I’m Ella and welcome to my blog page, this is going to show my journey through level 6 of my Fine Art degree.
I wanted to start my first blog off with an intro to my previous work to show where I have come from and how I got here!
My themes and theories I am looking at are feminism, the gaze, the male gaze and currently the female gaze. I used theorist from Jacques Lacan and his thoughts on the gaze to Laura Mulvey and her theory of the cinematic views of the male gaze. The idea that women are objects to be viewed, sexualised and objectified.
I find this extremely interesting as it is very important to me being a women in this current day, even if you can begin to see change (ish). But as social media is so heavily dominated in our lives it has adapted a new gaze, one to be about ourselves, the digitalisation of the self gaze. I want to explore the ways social media impacts the gaze and our views of our body as well as others through level 6.
Reflection 21/12/2020: I am still very passionate about these ideas of social media’s effect on the body and find them very extremely relevant. But as I explored this through making art.. It was very difficult! It didn’t come across the way I hoped and in Only Touch With CLEANS Hands – only confirmed this for me, my group crit gave all thoughts relating to the male gaze instead and it made me think my work wasn’t as successful/understandable as I thought so I have decided to return to the male gaze and the female form.
But first, in level 5 I ranged from digital drawing, to pen, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay, plaster, wire and cellophane. As my heavy focus was the female form I was intrigued at how the different surface area changed the meaning and view of the body.
Artists such as Linder Sterling, Martha Rosler, Rachel Maclean, Jenny Saville, Hannah Wilke and Cindy Sherman inspired me and the way I used those materials.
Currently I work with clay which has developed massively from my previous line drawings in level 5 above. Inspired by Anthony Gormley’s exhibition of Field (above) which I saw at First Site in Colchester, I was drawn to them and amazed at how much personality each one of them has. I began to look at the ways I could bring this into my practice.
After seeing Gormely’s Field it flipped my work into a new direction which I was very scared about but also very excited for as I have never worked with clay or photography before. I could feel my work developing into something new and exciting.
Due to COVID I had to hand in my final work for level 5 online and from March I had to work at home. This benefited me and my practice because it made me try new things I hadn’t before. I was interested in making the viewers feel as though they shouldn’t be looking or it’s too personal, much like Sigmund Freud talks about with his thoughts of scopophilia.
With this in mind I reinterpreted mirrors but used them for unusual angels of the form that you wouldn’t see on instagram our even in your own mirror but somehow they are relatable to women. Currently I am beginning to explore how social media has adapted our ways of seeing not only our true selves but also others. What is true or false?
Which takes me to my current work. Inspired by SH Sadler and thoughts from Shoshana Zuboff’s Surveillance Capitalism and Nathan Jurgenson’s with The Social Photo as well as social media. The way we perceive things are altered massively due to social media and especially the presentation of Instagram. It creates this idea for young women that we must look a certain way, we see a women with perfect breast and we feel we must have that so many get a breast job to feel on that level of security.
However we don’t realise how much we alter our natural bodies to be like something that is not real. In the piece above Beauty Hurts I wanted to explore how social media visually sells ‘perfect’ images of the body and it disrupts our real vision of our natural selves.
The vacuum packed breasts display the idea of Instagram bodies ‘products’, ready to be sold to all women’s body.
Reflection 21/12/20: They also suggest ideas of suffocation under the pressure of the male gaze…
This is very important to me because I cannot help but feel negative thoughts when I go onto social media, however after creating this and the female gaze as my theme of work as well as expressing my work on this path it’s a way for me to understand and share awareness about social media and the adapted gaze we have.
This is a very lengthy first post but I have so much to say! I aim to update weekly posts as it feels liberating to voice my opinions and my work in a new way!!
Reflection 21/12/20: I have now decided to use my blog as my sketchbook, keeping it updated with every new thing – it feels so much better to document and reflect this way.