Now that the end of the years coming to a close, I’ve successfully set up for my exhibition next week and couldn’t be more excited! I feel I’ve really grown this year and really came to understand my work in terms of scale and layering. I’ve started to develop a video and took myself way out of my comfort zone. The collages emulate my reactions to vivid sleeping conditions and keep to this idea of collecting materials which my trigger these vile nightmares. I’m really pleased the space I’ve been handed and couldn’t be any happier right now!
My most recent piece shows a set of three canvases which illustrate where I’ve got to with the merging of subject and field. I wanted to finally test how the two similar but ever so different styles work when put together. I feel using plenty of white space helped to build up the piece a three set. I’ve used more colour but not gone to wild with it and i’ve balanced out the structural marks with the more expressive. Using images from both helped balance out the interlocking and I feel the outcome really works as a combination. Although I do think If I used bigger canvases then maybe I could have pushed the overlap to a whole new level.
After making a larger canvas piece, I felt that this was a great place to now carry on working on this medium. I decided I wanted to make a set of two. The first of which took longer to make, I wanted to cover the whole area this time so sensor around the idea of cluster and distress. Keeping to using some of my own images throughout, these fitted in contrast with the video and photos. The dark textures blended well and merging white acrylic over the top calmed down any outstanding colours and gave another layer to the blurring techniques. Close ups of this piece help to really capture the amount of layering I’ve worked with. Using found materials made the work feel more personal and added to this idea of distorted memories, like little snippets of memories which may be triggered within my sleep.
The second piece titled ‘numb’ was based on the idea of dealing with the disorder for so long now, that I’ve become ‘Numb’ to even thinking about it, it’s now got to the point of just dismissing it and pushing to the back of my mind. The coat of white acrylic is symbolising these factors especially and the use of red seeping though acts as the little voice in the back of my mind, telling me it’s never going to get better. Using bigger blocked materials gave a new feel to the larger collage work, it made me feel to a degree more free and expressive in the way I can work.
What have I learnt from field?
For my first field, I ended up with a set of plates which illustrated a ‘Home Truth’ narrative. Mine was based on my brothers disorders, as a family we’re continuing to find out more and more on what they entail. My brother is in fact nine years old but has the mind of a 6/7 year old, some of the issues he suffers with are ‘DCD’ (developmental co-ordination disorder) – This disorder delays his thought process and general reactions. He is also dyslexic so has trouble with his reading and writing. At this point in my first field development it already got me thinking on how I connect these issues to my own health struggles embedded into my subject work. This idea of delayed reactions is something I’ve really tried to reinforce into my video work especially. The gittering and stuttering ending were a key part to the overall success of the piece and awakened a whole new avenue for heading into third year. Ideas of projection and fast motion stills and mini clips have been some current ideas.
My plates narrative were a set of dinosaurs with a larger one as the center, I chose these as I wanted to illustrate my brothers fixation around a subject. What continues to fascinate me is how he struggles to take in most information he is given if it’s not of interest but could tell you all these dinosaurs names in seconds so I wanted to create this kind of abstract to an extent narrative, pulling up on this major factor to my brothers disorders. Creating these plates really took me out of my comfort zone and made me realise how I can make my work become more diverse. Using plenty of colour (as my brother often identifies with colour also) and working on ceramics and learning about their processes, were all things I wasn’t so conformable with doing before. I used a collaged outer circle to help make them more of a series and I used this ‘broken layers’ method. This was to express the jumbled chaos he has in his mind, lack of focus and short attention span. This collage quality also related well to my layering aspects of my subject work. Overall I felt this Field project went of but if I went back, i’d maybe have considered looking as how I could differ the plates a bit more and create more diversity.
For my second field project I went to Morocco for a week and focused my work around the concept of ‘colour & pattern’. Going to Morocco was such an experience for me and opened up possibilities I din’t even think were possible. Seeing a new culture and taking plenty of photos, I was able to delve deep into how they work and communicate, this was fascinating in itself and made me realise just how different places across the world are to one another. From looking back at my photos and seeing so many individual textures and patterns I started to build up work which reflected these contrasted scenes between light and shadowing. I went onto using these images within my collages and brought out the structural aspects and patterns into mark making through layers. Layering and lighting were key factors to these collages and using photography helped me to bring the pieces together as more of a collection. Using watercolour helped me to bring dimension and have more of rural, gritty like edge. Another big element of these collages was trying to bring the rural, dirty side in contrast with the structural building qualities. This helped again with building the layers and creating diversity.
I related a lot with these collages to subject and found myself getting out my comfort zone. Using plenty of colour is a scary thought to me but as not only was my reason for using colour because it was part of the brief but I was hugely inspired by the markets and gardens in particular. It was nice to be able to find many relations to my subject work and to help move forward with that too and consider ways of enhancing it’s general qualities. Considering space and breaking up areas were key factors I learnt and using image has become kind of my ‘thing’ within the collages. Out of the two I’d probably say the Morocco outcomes were better as they relate much more effectively to my subject and also the development of it.
In the developing process of making my set of two canvas collages, i wanted to test out methods and different ways of layering on some mini pieces of canvas. I learned that making areas more intricate than others and then using larger images, helps build more overall impact and using materials such as masking tape and tracing paper, work effectively for blurring and calming down the more harsh tones. Finishing touches such as buttons and emulsion balance out the spacing and where some of the materials become larger. not covering the beneath material completely becomes apparent to not overwhelm the piece as a whole and I now feel ready to make the larger pieces!
Ongoing experiments towards end of year outcomes. Twisting paint techniques and scrunched layered experiments.