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By: Tiffany Horan
Fine Art (BA Hons) 'The course enables students to develop and produce challenging contemporary artworks that often emphasise audience and context, and investigate the role of the artist in the 21st century. We're exposed to a range of practices that will enable us to link traditional skills and approaches with alternative media in order to develop an imaginative, critical and informed fine art practice.'
# 30 [22 June 2012]
I have successfully completed my degree show, officially graduated Oxford Brookes University with a 2:1 and thankfully managed to get the grade I needed in order to attend the MA in Art, Aesthetics and Cultural Institutions at The University of Liverpool in September.
As some of you may know, I was selected by Leo Fitzmaurice as one of the best Degrees Unedited bloggers as featured in a-n magazine’s degree shows guide, 2012:
My prize was incredible, I've never seen so many art supplies in my entire life, I have been making full use of them in my new studio, which is based in Southport. Unfortunately, due to privacy issues, I am unable to post a photograph of my new space and all external links to previous images on this blog have been removed, video links are still available.
This afternoon I submitted an application for the John Moores Painting Prize 2012 bursary, luckily I saw a tweet a couple of hours before the deadline and couldn’t resist applying for it, fingers crossed.
# 29 [27 April 2012]
Most of my work has been about the definition of art, truth and authenticity, why we are artists and why we choose to create. What happens if you give an artist a pencil, pen, tube of paint or a video camera? These are just a few of the thoughts which led me to create endurance and time based pieces where the work is created within a specific space at a specific time using specific media.
I decided to upload the fingerpaint animation and one of the performance videos to YouTube in an attempt to receive some feedback from the public regarding my work. Obviously due to the audience not necessarily being part of the art world it was interesting to hear how they perceived the work and how they related to it. I also showed this video to other members of my course prior to the final exhibition in order to compare their comments with those of the public.
Those who viewed this as a work of art saw it as an endearing and thought provoking piece of performance and seemed to realize that I was miming, or lip syncing. They were unsure as to whether or not this work was a joke, if they should laugh, or cry. Whereas those who were unfamiliar with the idea of live art were convinced it was I and not Piaf singing and viewed it in a completely different way, most seemed confused by the sheer quality of sound being produced. I was pleased by the uncertainty amongst both audiences as that is what I hoped to achieve through this work. I predict the other videos to have the same or a similar effect on the viewer.
I wanted the work to be accessible, rather than simply be aimed at a niche audience; it has a wider appeal on a purely audiovisual scale. At least one of the tracks chosen will appeal to and be recognizable to the majority of society, all levels of society, with varying levels of engagement, for example, young people might be more focused on the rap rather than the ballad. Some people may find the work much more engaging than others but this is to be presumed as a taste in music is as varied as a taste in art.
These songs already existed, in the auditory sense, so I took what already existed (much like Duchamp’s readymades) and I made it my own through a natural reaction to the sound, creating an autobiographical and coherent body of work.
# 28 [27 April 2012]
My current work is about the inability to define, to stereotype, to group and to mark. It is about the challenges faced by a generation immersed in a virtual reality that consequentially affects the harsh reality of the world beyond the screen.
Screens protect us, they collect and connect us, collect dust. We sit in front of them for hours, all day, every day, televisions, music devices, phones, games consoles, computers, all things considered to be a necessity by the majority of individuals.
Who and what will people think of when they look back at the art being made 2012? I realised that when art historians and critics reference artists of the past, the artist’s work always relates in some way to that period in time, the events that occurred within that era. I decided not to focus on politics, on war, on problems that don’t actually tend to affect people on a daily basis, unless they’re directly involved. Now, imagine if the internet stopped working, imagine if no one on Earth could connect. Sure, those who live without electricity wouldn’t be affected, they probably wouldn’t even notice if they were living far enough from ‘modern’ civilisation but what of those living everywhere else.
There would be an uproar, an explosive mass of frustrated people without the ability to tweet about their outrage with regards to the situation. I realised that we’re not the plastic generation, we’re the wireless generation. We are human beings completely absorbed by the machine.
So, I decided to make art that I felt related to the machine. Although I knew the work had to be relevant to contemporary fine art practices I began by removing all other thoughts from my mind; I reduced all of my ideas until they disappeared. I emptied the recycle bin in my head and started again, new document.
# 27 [27 April 2012]
I haven't updated this blog in a while due to the demise of a relationship, a blessing in disguise for both my personal and professional life. My posting abilities were also inhibited by a seriously hectic schedule.
I threw myself into my work, into hanging out with friends, I managed to get myself Adobe Photoshop CS2, finish my evaluation and research log, pack most of my belongings in to boxes and organise my work for the degree show. Our private view invitations have been sent and our website is up:
There was a fundraising day in aid of the degree show which included a lot of fun things, tie dye, second hand clothing and delicious food. We made a substantial amount of money and everyone seemed really positive, it was a nice experience.
# 26 [3 April 2012]
I've had to repeat most of these blog images such as 'life' etc. as my copy of Photoshop decided to pack itself in, bravo Adobe, bravo.
I received a letter from the John Moores Painting Prize the other day, I was once again unsuccessful but that's alright, I can always try again next year. As for my application for the role of assistant curator at the Liverpool Biennial, I was equally unsuccessful.
However, I tweeted Paul Smith (Executive Director of Liverpool Biennial) this: ‘Thank you for acknowledging my application, though I was unsuccessful, I am still looking forward to Liverpool Biennial.’ To which he replied with this: ‘Tiffany, Thank you for the very gracious reply. We look forward to welcoming you to the Biennial. Best wishes, Paul.’ I can’t wait to move back up North.
# 25 [30 March 2012]
So, I am currently without a space for the degree show, my plans have fallen through at the last minute and this morning I cried my way up the hill to university. However, once there, I had a really helpful conversation with the technical specialist and he managed to convince me that everything would be alright. He helped me with my Mac issues (why is there no PrtSc) and we talked about new ideas in terms displaying the work, ways around the lack of space and my situation in general.
Still from my It Takes More performance: http://t.co/ccKwsclT
Another still from my It Takes More performance: http://pic.twitter.com/OhoRzrLz
Still from my I Try performance: http://t.co/tLlDd5os
Another still from my Heaven Have Mercy performance: http://t.co/eUY1p3lj
# 24 [28 March 2012]
It's a beautiful day. My entire body is aching. I don't feel well. I have the curtains closed. I can hear construction workers outside. I emailed my tutor two reviews, a commentary and this blog as part of a module entitled 'Fine Art Evaluation'. I still feel as though I haven't done enough work.
Commentary of Anya Liftig’s Performance 'Produce/Procreate' Evening of performance presented by both Roves and Roams and OVADA:
I'm looking forward to next week and Shezad Dawood's Piercing Brightness at Modern Art Oxford. I'll be writing another review for Roves and Roams. I enjoy having something other than university work to think about.
I have two new videos to put onto DVD for the degree show and a number of things I need to consider in terms of space. Measuring lengths of red carpet being one of those things, deciding on an elaborate installation or a simple video screening and potential performance being another.
Now that the majority of tasks have been undertaken with regards to the organization of the degree show, we are continuing to look for sponsors and additional fund-raising methods.
# 23 [19 March 2012]
Uploaded: Latest Work: Heaven Have Mercy (Unedited) Performance: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMxOZj3h0kc
Filming again on Wednesday the twenty first of March, public performances and screenings are in the pipeline.
Hello nose ring, my old friend, I've come to wear you once again. I'm feeling nostalgic. Currently reading through the three books I took out of the library last week:
Art in public: What, why and how: Edited by Susan Jones, Art in the public interest: Edited with an introduction by Arlene Raven and Art, lies and videotape: Exposing performance: Edited by Adrian George.
I need to start writing again. It's unfortunate that my ability to write hinders my ability to create.
Eye Examination: New Prescription: New Glasses:
# 22 [14 March 2012]
My presentation went really well yesterday, I think my work has finally started to take shape. I discussed various ideas with my tutors in terms of where my degree show work is going to be installed on campus and I now have a number of interesting options.
The fingerpainting I created on Friday went down as well as my performance work did, an animation of the painting can be found here:
Our studio was featured on Sunday Politics South, you can see it here:
I would skip to about 41.34 minutes if you're not really interested in politics. My interview was cut short but it's still a great achievement for everyone on the course.
# 21 [8 March 2012]
I haven't been posting as often as I had originally planned but I suppose I didn't take into account the amount of work I'd be getting on with. I've decided to share some images with you via Twitter.
Before I accidentally killed all but two of these seedlings by transplanting them too early:
Endurance Task Prepartion:
Still from my Heaven Have Mercy performance that took place on Tuesday morning:
We as creative individuals are not bound to one path controlled by other people’s perceptions, other people’s aesthetic values, principles, beliefs and ideologies, we are entitled to create whatever, wherever, forever.
Tiffany Victoria Horan, 2011.