Artist statement

‘’Can you see us?’’

 

My curiosity of spirituality, mythology and the sub-conscious mind has had a massive influence on the way I am working. I have been delving into the understanding of spirits and the way people perceive them. By using the sub-conscious mind, I can create my own perception of what these spirits/creatures would appear to look like. Although this is personal to me, I have illustrated them in a way that only suggests and allowing the viewer to make their own perception of what their spirits would appear as.

 

The focus of my work all comes down to the sub-conscious mind and making instinctive marks to create a human or animal-like form. I have illustrated a series of ink drawings, all of which differ in appearance but are concealed with only a suggestion as to what the spirits would emerge as. I believe that these creatures appear to us in different forms and are completely individual to one’s sub-conscious mind. Amongst the illustration, I have also created a small animation which suggests the piercing of the veil between our realm and the realm of the spirits. There are but a few ways to enter this ‘thin place’ as suggested by the ancient Celts, but I have created connection between my reality and the reality of my sub-conscious mind and the spirits that dwell there. In the animation, shows a scene of spirits coming and going, morphing into different forms. The sound of vinyl scratching layering over the top of voices was a way to show the line between our world and theirs.

 

The wind chime is an extension of my works as it reflects my own childhood of creating homemade objects such as fairy houses, sun catchers and wind chimes much like this one. Not only this but I wanted to create another form of ‘thin place’ using a collection of organic materials found in the forest where I feel most connected to the spirits.

Morocco: A Final look

I have talked about how much the trip to Morocco had influenced my subject and field work.  The Jinn, has been a key figure in my subject as I have started to look into spirits and how we perceive these elusive creature/human forms. I have realised how much we differ from each other in the way we see the spirits; making them spirits of your own mind.

My continued development in my second field project has led me to testing with ink and colour/patterns that are found in Morocco. From testing with Materials such as fabric and manipulating them in ways that suit the whole perception of a Jinn, to using ink and paper and creating them as I have been using in my subject; which was originally inspired by the figurative modelling field project. My whole project has been based on what the Jinn would appear as to me and as the Quran says, they were derived from the smokeless fires before any human was created. The smokeless fire immediately makes me wonder if the Jinn was in fact the smoke. The properties of smoke are quite similar as the jinn is quick and elusive, and disappear in almost an instant (much like smoke).  I knew that I wanted to use inks to portray these creatures which would then quickly catch on in my subject work.

Throughout this field project I looked at artists such as Elvis Robertson and Maurizio Anzeri who both use an layering embroidery technique. As our focus was textiles based, which was definitely out of my comfort zone, I tried to use these artist as a way to understand the learn from them.

development started to occur, with a lot of testing and manipulating with fabric and coloured dyes which I brought back from Morocco. I used embroidery to start adding patterns and colour to the inkblots. This was to represent and understand the culture and religion of country which I had visited not to long ago. Using my own photo’s which I had captured in Marrakech as reference for colour and pattern.

I would like to say that I have a final piece, but that wouldn’t  be entirely true as I was to carry on the project of spirits into my third year, I want to start introducing colour to my subject much like I have done with my field. As you can see, there are two finished pieces which I believe represent my thoughts on what a Jinn would appear as. This idea is completely my own and I believe the lack of much detail in the character, allows others to have there own view on what it could actually look like.

The first piece, began with etching. After learning about etching, I knew I wanted to create a piece which would represent a Jinn. Despite not having pattern, I focused primarily on shape and colour. The different shades and sizes represent the smoke ‘dancing’; as is the Jinn. Limited with tissue paper, I tried to keep the colours bright and Moroccan in nature. The outcome, was quite interesting and almost tells a story of the Jinn causing mischief and dancing around looking for it’s next victim.

 

As for the second piece, I used ink and pattern to create another representation of the Jinn. This piece has inspired my subject in many ways and will continue to do so throughout my third year. Using ink, I sub-consciously played around with ink to create a form. After creating 15 different forms, I chose one which has to be my favourite. Like the etching, I can sense movement and dance much like the smoke of a fire.

Jinn

I wanted to add a part of the Quran into the piece. The Arabic writing is so interesting in itself and I believe it adds a sense of mystery and wonder to the piece. The writing on the Jinn says ” And the Jinn we created before from scorching fire.” Surah Al-Hijr 15:26-27. For the pattern, I was influenced by a photograph I took of a wall inside the Palace. the colours were separate from the photo but they were also inspired by what I saw throughout my stay in Marrakech.

I believe this project to be ongoing and not at all complete. I am excited to see where it will take me and my journey into the realm of spirits, perception and mystery.

Field Overview

My field started with figurative modelling. I was unsure what to expect when I first signed up for this field, but I am extremely happy with the outcome of the whole project as it led to some of the major techniques used in my subject project. Clay is something that I have used before, but nothing to the extend in which I had to use it in this project. I learnt many techniques and different ways of manipulating, constructing and building with a variety of clays. Although, during the couple of months, I realised that me and clay weren’t the best of friends; perhaps I was thinking to much of what it could be rather than what it was? Either way, I created more pieces that I was unhappy with, than I was happy with. This did put a strain on my field project but I was able to overcome this by drawing with charcoal. By using Charcoal and paper, I was able to try new ways of drawing, such as, 20 second drawings, drawing with expression, life drawing and so on. This connected my field and subject and made me take a different and more exciting path for my subject work. In the end of this field, as a group we made a collaborative final piece which went on display in the foyer of the CSAD building. This was something that I had never done before, and working as a team can be a challenge but luckily I was paired up with some amazing people who I can now call friends. Our final outcome was delicate and narrative. We all contributed 1 or 2 pieces of art, whether it was 3D or 2D. The feedback we got from our collaboration went really well and not only this but we were commended for our teamwork.

Preparation for our 8 day trip to Morocco started before Christmas, We were asked to research Marrakech before our arrival at the end of January. The few weeks before the trip, I was extremely nervous and didn’t quite know what to expect, despite conducting research throughout Christmas. the sessions were compact with preparation for this trip, including lectures and workshops. Alas, I felt nothing could prepare me for such an inspirational, once in a life time trip. The week of the trip, and  I learnt so much from being in a culturally different environment. The colours, smells and people were so different to our life in the UK and at times it was quite overwhelming. The market places were phenomenal. People everywhere, bartering and cat-calling the people that walk past there stalls. The roads, packed with cars, donkey/horse carts, motorbikes, all pushing past like they were desperate to get somewhere (most of which would have definitely been illegal in our own country).

Whilst I was there I came across the Jinn, which had been mentioned from time to time and could be seen in peoples day to day life. At the Hotel, rose petals were placed on the sinks, fountains and toilet lids to keep the Jinn at bay. The Jinn, I soon learnt, was a mythical creature that was found in the Quran. They are mischievous creatures that cause havoc on the people and can only be kept at bay with an offering of rose petals. I found this extremely interesting and I knew from that moment, that I wanted to continue my field project on this subject. Coming home from this trip, I began researching in to the jinns. The information I found was that they were described as being born from the ashes of fire. This instantly made me want to interpret these creatures for myself. I began testing with materials such as fabric and ink. creating inkblots with the sub-conscious was a key medium in this project and was influenced by my subject and last field project. Further testing with ink and paper, started to influence my subject work as I moved from charcoal to ink.

Both field project had a large impact on my art altogether and I have learnt and experienced so much in the past year. All the techniques have been used their full advantage and I believe they will continue to be useful to my practice.

 

 

Lotte Reiniger and Walt Disney

Lotte Reiniger, a pioneer for animation and in particular, Silhouette animation. Originally from Germany, Lotte created over 40 animated films in her career. I have taken interest in her work, which was originally brought to my attention by ‘the book of animation’ which discussed techniques of animating throughout the years. Lotte was an Artists which started the book off. I was enthralled by the stories that she told using simply black and white silhouette characters. Although there was little detail in the characters being portrayed, there is always a so much detail in the backgrounds and as a viewer, I always understand what is happening throughout the story.

Walt Disney, a world famous artist and key figure in animation and it’s history. As I start to develop my own work I seem to realise that I have been unintentionally influenced by the classic Walt Disney animations. Although both mine and Disney’s are done in a different method, there still rings a type of nostalgia in my developing work which I can’t help but relate to the animations created by the genius of Walt.

As for my own work, I have been inspired by her since the first idea’s of using silhouettes to portray spirits. As I have said before, Lotte’s characters are simply black but are very readable in emotion and movement. The spirits that I draw lack much detail because I want people to imagine for themselves, what spirits would look like. I don’t want to force feed an idea of what spirits look like and therefore keeping them simple with a silhouette style, allows them to keep the imagination free and open to the spirits which I am bringing to peoples conscious mind.

 

Personal Statement

Sophie Woodrow, the artist of my choosing, has in no doubt inspired me. As I start this project and decided to work closely to the work that she does with porcelain creatures, I never knew I would learn so much about me and how important my sub-conscious mind can be.

This year, All of my projects are linking in very well. my dissertation, field and subject all have something in common and I have never been more excited to create works of art that not only mean so much to me, but hopefully make people understand themselves more as well.

My interest in character design, history, spirituality and mythology has had a massive influence on the way I am working. Both subject and field have combined into one and I have learnt a lot about new cultures and continue to do so.

The way I am working, with ink, is a new field for me but It is definitely something I will continue to work in. The sub-conscious movement of the brush has become clear to me, its exciting to see a character emerge that i will never be able to replicate.

Without Figurative modelling, I would have never have found this technique of 10 second drawings, mark making or impulsive drawing.

As for Morocco, I was able to discover a creature called the Jinn which has inspired me in creating a ‘thin place’ for the site exhibition project. the thin place is referencing to the celts connecting themselves to the spirit realm.

 

Site project

My ideas are flowing well for this project. I am currently making many ink blot characters which I have developed into sub-conscious spirits. I want the public to be able to find these creatures on their daily walks in the park. I will hang them up in the trees and hope for people to come across them unknowingly or hopefully, intentionally hunting for them. I want people to get into touch with their inner-child and seek out these imaginary creatures. Perhaps they make an individual feel a certain emotion.

The process of making is still going strong, I am also going to design posters to hang around the area to let people know that these creatures are on the prowl and for people to look for them. I want there to be an narrative, a story for someone to indulge in.

I was inspired by Susan Adams Key concept lecture, The Idea of a ‘Thin line’ between two worlds. I want people to realise this and get in touch with an alternate reality; through my artwork, my sub-conscious mind where they were born and existed.

 

Site responsive art

What is site responsive Art?

 

-Rachel Whiteread House 1993

-Anthony Gormley, Angel of the North, 1998

  • Using ship parts to create the sculpture

 

Site responsive art:

  • Installation
  • Site specific
  • Outside of a gallery
  • Relational or participatory
  • An intervention
  • A permanent work commissioned for the site
  • Short lived
  • Linked to space or place
  • Is the site always physical?

How did we get from there to here?

  • Gallery spaces
  • Primitive cave wall art?
  • White cube for exhibition?
  • Magical traces, Ritual/sacred sites
  • Sites of pilgrimage: Wouldn’t be classed as exhibition, it’s a culture and religion
  • The making of the white cube, Paintings piled to the ceiling.
  • The louvre, 1787
  • Museum of fine art, Boston, 1909
  • Mike Nelson, In memory of H P Lovecraft, 1999-2008
  • I, Imposter, 2011
  • Thomas Hirschhorn, Caveman, dimensions variable
  • Jason Rhoades
  • Katherina Grosse, 2015
  • Deutsche Bank, Ohio

Richard Serra, Tilted arch- Outside a government building, 1981 and removed 1989

Is it art that is continually on the move?

A functional site work… a temporary thing, a movement, a chain of meaning and imbricated histories.

Simon starling, Shedboatshed, a mobile art piece.

-made a shade, took it down and made a boat, carrying all pieces in the boat, and then building the shed out of the boat again.

  • Theaster Gates, SANCTUM, 2015
  • Thin place, Ancient European folklore held that anomalies in a landscape we indicative of.
  • A place of spiritual connection, between two realms.
  • Adam Buick, Vative jar, clay bell.
  • A line made by walking, Richard Long England, 1967
  • The messenger, Durham Cathedra, 1996
  • Bill viola
  • Tony Oursler, The influence machine 2000
  • Spiritualism, connecting with the dead, machinery to contact the dead
  • Growth, Artist in residency attic, Cardiff
  • Christian Boltanski, Animitas or the music of souls
  • Wrapped Reichstag, Christo and Jeanne Claude
  • Katrina Palmer, End matter
  • Audio narratives