Field: End of year reflection
Field: End of year reflection
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.
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.
With this pair of collages, I’ve attempted to push my previous collages into one, calming down on the heavy textures and uplifting more patterns within. I felt that making two similar could also help these factors and to see how more of a set could potentially work in final stages.
A pechakucha is a formulation of 20 slides, with each slide being 20 seconds each. This gives you the time to be able to express and order your topic. Having never used this technique before I was a little apprehensive but soon came to take to the idea and when it came to presenting I found myself having plenty to say. This whole process gave me the time to go through the stages and different processes I had learnt and progressed from in earlier weeks. Using artists, practical work and photography, I stabilised my thoughts and findings.
When it came to the making of my Pechakucha, I started off by informing on the initial idea I had which was of a few of many photos I had taken of Moroccan’s ‘in the moment’. I found this quite challenge considering we weren’t supposed to do this without asking and the outcomes were quite promising, capturing a sudden time and moment. The closer I got to the people, the more intense and striking the images seemed to become.
With changing from many different angles, heights and positions, I began to consider the images more as a whole and ways in the which they appear layered and effectively could become more layered. Howard Hodgkin was an artist my tutor expressed to me and I saw great relations to in the build up to my collages. Much of his Hodgkin’s work centres around layering and it’s appearance so this seemed only fitting. with bright gestural strokes and colourful depths, this work has only gone onto giving me more ideas. Hodgkin talks about the representation of Iridescence which is the phenomenon of a certain surface which appears to gradually change colour as the angle of view changes. and so yet again I kept seeing strong relations to what I’m trying to develop in my photos and then into the collages. Much of the photos I’ve then gone onto show, have this sensory of illusion and qualities which demonstrate change in light depending on which angle you focus on. The power of light in the images is astonishing and purely inspiring to my later work produced. This pushed with the density of forefront architecture is uplifting and exciting for one to look at. With inspiration leaning from the patterns and textures in the gardens, all these elements bring life to the images and collages.
Using the heat press and ink transfer, especially with the ink process being new to me, were exciting developments. As much as I loved the processes, I felt they didn’t come out as clean and direct as I imagined. bleeding ink and fading lines occurred and I soon lost interest. Collaging using multiple materials and layers became I big opening and is what I’m currently still working on. Other artists such as Kandinsky and his use of symbols and floating layers were very influential. using chilled and calm colours became an apparent success. Digital manipulations were another stage of progression and with techniques of repetition, symbolising things such as the Magarelle patterns, I found a trong pathway.
After attending the Morocco field trip there are many new understandings I have now learnt, something that stood out to me being the only male in my group was the power I had in comparison. In some cases this felt empowering and a bit of an ego boost, but in many ways felt quite disrespectful to the young woman I was with. They seemed to just come across as a piece of meat, men were overly flirting with them and in some cases offering money and handing out sexual gestures. This tended to happen more so in the rural areas of the city, I found that in some of these areas at night, it became quite eerie and a little dodgy and uncomfortable.
Many Moroccans were extremely pushy when it came to approaching to purchase items and any little sign of interest became a huge push to buy. I found myself being quite a high skilled barterer if I may say so myself. I found starting prices pretty low and walking away when they push too far, to draw them back in. This was an experience culturally in itself, the fact there’s no set prices in the Souk’s and just how different their values are was fascinating to me.
The difference between their rural streets and luxuriously decorated buildings such as the mosques, was another fascinating factor. How ones surroundings can look so cheap and basic and then have buildings within looking quite the opposite just was mind blowing to me but I guess this is how they sort the importance levels of their values. There was some stunning patterns and symbols embedded on the buildings and these were some of the first influences I had in considering the making of my collages in retaliation to my stay.
I decided to work in a collaged format in my field work as I wanted to keep pushing and developing avenues to tie in to my subject developments. I felt doing this could also possibly open new doors and ideas in the final stages of my subject collages leading to exhibition period. The main things i’d say I’ve been influenced by were the colours, patterns and lighting. I really tried to incorporate these aspects in my work through multiple layered lines and with a range of materials and colours which enphasised on the culture of Morocco. The sun was beautiful and it seemed in every direction it was beaming off some form of object. This gave interesting layers in itself and was the instrument as such into sparking ways I could express dimension and angles within my collages. Watercolour gave a calming edge and blended well to give an interesting rural edge in relation to the dirtier side the the city. And finally, as with subject I kept to using imagery within the collages also, I feel that this is a way for me to bring the pieces together as a collection and contrast interestingly with the drawn and textural elements.