Planning my Space for Assessment

Assessment is looming and we have been asked to display work that showcases our subject work and displays links from the field modules undertaken within it. Supporting work and sketchbooks will be placed on a table below. I have drawn a proposed plan of my wall space.

I have decided to display three outcomes. Each image will be of a landscape taken from the shape of twigs I have found out in the environment. I will display the twig shapes underneath the paintings. The paintings will be produced from natural paints that I have ground and made myself and the paint will have been applied with tools that I have made from natural materials, inspired by my field modules. I will also display the paints I make in jars with labels on them on a shelf and another shelf below will display the tools I have made as I believe both these elements can be considered as artworks in their own right. The whole display will showcase a connection and relationship between art and nature. I have been exploring how I can link the two through a variety of ways within my subject work and I believe this display will portray that connection.

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“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.


Curating an Exhibition of Ronald King’s Artist Books

Helping to curate an Exhibition of Ronald King’s Artist’s books has been a really valuable exercise. I have curated exhibitions before in the art gallery that I work in, but they have been deciding where to hang paintings and place programmes etc. This book exhibition presented new challenges for me as we had to arrange the books in cabinets with limited space and access. Also, we had to think about the viewing of the books in the cabinet, choose a particular page or point of interest and arrange them at the front or the back of the shelves so that the artist book on the shelf below could also be seen easily.

We talked about the arrangement and put the books into groups that could go together in the cabinet. We decided to show three main contrasts: between 3D and 2D, between colour and white and between complexity and simplicity. In my opinion, this made for a really interesting display. Being part of the decision making and curating of an artist’s book exhibition is another experience I have been part of and it has taught me how to work with the limitations of displaying objects. For example, the cabinets only opened part of the way so getting large books in there was challenging. We had to think about ways of standing objects up and keeping certain pages open but also a time factor came into this, would they stay standing for the 2 month period the exhibition is on?

I have gained curating experience of a different kind from this exhibition and I have taken part in the arrangement of Ronald King’s Artist’s books so that the general public can enjoy these beautiful tactile objects with so much experimentation within them.


Being aware of my Senses: What is an encounter with an artwork actually like?

We were asked to comment on artworks within the sensory object exhibition at Craft in the Bay in terms of our senses. In order to understand our sensory feel and be made aware of the senses that we often overlook or subconsciously use when looking at an art piece. We had to think about the piece in terms of the visual as well as smell, taste, touch and hearing. I have never really thought about art could taste or how an art piece may sound before but it was certainly an interesting experience and I found it fascinating that when forced to think about these senses the answers were so detailed and almost poetic. I analysed five different artworks, each in terms of a different sense:

Artwork: “A sun beam on a Winter’s Day” – Ainsley Hillard

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Sense: TOUCH: There is a juxtaposition between how I imagine the feel of the actual material would be when touched and  the print on it makes me think it would feel. The print encourages me to think it would be quite rough to touch and textural but the material suggests it would be soft and silky upon touch. The tassles on the edge of the fabric would tickle my hands.

Artwork: Zoe Preece “No Tangible Object”

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Sense: SMELL: I imagine this work to smell like glue and quite solvent like, maybe burning the inside of your nose a little bit. The sticky like look makes me also think it may smell quite sweet. I don’t imagine the porcelain spoons would have a smell, but if they did: it would be overpowered by the smell of the sticky, liquidy substance.

Artwork: Emma Rawson “When we sat quietly together”

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Sense: VISUAL: When looking at this object, the shards of glass look very geometric and sharp. The way they stand upright, I find they look quite intimidating and dominating. The pattern printed on the glass reminds me of cellular structures and DNA strands. Looking at it, the colours make me feel cold and this is heightened by the fact that I can actually see the cold outdoors through the clear parts of the glass. It also looks like sea coral, heightened by the water like colours.

Artwork: Elaine Sheldon “Atelier”

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Sense: HEAR: I hear the sound of someone blowing up a bubble with gum. The sound of inflation. I also hear the sound of a wobbling water balloon and a ripple or the static sound of a hand touching a rubber balloon. I think if you were inside it, it would sound like when your ears haven’t quite popped properly and you could hear the sound of blood pumping through your body. I also think it would sound kind of like hearing the sea in a seashell.

Artwork: Ingrid Murphy and John Pigott “Voice of the Teacup”

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Sense: TASTE: The shiny bronze element makes me think that this artwork would taste like toffee or sweet treacle. The white cone shaped bowls make me think of the taste of a Mr. Whippy ice cream. The playful sound makes me imagine it would taste quite sweet and milky. I also think it would taste like the buttery toffee pennies in a box of quality street chocolates.

This process definitely encouraged me to start thinking about what thoughts, feelings and representations my work is evoking and which senses are being engaged. How would my work smell or taste? Something I have never really thought of before. It has also made me consider the fact that different materials and textures make people think of different things in terms of their senses and so when making art you could purposefully appeal to certain senses.


LONDON: Pipilotti Rist and Belinda De Bruyckere

On Wednesday, I went to London and had a browse around various galleries and saw numerous artworks but the two shows that stood out to me were both at the Hauser and Worth Gallery on Saville Row, Pipilotti Rists Video installation exhibition and an exhibition by Belinda de Bruckyere. Both artists work  had a connection to nature and so linked in with my Subject work.

PIPILOTTI RIST – Worry Will Vanish Exhibition

“For her London exhibition, ‘Worry Will Vanish’, Rist has transformed the gallery into a fully immersive, sensory environment. Projected against two walls, ‘Worry Will Vanish Horizon’ (2014) is a journey inside the human body, based on a three-dimensional animation. Rist delights in patterns created by manipulating creases of skin, caressing, pushing and pulling to depict the varied textures of human flesh. These corporeal images periodically overlap with close-up fragments from nature as Rist blurs the boundaries between the self and organic structures. She explores the relationship between internal and external, how individuals are linked to the tissues and blood vessels of other organisms, and in so doing, she suggests relationships with the universe at large.”

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‘Worry Will Vanish’ is a participatory experience; I had to remove my shoes before entering the main installation, In the gallery write up it stated that this was to “release some of the social inhibitions that exist in the world outside”.  When viewing the piece, I was invited to lie on plush carpet and to get comfy laying on a duvet,”to lie down and experience the work from a new perspective, in which the universe appears enlarged. The viewer moving through the image and the projection of their own shadow onto the gallery wall serves to enhance the interaction between the body and its environment.”

I was completely captured by this video piece and became immersed in the work. I think being comfortable and cuddled up in a duvet makes you want to stay there longer and so you consider the work a lot deeper. In fact, I watched the piece 3 times. There was definitely a relationship between the body and nature and it was filmed and manipulated beautifully. It made me think about a connection with body and place in my work and pushed my ideas further about creating abstract landscapes outside in the environment.

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There was a piece as you walked into the video installation that really caught my eye. It was a log with a video playing within it, such a simply idea but it worked really well both visually and conceptually. Creating a link between the organic and the body by placing a video containing people inside nature. I would definitely recommend going to see this exhibition.

BELINDA DE BRUYCKERE – Met tere Huid/Of tender Skin

“For ‘Met tere huid / Of tender skin’, De Bruyckere develops recurring themes within her oeuvre, including the monumental ‘Kreupelhout – Cripplewood’ project that she created for the Belgian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.”

The Met tere huid series was a group of textural hanging wall sculptures figured in wax, leather, cloth, rope, iron and epoxy resin. the bulbous sculptures hang slack from iron hooks in a state of collapse, with innards spilling from cavities within the overstuffed abstract forms. I thought these were interesting but I didn’t really understand them and not really being interested in “equine subject matter”, I much preferred the cripplewood works with Pieces of tree at heart.

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After Cripplewood I is a large-scale encaustic sculpture is an abstraction of fallen tree trunks, bound together with tattered fabric and subtly pigmented using a palette that closely resembles human flesh. The anthropomorphic waxy forms appear as rheumatoid joints and bone, bandaged as if undergoing a prolonged healing process. I was really interested in these pieces, there was a relationship going on between bark and human flesh and therefore a connection between the body and nature, as in pipilotti’s work.

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This exhibition made me think of ways that you can manipulate existing objects to portray ideas. I guess it links to my work in that I am painting onto nature and mixing it into paint and so using it for textural purposes as well as conceptual ones. It was interesting to see Belinda’s drawings and collages also which I thought were particularly beautiful.