I’m going to be studying MA Fine Art at Birmingham School of Art, BCU from September 2020 – September 2021. This blog is going to be documenting the ideas and artworks I make, as well as the thoughts of the exhibitions I visit. Its aim is to support my work for assessment.


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The square prints

The geometric shape of the mirrors worked well with the images of the interior space. The prints were positioned partially on the mirror, and away from the centre, so the viewer wasn’t competing with their own reflection when looking at the work.

The silver brackets that secured the work to the wall complimented the mirrored glass. However, I was disappointed with the lack of detail to the tentacles. I felt the drawings and the prints on paper showed more texture of hairs from the tentacles.

The print on the mirrors was good for the general shapes of the images, but failed on clarifying the finer details, because the inherent qualities of mirrors isn’t made for ink to sit on.

 

The prints on mirrors (General)

It also brings me to the work Clean my Sheets (work in semester one – 25th November in the blog) because of the tensions between the two materials, which in the piece of them mirrors also translate to the tensions between tentacles in a domestic space that is reflected in an institution.

The implication of the viewer, 18th Century portraiture and today

The oval mirrors suggests the history of portraiture, that appeared in France in the 18th Century, where it was installed in palaces and living spaces that symbolised wealth and power. Portraitures were known for the subject being aloof and posing for the painting.

The oval mirrors invite the viewer to self reflect on their pose and stance in a gallery space. This is a physical stance and also a political stance as well, because certain groups are more likely to be in a gallery space as it’s conditioned as a gentrified space.

The domestic spaces that’s printed onto the mirrors is something mimics the gallery space as it has basic aesthetic of a white cube space, and is the template for modern city apartment designs in the present day.

How the subconscious manifests itself in the work

The tentacles invading the space in the form of something undesirable such as hairy tentacles and spiders legs coming out from doorways is suggesting the hiding of that undesirable thing or things in society that people and politicians turn a blind eye to.

Materials in relation to the topics mentioned above

The process of printmaking uses physical labour to make prints that have artistic value, especially when placed onto a decorative surface such as mirrors. The reflective surface forces the viewer to see themselves as part of the work, instead of an alienated item that has external value.

 

 

 


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Installing the mirrors

I installed the square glass with brackets screwed to the walls today at 131cm in height. It wasn’t as straight forward as using adhesives for the oval mirrors (although there’s problems with the adhesives, which is covered in the text below) – When I first looked at the brackets, I was uncertain about whether the size of the brackets affected the mirrored prints on the wall. But because the brackets were silver it matched the visual language of the mirrors.

Health and Safety 

Someone suggested using the screws only to prop the mirrors on the wall, but I was apprehensive about it. After talking to Mona, I decided it was best to stick to the original idea of using brackets because I was confident that the mirrors won’t fall.

I was able to ‘get away’ with using adhesive to attach the oval mirrors to the wall, although I know I can’t use the same method if the show was open to the public – it’s not worth the risk of having work fall in a show. If I was to install the oval mirrors again, I would use brackets to secure them onto the wall similar to the mirrored glass.

The reflections 

I’m finding the documentation of mirrors difficult, particularly in a shared space because it’s hard to control what I want to show the viewer in person, and in photos of the work. There’s a limitation mirrors in an open section of a space as opposed to a closed room exhibit, where even the reflections themselves are controlled.

De-installing the mirrors

I’ll take more photos on Thursday, then de-install the work and fill the holes with wood filler, sand and paint over the area.


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I installed the oval mirrors with prints and took photographs of them. The first print is weaker than the rest in terms of the image fitting into School of Art architecture (the geometric shapes) in the reflection, as well as the positioning of the ink and the tone of the image on the oval.

It didn’t work as well as the other ones. The others had a darker tone that blocks out the reflection, allowing the viewer to see the image clearly while also having parts of the oval reflecting them.

The combination of mirrors and prints work best in a binary of: areas of ink that blocks reflection, and areas that are completely clear from ink that allows that space of the mirror to reflect the viewer back. I’ve tested this by standing in front of the mirrors and documenting it.

Testing

This one didn’t work.

This one worked.

This one worked.

 

The binaries of materials in relation to concept

The composition of the areas on the oval mirrors that are opaque with ink and the clear areas, is a physical tension where the ink is distributed on the mirrors: all or nothing. But also as a concept of binaries between make belief and physical architectural space. The tentacles on the images is a manifestation of the subconscious – the subconscious in itself can’t ever be proven to exist, so it’s the binary of the concrete reality with fantasy.

There’s also a tension between geometric shapes within the round shape of the mirrors, relating to the incongruence of nature (the shape of the mirror as a rounded structure of the human eye) and construct (the architecture) summed up by these artifices. It’s in the domain of the outside and inside phenomenon that the artists I’ve mentioned previously in my blog were looking at.


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I’ve been documenting all the prints (done on paper) from this semester using a DSLR camera this afternoon, so I can organise them in a PDF document for the online submission on the 9th. Some of the prints worked well and others did not. The PDF would have a more detailed analysis and evaluation of the prints.

To do 

I’ve done all the printmaking onto oval and square mirrors last Thursday. What I need to do this week is install the prints onto the walls of the studio.

Examples

Here are some examples of prints I’ve recently printed.

Cinematography

The black and white style is suited to the subject I’m trying to portray, which is a personification of the subconscious as something quite raw and dark. I’ve looked at Buñuel and Dali’s film, Un Chien Andalou (1929) that shows scenes that flow like a dream. a clip I was interested in was a closeup of an ant infested hand reaching out of an ajar door.

 


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