Good Morning Tumblr blog readers. I thought I would update you on what I have been working on reccently… I’ve been getting really stuck in with final year at Uni, starting my dissertation which still hasn’t yet got a title but focusses on the Flaneur and Psychogeography. I’ve also been starting some more paintings building on what I was looking at last year. Those of you who have read my previous blog post on what I learnt from my tutorial with Nelson will know that I had quite a bit of thinking to do - so I took my time to really clarify what I was trying to achieve through my work, and went out and about in London, taking photographs and sketching etc. This is my first painting that has come out of all of that - so what do you all think?
Third year at University and i’ve now finished having my first tutorial of the term. Not only does a tutorial allow me to gain feedback and constructive criticism from my tutor I always find it helps settle ideas in my own head. Just talking about my themes and areas of focus, attempting to express ideas in a concise manner for the purposes of the tutorial usually results in me finally making sense of all the half formed thoughts. I did this painting recently of a girl I saw in Paris, I know now that that purpose of this painting was to figure out what NOT to do, and what doesn’t work for me.
And firstly let me apologise for what comes next in the post, which is me attempting to document everything discussed within the tutorial. This may not make sense to yourselves, on the whole - and this is primarily for my personal benefit, but this should give you a little introduction into my work and my current thoughts and ideas:
- We discussed that compositionally this doesn’t seem to work, the whole atmosphere of the painting is too passive in ways and the pose of the figure is far too reminiscent of a a spread in a fashion magazine or similar, it hasn’t got any depth to the painting - it’s far too obvious. The viewer can make an obvious assumption from the clues in the painting and will be convinced that the assumption is correct, rather than leaving the painting ambiguous to keep the viewer interested.
- The painting was described as being polite and unable to sustain interest, a statement in which I agree with. I too believed that the painting probably won’t mean anything to me - however I persevered, simply only to paint for paintings sake.
- To progress from this, we decided that I should probably focus on smaller more intimate works, fragmented, sections of figures rather than a whole figure. The painting needs to appear more invasive, attempting to break through barriers of the personal space etc.
- I should also experiment with bringing in suggestions of a background or some sort of context as well as experimenting with groups of people, the isolation within a group, focus still on the singular figure though.
- I liked the silence in the painting and the sense of passing time and a past / present / future.
- Should continue with opening up the painting to include the off screen space, implying of a narrative or scene that could continue outside of the picture plane. The viewer is deprived of seeing what the figure in the painting is seeing - this is interesting.
- I should perhaps engage with creating a series of small works, with a vague connection - exhibited together forces the viewer to attempt to form links between the paintings. I like the idea of creating lots of smaller painting - as if I am creating a collection of people - The idea of collecting something that should have no owner is interesting to me. Can you collect people?
- Continue with highlighting chance encounters, small insignificant part of daily urban life
- Continue with focusing on non-places (Marc Auge) - I like train stations, simply because it is a building that is generally a constant in a city (it has been around for an extended period of time) and therefore has a sense of past / present / future. People exist there, they are simply being - no real activity other than waiting and existing within themsleves. The train stations have a reside of what has gone before. I like how they are places that have rules and expected ways of moving about, they are predictable yet everchanging.
- Concentrating on crowds, I like how sometimes it is all to easy to generalise a mass of people in being of the same type, as thinking and acting in the same ways however reality is that it is individuals who make up a mass.
- I like how looking at another individual helps you understand yourself more.
- Looking at another person reinforces the impossibility of being about to break the barrier of ones own body and self and pass through into another. An individual is a thinking mind defined by ones own body and restrictions.
- We are all similar yet very seperate.
- There is a sense of loss as we comprehend there is this inability to fully understand another person. It then links back to isolation. I think this is a scary thought, and we like to be in crowds or do things to make us feel included and agree with others opinions to make us forget for a while that we are so seperate.
11th October saw the book launch of Mr Bingos new book Hate Mail at Somerset House. I was involved with the front of house duties that simply included making sure everyone was in the right event, directions to other rooms and invigilating the area where there was a selection of paintings. It was a short event; only about three hours, but it was great fun and I got to find out a bit more about Mr Bingos graphic illustration work.
I’ve been volunteering with Somerset House now for six months, always taking the opportunity to get involved with the events. Just last week I did half a day at London Fashion week as an events assistant, generally helping visitors and directing people, giving out information etc. From my experiences last time in February, it’s always really good fun and a great atmosphere, a great space to people watch and take in inspiration from all the creative outfits. I also brought a ticket to London Fashion Weekend, which is open to the public - a few days where we are invited in to shop designer fashions and sit in on a catwalk for the coming seasons trends. Above are some of the photos I took when at London Fashion Weekend.
Those who have had a flick through my blog will know that I helped out with the New Artist Fair at Candid Arts in Islington six months ago in February. I loved it last time so offered my help this time around, this time in a different location - Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane. It was a similar format for me, however the show lasted for three days rather than the four days like last time. Friday meant putting the artists work on the wall, curating the space, making sure the prices were on the wall and the artists were happy with the show. Then my job was to prep for the PV and to help out when the visitors arrived. It was a different space with a different type of crowd coming through the door. I got to see a bit more of the selling aspect and got the opportunity to talk to the artists and potential customers, which was a great experience. I want to put myself it that type of environment as it should help me with my shows and exhibitions and also teach me a bit more about arts management and how to run an art fair. On top of that it’s always great to meet people in the same field with similar interests and ideas, I met many lovely people this time around, most of whom shared tips and advice with me that will help me with my transition from arts student to my first arts job.
Some of my snaps from the Wimbledon MA Show a few weeks back. I wanted to go mainly to see how the show was curated, to give me an idea of what is expected from me at the end of my final year for my degree exhibition and I came away thinking that It was probably one of the most creatively curated shows I have seen. I think that my photos show some examples of the way the artists have really put thought into the way their works should be displayed. This is something that I have mostly struggled with in the past, and really need to get to grips with in the next few months if my work is going to impress in the final year exhibition.
(All photos are my own)
Took a rather wet and windy bicycle ride into Central London this morning with the aim to have a look at the Alex Katz exhibition that I have been meaning to see for a while. I knew that there had recently been an exhibition of Katz work at Tate St Ives, but was unable to make it down, however was happy to discover his works were displayed at the Timothy Taylor Gallery. I have been to the gallery before so I know the space; it’s a relatively small but really well presented space. I was more interested in the portrait / paintings of figures that Katz creates, because I am becoming more interested in painting people. Although his work and my work massively differ in terms of scale it was interesting to look at how this size works in the gallery space and how I, as the viewer, see the works. I also wanted to look at how the colours (often heightened) and the style (bold and simple, keeeping to minimal forms and shapes to contrust the features) work.
(All photos are my own)
Another stop on the list was the Pompidou centre. I have included a few of the artworks that I found interesting. Again, this was a gallery that I needed more time in, mostly because I got myself lost for the first half an hour, riding the escalator up and down until I found where I wanted to be… I was interested in seeing Yves Kliens work after hearing about his work in the BBC documentary about the colour Blue used in art.
(Images are my own)
Those of you that follow me on Twitter will know that I recently returned from a three day break in Paris. It was both ridiculously exhausting and gorgeously brilliant all in one; we were on the go from the moment we stepped off the Eurostar to our return journey late on Thursday night. Paris was a wonderful city with so much to offer in terms of culture and the arts; there was so much to take in and places to explore in a few short days. I am looking at the character of the flâneur and the act of flâneurie which I understand to have been established in Paris in the 19th Century. A main reason of why I wanted to travel to Paris was to experience the boulevards and the grandeur of the Parisian streets, somehow attempt to get a feel for how the flâneur felt back then and give me a better idea of what it was like. I think it has also given me some context for what I have been reading, now i’ll be able to visualise my research better.
My favourite was Musee d’Orsay, however because I visited on my last day I only put aside an hour or so, such a mistake; I was made to restrict my visit to a few rooms so chose Impressionism and Van Gogh. Impressionism is something that has been an influence over my work recently so it was a priority of mine to see works from Degas and Renoir etc. Choosing a favourite of mine was difficult but I was insanely impressed with Auguste Renoirs (1841-1919) Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette. The colours were more vibrant than I ever thought they would be, and the movement and use of brush strokes were reflective of the lively atmosphere within the scene; It was beautifully painted.
(Top images are my own, Bottom image sourced from the Musee d’Orsays website)
"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul."
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
#new artist fair
#old truman brewery
First of all let me begin the blog post with an apology, I have sorely neglected my Tumblr of late and I know that this has to change. Life is going to become a lot busier in the coming months due to work load increasing, fundraising for final exhibition, more painting, more research and hopefully more volunteering opportunities and finally (hopefully) embarking on a (successful?) job search.
I’ll now introduce the image that I have included in this blog post. It is now just under a week until the New Artist Fair in Brick Lane (Old Truman Brewery), if you’ll remember from way back in February, I helped out Leah and Oliver when they put on the show at Candid Arts in Islington and i’m returning for a second time to help out again. I really enjoyed the New Artist Fair last time, and it’ll be interesting seeing the similar set up in a different venue and pick up on how it affects the exhibition. There was such a wonderful, friendly vibe last time, and I loved being part of such a well-run show that was so focused on making it a great experience for all the visitors, exhibiting artists and the buyers.
So, New Artist Fair is back this week in the East London location with new and emerging artists looking to break through onto the art scene. The exhibition opens on Friday 14th for the opening reception at 6pm and runs until the evening of Sunday the 16th. It is sure to be an interesting exhibition with art from all medias so if you are in the London area be sure to make your way to the Old Truman Brewery.
(Image sourced from New Artist Fair website)
Yesterday at Big Day Out in Whittington Park was so busy (and rainy) I forgot to take any photos of worth! So apologies for the one photo above that barely represents the happenings of the day (I did do more than simply set up gazebos!). The Big Day Out was similar in ways to the Festival on the previous day, I was helping Nicola with another arts and crafts workshop; this one consisted of recycled fabric, glue and sewing materials and asked our visitors to create a collaborative collage of what they could see, or what they would like to see - so naturally we ended up with a really wide range of things at the end! Despite the rain it turned out to be pretty busy and a really good day, I was relaxed with what my task was and engaged more with the volunteers and the children. With this activity, it was less messy and allowed the children to be more free and adventurous with what they were creating. I chipped in my contributions; a sun, cloud and a butterfly! just to give the children a starting point and a hint of a landscape to work around.
#arts and crafts
#holloway arts festival
#big day out
#mayton street festival
Volunteered at Mayton Street Festival today (part of Holloway Arts Festival run by North London arts charity Rowan Arts). I applied to work as a Workshop assistant for the two days, working at Mayton Street Festival (2nd June) and Big Day Out that I will be going to tomorrow on the 3rd of June.
The day started at 9.30 for me, arriving at Rowan Arts on Mayton Street and helped out with the general set up of the event, busying myself with whatever needed to be done. I also took some time to make some centerpieces for the indoor cafe, which were created using supermarket shopping bags, shredded into thin long peices and fused together using an iron (as shown in the photos above). This created a lacy like effect, it was fast, fun and really effective.
At Noon I met with Nicola Pomery (http://nicolapomery.co.uk/), the artist that I would be working with for the next couple of days. I would be helping her out with the workshop she was leading, she’d brought along recycled products like bottles and newspaper and we were going to help children make some instruments using paper and glue onto the bottle, getting them to be creative on the outside with Red, White and Blue (Jubilee-weekend appropriate colours!) and then fill the insides with rice and beans to make the rattling sounds.
The workshop started at 1pm and we had a steady stream of children arriving to our table, roughly averaging at about 2 - 5 children at any one time, so we didn’t feel too overwhelmed. My main task was to engage with the children, getting people to join in with the project and helping the younger ones glue and stick and use the paint brushes. I think I dealt with this quite well and settled in quickly with how to interact with the younger ages. As you’ll know from reading my blog, I have mentioned once before that I haven’t had a lot of experience with working with children, and have recently taken on the workshop at Somerset House (Tales of the Thames) to help challenge me. I think I am getting a lot more comfortable and confident with talking to and guiding these younger age groups; learning how to speak with them, learning patience, knowing when to step back or step in and help and understanding what to be aware of when being around children.
It was something that I ended up really enjoying doing, the atmosphere of the street was lively with the live music and dancing, and the children that came to be involved in the project at our table were really polite, friendly and lovely and really willing to get stuck into the task at hand. I’m glad that I took the plunge and did something that is slightly out of my comfort zone; I think that is something that volunteering is all about - doing things that are new and challenging yourself. I’m now looking forward to Big Day Out tomorrow at Whittington Park in North London, where I will be working with Nicola again on a different project!