My work benefited lot from the work I did during my second Field module, ‘Art and the Conscious mind’. The theories we talked about during this module helped to push my down a more spiritual route that made me think about the direct link between what goes on in my head and art I put out into the world. The crystal paintings are a way of representing emotions and thoughts because of the meaning that they are associated with. Each colour and form of crystal and geode meaning a different thing. Looking into other artists who have taken a crystal route, I found Alexis Arnold and Elyse Graham. These two artists works are different in style but both explore themes of time and discovering something unexpected. Arnold uses crystals to freeze books in time, removing their content so that we have to look at the object as non-functional and appreciate the beauty of nature taking over something man-made. Graham’s work explores time through its process and the discovery in the reveal of something beautiful in, what seems like, an ordinary object.
I have carried on with my series of crystal paintings because I enjoy making them and get really positive responses online. These paintings are different from the others because I did no planning on how I they were going to come out, they are straight from my head, drawn directly onto the canvas. I actually prefer these outcomes to the paintings I had planned. I feel that this is a series that has not ended and I would like to continue in different ways. I want to add portraiture and landscapes into the paintings in order to give something really a fantastical approach to convey my idea of finding beauty in the mundane that I have touched on previously. They are definitely something that I would like to make better which I can only do through more painting and experimenting.
My decision in exhibiting in Welcome House was largely influenced by the artist Paige Smith. Smith works with sculptures of geodes made just from paper and resin casts. This series of street work is called ‘Urban Geode’. Smith chooses places like cracks in bricks and abandoned phone booths, everyday forgotten places, in an attempt to challenge people to look and discover. I am a fan of how she copies naturally beautiful things and places them into such man made places, it really creates a different kind of world, a magical one where beauty can be found in the everyday. This is something that I strive to do with my own artwork, create something beautiful and bright in such a negative world.
If I had had more time in the abandoned house I would have loved to played around with representing crystals in a 3D way like Smith has done or like the work of Roger Hoirns. ‘Seizure’ is a commissioned piece by Hoirns where he transformed an everyday council flat in London into a beautiful blue crystal world.
The small pop up exhibition we all took part in at Welcome House allowed me to my paintings in a different way to how I displayed them for Spring assessment. We only had a 2 hour set up in the abandoned house which allowed me to get out of my head a little bit and think of the quickest, most effective way my work could be seen. I had really wanted to put the four paintings up on a wall and continue the auras on around the paintings. Lack of time meant I ended up displaying the paintings on the floor, with enough room to walk around. I feel that looking down on the painting gave a new perspective, almost like the paintings had opened up a door to another dimension. I thought this to be interesting and fun. I liked how, even in a dark and dingy room, my paintings were bright and stood out. It proofed to me that theories looked at in Field were true; that inanimate objects can give off their own presence. My paintings demanded that you look at them as soon as you entered the room. Also that art can really portray an artists personality through an emotional connection. All of my work really stood out against the dirt and grime of the abandoned house, I feel that the opposites really worked well.
During my first year, Constellation helped me to extend my knowledge of art history and allowed me to think about psychological theories, such as cognitive development, in a creative. This year I chose to study ‘Garbage Pails and Giddy Cunning: Medium Specificity, Differential Specificity’ with Barnaby Dicker. Although, I did not have the slightest clue what the time meant, it intrigued me and so did the description. “Ultimately, medium specificity and differential specificity seek to capture recurring, potentially opposing, factors in the production and discourses of art and design. Members of the group may come to critically advocate one over the other or attempt to reconcile the two.” I was looking forward to looking at what factors went into analytically critiquing art & design.
During the study group I found the reading given to be very helpful in understanding the topic. Even though, sometimes the text did not talk about art & design in particular, I found it easy to understand by replacing any noun by the word ‘art’. For example, in the text Internet Radio: a Case Study in Medium Specificity the quote “we comfortably refer to the telephone as ‘the telephone’ when we use it for talking. When we use it to send faxes, we identity the medium as ‘the fax'” can be translated, when looking at art, into: “we comfortably refer to a photograph as ‘a photograph’ when using it in its conventional sense, to capture a moment in time. But when we use it to convey a concept we can identify it as an art medium. This shows how the specificity of the medium can change how we look at something.
Another piece of text we looked at in the study group was a piece called Reading Capital: From Capitol to Marx’s Philosophy. When reading the text in the study group, the quote “we must abandon the mirror myths of immediate vision and reading, and conceive knowledge as a production” which stuck out for me as a way of saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”. I said this during the group which sparked a mall debate with others but ultimately people thought similar to me. Barnaby explained that most of the things we were to talk about could be simplified back to this statement as we were being made to think about how medium and difference effected how we see pieces of work. In this instance I like to think of the cover to be how a piece of work is made, what physical form it takes and what material went into making it and the book to be the concept of the piece. Is there a direct correlation between the two? Does the cover give you enough insight into the book or just a brief overview?
Looking back, I can see that I could have used some points of discussion when looking at differential and medium specificity to support my debate on the boundary between art and craft. I should have looked back at thoughts I had in my previous study group and not treated it as something completely separate. If I had gone over old readings before moving onto new arguments I would have have more of a revised argument and had more philosophical arguments to support my own. The argument between differential and medium specificity is important when looking at my proposal for my dissertation, especially medium specificity as this is sometimes what defines the two.
I feel that, although it is a different part of the course, my Field topic Art & the Conscious Mind helped me along with my Constellation work as it made me think deeper about the connection between art and the artwork. The artist is the one who consciously and specifically decide on medium and the differential so therefore create this argument in the first place. It was interesting to look at how we would make conscious decision.
When covering the views on where the ‘self’ ends, I started to think about how actions and things we put in the world can be remembered so if this idea of a ‘soul’ exists then parts of the soul would be in the things we put into the world and how other people and there souls react to us and this adds to their ‘self’. I feel that artwork is a powerful example of this because an artist takes the time to create this extensions of them self, most of the time based on their views, emotions and experiences (what can made the ‘self’. This piece of work/self is then put into the world for someone else to experience, take in and add whatever they took from that certain piece of work to their ‘self’. Even then, there is still a question of when the self ends because when does the art end? Is the art continued through people’s experiences? The memory of the experience? Conversation containing the topic of the artwork? A photograph or article of the work that is shared throughout the internet?
From an artist perspective, artwork is a reaction to us being aware of ourselves, this is especially the case for self portraits. If I was to paint a exact portrait of myself, this would show how I am aware of my physical self, however, if I was to create a more abstract piece of work that represents my ‘self’ this is showing I am aware of all the things that create my ‘self’. For example, Tracey Emin’s bed tells a story of her history, experiences and reveals the emotions she was feeling at the time through the objects she has chosen to be a part of the work. They are not just physical things but are a symbol for an emotion or experience.
This work is a final piece but is also an interim before a much bigger piece focusing on the same concepts. I have chose each colour of the crystals deliberately to represent different crystals. Light pink = rose quartz. Purple = amethyst. Light blue = aquamarine. Orange/yellow/brown = topaz. All of these crystals represent different things that I feel are important to me and all the things I have thought about during this project. Rose quartz + amethyst + aquamarine + topaz = giving a universal message of unconditional love and compassion with creative thinking. I have used the same image four times to have a kaleidoscope/psychedelic effect influenced by 60’s artwork. The colours around the crystals are a representation of auras and also represent the things I have learnt and discussed in field about the conscious mind. Most importantly this piece is symbolic of my beliefs and how I have been feeling lately, I have needed support from crystals a lot more recently and being able to paint them was very calming to me,
key documentation posts:
key concept posts:
A key concept that has stuck with me since the start of this project, when looking at Louise Gardiner’s work has been the ability to show emotion. All the artists I look at that influence me in working this way are mostly women who work with textiles. I feel this is because I find they’re work the most relatable and also my desire as an artist to make my work relatable to other people. I can be over emotional and need an outlet sometimes in order to deal with things. I feel that my artwork can also be an outlet for other people. A way to forget briefly and just appreciate. Tracey Emin will always be a massive influence of this emotive way of working especially after reading her book Strangeland.