The Theme I was given to create my work around was “Time”. I decided to investigate this by looking at memories and experiences of my past. Through exploring this I questioned my own memories and how they could be permanent memories, or they could be memories that fade over time. I questioned my own existence, what memories mean to me and how I feel looking back on them. With the use of painting and drawing I have made these memories from my mind permanent by creating expressionist pieces that can never fade.
I have explored different methods of painting and drawing through this module that helped me express in different ways my subject of memory. Overall I want my outcome for this module to depict moments in my life, and through mark-making I have produced pieces which express the emotion I felt at the time of creation.
This Box was an experiment using old photographs from old photo albums at home drawing the rough outlines of the people in the photographs on see-through plastic sheets. I then put foam pieces in between each layer and created a box frame around it. I then made a bigger one with acetate sheets which is now my final piece. This piece means a lot to me as it has all my loved ones within the drawings and me growing up some are from my childhood and some are from my teenage years in school. I wanted to create different layers to build this effect that you can look through and see another lower level. These layers are symbolic of the layers of memories we have as people. Memories which made me who I am are in these boxes. These memories were created through times within my life that could be universal to a viewer as everyone has memories some bad some good but they make us who we are today. They give us happiness and sorrow looking back on them but these layers of memories make us and sculpt us as humans, they help us evolve and understand human connections. All the people in these boxes have helped me, developed me and changed me through layers of time into who I am. The box is a symbolism of a part of someone like a window into the mind of a persons history. I used different sharpie colours to emphasise the layers and how colours can be used for memories further away that we can barely remember in the further away layers then gradually as layers get closer to the front panel they are getting more distinct and are more prominent as memories fade and are replaced within the mind with other memories as we cant store every single memory. only the ones that are most significant to us.The bigger box I am using for my final piece has white paint staining the front of it making it less clear to see the figures to show how memories can fade over time.
This painting I was looking at how time can deteriorate a persons health and also be a painful limitation. I tried a green layer initially with this piece and then painted on top with oils letting the green show through. I is a very undone piece of work but I like it that way because it has a lack of life it is cold and painful. I did the initial sketch back in Northern Ireland in my grandparent’s house. My Granda didn’t know I was looking at him let alone sketching him he was trying to get up out of his seat but his knees wont allow him as doctors won’t help him because of his age, he would not accept help off anyone even his family he always wants to show he is independent needing no ones help even if it is causing him pain and is taking him longer to do simple tasks. I panted him on a bead instead of his seat because I wanted to show him if he was just getting out of bed with this positive attitude he always has when he wakes up. For me this piece is a really emotional piece for me because I am so close to my Granda and seeing time taking him slowly is terrifying for me.
This Piece was a piece I wanted to make with old letters past people have sent me. These people who sent me these letters made me this uncomfortable person I am today. This piece wasn’t just a piece of art but was a piece symbolising Bad memories that stay with you forever and entrap you closing you in. On top of these letters I painted and wrote in anger Things that I should have told these people to make them realise what they done to me. For me to bring this into my work is quite difficult but creating this piece I enjoyed writing over the letters as if I was erasing the pain from the memories I have within my mind.
For my manifesto project I picked the 3D project with David Fitzjohn. We were set a task to create a drawing machine. Initially I thought of a box with a bike wheel inside with pens attached to it to hit inside panels of the box but then I had an even better idea. I created a box with circular panels which rotate by a handle on the side and instead of pens I thought the subtraction of paint from a surface to show a different colour underneath. I created a ball with bent knives, forks and spoons that scrape the thick layers of paint off the surfaces of the moving circular panels.
Cecily Brown is an artist who does abstract figurative paintings. She depicts scenes in pastel colours and is an artist who also uses mark making by means of expression. Her loose expressive painting technique is very free and unblended and her subject matter is the narrative of events.
Brown’s paintings are about observing and looking at an image. Sex is the most obvious scenes she paints about. Teasing her audience with these images of the narrative are really quite stricking and interesting.
Her piece called “Teenage Wildlife” it is two people having sex in a forest. The pastel colours and the wet use of the paint blends the two people into the the forest as if they were meant to be there. The way this piece is an abstraction, as a viewer I am constantly refocusing my view because I am wanting to see more of the image and what exactly is going on. Brown very cleverly makes the viewers question the scene in which she is depicting and as a viewer, makes me enjoy the image and feel guilty at enjoying such an erotic statement.
William De Kooning is an Abstract Expressionist. I am looking at his work because of his use of mark making. He used harsh, heavy marks of paint and the image of the human figure to express his inner emotions. I am trying to understand the use of mark making to show an emotion internally onto a canvas. His expressive use of marks you can see an anger in the brush strokes seeing part of the artist inside his artwork.
We had a lecture on German artists and an artist which was mentioned was Anselm Kiefer. Kiefer’s artwork that was discussed was a piece called “Markische Heide” (Mark Heath). For this piece he used Mud and scraping in to it on a canvas. He was born at the end of the second world war into the world where Germany was reduced to a pile of rubble, this I believe is why he used mud and soil in his painting. He was influenced by the Romanticism movement and looking at the sublime which you can’t possibly describe reminding us about our humanity. Anselm looked at mythology and looked at the old romantic painters trying to find a language in which to reflect on the past and overcome it.
The understanding of myths and the unknown help us come to terms with our own fragility. His painting of “Markische Heide” is very large as if it is standing in for nature. He says “Over your cities grass will grow making useless and disfunctional cities apocalyptic.” This statement is about the sublime and still has a romantic idea questioning significances and insignificances to the world.
Another artist we looked at was Georg Baselitz. The piece of his work that was shown was called “Nachtessen in Dresden” (supper in Dresden). This piece was not about representation but about what you are making. He was born in 1938, his family emigrated to West Berlin. The Nation of Germany had been completely destroyed in a way to show this he had to destroy his paintings with acidic colours.
Baselitz didn’t want to follow the formal abstraction so he painted upside down to free his subject matter and recreated it producing his own image heavily referencing post Romantics. The piece “Nachtessen in Dresden”is portraits of the artists who played a main role in the expressionist movement. This piece is a portrait of artists like Kiefer, Munch, Heckel and Ludwig and showing all the main expressionist artists together. Baselitz is, I believe was trying to flip reality to make a divorce from Nazi Germany.
These pieces are looking at thick and thin ways of using paint. The thick textured piece is a self portrait of me curled up into a ball. I used a palette knife to apply thick layers of paint, before the paint dried I used the palette knife to scrape into the paint giving it a harsh texture. This, like the painting of the sea, I was taking my aggression out by mark making and using my energy from emotion to scrape into the thick paint.
The other piece I did with acrylic medium making the acrylic paint more transparent. This is a portrait of my Dad. Before the acrylic paint dried I smudged it with acrylic medium making it more watery and with less detail. I wanted this piece to look like the memory of him was fading and the detail of his face no longer lived in my memory.
This piece is a cast I did of my friend’s body. I was investigating how I could preserve a memory in time . He is now hollow and what once used to be my best friend inside is just empty space it is like a hollow shell of where he once was.