Summative Post : Documentation

Artist Statement

Art encompasses a huge spectrum embracing many facets of technique, delivery and presentation, from the old masters of Rembrandt through to the more contemporary creations of Louise bourgeois and Berlinde de Bruyckere and covers a wide range of mediums from painting, print, performance and sculpture to craft, video and textiles. The one aspect that any of these creations should have in common is to provoke a reaction in the viewer. That reaction may be on a continuum that ranges from disgust and loathing through hope and anticipation to love and enjoyment, the aim being that art should awaken its audience to the reality of their own existence.

This is why I feel, as an artist it is necessary for me to find a means of expressing what it is to be human. Through developing my drawing and sculptural work I feel that everything I create should relate, not just to me emotionally, but to those who look at my work. In creating my visceral sculptures I demonstrate the fragility of the human condition within pieces of bones from what were once living animals. In using this material to create my sculpture, I am encapsulating the sensation of existing within the mortal flesh and bodies we are bound to. I feel that when I am producing a piece of artwork, I am looking at how I can re-create the mental form of “body” by making it have a physical presence within my work.

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These are the top five moments within the development of my studio practice this year. Each moment I feel challenged me and made me advance into the work I create today.

1. Bodies of Flesh– In experimenting how the body feels rather than looks when being close with someone. In giving the emotional response of the body a physical appearance I found out reasons why identity and sex isn’t relevant when expressing bodies that create unnatural movements.

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2. Bone Sculpture– This was my first real experiment with using animal bones within my work. I feel this was a key moment as it was the foundation on which I would later develop my sculptural techniques around bones.

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3. Substance Exhibition– Being able to get to show my work was a key moment because I got to see a response from an audience perceiving it. In addition it gave me the confidence to exhibit my work in the future.IMG_01632

4. Exploring Materials within Sculpture– In finding new materials to make flesh I could then create layers within my sculptures giving them a more visceral and humanistic quality.

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5. Visceral Sculpture– In learning to lose form within this sculpture I gained depth and an understanding in creating veins and tendons with string and tights heavily dipped in coloured wax and bound to the sculpture.DSC00574

Summative Reflection for Field Assessment

Painting Performance –

Within this module I was challenged and taken out of my comfort zone of making conscious decisions of what I wanted to achieve at the end of the making process within my work. The boundaries and limits I was setting myself and the structure in which I created work before this experience were strongly questioned. In opening myself up to a broader understanding I learnt how I can express myself in developing my own personal language within the flow of paint, from the energy of my body onto the paper onto which it landed. In daring to express myself within the present moment of performance, it helped me release bad energy like worries and insecurities out of my body and project them into the work. I came to an understanding that the process of making and creating is just as important as the final outcome of the work I was producing.

Working within groups was beneficial for me as it helped me to develop my team building skills, learning from others, from different techniques to bring all our ideas together creating our own unique performances. Working within a team in this module helped me gain confidence within myself and my practice as well as gain confidence to perform in front of my peers, something which I wouldn’t have had the courage to do before this experience. In seeing the hard work pay off within our group by getting a 1st class mark for our final performance really made the dedication that all of us put in feel that it was appreciated by our tutor. This experience has given me the self-assurance that I can further develop the ideas that have arisen from this module. This experience has not only enhanced my confidence and knowledge of performing and performance art, but it has also helped me develop technical skills in video editing, using film to capture the performance process and has helped me develop new skills with different computer software packages that I wouldn’t have known about without this module. In learning these skills I have come to understand the fundamental components that have to be considered and understood before the performance is completed.

Overall I feel that the knowledge I gained from painting performance will contribute to my subject work as it has given me the confidence and skills to be freer within my practice. Within painting performance I learnt that the process of making and producing art is just as important as the final outcome. In understanding this, I feel that this way of making will help me to encapsulate more emotion and meaning within my work and practice. Participating in this area of performance art has made me more aware of myself, developing different skills and ideas to capture both the physical and mental aspects of myself within my work which I will carry into and develop in my future work.

Art and the Conscious Mind

In the second field module, Art and the conscious mind, I got to delve further into what is consciousness and how significant an element it is for us as human beings to have. Each week we had a lecture which was filled with lots of philosophical and psychological information and examples. After each lecture I felt that I needed to do some research into the background of the topics we came across each week to keep up with understanding of the material we were given. Each week the logic of what we thought was right was challenged and questioned with evidence and theories that contradicted our everyday thinking. I feel that I learnt a lot about how the conscious and unconscious mind responds to visual information and how our perception can be altered and changed due to our awareness or lack of awareness of the world around us. These lectures and practical sessions, made me delve deeper into works of art I have enjoyed before-hand and see the mind of the artist through the work. Something which I found extremely interesting was that in looking at paintings we can identify humans and landscapes unconsciously within them as if they were a window into that time period and the eye with which the artist has seen. However, at the same time, we are aware consciously that the painting we are looking at is not living and is just mud placed on a canvas to represent something. Another piece of information that resonated with me within Art and the conscious mind was how, as Sigmund Freud said, we are the only beings that can reflect on our feelings, we can see that we see, feel that we feel. We can reflect back our experiences with the world and as artists I believe that we reflect this back through our artwork. I believe that there is a part of the artist within the work and a part of the experience in which, as viewers, we can share and in contrast have our own experiences projected onto a piece of art.

I believe, Art and the conscious mind has influenced me and my work as it has opened my mind into ways of thinking about my work in a philosophical, psychological and spiritual way. It has unearthed my Ideas about the body and where boundaries between the mind and the outside world lie and it has also made me think deeply about my sculptural and painting work I have previously made within the subject. I feel that this module has given me more knowledge and understanding of the conscious mind giving me a foundation on which I can further build my knowledge. I have learnt, through further reading, of how the mind works when faced with art. This will help me in developing my ideas and outcomes this year, giving me a basic knowledge which I can build upon and develop through into my final year.

Overall Reflection

Overall I feel that both field modules have taken me down paths and made me explore and helped me gain knowledge and experience in areas that I wouldn’t have naturally experienced otherwise. I feel that with this expanded understanding of self and process this will help me in producing work within my subject work and I believe will resonate with me throughout my final year. I have been challenged in both the way in which I think about creating work and in feeling that the process of making and creating is just important as the final outcome. In both modules I was questioned and challenged on how and why I make the work I am creating within subject as well as how I can effectively hold my audiences engagement with my artworks consciously and unconsciously.

In painting performance by working in groups I felt team building was a key component which helped me develop confidence to freely express myself through the movement of my body and mark making. I got the develop skills of film editing and how to use different kinds of video processes to capture the performance, skills I wouldn’t have obtained without this module. I also got to gain a further understanding of how to create different performances and how planning is vitally important in creating a thought provoking and inspiring performance. Within the development of my studio practice I have become more free in mark making. However in re-evaluating my work after this module I feel that, it has made me more aware that I feel performance will not express the issues I am trying to capture within the present moment of my studio practice. Painting performance has made me understand and feel that in regards to my studio practice that I am going in the right direction in capturing the fragility of the human condition.

In Art and the Conscious mind, I got to expand my knowledge and in creating a basic understanding of what the conscious is in regards to visual perception. I wish to develop a further understanding through reading and deep thinking, as well as creating work within the subject in response to the knowledge and information I have gained throughout this module. I believe that this has knocked down some boundaries allowing me to think more freely and has given me the ammunition to go out and delve deeper into philosophy and psychology in regards to visual perception and what it is to be human. Within my development of my studio practice, it has made me question what I am trying to capture within my work and challenge the context which I build the work on. The understanding I have developed within this module will have an effect on the work I create and make me question if it is of effect to the audience which perceives it.

Artist Statement

Art encompasses a huge spectrum embracing many facets of technique, delivery and presentation, from the old masters of Rembrandt through to the more contemporary creations of Louise bourgeois and Berlinde de Bruyckere and covers a wide range of mediums from painting, print, performance and sculpture to craft, video and textiles. The one aspect that any of these creations should have in common is to provoke a reaction in the viewer. That reaction may be on a continuum that ranges from disgust and loathing through hope and anticipation to love and enjoyment, the aim being that art should awaken its audience to the reality of their own existence.

This is why I feel, as an artist it is necessary for me to find a means of expressing what it is to be human. Through developing my drawing and sculptural work I feel that everything I create should relate, not just to me emotionally, but to those who look at my work. In creating my visceral sculptures I demonstrate the fragility of the human condition within pieces of bones from what were once living animals. In using this material to create my sculpture, I am encapsulating the sensation of existing within the mortal flesh and bodies we are bound to. I feel that when I am producing a piece of artwork, I am looking at how I can re-create the mental form of “body” by making it have a physical presence within my work.

Setting up my Work for Assessment

setup3setupDuring the last couple of days I have been setting up my work to be assessed. I wanted to explore ways of displaying my sculptures instead of putting them all on plinths. I decided to make cages out of chicken wire to hold each of my sculptures, I felt that this was appropriate as it extends the idea of being caged within the body you are bound to. In caging my beings I made them be like zoo animals, that people come up and stare at. I want the viewer to be able to relate to my sculptures within cages and feel a part of themselves within the work. With caging them I am putting them into a different position than if they were on plinths they are objectified even more when they are in the cages as if they mutated beasts. This plays on my ideas of metamorphosis from man to beast and I feel that I have effectively captured the fragility of human beings.

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Visceral Sculpture

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DSC00579In finding how wax reacted with tights and wool string I decided to create a piece in reflection to what I learned within field both bringing the freedom I got within painting performance and looking at how visual indeterminacy creates an opening for the unconscious mind to relate to our mental states. With this sculpture I bound the bones with no planning on a shape or structure I wanted to create, letting the string show as I bound them together.DSC00588 I felt as if I was trying to recreate the creature it came from without knowing what it looked like visually. In this healing process I wrapped the bones in tights and then began my layering process with the wax. In letting the wax fall more freer not trying to fix the drips the wax created I made a completely different texture from anything I have done before. Using blues and reds to illustrate the living creature that pumped oxygenated and de-oxegenated blood around its body to its muscles that it once used to be able to move. I feel that in this piece I was letting the material speak for itself and decide what was going to happen to create itself.

DSC00593When I started to use the heat gun on the sculpture not only did it blend parts of the wax on it, It ate away the creatures nylon flesh exposing the raw bone underneath with dyed string around them, representing the tendons and veins within the creature. When creating this piece I couldn’t help but feel as if I was inflicting pain on something I was trying to set free and help heal. DSC00589The ambiguity of the piece is something that I wanted as it make the audience go into it looking at the exposed body. I felt that this piece with no obvious limbs or head doesn’t judge you or look at you looking at it, it has in fact passed these stages and has suffered extreme pain as it has been ripped to pieces, opened up, experimented on, and ultimately used.

This creature has been used and is now useless it has suffered and in a way it is still suffering as it holds all the life meat does. In reading “Francis Bacon, The Logic of Sensation, by Deleuze”, I feel that this quote is fitting in what I wanted to achieve within this sculpture

“Meat is not dead flesh; it retains all the sufferings and assumes all the colours of living flesh… every man who suffers is a piece of meat.DSC00574

I feel that this sculpture is a victim, or a martyr that suffered for others. It is such a personal piece for me as even though it doesn’t represent any physical appearance to an animal or human it holds all the pain that it has felt within it, by being skinned, broken and pulled apart. This piece encapsulates the abuse that this creature went through to get to this fragile state of suffering.  DSC00587

Veins

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DSC00698When I was walking on the beach near my home one day I came across these markings in the sand which looked like someone printed them on however the unique patterns were drawn by streams of water going down into the sea. I found them really intriguing, the way in which the veins intertwined and separated as if they were veins and capillaries within a human body. I felt that these organic patterns had already been ingrained into my work as it reminded me of my drawings of morphed bodies. Seeing these reminded me of what I want to achieve within my work, reminding people of their own existence and meaning within this world making them more aware of their own self both mentally and physically, consciously and unconsciously.

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Hand made Sketchbook

After creating my bone book I decided to try and make a normal sketch book from scratch. I created it using the book binding methods I learnt within creating my first book with a bone as the spine of the book.DSC00908 DSC00910

These are just some of the sketches I have done within this book. In all of them I am trying to capture the human experience and what it is to be human. I am trying to find means to create an understanding how to capture the mental body of myself within the physicality of drawing. In doing this I feel that I was gaining more awareness of what I wanted to encapsulate within my sculptures.

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The Fighters

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DSC00603I have been trying different ways of creating flesh on to my bone sculptures and I believe from trying my larger sculpture that nylon tights gives an effective skin layer onto my wax sculptures which I can mold and create ripped flesh onto them. Within this sculpture I wanted to capture two standing, mutated beings fighting with ripped skin and blood coming from each of their bodies. both of them you can see in to the tears in the skin into the blood and muscles I created beneath the tights. Something I didn’t expect from these two sculptures is that they cannot stand up without the other to lean on. DSC00621This element yet accidental is meaningful as it represents that they both need each other even though they are fighting and hurting each other they both need each other for support and to stand. I feel that these sculptures needing each other is representing an unstable relationship, both of them hurting each other and fighting but they both need each other and one can’t survive with out the other.

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Exploring different materials with Bone Sculpture

DSC00516While I was making my larger sculpture https://danielleeadair.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/trying-larger-sculpture/ I discovered how nylon tights and wool react with melted wax. This reaction had an impact on the way I was going to approach my next sculpture. With this sculpture I used the wool and nylon tights when binding the bones together, after this I poured layers of coloured wax over the structure and using a heat gun. I burnt the nylon tights and melted the wax into the material in doing this. This exposed the wool binding the bones together giving it a sense of exposure into the burnt flesh of the mutated animal created. DSC00594

In using different colours like purple and blues in this sculpture gives the skin a bruised quality of the internal bleeding underneath the skin. I am pleased on how visceral this sculpture turned out, as using these materials helped me increase the visible vulnerability of the being giving. I feel in the use of these materials I have made it more bodily and raw as you can now see inside to the brittle being and dissect it visually.

DSC00521In creating this sculpture I felt that in deforming it I was capturing an animal which has been abused and ripped apart by others. This piece is a personal part of me as the skin has been torn in place exposing the veins and creating a mental body of the animal. It is a very unstable sculpture as it doesn’t stand up in the way I intention it, it always seemed to fall every time I positioned it, the sculpture chose its own position. The mutated animal fell into its own position as it was too weak to do what I told it to. This weakness and vulnerability is bound within this piece as I wanted to capture its body position as unnatural and in the way in which the organs, bones and insides seems to have been exposed by some violent act. DSC00599I want you to question how this being got like this, did it get abused by others or did it destroy and hurt itself mentally or physically. I want you to look at it and feel your own existence within it. You are fragile, mortal and easily impacted by your environment and relationships, this small and brittle creature is a representation of the deterioration of the mental and physical bodies we are encapsulated in

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A Painful Embrace

DSC00446 In this large painting I wanted to capture the embrace of someone suffering with their love one trying to comfort them. I didn’t want to put any expression or evidence in the identity of the people as I feel is irrelevant as it would take away from the fragility of the human condition which I was trying to portray. These spirit-like bodies merging together in one final embrace are developing flesh between them binds their spirits together to create something that isn’t visible but is evident in both the mental bodies of the beings. In painting this I am trying to show mental connection between two beings within the physicality of painting.