Context

My work is centered around expanded painting, sculpture, and design. My research has been exploring semiotics, spatial intervention (and how our behavior is controlled by certain spatial settings), the senses, process in making and children's play. The artists I have been looking at are: Guillermo Mora, Katie Bell, Simon Callery, Ai weiwei, Phyllida Barlow, Do Ho Suh, Richard Serra, William Kentridge, Phoebe Unwin, Eva Rothschild and Richard Tuttle. 

I went to see Simon Callery's work at the Fold Gallery. He is a painter practising in the expanded field. His work was large in scale, draping, colorful, and textured. This collection of  works were developed while he worked alongside archaeologists excavating a site in North Wales. I can see in his work the texture is reminiscent of dug earth. The crimson pigment used in some of the works was extremely rich. I like his work because of the unconventional way he uses canvas and paint and his different methodologies and processes of making. I will attempt to explore various means of releasing my paintings from the usual rectangular framework and exploring my own methodologies to engage my work.

Ai Weiwei

Royal Academy of Arts

I loved this exhibition. The section of the exhibition that revisited the earthquake in China that lead to thousands of children dying while at school. Taking those materials that caused something horrific and transforming them into this beautiful piece of artwork was captivating. His use of gathered materials (the hammered rebar) from the earthquake site. Combined with the video installation without sound documenting news footage surrounding the event. The parents describing the last thing they talked about with their children before they went to school, to other citizens emotional and commenting on the event and the climate of their country. I was amazed at how not having sound in the video for me contributed to heighten the emotion of the event. The scale of the list of names of all the children who died in the earthquake. The combination of all these individual works add layers and weight to his narrative and was very moving and a technique I will attempt to try moving forward in my work. 

 

I liked the use use of traditional joinery methods and the quality materials  for the stool sculpture and the large arch sculpture.The way the stool sculpture was balanced was fascinating. The arch land sculpture had another layer with the map of China being a point of reference for creating it. If you were to see it from about you would might recognize the outline of China. He worked with craftsmen on those complicated sculptures. The quality of the workmanship really stood out to me and kept me engaged. Using traditional techniques in creating work is something I'm interested in an will continue to develop in my practice.

 

The use of memory to re-create the dioramas  that showed what he went through during the time he was held as prisoner under surveillance day and night. 

 

Overall I was impressed by the way he combined different media, experimented with methodologies to express ideas, create strong narratives, and keep me stimulated and engaged. 

I went to a talk at Chelsea College of Art speaking were Lisa Le Feuvre head of sculpture studies at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds and artist Phyllida Barlow. Phyllida spoke about being rebellious in her work and "abusing the sculpture processes" Also, quoting Picasso "I don't look I find" as another way of thinking through making. She spoke about the intimacy of working in the studio and her process for collecting images and ideas to work from. When she creates work it is about creating an atmosphere and trying to nail and emotion. She recycles work after it's been exhibited and sent back to her. She reuses the materials to find new ways to use them. Listening to her speak about gathering images and ideas was very useful to me and my practice. She spoke about everyday seeing something that could strike interest and be developed in her work. Something as simple as the contrast of an old mattress leaning against something hard like a thrown out television set. To something ordinary like a refuse bag or pieces of timber stacked on top of each other and attempting to recreate how it felt for her when she saw these things. I aim to be open and present in the moment to gather ideas and develop them and sustain my practice.

Marian Goodman Gallery:

William Kentridge More Sweetly Play the Dance 

 

"You invite the world into the studio. You take the world apart and you reconstruct it in different materials, different scales and different ways and send it back into the world" -William Kentridge

 

I loved his video installation. I liked the way he combined 2D with performance. Using portrait cut outs, music, animation, performers, and video it was a great way to add multiple layers in a unique way. I was very moved by the installation. I believe it was because the haunting images paired with music created a narrative that expressed the fragility of life that resonated with me. Watching the progresion of strong willed people celebrating with jovial music blaring one moment to sick and dying pulling along their IV bags with ominous tones was very powerful. He used the format of musical theatre and story telling in a way I've never thought of using in a gallery setting. I am interested in layering my work in a similar way to engage the emotions. 

Tate Modern:

Richard Serra is another artist I am researching. Trip Hammer 1988 Steel. Being one of the prominent artists involved in the Process Movement, I went to see one of his gigantic sculptures at the Tate Modern.This is the first time I've seen his work in person and I was mesmerized by the scale, the way it is balanced by those two points against the wall. The patina surface and the enormity of this work had an affect on me. It towered over me and I definitely didn't want to stand to close. Even still I do believe had it not been positioned in the corner of the room it would have had more of an intervention on the space and how patrons moved about the room. He has said that he wants the viewer to participate with his art. Some of his other site specific works do just that. They are placed in a way where patrons are encourage to move about the sculpture and experience it from many angles. I have been very interested in his development process of making. In 1967 he wrote a verb list which basically aided him engage in new ways. I have created my own list of words to use in my work. I look to different fields of study like forensic anthropology or forms and techniques to write poetry to generate words of action or tools used by people in a particular field. This is done to generate new ideas and send me on a journey in unusual directions. Also, continue to work with scale to similarly intervene in the space and force the viewer to physically interact with my work.

EVA ROTHSCHILD

"Riches" 2007 (Plastic, Wood, Fiberglass) 

I went to see her work at the Tate Modern. Her work seems very precarious and almost like it’s defying gravity. Some of her sculptures engulf the space they are installed in by scaling the floors and ceilings. Her work is very ambitious. A lot of her sculptures are black she occasionally uses color. Her practice includes photography, drawing, and weaving. I enjoy her boldness of scale and knowledge of her materials. I aim to be bolder in scale regarding my work. I also am working towards a greater understanding of the materials I use to manipulate them however I choose.

Guillermo Mora 

He manipulates materials in a fun an exciting way. In interviews I have heard him speak of having a very strict studio based practice going into the studio early everyday. His working process is cyclical in that after he makes work any mistakes or "debris" he calls it from projects that haven't worked are given another chance. He will re-use old stretchers or canvases and approach it with fresh eyes in a new body of work. I like the idea of recycling your own work. This is sustainable practice in terms of managing waste materials but also finding relationships between materials that you hadn't thought of before and coming up with something unexpected. Watching him pour buckets of acrylic paint onto his studio floor only to peel off the color and manipulate it into mounds of gewy loveliness shows an intimacy and knowledge he has with his materials. I aim to have that kind of knowledge with the materials I choose to use in my work. I have been incorporating this and the re-use of materials from failed work into my practice.

Jacquelyn Hodges

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