a set of self imposed rules. Where these rules surface from, I don't know but at one point I thought should I actually finish each idea written on the box before another layer of paint? A crazy suggestion since I work on everything at once.
# 20 [31 December 2011]
- (existential photos with suspended Toblerone)
I got a big Toblerone last summer. I ate the chocolate up but simply looked at the package and wondered what if this Toblerone was the only thing that existed in the universe?
Logically it wouldn't have been eaten, but this is not the point and you can't tell from the photos. I had imagined the Toblerone floating in nothingness. I wanted to make this happen; I taped invisble thread to the package and to the end of a broom stick and got my man to hold it up high while I took some photos.
The pics you see here are preliminaries. They are also photos of photos, technically speaking I have had 'issues'. I will be taking further Toblerone photos to complete this series; against a clear starry night sky, a cloudy black night sky and more against a bright blue sky.
Hope you all have a fab New Year's Eve, I'm raising my glass of voddy to you all now, cheers!
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