For the degree show I wanted to display a wide range of works to fully present the abstract nature of my practice. My aim was to express the main intention of my work, to engage the audience, demanding their attention and indulging them in rich colour and abstract design. I decided one way in which I could achieve this was with its curation within the space. I didn’t want to present my work in the traditional sense, such as, a line of paintings all positioned at eye level. So for each piece of work I tried to utilise the surrounding space in some way, placing the work higher or lower with the intention of gaining the audiences engagement.
The Mounted Wall Structure, ‘Line_07’, was built directly into the space as it was installed. It fills an entire wall, integrating itself into the space around it. It was also positioned as high as possible on the wall to remain higher than eye level, in an attempt to force the audience to engage with the composition, exploring its position on the wall in all directions. Making the audience follow its pathways like a map. This piece is the most obscure in the selected collection, I decided to include it as it presents the truly abstract possibility of my practice. It still remains true to my colour palette and Geometric Abstracted inspiration. However, of all the piece shown this is the one which is least focussed on capturing the audience in some form of trance, the use of singular lines doesn’t allow for the colour to be as captivating as with the paintings. This piece is more about the engagement of the audience, it is a composition which forces the viewer to follow along the lines with their eyes. Reading the arrangement as if the directions lead somewhere, positioning itself to be engaged with, somewhat like a map.
My twin paintings ‘Figures_02’ present a single design split down the centre. The relationship between the two panels is only made true by a single triangle, a pink one positioned in the centre, crossing over the break, second shape from the top. This particular triangle is the only one that prevents them from making sense on their own, it relies on both paintings to make a complete shape. This subtle attachment between the two designs is what makes the paintings look although they belong together, however it is not blindingly obvious to the audience. I wanted to position them with a break down the centre as I felt although it emphasised the fact that they are two separate paintings. Lining them up together ignores the separation, and makes for an awkward statement with the uncomfortable line that runs down middle. By including an even break between the two images, there becomes more conversation as to why they have been separated. This conversation engages the audience with the composition, making them scale up the paintings. An interesting factor as to why I titled this pieces ‘Figures_02’ is because of the viewing positioning. As the boards have a split down the centre, the audience automatically be drawn to stand in front of one of the paintings at each time, meaning there is space enough for two people at one time. These people will be engaging as much with the painting as they will with each other, reflecting its composition. This reflection imposes the relationship between the two paintings on the two viewers, connecting them. This is also the reason I decided to position the paintings higher on the wall, at 6ft tall the paintings compare somewhat around the average height of a regular person. However, I wanted the audience to look up at the painting, almost in an admiring fashion, as if a child looking up at an adult. This sense of revere in conjunction with the rich embrace of colour is intended to impose a comforting sanctuary on the audience.
‘Portion_01’ is an interesting piece, it is the smallest of the paintings in the curation. The scale is something I wanted to emphasise, seeing as it has been such an important aspect of my development through this practise. With my constant ambition to increase the scale, I thought bringing attention to the opposite would be an interesting play on the piece in relation to whole collection of work. I wanted to make the audience understand that it is a small piece in comparison to the others, but I also wanted to make sure that it would still draw just as much attention. So my immediate response was to place it on the biggest wall, which would grab the attention of an audience. Placing it here would emphasise the excess of space surrounding the work, focussing the attention on its scale and position. I placed it a few centimetres off the ground. This obscure placement immediately makes the audience ask questions as to the why the work is positioned so low. Forcing them to bend down to view the work, immediately engaging their full attention and allowing them to be drawn into the work. The size of the painting makes the viewing experience very intimate, the scale only allowing for a few to view it at once, and the height forcing the viewer to draw quite close to the painting in order to completely see it. Somewhat like approaching a small child. There is the possibility that the audience will look down on the painting rather than descending to its level. This would impose a sense of importance and superiority on the audience, but not give them the full engagement of the piece, this is the chance you must take with positioning the work in such a way.
The final piece is ‘Idol_01’, this is the largest piece in my curated space. Like ‘Portion_01’ I have placed it in an obscure position in terms of the wall, this is in an attempt to impose a position of power on the painting. The scale and height forces the viewer to look up at it almost in admiration, this makes it appear somewhat intimidating. However, the intimidation is contradicted by the rich, gentle colour palette, which makes the painting appear majestic and gentle, something to admire. The scale is still intimidating, but the colour palette removes the aggressive imposition and replaces it with an almost maternal stature. This reaction of looking up into the painting from the audience immediately forces them to engage with it, allowing them to get lost in the vast geometric field of colour. The intention of the scale was to impose this reaction on them, allowing them to stand and explore the surface, following the shapes around the image, giving them the opportunity to effectively zone out and indulge in it. Having the image in a landscape orientation allows for more people to view it at one time, it also creates the impression of the image being a landscape, which are traditionally more indulging styles of paintings, giving the audience a utopian world in which they can disappear. This painting is using the exact opposite techniques to that of ‘Portion_01’ to gain attention, it is interesting how such different techniques can achieve the same grab for attention. I wanted to create an interesting contrast between the two, seeing as there is such an obvious conversation between them, so I placed the two pieces directly facing each other.
In terms of a curated space, I believe I have an interesting variety of work. Each piece, although similar, uses different techniques to achieve the same goal. There is a clear conversation going on between all of the pieces in the space, and I hope that that is something that the audience can engage with.