Throughout the course of third year at Cardiff Metropolitan University, I have developed a greater understanding in a range of disciplines. In a previous essay I had to write, I investigated the theory of ‘Distortion’, this was for my initial Dissertation proposal. Subheadings for the theory such as ‘layering, blurring and collaging’, became important factors in the moulding of the proposal but it has to be said that although the subject was intriguing and worked well in certain capacities, when it came to relating to my Mental Health of Sleep Paralysis, it felt too broad and that perhaps the reader could become confused. I did gain some interesting knowledge on the Photographer William Klein however; his exploration into the ‘blurred image’ and ‘fast motion’ imagery, were both fascinating subjects for me to read about. As my subject work explores the matter of Sleep Paralysis I am interested in those moments upon when one is awakening and falling asleep. These stages where one is paralysed but can feel weird sensations, disorientation, suffocation etc. and Klein’s blurred photography were great inspirations in the later process for me to feel confident in pushing boundaries and expand my experimental side.
In previous lectures I was fascinated by the topics of Medium and differential specificities. We investigated into objects and their secondary sources, for example; the relationship between the T.V. programme and their secondary sources. Within these lectures, what became the highlight for me was investigating the differential specificities of the medium – so this could be argued as the eye, the mind, the hand, implement, marks made etc. Medium specificity is a crucial component in which to reflect upon for the true understanding and success of your practice. If there were no specificities, there’d be no clear substance or maybe even concept. Medium specificity is the case of fundamentally finding out what you see as the medium. I also loved researching into some theorist’s points on how abstract art has become this individual, fluidity and dimension.
Clement Greenberg, 1909 –
“Where the Old Masters created an illusion of space into which one could imagine walking, the illusion created by a Modernist is one into which one can look, can travel through, only with the eye.”
I feel strongly that if I didn’t have these types of lectures, I wouldn’t be as open minded to how diverse and experimental we can be as Fine artists. It’s given me confidence and took me down avenues, exploring mediums, ideas and concepts I’d never have even thought of beforehand.
This leads me onto the astonishing lectures I had from the artist Annabelle Craven-Jones. A selected bunch of students attended her Friday lectures and we began to learn about technology and the boundaries within technology.
The main subjects which stood out for me were investigating ‘broadcasting’ and the boundaries of ‘consent’. Annabelle explained how in one of her exhibitions, she had a live broadcasting feed for the audience to unexpectedly see as they entered the exhibit. Anabelle went onto explaining that it took a lot of discussion and organising to allow this to happen. The artist almost thrived off the fact of this though, it was this element of what is consent? – We discussed how interesting it is that there are constant CCTV cameras watching us and although this is for our safety, it still feeds into personal boundaries. This made me think about how I could explore ‘consent’ in my own practice, I went onto asking individuals about their own disturbed thoughts and sleeping issues. I recorded people without them knowing but did let them know after, I felt if it was a more planned experiment, people would think far too much into it and most likely react differently. It was so overwhelming to witness people’s responses and simply how different they all were to one another as well as how different individual’s reacted to knowing they were being recorded afterwards, I guess it was all part of the exciting process. I have to thank Annabelle a great deal for her great impact on my own artistic practice and how much more my mind is open to exploring endless routes within my work.
This even led me onto putting a sound pieces together, merging the recordings with other sound recordings which were stimulated from everyday noises. Any type of odd sound or resonating conversation I hear throughout the day which stick with me and remind me of my moments within my sleep paralysis where I get confused my odd conversations of piercing noises. I titled this piece ‘Distorted Consent’ and I feel it work extremely well in balancing a contrast between my research from Annabelle’s lectures and my own mental health explorations.
https://youtu.be/9w201kp3Omg (YouTube link to ‘Distorted Consent’)
A lecture audio I listened to on a PHD Student who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia; Emma Sithole, really opened my eyes during Christmas. She explained;
“Everything hurts like my whole body”, “voices telling me; you’re worthless”, “I nearly hurt my mum and I love my mum”
It made me realise how much Schizophrenia can feed into Sleep Paralysis and how impactful they can be on the individual dealing with the illnesses. Both illnesses have this uncontrollable hold on its taker. This led me onto confirming that my Dissertation would definitely be about my mental health in relation to artists and other individuals and how it can be expressed in somewhat way in art. This only seemed to make sense really, having prior knowledge, passion and exploration into the subject.
I have to also say that initial workshops and lectures and in the creation of my Dissertation, that I have felt that much more confident in perusing my artistic stance. I have been accepted for my own exhibition as well as becoming part of Arcade Cardiff invigilation team and being involved in a few group exhibitions. My field developments have continued to grow and I’m feeling more and more prepared each day in the build up to my end of year exhibition. I’ve been so happy to have been able to connect my Dissertation with both Field and Subject and in doing this, I have been able to grow and gain the confidence I need ready for the world outside of art school.