Critical Practice


MA Year Reflection

I began on the MA without any plans and any ideas for work, and was ready to ‘give up’ art.

I was enquiring after course refunds in the first week and learnt that fees would not be refunded if I decided to quit. I allowed this to be the reason to embark on art making

It was a dubious beginning.

It was the first assesment that propelled me into making art.

I had played around with materials and a couple of ideas for development from previous works.

These were cross hatching collages and apples.

I made several 2d works using cross hatching elements collaged.

The works were pristine and clean, but lacked identity and meaning.

I felt by forcing a meaning onto these works would be a false beginning.

I wanted a new perspective or a ‘hook’ for which to excite and interest me.

I painted an apple black and forgot about it. When I came back to college after the first holidays it had ‘blown up’ like a balloon and was seeping juice. It was an interesting result and I photographed it. It felt like a work had been worked for me, I felt it had suggestions of death.

It reminded me of my grandmother who has passed away. I felt a response was due and wrote a script that was a ‘séance’, a communication with her via my keyboard.

The work encouraged me to develop ideas of false or niaeve communication.

I didnt really want to develop the work in terms of ‘alzheimers’ as it was a bit depressing.

I enjoyed the idea of communication however, and wanted to incorporate ideas of memorial and light and memory.

I researched the subject of memory and found several interesting artists such as Bill Viola, Aura Satz and Kerry Tribe. These artists had reached out a hand of compassion to both viewer and subject.

I felt that an area of ‘beauty’ could be attributed to personal loss and memory, and looked forward to developing works that would inspire within me further ideas and sentiments.

Researching memory has allowed me to be objective about my own memories and to sympathise with the viewer’s memory without the need to ‘remember’ myself.

Melancholy has played a large part in my state of mind throughout this project, as well as nostalgia.

I felt after my previous project of the folk arts, I was able to experience a practice that engaged me with humanity on a deeper level.

I feel that I have found a new ‘ground’ for which to practice my art. I have found an opportunity to practice confidence of understanding further human nature. Empathy has been a key component of thinking and working.

I feel that I have been able to establish a boundary between me and my subject, that I have been able to ‘identify’ the viewer as someone that I can understand, and hope to meet.

I have been able to put my self into my works but not overloading the works with personal perspective.

I feel the works sit comfortably between me and the viewer, not swaying one way or the other.

There is a sense of ‘distance’, that I address the viewer without over familiarising myself, making suggestions and giving interpretations that will allow the viewer to decide for himself.

The works are very varied in material and message. I enjoy this disparateness.

I am very glad to have eliminated all the plinths that I have constructed from the show space.

I have incorporated alot of ‘light’ elements into the show that are experiments with various technologies and tools. I enjoy this ‘weaving’ of light into the work. And sourcing new materials natural and manufactured to compliment and illumine the light source in interesting ways.

I feel it is the details of the work where I find originality. Once the framework has been structured using logic and reason, more interesting elements can be incorporated.

Sound, sight smell, touch, and bodily memory have all been addressed. I am not sure that in these terms this is clear, but I hope the viewer will enjoy a varied exhibition with many different viewing perspectives and stances.

I have been more aware of the art created around me than I have been of the artists that make the work. It shows how much we are affected by our environments. I enjoy the sense of being ‘out of the way’ when I practice my art. I enjoy the rare moments of ‘silence’ within when engaged in my work at college.

I have gained confidence in my ideas and methods of research as well as in developing formulas for new concepts.

I will seek to refine my ideas, whilst I enjoy a sponteneity and a determination to construct what is ‘in my head’, I will be more careful to be surer of ideas before spending money on materials.

I continue to be disorganised although I have found new ways of planning that include mind maps not only for works but for planning and contextualising.

I respond to pressure positively, and look forward to future opportunties of these types of situations.

I feel that the MA has provided me with an opportunity to continue practicing art, and hope that my new body of work will propel me into new projects in new places with new people.

I have always been a very independent artist, and feel that it is freedom that I obtain from my work.

I enjoy the many different states of mind through the working day, sensations, emotions, physical demands all impact on my relationships with others, artists or non artists, and I feel that I contribute positively to the working community. Future works will incorporate further ideas of memory, light and perhaps media intervention. I hope to continue to project images and devise new and exciting methods.

I have learnt to take from people as I wish, and they from me, and not to apply a formula for ‘identity’ in terms of understanding others, this allows a deeper flexibility of communication that results in an enrichment of time usage, and of potential for the day ahead.

It is the walk home from college that I feel that the day can be assessed, and for the most part of the course, it has been a happy journey. I intend to apply these positive elements to the future.

Future Projects

I exhibited a work in St Johns Church in Holland Park earlier this year. The church has a 500 year old organ that has been de assembled and taken away for repair and restoration.

There is a large space left that is empty all but for some dust and light.

Standing in this space is a profound experience. It brings to mind ideas of sound, energy and light. It is a little like being in an anechonic chamber (a room designed to receive no outward sound). It is like a vacumn in some ways, but also stimulates ideas of memory, of a ghostliness, and stirs the senses in many ways.

I have also discovered the work of a German philosopher named Emanuel Swedenborg who lived in the 17th century. He wrote many papers on the philosphies of the soul, of its existence and of the afterlife.

There is a society and a library dedicated to his works in central London and the society holds many art events with artists who have been inspired by his work.

I feel that there is great potential in combining ideas of the empty space in St Johns church and the ideas and philosophies of Swedenborg.

I hope to devise a project that will enable some works to be installed in the church before March 2013 when the organ will return to its place.

Initial ideas centre around sound art in response to space and architecture. I hope to construct a projection (slide) that will make use of the dusty light that presently exists and to introduce Swedenborgs ideas of the material and mechanisms of the soul.