I updated my website this morning with some of the work I’ve created since graduating. And you know what? I really like seeing the paintings displayed there. Adding them to my online portfolio has really solidified them for me; they feel like a legitimate part of my practice now. It makes me wonder, I hadn’t have won this scholarship opportunity, would I have given myself the time and funds to start painting? Perhaps my initiation into painting stands as my biggest reward from this experience so far.
My website displays my work larger than here on a-n so take a look. www.rcusworth.com
Finally my hunt for contemporary art in Firenze has met with success. Charles Avery’s Onomatopoeia Part 1 has opened at the EX3 gallery. I’ve been to the space a few times before while I’ve been living in Firenze but preceding this exhibition I’ve found the space more interesting than the art that was displayed inside it. Don’t you find that working in the art world? Spaces become fascinating, empty shop fronts and office spaces intrigue and promise opportunity.
Seeing a well-curated interesting exhibition has really ignited my desire to show work as well as create, and it was interesting chatting to him about starting out as an artist. We talked about making the decision where to live as an artist, and though he felt strongly that London was the only valid choice for an artist I have no doubt Glasgow is the right place for me to live after this residency is over, it may be a bit chillier and wetter than Firenze, but it will satisfy my need for contemporary art in an art scene I know can feel apart of.
Here in Firenze my photographic projects exploring the antiques markets, natura morta and metamorphosis are developing positively. And though I felt scatty working on seperate projects I am beginning to feel like things are beginning to coalesce.
Nods to certain notions seem to be happening between the different projects, and seemingly separate under goings are beginning to weave together.
Richard Taylor has poised me a question about my paintings and the lens-eye of a camera, how is the image transferred? I guess this is a question about if the small digital images of my work accurately represent the paintings.
I certainly don’t prefer them in these small images, I have been enjoying the paintings as objects as opposed to 2D images so seeing them digitalized and shrunk takes away from their aura. But the translation between object and digital image has been playing on my mind recently, predominantly how can I accurately represent the colours of my paintings when they look different at different times of the day? Different colours pop under different light temperatures, sections glisten under one light but retreat under another. Is there a truth or will they remain objects with an appearance constantly in flux?
Perhaps this is an ineffectual thing to reflect over. I don’t think about what colours I apply when I’m painting, not technically, not by any math or science, I just grab brushes and apply whatever to the canvas, I’m barely concerned with feeling what’s ‘right’, I’m just enjoying stroking the paint laden brush over the surface again and again. Painting has fallen in line with the other mediums I work with, my interest lies in the ritual of creation and the resulting painting is just a residue.
Sometimes it a pleasure to photograph, transfer, crop, resize images of my work for a portfolio and sometimes it’s a chore. These last few weeks it’s felt like a chore.
Though don’t let my dormancy make you think I’ve given up the challenge of making work out here; I just experienced a lull in the desire to interact with the internet (I’m a technophobe at heart).
In the last few weeks I organised a critique with some other artists out here, both R.S.A scholars and students from Lorenzo de’ Medici art institute.
The idea of a solo artist trekking alone gets a little daunting from time to time so I sought a return to the comfort and support of an art school style crit.
As well as showing my performance, video and photographic works I’ve done in Firenze I also brought along my sketchbook of watercolour pen and crayon drawings.
Instrumental has been the enlightenment that many of the works that the other artists found engaging were the pieces I rather disliked, the ones I had deemed over worked. However their affirmative comments have allowed me to see those works in a different light, suggesting the battle I had had with the materials was intriguing and affective.
With this in mind I have brought this notion of material skirmish to my oil paintings, multiple layers built up with the desire to create areas that bite forward and retreat back. I wanted to create further conflict by employing pen and ink along side the oil paint colours. Exploring the agitated struggle I allow myself to overwork, ‘ruin’, my painting, creating difficulties, problem areas to solve – it’s become a game to me.