Perception is communicated as a result of Identity, attention and understanding, the interpretation of sensors, memory, and expectation. #Loleithaart
My art process is autobiographical and displays themes such as my own journey of displacement, sorrow, love and joy. These issues are tied firmly to my cultural lens, stereotypes and the perception of them. But hey I am what I am. My themes convey my passions and compassions. I express and illustrate my voice something, I didn’t think I had for a long time.
The fine artists I have looked into well, once, I set upon my thoughts and journey of making art…, are Edmonia Lewis, 1844-1907, Augusta Savage, 1895-1965, Adrian Piper, 1948-, Sonia Boyce, 1962-, Kehinde Wiley, 1977-, and Kara Walker, 1969-. All of these artists focus their art practice on Race as one element and are politically motivated and concept driven. Collectively their working practice shows a clear focus on gender-representations, cultural lens, cultural memory and post-memory.
#loleithaart – oil on canvas, ‘it’s time’ 2015,
The image I’m expressively painting with big but controlled strokes above is from a photograph that I took and it reflects the natural beauty, and innocence of the model. It is capturing her achieving her grades and celebrating at the end of year 11 prom, along with her peers. She is experiencing that life does give seasons of fun and relaxation. Therefore, creating her own cultural lens and memories. This achievement will add to the postmemory stories that were passed down.
The scale of the painting projects that school was/is a big part of life and now: She is about to embark on the next part of her journey albeit, 6th form, college or University. This painting was finished off with the careful placement of gems. These gems were to mimic the actual dress worn. The dress colour chosen by the model illustrates her naturalistic and practical manner as she isn’t known to be a girly girl more of what we call a geek or techie. As well as highlighting that she is a real gem. A teenager to be proud of. The background colour displays the teenager being grounded and of a composed nature, which is clearly identified in the gentleness of her face.
While thinking about the gems, that I put on the dress, I was reminded of the artist Chris Ofili’s paintings and how he encrusted his work with map pins, glitter stars and polyester resin. He also used collage, in the large-scale painting, which I viewed in the Tate Modern, titled; ‘No Woman No Cry’ 1998.
‘No Woman No Cry’ 1998, Ofili, placed the face of the Black youth Stephen Lawrence, in the tear drops. Lawrence was racially murdered in the streets of London UK, while waiting for a bus home, 1993. Stephen Lawrence’s mother Doreen (her mother’s heart and strength, fought for justice) along with his father, Neville. (I met, while I worked on an art project for my professional practice, with the ISCRE Leadership Academy; it was about how Black boys were perceived in society and the media). The Lawrence’s campaigned for the justice over their son’s death. It was a significant public enquiry and was held four years after his death. It was concluded that the Metropolitan Police Service was ‘institutionally racist’. The model in my painting was born at the same time the fight for justice in this high profile case of a racially motivated murder was being highlighted in the media. #ourchildren, #ourhearts #loleithaart
Constantly during my time at University -my focus has been on ‘identity’. My first artworks were …coloured silhouette prints. (inserted below). I titled them ‘The colour of you’, I used oranges and yellows in print making, it was a quick process once I had drawn the stencil and cut it out carefully with an artist knife. The colours represent warmth; yellow and the orange undertones convey emotions ranging from happiness, relaxation and creativity. The colour black has positive and negative connotations and every colour has hidden meanings in the colour spectrum. The use of it in this instance gave my work a strong contrast against the colours which I chose to represent Black women, to combating stereotyping. The more than often stereotype is, that Black women are to be sassy mouthed, have attitudes, are hard and aggressive. Common knowledge shows that all women are and can be vulnerable, delicate, beautiful, soft, loyal, have a nurturing and compassionate nature; passionate, and strong willed where needed; (moody and/or emotional every 21 days, it’s their prerogative lol). My question… So why stereotype?
‘The colour of you’, 2008 #loleithaart
In June 2015 News reports, and footage released of a Texas police officer throwing a Black girl (youth) down, kneeing her in the back and holding her arms behind on the ground. Was she not law abiding? How was she posing a threat? Or was that just a force of law because of stereotypes and perceptions?
‘Bikini girl pushed down by Texas police officer’ silhouette, size Unknown. #loleithaart
This silhouette above I made about the Texas police officer, holding down the 14-year-old. (In the style of Kara Walker’s silhouettes). But using a current racial issue. Therefore, NOT postmemory, but purely today’s cultural lens. So my question… perception or is it just preferences? I’m just asking.
(The images and artwork above are mine, #Loleithaart with a focus on, Identity, race, stereotypes and perceptions in today’s world. My Cultural Lens.
I found this image by American cartoonist, Lalo Alcaraz, 2015; that reminded me of cartoons with giant dinosaur tramping around a suburban neighbourhood. I think the artist may have made this link on purpose as the Black girl aged 14 years was evidently alien to the neighbourhood, which suggests that was the reason for the cops being called to the pool party… #perception
Kara Walker, ‘Scene 6, The Emancipation Approximation, 1999-2000’, ed. of 25, 2000, silkscreen, 44 inches x 34 inches. Image courtesy Alan Avery Art Gallery.
Kara Walker an African-American contemporary artist, and of the same age as me, (yea I know I don’t look my age [smile]. Walker was the second artist whom I had researched for my dissertation (‘More than skin deep’), Walker also depicted race and identity within her art process from a Postmemory and her cultural lens perspective. In this piece Walker is illustrating the dire situations that were experienced by Black slaves in the antebellum South USA.
At first glance of Walker’s artwork, I was taken in by the silhouette fables and lighting effects of the installations. They made me want to view more. But then I looked at the images closer and was shocked at the content. I remember sneering. I knew I didn’t want my children (being still in primary school then) to see this… Yet.
In my silhouetted piece above, I used fabric as I found it quicker while shopping for large scale paper, (I have a background in tailoring too). I am stating that you may parallel Kara Walkers work and the issue she depicted by using modern day situations, which reflect the same, if not a similar issue.
Installation view at Brent Sikkema, New York
Projection, cut paper and adhesive on wall, 14 x 37 1/2 feet
Collection of Foundation Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg
Courtesy Brent Sikkema, New York
Walker also had a show on 13 November 2015 – 16 January 2016 at Victoria Miro Mayfair in 14 St George Street London W1S 1FE
The Victoria Miro was delighted to present the second of two exhibitions at the gallery. Her last one was in 2013
Describing that Walker’s work is “often provocative and humorous, Her work explores the tensions and power plays of racial and gender relations”.
Walker’s work engages with historical narratives and the ways in which these stories have been suppressed, distorted and falsified. This exhibition extends her exploration of the brutalising histories of colonialism and slavery, and the political and psychological consequences that accompany identity formation in contexts of oppression and violence”.
These next images relate to colour theory
A look at the colour theory and what it represents in an artwork. Artist Mark Rothko, an abstract painter, successfully uses colour palettes and aids emotion. I find this pleasant to look at but makes me think of interior design. The texture of Rothko’s painting brings movement to it even though it’s citrus layered colour rests on the dynamic of the square/rectangle…
Green says go!
Identity and colour theory
Jan Van Eyck, National Gallery London
In the above images, I am looking at colour theory and how it is represented or symbolised.
The 15th Century Artist Jan Van Eyck painted a portrait of a couple from the early 15th century, where the wife is well into the late stages of her pregnancy. She is dressed all in green, which is a symbol of fertility. As noted by art historian Carola Hicks, from this portrait fertility was “symbolised as an essential quality of a wife”, other objects in the painting reinforce the idea of fertility, i.e. the three oranges, the fruit and blossom of which signify love and marriage. And the bed in the background confirms intimacy, (Hicks, 2011).
I am purely using this Van Eyck as an example to show how colour is used in the art to symbolise different emotions, feelings and gestures.
I also note that Artist Yves Klein an abstract painter, used colour to evoke feelings and he created his own colour IKB 79 and it has been mentioned that a viewer stood and tears came to their eyes. This colour is gorgeous and vibrant and I would look great in a suit or a form fitting dress in this colour, and shoes to match. It makes me think of clothing, or going away on holiday in the Sun; That’s it Im’ma pack my bags and am searching for a holiday destination. lol!
IKB 79 Yves Klein 1959 Paint on canvas on plywood