In the end I came to the conclusion that I wanted people to feel my work and so I purchased some other painting materials that would provide more textural contrast.
However, after talking with tutors and other students I reflected upon my work and thought about how when I was making these textures I really liked the sounds that the paint and the brushed themselves made. This influenced the next step in my project…recording the sounds of painting.
As I created more and more textured samples I recorded the sounds that were made whilst I was making them. I have never worked with sound but I thought that I would experiment to see what outcomes I came up with.
I took these sound clips into Adobe Audition and edited them so that they were more ‘comfortable’ to listen to. Some of the original clips had such variated in decibels that I found that it hurt my ears to listen to it and I didn’t want to produce this kind of uncomfortable experience for this project.
After experimenting with layering and altering the sounds I wanted to try and combine them with the textures panels themselves. It was only as I tried to do this that I realised that they really didn’t work together. I found that they were too distracting to the other.
That’s when I made the big decision to only show the sound clip for my final piece. Reflection upon my group crit showed that this was the best thing to do. The other students commented on how they liked the piece and how it was refreshing to see a final outcome in a different media. Most of the people who listened to my piece listened until the end and many of them had smiles on their faces that kept on growing as the piece developed. This was amazing to see and has inspired me to use this technique in the future.
This project has been very fast paced, with only 3 weeks to complete it I feel like i’m floundering all over the place. I’ve mainly been focussing on how I can create textures with paint. I’ve tried using thick layers and then thin layers but lots of them. Whilst this has all worked to a certain extent I just don’t feel like I have been developing enough with my work.
I want people to be able to interact with my work but i’m trying to work out how best to achieve this. Do I allow people to feel my work, if so do they get to look at it as well? Or do I only let people look at my work, in which case would that really be a ‘satisfying’ piece of work?
This was a one day workshop exploring the idea of getting a machine or multiple machines to create our art work. This could have been bodily appendages or machines that worked in their own right.
I was worried initially because I have no idea how to create a motor or similar. However, it soon became clear that that really didn’t matter. In fact, we were able to make some very interesting machines with very few and simple components.
Initially I was inspired by Rebecca Horn’s work where she created bodily appendages. I created my own version of her mask by putting sewing pins through an existing mask. This created a very scary outcome, more than I was anticipating, and I loved it.
Then came the practical task of trying to make some art with it. This, did not go as well as I had hoped. I had to be very careful to not poke my eyes out and overall it didn’t really work because I couldn’t get enough ink to transfer from the pins onto the paper.
So, I started work on plan 2. I had bought in an easel and decided to do some collision work where by I attached 2 mini buckets of watered down acrylic paint to the easel and let them collide together. The paint needed to be watered down or else it wouldn’t spill onto the paper.
I used red and blue paint because I thought that this would provide reasonable contrast. After we had a crit it turned out that these colours actually reminded people of magnets and how opposite ends attract, which with the motion of the buckets colliding was pretty accurate. I recorded my work photographically and with some slow motion videos which allowed you to see the collision right before your eyes.
We had been told about an opportunity that has opened with the National Trust at their site Dapdune Wharf in the centre of Guildford. The National Trust wants to include more contemporary art into their sites and so this was a huge opportunity for us to possibly be able to input our own creative practices.
At first I was a little apprehensive, I have never thought about my work being outside or in an area of such great importance, but I thought that I would go along for the ride and see if anything happened to inspire me once I got there.
Amazingly, it did! I loved the buildings and especially the barge. I was stunned by how quickly and easily I started to come up with some ideas on what I would like to do with the site. The barge I could see as being the perfect home to a light and sound installation, taking influences from the projection work that I have been doing over the last couple of weeks.
We were also told about the need for attracting new visitors to the area and one of the main things that struck me was that there so called ‘cafe’ really wasn’t a cafe at all, and I thought that even if they put a lovely cafe in there it would attract more people including dog walkers who walk along the waterway.
For this proposed cafe, after walking around and photographing the site I felt would sit perfectly on the island. This way as you sat drinking your coffee you would have lovely views of the waterways and Guildford. I can imagine it being circular with a panoramic glass view, this way the sunrises and the sun sets can all be enjoyed from the comfort of the cafe.
I hope to keep developing on from these ideas and propose some of them to the National Trust.
So after the visit to UCA Canterbury I was inspired to take my project to a new direction, projections!
Initially I projected existing photographs of places that I had onto walls, ceilings and corners. The whole process was a lot easier the second time around, but I wanted to push myself further. Just projecting images onto the wall felt too flat, I wanted more depth and animation to my work.
That’s when I had the thought about creating a structure to project onto initially. It turned out that I actually preferred to project into this structure. It reminded me of a house and so it instantly seemed to bring my work alive by making the audience crawl into a small space in order to view my art.
I spent ages sitting in that ‘hidey hole’ because I felt so safe in there, it was then that I realised what I wanted to create. A ‘Safe Place’.
I set to work on creating different textures that I could use to project into my ‘house’ and adapting the structure to make it feel as safe as possible. For this I bought several flat double bed sheets and stapled them onto the inside and outside of the structure. Initially this was because I wanted a white space to work in and this seemed like a quick and easy way to achieve this.
It was only after I started putting the sheets up that I realised that it reminded me of being a child and hiding under the covers or making dens. This instantly gave my project a more reminiscing feel about it and further cemented the feeling of safety that I felt in there and consequently that other people felt.
I happened to find a christmassy scent – apple and cinnamon – which I decided to try with my project to see what it added. This was a gamble, but it paid off. I was trying to create a space that was as sensory calming as possible and after the crit it appeared that everyone felt that when they went in there and were confronted with all of these stimuli on a personal 1:1 level.
Today I attended a willow weaving workshop at The Maltings, Farnham. I have never done anything like this before but I decided to bite the bullet and just go for it.
It turns out that this was absolutely the right thing to do! I loved it!
I loved the fact that we were working with such a natural material, that happened to smell amazing and with few other tools we were able to make some very simple and some more complicated shapes and structures.
This workshop was Christmas themed and so we made stars, christmas trees and reindeer, but I feel that through a relatively short workshop I have learnt a lot of new skills that I would feel confident and comfortable with applying to other pieces of my work.
Today I went with some other students from UCA Farnham to visit UCA Canterbury to look at the Fine Art Degree course.
I was impressed by the amount of space that there was for the Fine Art students to work in and the creativity that was unravelling in them. As a way of getting to know our way around the site we were set a mini project. This was to create a projection showing tight crops of parts of the students works.
At first this seemed really daunting, I had never worked with projections, I didn’t even know where to begin. However, we got into pairs and just stated to photograph bits of the students work, my partner and I decided to concentrate a colour theme. In our case it was the colour blue.
Once we had all collected our images we were guided to a computer room where we were shown how to use Adobe Pro in order to combine the images ready to be projected.
Whilst this was a very quick project, I feel that I learn a lot. I was able to see out my first projection which was based on the ceiling to mirror the skylights. I was so pleased with the final outcome, and combined with the colour theme I felt instantly relaxed when watching out piece.