Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Flickering Visions - before, during and after the event

After a busy few months which threw up many of life's distractions the exhibition 'Flickering Visions' was finally installed. Planning a solo show was actually quite scary, putting out into the public realm all the work that you have spent months of blood, sweat and tears over can be dawnting to say the least. This said the whole experience has been a positive one and I have been motivated to think about my work as a whole rather than focusing on each individual art work, which in turn has not only made me think more professionally but has also opened up new avenues of enquirey for future projects.

I decide to self-publish a catalogue for the show, which I must confess was mainly for personal reasons, as a record the event itself and to document where my work sits at this moment in time. I did not see it as a commercial venture, lets face it, my work isn't that marketable as yet and as such the print run is small, for friends and familly. However, I have learnt a lot from this experience and hope to take this forward to produce a limited editioned artist book, that will include written references from that/those which has influenced my work, biographical and work related essays/reviews, as well as notes and sketches that show where my work has evolved from.

Not only has this event made me re-write my artist statement, clarifying my vision for my work but I have also produced a short essay - Artist's Notes - which provides an explanation of where my inspiration and ideas originate from, in 'plain-speak' rather than 'arty' language, as I felt it was important to make it accessible to a wider audience.

I find it extremely difficult to talk about my work formally and in public, which in todays climate is expected of an artist and I have been thinking of a way around this. Obviously providing copies of my 'Artist's Notes' at the exhibition helps but it still wasn't enough. My daughter is a poet and she was talking about the trend for performance poetry but felt that it was something she would find really difficult to do, her musician friend had suggested filming her and putting it on You Tube. At the same time some galleries are doing virtual tours of their exhibitions and filmed interviews of their artists. So my plan now is to create a film about my work, my processes, my inspiration; I have managed to find someone with the technical know how and skill who can help me come up with a script for it. This could then be used on a monitor in the gallery and/or as a link on my website as a way of informing the viewer about my work and making myself more accessible without having to perform publically. Watch this space!

They say you learn by your mistakes which is just as well. The thing about putting your work out there is that you do get a lot of feedback and this is important to the growth and development of your work. I thought long and hard about wether or not this space was right for my work but after some misgivings decided to go ahead with it. The gallery itself is bright, open and full of light but situated as it is above a cafe/craft shop the quaint atmosphere is not matched by the gritty nature of my work and some of the customers have been quite put out by the style and subject matter of my paintings. Don't get me wrong, a little controversy I think is all good but I think that the venue didn't bring anything to my work and was also reflected in who came to view them. Of course at the back of my mind I knew this really but I was confirmed by the feedback I had about the show. Next time a disused industrial unit I think! Lots of positive feedback about the painings themselves though, I just have to re-think how they are displayed.

For now though, it's time to crawl back into my cave/studio, to close the door on any outside interferance and get back to want is most important, my painting. Can't wait.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Paintings in the oval/elipse

I have been trying to get as much done as possible before I go off Fri on my hols for two weeks and I'm trying not to panic about the deadline for 'Uncharted Landscapes'.

I am really excited about the new body of work that I am planning, ( mind you it always is really exciting at this stage as the vision of creating a masterpiece is tanterlisingly within reach and hasn't yet dissolved in the reality of painterly production!), and I am trying to get all the preparation done ie; the studies and supports, so that when I get back I can really get stuck in. However still waiting on the delivery of one of the panels but hey ho!

For this new series I am experimenting with working within an eliptical framework, so having worked out how to actually draw an accurate elipse, I have been making templates, drawing out and masking off before painting the frame onto each support. This did prove to be quite a challenge, especially with the larger piece and it took quite a lot of adjustments to make sure that the measurements were spot on. I think that in the future it would be worth producing some more permanent templates in a range of sizes that I can keep and use again and again, this will help cut down on the amount of time it takes to do this.

Why an elipse? Well its different so its a good way to catch the viewers eye. It also has the feel of looking through a tunnel or window  - into another world? It has an historical link with painting and for me conjurs up a link with romanticism, although I can't qualify this. Lastly, it provides a frame for the landscape.

I'll let you know wether or not the experiment is working as the painting progresses.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Title for show - Flickering Visions

As part of my search for a title for my exhibition I have come across an interesting article on the internet which explores the connection between Cronenberg and J.G.Ballard re: their common interest in 'the interactions between landscape, technical systems and the body. Interesting reading.

One sentence really struck a chord:
 'the replacement of a reliable world of durable objects by a world of flickering images that make it harder and harder to distinguish reality from fantasy' (Christopher Lasch The Culture of Narcissism)

Quite appropriate I thought.

 Thus the title for the exhibition is   'Flickering Visions'

My latest works collage images taken from old paintings, photos and media; anchoring fiction with layers of reality.  Apocolyptic, dreamscapes that are colonized by the architectural fabrications of a futuristic world, they reference the search and subsequent failure by architects such as Buckminster Fuller for a new way of living, a utopian ideal, in response to the pressures on contemporary living from the effects of climate change, exploding population and shortage of planet resources.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

and so it continues

September is the deadline, 10th to 23rd to be precise. A solo show at morvah schoolhouse. Writing 'to do' lists and planning publicity, which is probably the most important thing, apart from the actual work that is, as what is the point of doing this unless it is to get my work out there and to be seen.

Need to come up with a title for the show. 'Playing in the ruins' is a real possibility, and hey with this blog already set up it would be easy to keep a log of whats going on with regards to the exhibition as and when they happen. Definitely worth thinking about.

Starting work on a series of new paintings, the studies look really promising, its wether or not and can carry this promise through to the final painting that will be the test. Watch this space!