Assessment Space

My Space is set up for assessment.  After seeing the size of the wall I had been given, I decided to display the landscape mark making experiments I produced on hand-made paper using my tools as well as the original plan of the three paintings, the tools and paints. I am very pleased with how the display looks. I have kept it quite minimal and I think it looks clean and proffessional.

Statement about my Display of Work

Natural Landscapes have for a long time, been a subject of artworks. John Piper’s ideas about creating an experience of being in a place within a painting and his work “The Rocky Valley” got me thinking about how some landscape paintings today document landscape visually but don’t really connect with the nature within the place.  I started thinking about how I could create connections between art and nature and expose people to nature in a world that is becoming increasingly urbanized and technological. After much experimentation, investigating how to work with the natural world within the art world, I decided to create a final body of work to bring my experimentation together and consolidate my findings. Three Natural Paintings, accompanying hand-made equipment and sixteen tool mark making experiments framed with twigs make up the space. The Colour Palette is dictated by Nature alone. Within this work, the landscape type images themselves have come from nature, the shapes of sticks dictated the form of the mountain shapes (these are displayed below the paintings). Inspired by my Field Modules, I have used elements from nature to both create the paints I have painted with and the tools with which I applied the paint. I have chosen to display the tools and paints that I have made on shelves with the outcomes as I see them as artworks in their own right and give the audience an insight into how the work was produced and visibly show the relationship between art and nature that I am portraying.

I now just need to display the jars of paint on the top shelf and my space for assessment and an exhibition is complete.


Working towards my Assessment Space: Painting with Natural Paints and Tools

Assessment is approaching, and I am starting to think about consolidating my project and working out what I want to show on the wall. I have sifted through my experimentation and come to a conclusion as to how the greatest connection between art and nature is made, simply by being more natural with my materials and more inventive in my approach to how I use them rather than just sticking them to the surface etc.

My project started off being inspired by a landscape painter, I have always been interested in Landscape and producing landscape style pieces with these materials will not only emit a connection with nature but the landscape in my eyes will be more connected to the outdoors as it incorporates items from the environment. I challenge traditional flat landscape paintings and reinvent them using natural materials. People recognise a landscape painting and so using this imagery as well as my natural paints and tools to make art will emit a connection between art and nature to people more recognisably and somewhat expose them to and reconnect them with nature in a world that is growing more and more urbanized.

Triptych Landscape Painting

I have produced a triptych of landscape paintings connected to nature in far more ways than just the imagery. The landscape images themselves are taken from nature, I have referred to the shape of twigs to determine the shape of the mountains and hills. The paints used to paint these are made from natural materials and they have been applied with brushes and tools made from leaves, sticks, grass, pine cones, etc. The colour palette has only emerged from what nature has to offer and so is recognisably natural.

Working with nature is a highly experimental and interesting process, each paint incorporated a different texture into your work and each tool creates a different mark.

I definitely think these pieces are successful in portraying a connection between art and nature. When I started experimenting with these ideas, I would never have imagined I would have ground my own paints and create my own painting tools (inspired by field). Experimentation and trial and error have been key elements in my work and have aided my success.

A relationship between the art world and the natural world is clearly evident here and against a white wall I am confident that the natural colour pallette will stand out and so I have chosen to use these within my assessment space, I feel that the paints I made and the tools I produced are artworks in their own right, taken from nature and utilised as art materials and so I will be displaying these in my assessment space as well. As well as these pieces and my tools and paints, I will paint a line drawing style landscape onto handmade nature paper with each of the 16 of my tools and display those aswell. Mark making has been integrated throughout my project and so showing the marks that the tools can make more gesturally to accompany these more clean final style outcomes could make for an interesting display utilising nature in art.

PDP: Constellation: An Overview and Reflection

Undertaking Constellation this year has been a fairly positive experience. At the beginning of the year we were asked to chose an option related to the different areas of the art world, I feel the choice of options was varied and there was something to feed everyone’s interests. I chose to undertake the “Puzzling out Contemporary Art” option. Before attending these lectures, I struggled to appreciate a lot of today’s contemporary artworks mostly because I didn’t understand what the artist and artwork was trying to convey. This option explained the concepts behind much of today’s contemporary art and made me appreciate the ideas within the work and realise the artist’s intentions. Now when going to galleries, there is still a lot of contemporary artworks that visually do not appeal to me, however that is just subjective and I no longer dismiss this art, I seek out the concept and have a wider knowledge and more educated position to do so. Also, I appreciate artworks incorporating ready made objects much more now, I have learnt that found objects have a history, a connection within them which has benefited my artistic thinking and practice. Having to chose a contemporary artwork and write a short essay about it applying the ideas from the option was definitely beneficial to me, only having a small amount of words to cram a lot of information into encouraged me to summarise and be selective of source material, which is definitely a crucial skill to acquire in preparation of writing my dissertation.

When beginning the Dissertation process, I felt very overwhelmed and slightly anxious at the thought of writing a successful 10,000 word document. The lectures explaining the dissertation were relatively helpful in stating what had to be done, but the lecture I attended explaining the literature review, I felt more confused me than helped. Having now written my literature review, I don’t think the content of this lecture very clearly outlined what had to be done and consequently I have clarified the task with my dissertation tutor on numerous occasions. Since then, it has been very useful having tutorials where I have been able to ask any questions I still had after the lectures and to talk through my ideas. My initial Idea has developed since handing in the pre-proposal form and my tutor as helped point me in the right direction and give me advice on my progress. It was very useful to be advised to focus my question more and not be too vague in my research. This feedback encouraged me to really consider many angles that cross over into the relationship between art and nature and discover why I felt it to be important and what was important enough to base my dissertation on.

I am exploring a connection between art and nature and the way the two can interlink in my subject work and so my dissertation research has been highly beneficial to my practice. I enjoy writing and learning through research and constellation has given me the chance to improve and utilise these skills. I am currently interested in the connection between art and nature and I wanted to find an angle within this topic that would be interesting and important enough to warrant writing a dissertation on. In today’s technologically advancing urban society, I think a re-connection with nature is important and want to examine the role that art has to play in this re-connection. I also want to investigate the effect art has on nature and the environment. As soon as I found a subject of interest that is significant and important rather than just a broad area, I started to piece together different ideas and bits of research and enjoyed writing my literature review. It opened my eyes to new ways of thinking about my ideas and gave me new angles to approach my question from. Now that I have completed my Dissertation Proposal, I am more confident about the prospect of writing my dissertation

Overall, I think Constellation this year has been a crucial part of my Second year at Degree level. I have learnt a lot about contemporary artworks and written a successful essay discussing the theories concerned. In terms of my Dissertation journey, I do not think the lecture covering the literature review was very beneficial at all and I would encourage it to be made a little simpler for next years students. Also, the lecture that aimed to show students how to use the Library and the Summon Database should be optional as I sat there for an hour and learnt nothing I didn’t already know. If you haven’t used the library this far into the degree program, in my eyes there is something wrong and so an optional lecture would be more beneficial as it would focus on only those who needed it. At this moment in time, I am both excited and daunted at the prospect of writing my dissertation but I am sure that once all my research is done, notes are made and I start attempting to write a first draft, I will produce a successful piece of writing demonstrating the best of my ability that I can be proud of.

Experimentation: Painting with Natural Paints I Made

After exploring the possibilites of creating paint using natural materials I decided that rather than just putting a blob of it on a page and writing down the ingredients next to it, I would try and use it to paint an image with. In my Sketchbook, I have explored blending the paints and using different mixtures of paint next to one another to create a landscape type image where the shape has been dictated by the shape of a twig.

Some of the paint surfaces are quite textural, others quite smooth, they all have different qualities. At first, I didn’t like the bits in the paints and wanted them to be smoother but actually having little bits of nature on the work that haven’t quite ground up makes the fact that the paint has been handmade more evident. I have used darker and lighter colour outcomes to create highlights and shadows and experimented painting one on top of the other. I had to let some dry before I could paint on top or blend the colours together successfully. It is very satisfying to create an image from paints that you have made yourself. These artworks are deeply connected to nature as not only are they painted using natural paints but they are also made up landscapes dictated by the shapes of natural stick forms that I experimented with previously. Experimentation has been key within my project to explore the possibilites of a relationship between art and nature and to create art that has a connection with it and could portray that to society/the viewer. I will experiment out of my sketchbook as well and maybe think about trying to paint with the natural paints using hand-made natural tools that I have created.

Art Benefitting Nature and the Environment: Joseph Beuys and Mel Chin

Another way that artist’s have made a connection between art and nature is through physically using art itself to benefit the environment. Artworks can have a positive effect on nature and or better it in some way. Environmental issues are highly prominent and relevant in today’s society and it is interesting to see how art can contribute to benefiting nature.

Joseph Beuy’s 7,000 oaks piece simply incorporated the planting of trees and therefore contributed to benefiting the environment.  “In regard to the extensive urbanization of the setting,  the work was an extensive artistic and ecological intervention with the goal of enduringly altering the living space of the city. The project, though at first controversial, has become an important part of Kassel’s cityscape”. The piece also brought awareness of natural environments to people living in an urbanized world.

Mel Chin’s Revival Field has a positive effect on the environment by regenerating the soil that it occupies. Revival Field is set on an old landfill site and Mel Chin plants plants that will extract the metal from the soil and regenerate the environment. I hadn’t considered the impact of art benefitting the environment and therefore connecting to nature. I think it is very interesting that art can physically make a difference. The extent of my knowledge into how artist’s have previously connected art and nature will definitely benefit my project and also has inspired me to include themes like these in my dissertation.

PDP: Dissertation Proposal: Narrowing Down a Broad Idea

In a recent tutorial, thinking about writing the literature review, I realised that I was feeling a little bit stuck and didn’t really have a specific topic within the field of the relationship between art and nature to focus on and so couldn’t read my research books and successfully pick out key information.

 The field of Art and Nature is far too broad to write a Dissertation on and so I have spent some time thinking about why I am interested in it and what it is within this area that I think is important. I find it incredibly fascinating that nature has been integrated into art since art making began I suppose, whether it was used to make paints to produce cave paintings or depicted in a landscape painting. Nature was a bigger part of people’s lives in the past than it is today. Making people more aware of nature and of environmental issues is important.

 In today’s society, a world that is very urbanized and technologically advanced, I feel people have become withdrawn from nature and a re-connection is necessary. Not only do I think it is imporant to reconnect people with nature for the health benefits and for their wellbeing but also for natures sake. I feel environmental issues are very prominent at the moment and making people more aware of them and of nature in general is imperitive. What is the role of art in all this?.

So thinking about what I want to research and what I want to ask and find out: My dissertation will ask: Can art reconnect society to nature? Make people more aware of environmental issues, encourage them to explore nature etc. and Does art have a positive or negative effect on the environment?

“Thin Place” Exhibition – Oriel Myrddin: Christine Mackey, Jonathan Anderson and Adam Buick

My tutor made me aware of an exhibition in Camarthen at Oriel Myrddin incorporating artists that work with natural materials and that are working with ideas that could be relevant and inspiring to my work. I thought some of the works were incredibly interesting and gave me an insight into how other artists are merging art and nature. I was particularly captured by the work of Christine Mackey, Jonathan Anderson and Adam Buick.

Adam Buick

This artist uses clay, a material from nature and puts it back into the environment in the form of bio-degradable ceramic pots. The pots are photographed when they are in situe and then left to degrade back into the natural world. I like the idea of art being made from nature and then being put back into it. This isn’t something I am particularly interested in doing in my work but it is always beneficial to contextualise my work with artists working with nature in some way giving me new angles and ideas.

Christine Mackey

Christine Mackey uses the chromatography process to create dyes from natural elements like flowers. This work is highly inspiring to my project. I would like to make my own paints from nature and field has encouraged me to start experimenting with making tools to paint with but I was wondering how I would put across that pieces I produced were made with these items. Here, Christine has not displayed artworks she has produced using the dyes, she has displayed the dyes themselves in test tubes. This makes me think about the fact that the paints I make and tools I produce are artworks in themselves and could be displayed along side artworks I produce or as artworks in their own right.

Jonathan Anderson

Jonathan Anderson’s Pylon totems is a very powerful piece of artwork in my opinion. For me it addresses environmental issues and highlights our environment becoming more urbanised and man-made. The structures are made out of twigs and earth, using natural materials to make man=made structures. Urbanisation and environmentalism is something I have been thinking about,particularly in my dissertation. This work creates a connection between art and nature but also art and environmental issues.