Over Christmas I have conducted my own personal research and practical work in order to inform my current studio practice project.
I started off by looking at the definition of both Memory and Discovery.
Memory – the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences.
Discovery – to see, get knowledge of, learn of, find, or find out; gain sight or knowledge of.
From my previous presentation, I had mainly started thinking about using painting as my way of photograph manipulation. However I do not want to be purely limited to this, having done it before I felt this was a path in which I could be confident.
My research started off by looking at painted photography and in particular a website on the BBC Painted Photographs. In the article the author looked at photographs in the collections of Martin Parr which have been used in broadcastings and pressprint. They were all gathered together in the Open Eye gallery in Liverpool. Phil Coomes, the writer of the article says “they are no longer just a photograph, but a unique object.” I thought this was a really interesting insight into the post production manipulation of photographs and in particular those that have been edited for alternative purposes. For my presentation I took the photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono where the editor only wanted a tight crop of John Lennon’s head.
Here below is a crop of Marilyn Munroe with glasses.
My next port of call was again to look at the works of Gerhard Richter but this time to focus on his overpainted photographs. I managed to gather a lot of my information through a insightful video based around the work when it was exhibited for the first time in Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany.
In fact Richter’s photos are only 10×15 in size, they are all photos he has taken himself and depict personal events and places. These range from places he lived, to his holidays. He has practiced overpainting photographs since 1989 and has three main methods of completing his work. Firstly he pulls a squeegee that has been leftover from creating a larger piece of work, and pulls it across the photo which creates an exciting blend of colours. The next is a monotype in which he pushes the photo onto wet paint which creates a root effect and harsh edges and finally smeering the picture through wet paint to create control but tension within the image.
Here are some examples of Richter’s Overpainted Photographs
I would love to experiment how Richter has created his pieces of work. Although I would like by painting to be more precise, I feel the unknown about the final outcome of the image is an interesting concept. I would be interested to know how my photos would look having been manipulated in such a way. Would it enhance them or take away from my chosen theme?
From this I have discovered a new but known artist Alexa Meade. The aim of Meade’s work is to create literally living paintings; she firstly paints a 3D object scene that contains real people she then photographs the 3D object or scene in another location. She explains that this helps her to have control over the physical world.
Although Meade’s work is very popular at the moment, I find her technique intriguing.I love how she has captured both light and shadow and particularly in the work above she plays with the monotonal. She does not in fact do a post production of a photo, she is rather doing the opposite. Her work caught my eye as something that stands out to an audience because of its part to play in day to day life. As viewers of art I feel that we are looking for something that strikes us as impossible or unbelievable and I think Meade has ticked those boxes and may be the key to her success especially through social media.
The final artist I looked at is actually based on my theme of Memory. In her artwork for her exhibition Fragments. Her aim is to highlight the importance of Memory and its role in defining who we are. To show this she has used white porcelain ceramics which has a delicate and fragile composition which can show the complexity of personal connections.
Deep, Deeper, Deepest
I really appreciate the medium choice of Sinclair’s work. I feel the delicate ceramic adds so much to the overall theme. It looks and feels very precise and well thought out especially in tune with the theme it aims to convey. The colour adds a certain purity to the ceramics making them feel as if they could relate to anyones memories. I think this would have been a interesting exhibition to see that would have been able to help me understand what I am aiming to achieve through my artwork.
Lastly I have tried discover further Memory. I have discovered that Memory works better in colour, colour appeals more to the senses. I had previously though the most effective way for me to work would be mixing black and white with colour because I thought black and white could represent the memories and the past. Now I have explored this I feel working in colour will enhance further my piece and tie in better with my research.
My aims for the next week are :
Continue on the theme of memory possibly linking to some of my own memories
See where I can take my art using Screen Printing
Explore pattern and colour and how sense and memory are related
Experimenting with the laser cutter
My initial experimentation started with mixing the idea of having a window into a different world and how we can have different scenes both inside and outside this window.
My choice of shape is the circle. I was inspired by Aliki Braine and her use of this shape in his work and how it created a window. I experimented first digitally before choosing images that I would print for manual manipulation.
I worked firstly with images of France and Oxford that link with me in a very personal way. However I started to realise it was difficult considering the lack of imagery I have of Oxford. Seeing this is a piece that is quite personal to me, I do not really want to appropriate an existing image. I would rather have images that I have taken using my eye.
I then started to use images from England and France to see if I could have a broader image spectrum.
My aim was really to find images that worked extremely well together and flowed really well. In the end I chose to print two plain images, one from each country. I gave myself a challenge by choosing a black and white photo and seeing how that would work.
The two window images that I chose were the sea and the countryside which I personally thought fitted together as the sea touched the mountains. My only worry is that the black and white is too dark and the contrast is too mixed.
This image is two images of Brighton layed on top of each other, one in colour and one in black and white. I was really intrigued to see if I could conquer the delicate colours and more intricate painting technique.
These were the outcomes of my practical work.
These are my experimentations! I am very happy with the outcome I have produced. My first image of Brighton used intricate strokes and a range of colour and I was glad to be able to experiment on such a small scale that could improve my technique. I feel the outcome is strong but in terms of the image, not so much what I am really looking for.
The second image is of the sea and my old view from my back garden. I felt the two contrasted well especially with their line in common. Even though I had previous fears about the image not working I feel that the burst of colour I injected aided the images in coming together to really be a part of each other.
The last image of the Arena in Nimes was more a personal challenge of painting a photo in black and white. As an experimentation I am happy with the outcome and pleased with the technique I have displayed through doing this. Although it is not one I would use as a final outcome, the photo is an important memory of mine.