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.