I thought it would be an appropriate time to record my reflections on my original plans for unit 2.2. In the past I have been critiqued for doing a ‘good’ project because I am a teacher. Reviewing my blog posts, I was surprised that my original intentions have been partially fulfilled, but in an entirely different way to what I had anticipated. This has proved to me that I can stick to a plan loosely, but not literally. The plan has underpinned without dictating my work and serves a reminder of my intentions and my manifesto for working.
Composition/process – static v. Fluid
Moving more into fluid but through different devices such as more gestural mark making and stains.
Single elements on multiple surfaces to construct a continuous image
I have never split an image literally over several separate surfaces, but the motif of figures appearing multiple times within one image, or in different picture planes is becoming more significant. This is because of the way my movement photography inspires my paintings and drawings and also the process of re-drawing to create multiple fractured glimpses of figures.
The role of drawing
I now need to create drawings and prints as pieces in their own right, using them to work through ideas. My intention is to create 360 degree drawings to extract slithers to create fictional environments anchored in reality.
The environment has been reduced to a ground and a stain, a suggestion of space without a literal depiction. Experimenting with drawing techniques and gestural drawing with paint has led me to create reduced paintings, which are indicative of drawing and trace.
I also intend to embark on a more focused study of micropsia and macropsia, scale shifting, changes in perception and perspective, dream and myth making.
I am still experimenting with scale – with gigantic and tiny picture planes, and figures within their space. Using diagonals, sometimes more explicitly has suggested imbalance, and also a sense of figures being partial and disappearing.
Before these themes become solid, I need to explore through drawing to reach a balance between literal and conceptual interpretation. There is also potential to play with drawingness in paintings, perhaps using paint to draw with or leaving evidence of drawing.
This is probably the most prominent element in my current work. I have abandoned glazing and am currently working in acrylic to allow me to make painterly drawings. In particular, Ingold’s Lines has influenced my ideas about the use of line in the meandering journey of the work.
Sets and series
Larger pieces require more components which could include environmental features, figures, animals and manmade structures. I will continue to work on multiple surfaces, but may also investigate making the same painting twice so I leave room for surface exploration.
Multiple surfaces has always been my preferred way of working – now also becoming suggestive of chronology and the journey of the work.
To reinforce chronology, and to develop a sense of duality in my work, I intend to play with repeating a single figure within the composition; this may tease the viewer and create dialogue around the process of looking. Blending with a sense of narrative and ‘bookness’; surfaces act as pages in a chronological journey which can be subverted and drawn from exploiting post-modern anti-chronological techniques.
More of an ‘inner library’ and ‘pages’, I have been able to explore multiple surfaces and paper based works. I’m thinking about the encounter with these now – I am considering the use of oyster clam boxes for loose work, binding or clamping loose pages, and canvases appearing on adjacent walls to allow the viewer to ‘read’ the narrative.
I am also interested in referencing illustrative devices, which the viewer may recognise and begin to apply their own narrative and links.
Performance, costuming and props
There is an opportunity to return to the question of what makes a spectacle. I want to create suspense and disguise, a sense of reshaping and escaping identity, and in particular, explore the staging of a younger self. By using an element of performance in the collation of imagery, I hope to capture spontaneity and movement to maintain changes made in the previous unit.
The terms reshaping and escaping identity are key. The figures are partial, emerging and disappearing which is indicative of reshape/escape. Retracing, rereading, revisiting are all integral. The work is gestural which suggests movement and gestural spontaneous mark making.
Reflection and shadow
Both reflection and shadow have emerged as exciting elements in the narrative weaving of alternate truths. I imagine creating shadow people, a sense of duplicity, multiplicity and figures unstitched. I am particularly interested in the use of conceptual and compositional devices, for example the curve and its significance in the representation of the feminine. In addition, water and the mirror could introduce greater depth (pictorial and conceptual) and open potential for a greater sense of magical realism. Exploring and recording residue or trails could also establish links between figure and environment.
My description here is very visual and could have become extremely literal. Instead I have made fluidity – stains, splatters, puddles – which could be considered as traces or shadows. The last sentence, Exploring and recording residue or trails could also establish links between figure and environment – is absolutely where I am in my making and thinking. The journey, the trace, the line. Although visually, I am not yet there, the ideas are coming together and my intentions are much clearer.