Final Piece…

In terms of a final outcome I am extremely pleased with how my work has come together. Initially I wanted to produce a series of paintings but over the course of the project my ideas developed and I was able to gather information to influence my progression to where I have ended up. I have always been interested in the way the human mind and human subconscious operates and so it seemed fitting to try and interpret this through an artistic and creative medium that we call ‘art’. I have always been more prone to producing portraits so I wanted to branch off this ‘habit’ and produce landscapes. Not just any landscape however, I wanted to include an abstract motive to my work, something that went beyond a photorealistic image and evoked more thought and examination. The series of 5 drawings that I find myself with as a final piece are successful in this respect and, in my opinion, do tie in nicely with what I set out to achieve in terms of interpreting the human mind and how it works. To start with I was interested in the work of Francis Alys and his collaborative and interactive work but I moved away from the idea of directly using other people’s work. Instead, I utilised other people’s imagination into my own work and created pieces that contained my own interpretation of ‘collaboration’. The drawings are mine, but I would not have been able to produce the work I did without the people I interviewed.

Although my final piece is not what I envisioned it to be, I feel that I have definitely achieved what I wanted. I just didn’t know exactly what it would look like when I began. I always knew that I wanted to produce and abstract portrait but there were so many ways that I could have gone about it. I looked at the work of Adam Caldwell in particular whose composition I found fascinating. In terms of research and similarity I would have to say that I drew my main inspiration from his work. However, through my development I syphoned out elements that I didn’t want and kept the ones I felt were important. Like I said before, I felt that the composition of my work was fundamental to its success and this was something I really explored and thought about. When speak to my tutors and peers I got significant amounts of comments about my composition and how it made the pieces more visually exciting. So with this in mind, I feel that my initial concept has come together nicely through its natural development.

Considering that a lot of my time plan was dedicated to painting, a process I tend to be quite slow at, the end of my time plan was not followed closely at all. However, the first 5 or 6 weeks were kept to relatively closely in terms of the research I had to do, keeping up to date with my blog and deciding what to do as a final piece. When I finally knew what I wanted to produce for the final show I had about 5 weeks remaining of the project, a similar time to what I gave myself to paint. Therefore, although my time planned changed dramatically after deciding to draw rather than paint, my time keeping and planning couldn’t have ben better. I finished my work with around 10 days to spare, allowing for me to bring everything together nicely and coherently.

The research that I carried out allowed for me to explore the work of other artists who have worked in a similar way to me on this project. I found ‘Vitamin D’ thoroughly useful as part of the research process and discovered artists whose practice mimicked mine. I did also research separately from just drawing and looked at collaborative artists such as Alys as well as video documentaries about hoarders – a concept I explored briefly during the collaboration process. Although I had no intention of copying the work of other practitioners my final piece has ended up similar to some of them. It is the meaning behind mine and their’s that is different. Through my research I was able to establish what I wanted my work to look like – an obstacle that I thought I would have great difficulty with – and this is due to me being able to see the work of others working in a similar style.

I have always worked in a fairly detailed way but never on the same scale as my final work. Originally, I wanted to produce paintings on an A3 scale but moved away from this idea towards an A6 scale. Working with pencil rather than paint was something I had not done previously and I thoroughly enjoyed this process. Using such great detail was immensely satisfying for me, as I had only ever utilised paint for this process. The pencil created a completely different effect, which I simply did not expect when I first engaged in the drawing process of the project. My presentation was also very unfamiliar to me until the final project, as I had always just mounted my work on the wall for all to see. I decided to completely change the dynamic of how the audience is to view my work. By using mirrors and reflections as the key aspect of my work, the viewer is able to interact with the piece rather than just gaze. During the experimental process of my development I was even captivated by some of the ways in which my work reacted to being reflected and copied in mirrors.

My experimentation wasn’t the most exciting part of the project. I did have to juggle the possibilities of having work on an A3 scale and an A6 scale and having it with paint as the medium or pencil. I began the drawing concept by making 3 A3 drawings which depicted three of the descriptions I had been given. Only one of these was really successful and I felt that this experimentation had led to me finding the basis for a final piece. However, after more crit groups I decided to scale my work down. The main experimentation really came into play when I had decided to incorporate a mirror into my final piece. There were two possible ways for me to present the work in the mirrors. Either as a line of 5 or as 5 separate blocks set out in various ways. The line of drawings appealed to me more as the patterns and varied composition of the individual panels became confusing and tiresome. I had 14 different compositions for the individual panels, but after reflecting on them all in my mind and journal I decided to stick to the line of work. I feel this was a good decision as I later decided to angle the work so as to make the pieces more accessible for the viewer. This was the final experimentation I did before coming to terms with and establishing what I wanted to do for my final piece.

Single Panel reflections…

As part of my development i wanted to compare the single strip of drawings to the separate individual drawings. Despite me being able to compare them by simply looking at them, i realised that i could arrange the individual panels in more interesting ways. I took a range of photographs (14 to be precise) and here they all are. ENJOy…

Realisation of Presentation…

After much deliberation, discussion and thinking i have decided how to present my work in the final show. I want to reflect my drawings in a single long mirror. But i have to experiment with how the drawings can be reflected. I have to pick on of three ways if i am to go with the long strip with the drawings chronologically. So here they are…

First) Flat, facing the wall…

Second) at 45 degrees to the wall…

 

And Third) at 25 degrees to the wall…

I am currently drawn more to the idea of having it at 45 degrees as it creates a greater depth to the reflection and, if the work is raised, the viewer has to look into the reflection rather than just glancing at it. However, i have thought about the presentation and i like how the piece could work if it was flat facing the wall. I could have a plinth and raise the drawings above the plinth so people have to look over the drawings in order to see them. however this could become a problem in terms of people being careless and knocking the work over. This needs to be though through…

Potential layout experimentation…

I have now come to the obstacle of deciding how to layout my work. The first solution that i have come up with is a very simple single line of drawings in the order of completion. This idea is appealing greatly to me as it just seems to make sense and the drawings just work together.  I photocopied the originals and stuck them down. I then had the dilemma of deciding whether or not to paint the panels so i experimented further with colour, using black and white for the backgrounds. Here is what it looks like…

I then thought a bit more about presentation and thought that maybe the drawings would looks good on individual panels. So i photocopied the originals more in order to create more examples of what the work could look like. These came out like so…

The Final Five…

After deciding to scale my work down to an A6 scale i began to experiment with the pencils and paper and before i knew it my experimentation had become my first piece. I read through the rest of my useful descriptions and picked out the 5 best. The selection process wasn’t exactly… thorough. Some of the descriptions were completely useless, but there were a few i had to fight on. I eventually came to my final five, chosen purely on the detail that they contained. By chance they are all completely different in setting (from what i can establish) and have turned out to be interesting and varied.

This first drawing consists of; Palm trees, the sun, coconuts, a clown fish, a cocktail glass, a cigar and sand. There is a very abstract feel to this particular drawing as there is no real location. There are aspects or underwater life, plants and also man made products. I do like the changes in scale with this one however. The fish is life-size, the sand is blown out of proportion, the sun, in comparison to the trees and coconut could be realistic (given the time of day, time of year and location) and the cigar and glass are fairly regular.

The second drawing had a completely different style to the first and continues over the next 4. It consists of; Hair, the setting sun, a strap, hanging cloths and money. The description i read for this one gave me a sense of heat and desert. Brown and earthy… But i had to portray these immediate feelings in black and white. The one thing i don’t like about this one is the detail on the pound coin.

Third we come to the ‘industrial’ themed drawing. This one isn’t quite as busy and consists of three elements; A tap, a trough and a metal shack. In terms of overall enjoyment of the individual drawings i had the most fun with this one. Especially the tap and trough. Drawing water was something i had never done before and so imagining it wasn’t quite as easy as i thought it was going to be. The detail on the tap is also completely imagined  but i like how it looks 🙂

Penultimately we come to the only drawing i could actually interpret and understand. After reading this one and realising who had written it i was able to put all the parts together to establish what was going on. This scene, consisting of; clouds, steps, a lake, hills, a trumpet (portraying a band) and a floatation ring (portraying ships), depicts the farewell of a loved one to sea. This drawing also contains my favourite aspect of the whole series. This is the ships ring. I can’t really explain why either, i just really believe what it is and what it is meant to portray. I also had a lot of fun drawing this part aswell….

Finally we have the most literal drawing of the lot. Consisting of; the sun, grass, trees, sheep (portrayed by the tree) and a thatched roof (depicting a countryside house), i am most familiar with this composition. This is the only drawing that really looks like it could be a place rather than an interpretation of a place. What i like about this one in particular is the solid black sun on the left. I like this part because i hadn’t really used big blocks of dark tone in the previous drawings… I had focussed more on shading, light tone and negative space…

A3 drawings taken from Collaborative descriptions

With paintings in mind, i have decided to draw out the descriptions first in order to establish the composition of the paintings. These are three of the descriptions that i want to experiment with before turning them into paintings. They are only rough tho…

As i moved from one drawing to the next i began to notice how the style of them changed. I think this was mainly to do with the descriptions i was reading. The first one was very sketchy and basic and didn’t allow for much interpretation at all. In fact it is even difficult to figure out where this place is.

The second drawing i completed was slightly less literal and slightly more abstract. The scale was no longer of any importance to me but the configuration of the setting came together more allowing for the landscape to take an actual form. You can actually imagine this being a real place. But in my opinion i am not totally convinced by this one…

The third drawing i did is my favourite. It combines elements of reality allowing the drawing to take some literal form but it is also heavily distorted by depth and scale. When i showed this to my crit group and tutor they all gave me feedback to suggest that i should continue with this style…

Interestingly, after showing my group the work they said that i should consider scaling my work down to produce more intricate, abstract landscapes. So i guess this is something i need to continue with a develop over the course of the next 5 weeks.