This blog traces the continuing development of two projects begun during my recent Masters degree.
Questioning the nature of objects, images and experiences, I am interested in the unreliability or inconsistency of images and meaning, and how we might or might not expect to find things.
Key concepts are intertextuality and indeterminacy and research follows the writings of theorists including Barthes, Eco, Burgin, Derrida, Owens and Virilio.
I am still working on the Digitise series and other pieces, but have now started to work on ideas that came up in the Photoshoot series. I have started working on photographic images forming the basis of ‘arenas’. The idea started in Snapshots and was defined in Photoshoots but the idea has somewhat changed.
I may go back to the original context for the idea, but for now the idea works well in the ‘As If’ series. The first ‘arenas’ are Launch Pad As If and Landing Space As If, where the almost plausible arena is open to interpretation because of the inconsistencies in the juxtaposed images used.
There is no overarching compositional frame like in the Fighting Teremaire As If, piece that I made earlier, but they do have some consistency implied in the arena formed. It bridges reality and fantacy with a sci-fi reference as the previous piece did but works differently. Hmm but where next with this . . .
Continuing with the cutouts I have started to work on a theme detour. I have been working with other artists from my Masters degree course and some others as well, as part of a PostMA group supported by Firstsite.
We have started working around a very broad theme: Secret, which I interpreted more in terms of concealment or along the lines of secretive and unobtrusive or indescernable. So I am still following the ideas of diverting or avoiding closure to some extent, but more ideas are opening up, and I am again returning to drawing and painting.
The image here follows the idea of concealment using white on white, or rather the other way around, perhaps, as the white of the photograph remains after all other colour is pealed away, also leaving white. The image is still discernable and yet avoids closure to a great extent. Very minimal it is going at the moment, though the painting is going the other way.
Just recently finished, this new piece returns to the Un-fictions ideas where the blog started. I have taken the snapshots project ideas into the annuals project to merge the ideas and explore connections between real and fictional in a different way.
Here the public and private issues earlier researched are put together so that the public currency of the fictional annual, is etched into with the private source images from family snapshots.
If family albums are mediated through time and selection, then here they are mediated through a sequencing and configuration that mirrors that of the fictional interior of the book and its narrative structure. Making the sequencing of the images more directly related to a particular fiction than the universal nature of the independently taken snapshot.
This seems to work and later versions may integrate the ideas in a more particular narrative.
Next ideas are emerging around the use of images of the real from a history relating to the annual dates playing the real public history against the fictional narrative, so that the public comic may read as private as its intimate printed form would differ from the public news images. It would be in the disemination of the two forms that the inconsistency would lie. We will see.
Until then, this is where I have got to at the moment.
A while ago I went into a gallery in Ipswich to see what was going on, on the off chance, and what did I find? Not just any exhibition, but This Me of Mine, an exhibition organised by Jane Boyer.
I had to rush off after a while, but I had quite a lot of time to talk to the curator and also Darren Nixon. The exhibition resonates with issues raised in a book by Glenn Ward on Postmodernism that I had been reading, so it seems good timing that both things coincided recently.
It seems to me that my research had been revealing that we are now in a situation where older values had given way to a new way of relating and thinking that perhaps left the art object somewhat displaced, and the idea of authorship equally questioned. Ward’s book built on writings I have read by Hal Foster, Verillio etc, and further confirmed ideas I had been working on. This exhibition related to some of those ideas particularly to do with the identity but also regarding the digital age.
It has occurred to me at times that perhaps by that looking back to those issues arising out of post structuralism I was perhaps referencing too far back for my work to be contemporary. But this exhibition seems to suggest otherwise, as many of the issues are evident in the work and ideas in the exhibition, so that is good confirmation.
I like the work of Jane and Darren who I spoke to, and also I was interested in the work of Shireen Qureshi, Sandra Crisp, David Minton, Sarah Hervey, Annabel Dover. Now that I am back to my art with more time to focus on my work, I will be researching further into these artists and following the progress of this exhibition, I hope it continues to gain momentum as it has so far. Marvellous.
This exhibition created a good context to frame the work to be seen. I think it is time to pursue one or two of the ideas I have lurking in mind for collaborations.
I’m back! well that was a while out of circulation, too many funerals and not enough fun, but enough of that. The phrase ‘you couldn’t write it’ comes to mind, perhaps a good title for some work based on incredulous events or something; but, well really that really is quite enough about my personal life.
I have been doing less than usuall and had to let many events and opportunitiies pass. But I have been working, and mostly recently documenting project work ready to upload to my website. This I will finish within the next week or two, if nothing else comes along to disrupt things.
Other than that I have had many very interesting discussions with an artist called Stephanie Smart via emails. She contacted me after seeing my Tracing The Everyday prints on my this blog. Asking to incorperate one of the designs I made, into her next piece of work, we discussed how the image would function in the new work and finally I agreed. I was not reuctant as such, but wanted to find out how it would integrate and what its purpose would be. Stephanie has used light in the piece, which is a new venture for her , I believe, and works well. An image of her work is included here showing how my image is transformed and reworked into her new piece.
We discussed perhaps collaborating together at some point, though I guess to some extent there was some dialogue that might be such a thing, but really I just sanctioned the use of the image and she made the work. I do hope we collaborate at some point, as it would be a challenge to me to work quite differently.
The exhibition of the work will be from 21 november to 8 december at The Muse, London, hope I can make it to see the real thing. Stephanies website is www.stephaniesmart.net and her blog is www.a-n.co.uk/p/2879067/