Last semester I began with a new subject matter, one which I felt would keep me focused for the entirety of level 6. The subject I chose was basing my practice on myself and so making my art personal to me. I wanted to get across in my work my personality and how I don’t like to be centre of attention, and so I began last semester taking photos of myself but without my face being in the images. I did this by having my back to the camera or by covering my face with a hoody or my hair. I am interested in using photography in my practice as it is a medium I have always enjoyed and want to explore it further. Some of the photos I took were long exposure photos taken with an infrared filter which allowed me to take long exposure photos in quite bright light. I went back to where I used to live in the countryside and set my camera up on a tripod to keep the camera still and used a timer setting so that I could take my own photos.
I had the idea last semester to possibly expand on my idea to things that interest me and so building up a profile of myself through my art. This is more of what I have begun focusing on this second semester which will be explained more in my next blog post.
Through doing the drawings of myself, there were some interesting conversations started between other students on my course. Some people don’t know who the drawings are of, and a few have asked if they are of my sister. I like the element that people who don’t know me very well wouldn’t particularly know it was a self-portrait but people who know me well would know they are of me. I also like how generally people want to know who the person is in the images, does it matter who it is? Does that impact the viewer more or less by knowing?
Before Christmas I had been drawing as my main medium along with some photography. Drawing has always been my favourite way of working, and last year I got into large scale drawings using charcoal which I really enjoyed as they were really free. I like how you can easily smudge the charcoal and redraw certain areas of the drawing if it isn’t right or the composition needs changing. Working large scale has worked well for me so far as I stand up to draw with the paper on the wall and so it makes me stand back and look at the drawing more than if I was doing a small drawing, by doing this you can see the whole image as a whole and see if the drawing is working well or not.
I plan to try out some different techniques of working, because although I love drawing large scale, it is not always very practical and I would like to explore other ways of working. In first year I really enjoyed printmaking and I have wanted to return to that medium as it links closely with drawing and you can do multiple prints of the same image to then work back into in different ways. I also like how with a print you can’t see what the final outcome will look like exactly until you have been through all the processes. I may also try some painting as this another medium I have enjoyed in the past. The medium I use doesn’t really effect the subject matter and so I would like to explore different techniques if possible. It is also my last year at university and so I want to make the most of the facilities they offer.
For my dissertation I was looking at the different roles of drawing and so I could link what I found out into my own practice. One of the main points being using drawing as a way of planning future pieces of art.