/Degree Show Curation\

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.

/Line Wall Sculptures\

Time is slowly becoming an issue and I still want to create physical versions of my wall mounted sculpture before the degree show comes. Unfortunately the studio’s are now no longer available, so instead I have used photoshop to compose what a few of the drawings would look like to get an idea. I chose two designs at random so there was no reason behind the two I selected. Immediately the completed shapes appear so much more illustrative than before, they look finished and intentional. The poles were all the same size, so one reason behind this experiment was to see if the designs could be made with the physical poles from the drawings. Thankfully they compare perfectly, I didn’t have to edit the size of the poles at all, which gives me confidence that I won’t have any issues re-creating the designs when I install the real ones. Although the lighting on the edits are a little funny, generally they give a good enough idea of how the poles would look when actually installed.

It’s interesting that the physical poles work the same as the images they were taken from. I mean that in the sense that the image above was one of the designs which appeared vaguely 3 dimensional, that seems to have carried over into the photograph, which I wasn’t sure it would. Considering the scale they will actually be, with each pole measuring one meter, it should be quite a large series. Filling almost an entire wall. This feeds into the experimental side of scale that exists in my work. It also sets at ease the worries I had with the visibility of the structures. Compared to the paintings, the sculptures don’t demand a lot of attention, they are quite subtle and so I was worried they would be flooded by the visuals of the surrounding paintings. However, considering the scale of these structures and the common colour palette I am more confident it will stand on its own. I regret that I didn’t have enough time to actually install various designs to physically understand how they will exist in the space together, but I believe this is a close enough representation that I understand how it will look to a close enough degree.

/Olly Fathers\

Olly Fathers is a London based artist who works with geometric landscapes. He creates, in his words, “miniature cityscapes” with geometric forms in which he allows paint to drip through, traversing around the surface of the board in a similar fashion to how we move throughout an urban landscape. He investigates the ways in which man made structures affect the way that we perceive and react to our position in a space. Fathers almost assumes the role of an architect, planning a map in which paint will have to navigate through. The paintings take their audience on a visual journey, weaving them in and out of the geometric forms just as the paint did. This directional journey is something that is present in my own work, implying a sense of navigation is something that engages the audience in your work, allowing them to explore the landscape, which in this case, is more exact than in most paintings. The linear directives that gravity plays on the paint is interesting considering the restrictive nature of the paintings. Fathers only allows for the paint to fall in four separate directions, something which retains the grid like appeal of a cityscape. Implementing a man made structure into something free flowing is a perfect example of how we interact with our surrounding space.

Fathers choice of colour doesn’t appear to have any specific reasoning besides the aesthetic effect. This allows for Fathers to explore with all sorts of colour palettes, which the examples present. His use of white and black I am assuming representing night and day, the nod to a cityscape existing in his choice of colours over those particular backgrounds. The white (day) being filled with a selection of vibrant colours, appearing cartoonistic, an emphasis on the purity of daylight. The black however, is filled with neon colours which are sickly and somewhat unnerving, much like the vibrant street signs which light the nightscape in a large city. This contrast of colour makes the paintings more in tune with the idea of representing a landscape. The white background images make me think somewhat of my digital series ‘Line’, the simplistic layout filled with lines implying a shape. However, Fathers work is more linear than mine, I try to achieve a level of abstraction with all my work, which doesn’t seem to be the main intention of his. Also considering how triangles are my feature shape it would seem that even though Fathers has his own restrictions in place, he prioritises different aspects of the work to me. I find the concept behind Fathers paintings very interesting, the idea of using geometric forms to represent an urban environment makes me consider my work in a different way. The paint dripping process is also a process I find conceptually brilliant, the representation of humanities movement in an urban environment is easily understandable through the work. The aesthetic is also something which is appealing, considering the slightly unpredictable nature of the process, the immaculate lines and colours make the work very enticing. Although the conceptual premise and featured aesthetic differs from mine, the visual engagement of the audience is something that both Fathers work and my own share. Leading the audience on somewhat of a visual journey is a way in which we both want them to experience the work.

 

 

/Digital Series: Line\

After making the ‘Wall Mounted Sculpture’, it was obvious that I needed to plan the arrangements beforehand. Adobe Illustrator was an ideal programme for this as it allowed me to freely edit the compositions with little trouble. I scaled down the meter long tubes, copying each line to make sure all they were all equal length. This was to keep true to the tubes, so that when it came to making the physical compositions, they would be as close to the digital versions as possible. When I started these drawings I wanted to make sure that they would be complete shapes. Finishing with an open shape was an aspect of the experiment I didn’t like, so each composition would finish as complete, forcing the audience to continuously follow the lines around. With all the lines being of equal length, it was reasonably restricting, making it difficult to expand on the range of compositions I could make. However I managed to create 10 different designs, all conforming to the rules I had given myself. It was an interesting experience as I found I made some of the shapes imply three dimensions, something I had been doing with my paintings. I realised that they weren’t as different as I had first thought, holding the same principles, the only difference being the fill between the lines.

Something I found difficult to do in every image was making the shapes complete to each corner. As I had in my paintings, every corner had to be touching another corner, with none finishing midway between another shape. This was not as easy with these compositions. Considering the lines were all the same length, creating an abstract shape with equal lines is difficult, as symmetry immediately becomes an unavoidable feature. I had relax my restriction with each corner meeting another and allow the shapes to join midway between lines. This immediately made completing the shapes a lot easier and didn’t detract from the aesthetic completion as it did in the paintings. I tried to make a variation of different designs. A few ended up appearing similar but I believe managed to make a good selection. As I had with the ‘Wall Mounted Sculpture’ I wanted to continue using the triangle as the focus shape, although this wasn’t possible in all the designs as it was quite a restricting feature. However, for the majority I managed to use only triangles. I feel although planning these designs was successful and will look intriguing when physically presented, it will be interesting to see them alongside the paintings as there is so much conversation between the two styles of work. I’m curious as to whether or not they will complement or reject each other. I believe something to consider for future designs would be to create a range of different available lengths, this would give more freedom with the compositions and would probably allow for a larger variation of shapes. It would also probably be easier to create arrangement closer to the designs of my paintings, although that could be a negative thing, as the originality compared to the rest of my work is interesting. This style relates more so to the digital series I made for my Geo-Structural Abstraction Book, ‘Form’ as it is a stand alone shape and breaks from the boundaries of the frame.

/Mounted Wall Sculpture\

Having repainted the conduit tubing I used for a previous failed sculptural experiment, I decided I wanted to retry my hand in sculpture. However I had to reconsider how I would assemble the tubes as I had obviously found out they weren’t strong enough to sustain themselves when freestanding. I decided to consider ways in which I could express a similar style to previous works I had made. It quickly dawned on me that I was dealing with, what were pretty much, physical lines. So I decided to use them in the same way as I had in the compositional arrangement with my painting, treating them as physical lines and simply creating a drawing. As all the tubes had been cut to the same size I decided to try and create a pattern from scratch with the collection I had. In terms of display, I thought it might be interesting to use other materials that were made specifically for supporting it, using the correct wall mounts to attach them to the wall. This would solve the problem of them needing to be self sustainable, as they would be supported by screws and would not physically be relying on each other.

As I had with all of my others works, I decided to work on initiative, not planning a design beforehand but just working with the layout as it grew. It worked pretty much the same as the painting had, applying one part and then considering the composition before inputting the next. I battled with the aesthetic unflattery of the wall mounts, but decided as they were originally intended for this specific material, the conceptual depth made them relevant and so I came to terms with their appearance. They were also more attractive and flexible than resting the tubes on nails as I had done before. This meant I was able to have them in all directions without fear of them falling off of the wall.

Mounted sculpture_04

Using the same methods I had with the paintings I decided not to have two of any colour touching, this keeps the colours evenly spread and allows for the input of all four. I found it challenging with the tubes all being the same length, but the restriction was interesting and actually looked aesthetically even. I tried to keep true to the triangular shaping with the layout, to keep in theme with the rest of my work. I wanted to try and see how the work looked when I wasn’t strict with the shape being complete, however looking back on this arrangement I wish I had completed the shape, as having it open makes it look unfinished and not very well considered. It simply makes the composition look sloppy. I was concerned about the colours not being visible enough, with the surface area of the tubes being so minimal, but I think there is enough for the colours to be recognised with the rest of my them. It is a drastically different approach than what I have been making so far, but I believe the change is interesting and makes the work viewable in another sense. It definitely doesn’t exist with the same impression as my paintings, which aim to impose a sense of awe on the audience. Being vast abstract geometric landscapes of rich colour, they rely on their aesthetic. However the wall arrangements don’t have the same aesthetic elegance as the paintings, and instead focus more on the geometric aspect of the design. They exist more in conversation with the architectural side of geometry, demonstrating the structure that makes up the pattern. This, while not originally my focus, is an interesting concept. There is still an aesthetic importance, yet rather than presenting itself to the audience, it challenges them. Forcing them to read the shape rather than admire it, following the lines until they connect and extend off in various directions, creating a map of colour.

This was an interesting concept and definitely was a different approach than my previous work. However, considering this isn’t like my other work, I believe this style requires more consideration and planning. I think the reason this piece didn’t work was purely because of the inexperience and lack of planning. If I am going to create a continuous shape, I need to make it digitally before hand, so that I have more freedom with altering the arrangement. I also need to be more consistent with the placement of the mounts in relation to the tubes, as they are at different lengths along them, this in consistency is detracting from the subtle aesthetic of the arrangement. I want to play around with a few digital arrangements before I make any more physical pieces.

/Zin Helena Song\

Zin Helena Song is a South Korean Artist who deals with Geometric perception within her art. There is something captivating about the colour palette Song uses, the candy coloured maze of triangles and trapezoids seems somewhat familiar, sharing similar visuals to that of unfolded origami or tangram puzzles. The crisp edges are clean lined and visibly pleasing, a highly technical series of shapes separated by the illusory colour segments, imposing the impression of uncertainty in terms of physicality, possibly being either 2 or 3 dimensional. Song’s visual complexity is diagrammed according to her  notions of order in modern urban society. Her wall mounted sculptures create a visual environment for the audience to explore, the excess of colour and direction creates a natural flow for the viewing of the work, leading the audience around each sculpture in a directed circle. The contrast between the light and dark colours helps give the work more implied depth than it originally has, creating shading within the colour palette on top of the natural shading of the light orientation. Song’s colour palette is vast, not adhering to single collection she appears to match the colours in a variety. Focussing on a single tone or colours as a theme with an expanse of other hues flattering it. There is diversity in Song’s work however, besides the obvious geometric intention, there are no set patterns that appear in her work. Allowing her to be more abstract with the compositions she formulates.

Song’s sculptures have an indulgence I am trying to express in my own paintings. The rich pastels allow the audience to sink into the shapes, becoming somewhat infatuated with the precise separation between each colour. Her knowledge of shapes seems to be unquestionable, with each sculpture presenting a unique series of geometric intricacies, the variety in her collection seems although her work has the potential to continue indefinitely. There are certain aspects of Song’s work that I see reflected in my own art, her clear use of Geometric Abstraction along with the sickly sweet colour palette is a major factor in both of our practises. Song and I appears to take the same level of care in our work when it comes to the separation between colours, wanting an exact incision with no potential for mistake. This perfection is most likely what drew me to Song’s work in the first place, her attention to detail and its importance is something I greatly desire to present through my own practise. The wall mounted sculptures provide an interesting surface on which to paint, the 3 dimensionality mean that Song is able to achieve far more interesting compositions than if she was working on a flat surface like myself. This lack of restriction is what makes Song’s art so unique, as they are still, in some sense, paintings. Breaking the traditional rectangular border is something I am interested in exploring, Song has presented an example of how much freedom you can gain with the form when you detach from the restrictions of a traditional frame. This is something I feel my work would benefit from. I have already attempted making simple digital shapes in the artist book I made, and have experienced through Song’s work, how much potential it would present for the forms and compositions I could create.

/Digital Series: Angle\

Recently I wanted to make more digital designs, feeling although I had been focussing mainly on my paintings, I was neglecting the digital work. Adobe Illustrator is incredibly flexible when it comes to making these designs, allowing me to edit them as much as I like, which is a luxury that is not available with painting. The on screen colours match up almost exactly to the paint, unfortunately when printed it can be slightly dodgy and the colour seems to come out very different. I made 10 separate designs in order to push my creativity with this style. As the paintings are so time consuming, I am unable to make as many as I would like. The space restriction also prevents me from making several at once. So working on Illustrator means I am able to make a large variety of designs with ease and in a fairly short amount of time. These also have the potential to act as future plans for possible paintings. When collectively presented as they are below, the images look very similar, with the possibility of being mistaken for a single image. However this consistency is what I find interesting, the ability to make a large collection of work that exists in the same series is rewarding in its own way. It allows me to become more familiar with the rules I have in place and gives me the opportunity to fully explore the potential of the compositions. I also find this particular aesthetic has been the most interesting in my work so far, the complete fluidity of the colours all evenly spread and the shapes connecting perfectly presents a sensical balance in terms of abstraction. These compositions while neat, also present a sense of chaos. The colours act differently when positioned against each other and each image has some form of implemented direction which leads the audience through the various shapes. This control over the audience is something I have recently began to understand about the designs. Captivating their aesthetic curiosity, the images don’t actually present any narrative for the audience to read, instead they appeals to their adoration for coloured their understanding of the balance between chaos and order as that is what these images are comprised of. This effect is best achieve with scale as I have discovered with my paintings, so by making these designs primarily for digital formats it would difficult to present in a big enough size to fully engulf the audience. However, as an experimental series that focusses solely on the variations of designs, these provide a good understanding of the possibilities and potentials with the compositional restrictions.

/8 x 4 Painting\

I have been working up to going large with my work for some time, mentioning it in almost every evaluative conclusion and I have finally managed to get hold of a wooden board that is a size i’m happy with. 8ft x 4ft, this was the size of the boarded walls in our studios and I managed to get one completely new. When painting, I didn’t over think the size of the triangles, just as before I just started. And the same thing happened as before, I automatically painted the triangles to a size that was in proportion to the board. It seems to be ingrained in me, I don’t even think about the size of the triangles I am going to paint and they end up being in scale to the size of the surface I’m working on. It would be interesting to see all my work together, all the different size work each with their triangles in scale. This piece however took a considerable amount of time to make, waiting for the paint to dry before considering where to place the next triangle was a timely process. However just as I wasn’t overthinking the scale of the triangles I didn’t overthink the placement of the following triangles either, I made quick, confident decisions, not over complicating the design. It was the decision of the colour that took the longest time, wanting to make an even spread meant carefully considering a few steps ahead where the colours were going to go. This also came fairly naturally, once I had more and more of the design down, it became easier to decide which colour would follow.

Wooden Board Large_01

I have only photographed the board in a portrait position, wanting to properly present the size of the work in the images. However looking at the photographs makes me think about how I would like it to be displayed. The more I think about it, having the painting in a landscape orientation would impose the impression of scale far better. Allowing more people to view it at once, working their way through the design. Having it slightly above eye sight would also give the impression of something grand, forcing the audience to have to look up at the work slightly, not enough for them to strain themselves, but just enough to give the impression of looking at something enchanting. Similar to Claude Monet’s ‘Water Lily’ paintings, he makes a vast landscape in which the audience will get lost as they admire the expanse of colour and shapes. I’m not comparing my work to Monet’s, I just admire the effect his display technique achieves, becoming somewhat overwhelming but due to the nature of the painting also calming.

After I had finished the painting I noticed something which I could not forget. There was were two triangles near the bottom right of the painting that looked very similar. Now this may not have been a big deal for some, but for myself it distracted from the movement of the viewing of the image and drew too much attention to the single spot. This negated everything I wanted to achieve with the paintings, I want the audience to gaze over the whole piece and not get stopped at a single part for repetition. So I considered the possible outcomes of changing each triangle to a different colour and sanded down the chosen one to replace it with another colour. This was the first time this had happened, i’m not sure how I missed it while I was painting, but I was painting on a flat surface and so it may have not been so obvious while flat. I was far happier with the changes and though replacing it to a free triangle blended nicely into the composition. This is the trouble with not creating the design before painting, you can’t always be happy with every aspect of the outcome, but this is the risk I am taking as the fairly mindless process of creation results in something natural. This is a step down from painting and entire space, making a painting large allows for more experimentation, but it would still be ideal to make an entire space filled with this colourful composition.

Wooden Board Large Finished_01

/Gluten-Free Exhibition\

Along with a selection of four other students, I curated another exhibition. This time the students I was exhibiting alongside weren’t working within the same subject as me at all and instead were simply from the same tutor group the previous year. We decided to hold another exhibition because we had held one together in first year called ‘Go Figure’ and decided it would be a good idea to have a reunion of sorts. A chance to see how our work has all evolved since then, and as we expected it was a very different array of works that were presented. The students I exhibited alongside were: Dan Juniper, Rachael Coward, Joe Foale-Groves and Laura Spurgeon. Between us we had paintings, screen prints and text installations, which made for a varied exhibition. There was no underlying theme surrounding our show, instead it was a work in progress exhibition of sorts. A chance for us to all experience curating a collection of different works. Since we were all working in different subject matter we based our curation mainly on colour co-ordination. Using colours as a defining transition between each piece. I feel although it was a successful show, although saying that I am obviously biased, but I did find it an interesting challenge.

I was not completely rehearsed on the focus of everyone’s work, but I have a vague understanding of their practises as a whole. Dan Juniper (Far Left) is working with sexualised paintings of himself in an attempt to create a sense of unease, while attempting to use a limited colour palette restricted to what he has around his space, trying to restrain from buying too many new materials. Joe Foale-Groves is a portrait painter and focusses on painting people who surround him, the paintings almost always contain a single person on a simplistic colour based background. Laura Spurgeon creates screen prints using found imagery of her family with varying colour palettes. When she brought her work for the show, she didn’t know exactly how she wanted to present them and so we arranged her stretched prints in an abstract, mildly geometric composition which I feel contributed to the individual images. Finally Rachael Coward is a text based artist working with perceive language and peoples engagement with her text, i’m curious to know what her text is about. Along with my own work this made for an interesting collection of practises.

I showed two of my screen prints on wood. I chose the more grainy prints for the solid reason that I wanted to get some feedback on the contribution of the wood to the designs. I wanted to know if people felt although the wood was hindering the designs or if the texture was adding to it. The material is clearly playing a large roll in my work but it does seem to act as a sort of behind the scenes component, never really getting any attention. These screen prints don’t give the work a chance to overwhelm the material and instead they are an apparent part of the prints, forcing their way into view. We left a feedback book for people to comment in as it is something I wish I had done for my last exhibition and unfortunately no one commented on the material. It may have been an interesting experiment to have left the audience a small list of hinted questions about each piece, giving the artist a chance to ask the public about certain aspects of their work. Still a lot of the comments were based on the aesthetic of the designs and how they were enchanting to look at, which is a positive reaction.

Exhibition Gluten Free_01

The room was unfortunately quite small and so we were restricted in terms of space, however it was a good experience to curate a space of work with artist who aren’t working to a similar ideal. It was good to talk to the other artists about my work and get their feedback too, however in hindsight I would have liked to have exhibited in a more creative space, so that we could integrate our work more and create more conversation between them as opposed to simply displaying them individually one by one. It could have been interesting to have done something completely random and maybe have displayed them all on a single wall, making them work together to create a large collage of work.

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