I feel as if I have had a rush of blood to my brain induced by looking at – and talking about – a lot of art in the last seven days.
An art students dream really! Monday – drawing symposium at college with Dr Natasha Mayo, Amelia Johnstone and Catherine Wynne-Paton
Thursday – The recently opened Sigmar Polke exhibition Alibis at Tate Modern;
and Saturday – Clare Woods show at Oriel Davies A Tree A Rock A Cloud.
Head explosion time! Why ? Because I’m attempting to consider what the artists are saying and why they are making the work they do. Absorbing information and processing it and then developing my opinions takes time. Right now I feel as if this mass of new information is simmering away in my subconscious and (hopefully) at some point soon will start to make connections with my understanding of things.
So I’m going through that insecure stage of thinking about the work I’ve seen and looking at my own and thinking – ‘agh – what am I doing?’
I put myself in mind of what our tutor repeatedly asks of us: GO TO EXHIBITIONS – look at work and ask yourself what you find interesting and challenging and confusing and good etc and relate it back to your own practice. Then ask – why am I making work in the way I do?
And her other regular comment during seminars – NOW GO BACK TO THE STUDIO AND FAIL! With ideas in mind get to work with your own ideas and be prepared for things not to work, not to be the way you imagined and keep pushing through with the results that disappoint you and figure out why.
Its like accepting yourself all over again ( which every artists is in a constant state of doing to some extent). In my case as a student I’m trying to figure things out and a big part of this process is risk taking, failure and honest refection. So I will be back in the studio next week doing just this!
Dr Natasha Mayo is Head of Ceramics at Cardiff School of Art and Design
Amelia Johnstone is Head of Illustration also at Cardiff
Catherine Wynne-Paton graduated from HCA with BA Fine Art (Hons) in June this year.
Sigmar Polke Alibis Tate Modern until 8th Feb 2015
Clare Woods A Tree A Rock A Cloud closes on 5th November.