Due to my own stupidity I was unable to attend the first day of the course. This was down to enrolment issues. As I left the building I saw Geraint preparing to welcome the other students.
I made a drawing in my sketchbook of this event after I got home.
Later that week we all visited several exhibitions in London.
These included Amy Silman at The Camden Arts Centre. I wasn’t familiar with her work and I particularly liked the free hanging works on paper that involved screen printed elements and autographic marks.
Tom Friedman at Stephen Friedman Gallery was also a very interesting show. I was very impressed with accurate large scale reproductions of his sketchbook pages.
The first piece of work I have created for the MA is called ‘Adam tries to get Geraint’s attention’.
It is a free standing piece with one wall fixing. Acrylic and ink on screen printed and collagraph collaged paper with wooden structures and wool.
The inspiration for this piece is an amalgamation of several elements. The Amy Silman and Tom Friedman shows inspired the image (an accurately blown up recreation of the earlier mentioned sketch book drawing). The wooden structure came about as I had been thinking how I could incorporate a more 3D version of an illusionistic frame that appears in several recent (pre Wimbledon) paintings. The wool also appears in earlier work and I feel it is a 3D manifestation of a painterly mark that I employ a lot in work, namely the vertical painted stripes.
Once the piece was installed I began to think about my appreciation of Anthony Caro sculpture. It is something I want to investigate more.
It also put me in mind of some of Nam June Paik’s robots. The possibility of incorporating video is something I am thinking of also for future works.
Recreation of one minute presentation.
My first tutorial with Geraint was very informative as he introduced me to several artists I hadn’t heard of. More importantly they were artists who were creating works that I really felt I could relate to. This was a revelation.
In particular, Jamie Shovel in’s Lustfaust, Bedwyr Williams and Marcus Coates.
We also talked about my plan for a drawing film and to “get the thing made”.
100 Drawings/100 minutes.
My initial thoughts for making this film were to create some kind of narrative from the drawings so they would lead to something more, possibly a series of paintings or a surreal story.
We also discussed how the film could be incorporated into the wider narrative of my fictional world. After thinking about this I decided the film could be a performance set within the club that exists in the fictional town. This seems like an idea with lots of scope and the possibility of creating different performances all set within The Apocalypse Club as it is known is endless I feel.
I made this painting very early in the course. It was more about starting something in a new studio and being very aware of lots of other eyes and opinions scrutinizing every mark that was made.
It was a storyboard of the proposed film.
I have begun to make props for the film. This is the icosahedron hat I plan to wear during the performance. The idea is I am channelling energy from the alien sphere that exists outside in the landscape. With this hat there is an interest in dada and surrealism but also the daft.
I like Frank Zappa and songs like ‘Stink foot’ and ‘Moving to Montana’ where he sets up a dental floss plantation. They are very ridiculous and genius at the same time.
My tutorial with Anna was equally as enlightening and she suggested looking at Simon O’Sullivan and his involvement with ‘Plastique Fantastique’ after talking about the hat I was going to wear.
I was also recommended ‘A line made by walking’ by Sara Baume. This was suggested after I was trying to describe my contextual essay idea. I wanted something like a travel guide that passes through the town of Spheresville but incorporated factual artists and ideas. I really did enjoy her book and it did help me in my essay.
From Simon O’Sullivan’s website I also discovered a series of essays. I have read one called ‘Fictioning the landscape’. It was in this essay that the idea of ‘docufiction’ really got my attention. I then went on to discover the Robinson Trilogy by Patrick Keiller.
Excerpt from 'London' by Patrick Keiller
100 Drawings / 100 Minutes performance. Filmed at The Apocalypse Club.
100 Drawings/100 minutes gallery.
In my tutorial with Mark, we discussed how I might go about displaying the various elements of my drawing performance. So far there is a film, 100 drawings. I want to include a new painting also. There will be three boxes containing items used in the film. They will be artefacts. I also want a souvenir shop and I have just bought a display cabinet from a charity shop. With this element I am thinking about gift shops, museum displays and collections. I will need to furnish this cabinet with objects.
Artefact boxes with wool.
Sketch of proposed painting.
Painting (unfinished) Acrylic, card and wood on canvas
I have been working on a painting but I have been struggling to find a place for it within the whole body of work. Initially I wanted a painting that encapsulated the performance but this wasn't really working. I made a brief sketch before I started the painting and I had attached an icosahedron to the top of the painting which I did do. As the painting evolved I decided to make a mock recreation of the performance. I have made foam props that will be on a table in front of the painting. People are then encouraged to sit in front of the painting and use the props any way they choose. The idea is you can be part of the performance. To relive the magic and have a photo taken you can the treasure.
Photographs and video of photo booth concept.
Photographs of architectural model. Proposed layout of exhibition. 4 metre square cube.
Souvenir shop. Including mug, printed book, print of a drawing, ashtray and signed photograph of the artist.
I visited the Whitechapel Gallery and saw the Elmgreen and Dragset show. I really liked how they created a completely false narrative for the swimming pool installation.
There was also a table with a bottle and glass and a book. Apparently you are invited to sit and take a drink and look through the book. When I went back the gallery attendant had gone and taken the whisky. So i looked at the book only. I thought it was a really good way to involve the viewer. I think it could have been a little clearer though.
Elmgreen and Dragset at The Whitechapel Gallery.
The Moth Kipper Mobile
The next project I will be working on is going to be focused around the Moth Kipper Mobile. This is a van that features in my story. It belongs to the two brothers and doubles as a van for the band 'Shunt Limit' and more secretly it is used to collect and press flowers from beneath the sphere using stealth drones. These are then sold through the Apocalypse Club as a drug or aphrodisiac (not decided yet).
I brought the barbie mobile in at the start of the course but the video took over. Now I am ready to develop this part of the story. I was initially thinking of buying an actual transit van and converting it. This is still a possibility but maybe for my final show. At the moment I will be developing the barbie van into a sculpture that will somehow connect with a large painting on the wall.
Barbie Van spray painted black.
Sketchbook drawing made last year showing Burnt and Moth (the brothers) in the van.
Logo designs for Shunt Limit (the prog rock band) and Spheretec ( the evil coropration that controls the media and police etc). I was thinking about Keith Tyson drawings when I made these two pieces. I possibly might incorporate colour into new drawings as I like this free style diagramitc drawing. I'd also been looking at Paul Noble drawings.
During the first month of the course I also had to complete two small paintings for Flowers Gallery's yearly exhibition 'Small is Beautiful' in which work no bigger that 7x9 inch can be displayed. I always find it incredibly tough painting this small but found it even harder this year due to the seismic shift in what I was wanting to create. I managed to pull these two together at the last minute by incorporating wool which I had been using in other new pieces.
A new project I aim to do over the rest of the year. A series of large drawing/paintings on paper. Probably 20 in all that will be pinned up together. Images will be taken from my sketch books. This is the first one.
Hard Up. This film was made with my phone. I took a series of 30 second films on a walk from London Bridge to Whitechapel Gallery and then back to Reigate. I wanted to narrate Charles Dickens over it but I also mixed in the lyrics to Cameo's Word up. They seem to merge together well.