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By: Bob Gelsthorpe
BA (Hons) Fine Art, painting department.
# 27 [6 June 2012]
Just a reminder, The CSAD Degree Show is opening this saturday, open from 11am!
Sat 9th June, 11am-6pm
Sun 10th June, 10am-6pm
Mon 11th June, 10am-6pm
Tues 12th June, 10am-6pm
Weds 13th June, 10am-6pm
Thurs 14th June, 10am-6pm
Fri 15th June, 10am-12pm
# 26 [19 May 2012]
That's it. All done, everything is hung according to my diagrams, the work is all in order, sketchbooks are out. There is nothing left to do, except go to bed. Ill be starting my new blog on artists talking imminently, it'll be a record and documentation of my practice from now on. So three years, one degree, and twenty-six blog posts later, Im finally at the beginning.
Just a reminder, the show opens at 12 on friday the 9th of June and runs on until the 15th of June @ Howard Gardens, Cardiff, CF24 0SP
# 25 [15 May 2012]
Well, theres now two & a half days left getting the studio up to scatch, its getting close. All work is being mirror plated and hung tomorrow. The final selection is made, the showreel is finished, just awaiting burning to disk. The floors & walls are spic & span. The view from the studio on these late nights is beautiful during the dash for the finish line.
# 24 [14 May 2012]
The paintings are essentially finished, except from restoring my own paintings (which is a pretty odd thing to do) due to dust getting everywhere. and adding one slight layer of Bristol Silver to the landscape is Crime Season. Floors are being button-polished to seal the gloss, enamel, bitumen, oil, and general mess I've made over the year. Walls are having a second coat of pva to seal where I missed first time round.
The space that is able for exhibiting has expanded, the corridor that was full of lockers is now useable as exhibition space, so I can have more paintings in, hurrah!
Another quite appealing selection was made as well today, hopefully it'll become clear what works best very, very soon.
# 23 [9 May 2012]
The space (the walls) is pretty much ready to begin hanging & curation. This is a far bigger task than anticipated, given the awkward space I have. The angles in the architecture sometimes line up with the architecture of the paintings, is this slick coincidence, or a stroke of visual harmony. I've begun to hang two paintings that might not even go in the show, but I have to test every scenario, to maximize the space and paintings.
Recall left, Crime Season right.
Now this is the one that I prefer, I would love to show all new work like these two, but you cannot let a personal persuasion take over what will look best. The first thoughts on seeing this up was how commanding the Bitumen from Recall looked, but also how controlling and aggressive it was, however it does allow space for contemplation, because there is the shroud of the figures underneath. Inquisitive, would be the ideal word, however Crime Season next to it, looks a little disparate, not that this is necessarily a bad thing, they stand on their own, as coherent pieces, but standing alone.
Crime Season left, Recall right.
Just testing it. There are good points to it, it makes me see that they CANNOT be hung at the same height, there's too many already occurring lines that match up, it looks somewhat gimmicky. The duality of aesthetics comes through quite well though! Also the border on Recall almost nulls and voids the slanted wall directly above it.
These choices are preludes to the full show, but every bit as essential to the process. If anything it clears up that Crime Season cannot go on the right, with Recall on the left, I think....
# 22 [8 May 2012]
(I am the space where I am) site festival opening went very well, lots of positive remarks about the work, which is always nice to hear, I took a few photos as it was closing up for the night, looked wonderful if I may say so myself! I had the pieces Isle of the Dead 2, 3, 5 & 6 in the show. I must mention that all the pieces, from all the artists were curated wonderfully, and very tastefully (thanks Freya!)
The space in which I currently am, on the other hand, is the degree show studio, today has been sanding and chipping paint off. Almost regretting working in such caustic paint....
But yes, the pieces are safe away from the dust, the final piece I mentioned earlier Crime Season (WT) is coming along slowly, I will be against the clock on this one, but you get a fantastic amount of energy when deadlines seem to loom, I feel so anyway.
Also, if any writers/reviewers in Cardiff (or the surrounding areas) would be able to review the show, I would be eternally grateful. Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!!
# 21 [6 May 2012]
I'm working on the last few paintings before my cutoff date, to give them time to dry. One with the working title "Crime Season" is on its way, and interestingly I've moved away from oil paint all together in this piece, perhaps its my recent fascination with Gary Hume's Door paintings, maybe I'm just getting a little tired of the age-old medium, perhaps I'm panicking that I'll get tunnel vision. Either way, its good to use other mediums, it's keeping me sharp. "Crime Season" is 5 X 4ft, using imagery from contemporary art, drawings, television & imagined spaces. Its in the same vein of thought as the "Isle of the Dead" paintings, but this one I think has the potential to have a lot more now-ness, feels more openly current, but its early days, we'll see how it goes.
# 20 [5 May 2012]
This Week in Short.
This week began with everyone moving into their respective spaces for the degree show, walls started moving and pieces have started some preliminary hanging. Tuesday saw the opening of (I am the space where I am) at Middle St, Stroud as a part of Site Festival that looked absolutely superb. Curated wonderfully and a special mention has to go to Harry Morgan's "Forest" 2012 piece which I will try and get a photo of tonight, as it is stunning. Wednesday and Thursday were heavy studio days and three paintings (with one possibly going into the show) were finished. Also the Degree Show guide 2012 came out, which looks fantastic, and I am very grateful to have two of my images in the edition! Business cards arrived and I sorted out some curatorial notes on the show, started getting dimensions and figuring out how many paintings to put in (3). I had the pleasure of seeing the 2nd Year Fine Art Students shows at The Capitol Center, Milkwood and The Crofts, all Cardiff, all great conviction. I have an interview for Made in Roath Festival 2012 as a Creative Administration Assistant, which will hopefully all go well. As I mentioned earlier I'm off to Stroud again tonight for the opening of Site Festival and Darren Almond's "Sometimes Still" solo show, which should be very exciting!
# 19 [2 May 2012]
I was thinking today if aesthetics or linguistics have a bigger drive in artists' practice. Meaning that aesthetics in terms of being able to understand and accept the work as a object that sets out to convey an idea or concept, or in the case of linguistics; is what the artwork says, and the manner in which is says it more important. Also how relevent is what art actually looks like nowadays, apart from the phenomenological point of view???
# 18 [29 April 2012]
Closing in on dates, the work has become more apparent to me; as a series of pictures, based on local and memorized imagery, with an inquisitive view into the relationships that occur throughout the making, thinking and finishing of these pictures. There are still 4 paintings to finish, but its going to be interesting what happens to them now that I've made this statement, what's interesting about these paintings and the past few months, has been the not knowing, the clueless, and the dim moments, because they keep me searching for some sort of truth, which is what I feel they have to a certain extent. I mean if you read into the semiotics and symbolism of the piece (at your own risk, I don't subscribe to it that too much) then the work is so painfully idiosyncratic if you happen to know me, that it can't help but be honest. I digress, seeing as I've made this realisation, I hope it wont be similar to the scenario when you've cut your leg, and can't feel it until you roll your jeans up, meaning that now I know how simplistic by paintings actually are I'm worried the exploration or questions might become less prominent, which is important in my practice, I need to keep learning.