Excavation (Reviewing Blog Posts)

I have been looking through my old blog entries for work in progress photos of paintings. I started reading some of what I had written and was really surprised that I am very clearly still battling with a more evolved versions of the same themes. I suppose that this is logical, however one always feels that progress has been made and challenges within your art practice have been resolved. I thought that I would reflect on some of my previous thoughts to reengage with these themes and thinking.
I have also reminded myself to look at the following artists who are still relevant…
Hernan Bas http://www.lehmannmaupin.com/artists/hernan-bas/press_release/0/artist_selected/1

Karen Kilimnik (quite like Chantal Joffe) http://www.303gallery.com/artists/karen_kilimnik/

Yifat Bezalel http://www.gowencontemporary.com/photos/new/

‘Painting with Green’

Clearly there is something about the outside environment which interests me. This is a surprise as I have always referenced wallpaper, but only the kind which twists and turns and drags you in. The opportunity for playfulness and hiding are clear. Previously this is something which I have explored through mask and costume. Perhaps I need to try to be more playful with the media and layer up to hide and reveal figures. Referencing literature and myths is an increasing interest, although I must be careful not to do this in a literal way, but more through subverting or suggesting an idea. Animals as symbols, or referencing stories. Scale, again linking to hiding, shrinking or growing, adding to ambiguity. Also the idea of a parallel world, parallel or double persona and androgyny, looking at a hidden lifestyle or fantasy. This is proving to be really hard for me. I am going to attempt to write a brief or statement of intent for my practice and come back to it.

Reflection 2014
Reference to ‘thresholds’ on this blog made me think about physical painted thresholds (edges, shapes, one colour joining another) and conceptual borders and boundaries, fluid and unfixed states of being. Also the line between making (fluid) and outcome (fixed). I have moved onto the outside and pastoral, reducing these elements to suggested places rather than illustrative. I am still playing with scale and have become much better at expressing my ideas through writing having now written several artist statements. A parallel hidden world is certainly still on point.

‘Thoughts on Dialogue’

  • Place two or more people in a painting to give context and/or juxtaposition.
  • Create paintings which are then split into more than one piece and display together.
  • Create pairs of paintings – from studio chat about the problems of commissions, create two and let the patron choose which one they want. Also quite interesting to create paired works like Roni Horn’s photos taken a second apart. Start from the same point and let them evolve individually.
  • Create pairs in images which are then displayed separately – either on two separate canvases which can be hung together or recreate in a different format and place at a distance away from each other.
  • Create painting and 3D object which responds to one of the symbols or figures in the image. Display alongside each other to create contrast between media. 

Reflection 2014
Very much still investigating these ideas; the pairs of people in an image has become embedded in my practice now, whereas I am still only just creating pairs of paintings. The idea of repeating the same figure throughout a series of paintings so the viewer is forced to make links is another idea that I am still exploring – I made the original comments as a reminder, now they very much underpin my thinking and practice.


I want to explore…
  • Trapping
  • Emerging
  • Being restricted
  • Constructed narrative
  • Fairytales
  • A sense of unease
  • Crowding

Reflection 2014
I don’t think I need to comment too much on this – at the point that I wrote this I had only ideas of doing this – now all except perhaps the fairy tales (as seem to have largely moved passed this) are key themes in my current practice and investigation. I moved away from crowding for a while but it is coming back through editing, scale and sometimes a sense of being restricted in some way.


Initial thoughts on how to show juxtaposition and power in paintings…
Reflection 2014
I have highlighted areas which I am still using in my practice. What leapt out at me from reading these ideas from nearly 3 years ago was how I have become able to select and edit from ideas recorded like this through experimenting and testing to see which communicate my intentions most effectively. I have certainly been through a process of  building up more and more elements – objects, environment, animals – and am now heading down the other side, editing out and reducing down to create less literal/illustrative pieces.
  • Colour – sugary/soft against dark/inky
  • Brushstrokes – smooth/rough, bold/weak – + drawingness, linear qualities to suggest incomplete, transience(2014)
  • Reflection – multiples – mirrors/magnifying glasses/microscope/glass
  • Objects – playful, childlike
  • Animal symbolism – pets, birds, free/caged
  • Coloured decandent/sparse
  • Swarm/plague – butterflies, birds, insects – crowded, claustrophobic
  • Surface – glaze, layers, thick, dense
  • Expression – smiling/twisted,watchful + strained, gaze, grimace(2014)
  • Background taking over image – sucked in, enveloped, alive
  • ‘Like a painting’ image of Lily in NPG
  • Birds, insects – what do they represent? flight, feathers, armour, hiding, carnival, masking
  • Circus performers, freak shows – grotesque curiosity
  • Growth, bearded woman, deformity, midget, giant, siamese twins, animal man, rubber man
  • Scale – image within the painting frame
  • Figures confrontational – abandonned toys or party hats link with Annette Messager
  • Sexual power
  • Manipulative position or expression
  • Strong colour
  • Posture
  • Viewpoint – figure looking down on or up to viewer

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