Sometimes when fragments are drawn together, a kind of transformation takes place. The simple placement of things side by side and interweaved with each other creates a dynamic and centrifugal energy and out of this new possibilities can arise.
Nature is particularly good at demonstrating this. Different wild flowers, grasses and other plants compete for space and light and at the same time reveal small bursts of colour, patches of light and dark, sometimes buffeted by wind, other times still and present, punctuating the air in all directions with their different textures and shapes.
A patch of weeds by the side of a path however small, can draw our attention as we walk past. Juxtaposed against the tarmac, the varying compilation of different plants come together in magical moments as if orchestrated by its surroundings.
It is lovely being back in the studio now that my studies have finished for the academic year. Then again, my research continues on, both in my practice and reading.
During my lock-down walks I had been taking photographs of the urban environment, specifically focusing on what I considered to be natural collage occurring within nature.
Focusing on some of the common themes that occur within collage, I have selected a few of these photographs where I paint within these images.
‘Oil and water’ begins from a photo of an oil slick in a puddle. The bits of leaves and dirt contained within the oily visage suggest an elusive world of colour and mystery, similar to the ocean or an aquarium.
‘Surface’ focuses on the ruptured and peeling shapes and textures emerging on the surface of an old metal post.
‘Leaves on the ground’ reveal a contrast of the shapes and colours of the leaves juxtaposed and layered against the more subdued colour and gritty quality of the ground.
My own imaginings and way of thinking play a key role in these works starting from the selection and capturing of the photographs in the first place to the intervention and transformation using paint. There is a meditative connection between the activities of walking, observing, photographing and painting and in all aspects, the body is some way involved.
It has been a very long time since I’ve posted a blog on account of the Masters of Research degree I have been doing at UAL Central Saint Martins. Who would have thought all that has happened has happened and of course this has greatly impacted my studies. It was all going very well and I was thoroughly enjoying it and then suddenly we were impacted with 4 weeks of strikes. It really wasn’t that much longer after that when we all went into Coronavirus lockdown. I’m not going to bore the pants off people to detail the specific issues and fallout of this – we all know in one way or another. So instead I will briefly outline my current research interest which closely relates to my art practice.
My art practice primarily explores painting combined with photography, collage and montage. As part of this, the fragment is a key component, whether this be singularly, collectively or as a kind of absence and rupture. I am interested in exploring the use of fragment; the juxtaposition, the edges, the layers and rupture. What is the power of the fragment and what are the influences and considerations at play? What does it tell us about ourselves and what does it bring to learning and knowledge.
For my coursework I am currently in the middle of writing an essay looking at this and as a kind of metalanguage I am looking at the use of the fragment in writing as a methodology of acquiring knowledge.
In the next academic year I will be working on my final big project and at this point I am fairly sure it will build upon this. I am interested in producing something performative (probably a written piece) which will hopefully demonstrate the different tropes and mechanisms of how the fragment is used but nothing is set in stone. I have a fair few months to dwell over my ideas and to let them drift to different places.
As a way of illustrating some of my thoughts I am including a few photographs where the fragment could be seen to juxtapose, converge, rupture and be absent.
It has been a few months since I have written a blog post. As expected my studies have been dominating leaving very little time for the creation of new art works. My brain has been firing on all cylinders though and I just hope that the inspiration that I am soaking up at some point will be able to be translated in my art.
As I have been spending so little time in my studio, when I am there I can’t commit to anything very time-consuming. This in a way ends up being a kind of freedom as I just ‘go for it’ in terms of experimentation and materials. I’ve being producing little studies using the back of torn cereal and fruit packets as my surfaces, playing with collage, tape and acrylic paint.
I like the idea of using these normally thrown away materials in conjunction with these quick kind of throw-away mixed-media studies. There is a relevant but dynamic temporality about it all and feels like a groundswell of change.
It’s less of a blog today and more of a collection of thoughts in relation to some of my recent works.
Bursts of colour, bright scattered patterns, abstract shapes, the collision of photography, collage and paint.
This connects to that, the inbetween stretches its reach until it touches the other, moments overflow, stutter for a bit and then drop a level.
Semi recognisable figures hover and fade, double and repeat, hover and fade again.
Lines, diagonals push forth and change directions.
Acidic green sits against warm orange and yellow, light pierces the surface.