Another change in direction. Well, sort of…

After my End of Term Tutorial with Amelia, I spoke to her about possibly going into the collage option; Gorilla in the Roses, when my timetable allowed and allow it to run alongside my work for Limited Edition. Seeing as it is solely collage based and I wanted to make satirical collaged pieces in the form of a book, I thought this could be possible. I was advised to drop Limited and focus on Gorilla. I must admit that I am a little relieved for the workload after hearing the schedule for Gorilla as well as the speed Limited would be running at. I am still going to use Gorilla to help with my idea of the splicing magazine images of ‘celebrities’ with the politicians, as I think it could really work. But I am going to use these workshops to advance my process. There is exciting talk of workshops involving Photoshop editing, video and concertina books for narrative, coincidence… So this option seems to be ticking all of the boxes for me. It was possibly the most satisfying day I have had in University so far.

I made two collages, both will be scanned, posted and explained next week.

elderly-photo

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Dissertation Preparation Notes.

My dissertation proposal is no where near ready. What I am interested in is way too broad. I need to research for some preparatory reading I think, even before reading on specifics. I need to investigate further.

Notes to re-jog my memory of today;

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Thought train.

I met with Tom Martin today to talk about turning my collage work into print. I think it could be interesting, but don’t want it to lose character when flattened. Even as I type this I think; “but I make digital collage sometimes… the elements aren’t exactly stuck down to the page…”, but there is a difference in the transference of taking an image/photomontage, scanning it and turning it into a half tone image and then scene printing it compared to digitally cutting elements out and arranging and pasting. As Tom and I were talking and looking through some books, I mentioned about wanting to make backgrounds to my collage to add interest but not swamp or take the attention away from the collaged elements, we talked about perhaps water colouring my back ground, printing over, then adding collage, the more the ideas came, the more it became apparent that there doesn’t have to be a strict routine to making my images. A lot is left to chance, which I quite enjoy, but then if it doesn’t work for me, rearrange, print over, cut up again. I think I will experiment with bringing print into my collaging. I can’t imagine making a full piece then turning it into a full screen print alone, but it could really play an interesting part in showing some contrast and depth. 

I do still need to remember advice I was given; “your work is better when it is kept simple”. I agree.

I also mentioned my idea for my Limited Edition and mentioned that I felt it was important how I present this work. I’m still undecided about having stand alone collages or making a concertina book. I feel like if I make the stand alone pieces, I don’t want them framed, or mounted on a wall as this is against how I feel about the subjects. I feel that would be putting them on a pedestal, showing/suggesting respect. I would rather have them encased in a box of some sort. So they could be locked away. Like a little box of horrors. He showed a couple of his books and boxes to me again and we spoke about there being an impact on the viewer on seeing how the work is encased and upon opening it. That there can be so much meaning added to the work by means of how you present it. It is like judging a book by it’s cover. You can also play on irony. I am liking the idea of it possibly looking like an official document. Or perhaps a briefcase (but this has been done before, so something different but along these lines) with the book inside. Formal looking, until you open it. The idea of a concertina book is standing out to me more and more as I bought a book Tom recommended in a previous talk, a book on different ways to bind. There were concertina books that have envelopes, pockets even, which could help add to the narrative. I’m rambling now. Typing out loud.

He advised me to look at these;

Francis Davidson; background ideas.

Fluxus; for containment.

Fluxus Codex; reference book.

Susan Hiller’s work.

Art and Artifact; reference book.

I’m excited for this. But I don’t think 5 weeks is going to be long enough for me to come up with my finished product and be happy with it.

 

Limited Edition… Unlimited Vision.

Today was our introduction to our second Field module; Limited Edition… Unlimited Edition. It seems very open. I need to read the brief again, but what I got from it was that we took control, we decide what we are going to do and ask for guidance rather than be told what to do and look for approval. There is the opportunity to sell your edition, whatever it may be and there will be talks on how to go about selecting your audience and how to pitch your work. But this is an extra, not a necessity.

I’m going to use this opportunity to focus more on my collage. I made a few rough notes as I was listening to the talk. I want to make something that shows the limited edition in a limited time frame. If this makes sense? Something that I have taken and reworked from this time, this week, then together these five weeks, that will then tell a story of this time frame. As this time frame will never be repeated. History. I am thinking of making a collage per week, splicing together things that p*ss me off. I get annoyed a lot about articles on so called ‘celebrities’, glamorising air heads, forcing impressions on girls of how to look, what to judge them selves against and influencing expectations of men. I read an article last week about a woman who was taking hypnotherapy to become brain dead like Barbie. This made me rage. I now think I should turn this anger, bewilderment, questioning of “what is life?” into my work. I might actually find it therapeutic to cut the photographs of these idiots up.

I’m thinking of splicing these with politicians. They are always in the forefront of the news, with their greed, smarmy smiles and their embarrassing attempts to convince us that they know what it is like to live in the real world. With these, I don’t feel as much anger as what I do for the above, although I should; I think I have just come to the conclusion they are all the same. Like I am a bit of a loss with it all. But there is a sense of gloom in the air. No one is standing up to anything, just waiting to be pummelled like a raspberry in the bottom of a mojito glass.

So… I’m thinking of making satirical/ non sensical collages of these. Buying a newspaper and a weekly magazine (reluctantly) at the beginning of the week, seeing what is going on, what the editors think we want/need to know and coming up with something that shows just how pathetic I think it all is.

I have no idea how I want to format this. Maybe four individual collages contained in a box. Maybe a pandora’s box containing all the horrors inside. Or a box with a curtain, so when the viewer is fed up of looking at it, can just draw the curtains and not be bothered by it again. Maybe also a continuous collage running through an accordion book, running week by week. Maybe one that also runs day by day? Maybe…

This is all subject to change.

notes-1

notes-2

 

Sheridan Ward at The Pavilion.

Yesterday I was taken to see an exhibition by Sheridan Ward. What struck me first was her beautiful use of colour. All of her work was based around Penarth and nature. The touch of her brush reminded me of Van Gogh’s but more gentle, like the paint had lightly been tapped onto the canvas, yet it was still expressive. Some pieces were calm, others were alive. I personally loved how close up, the colours seemed to just sit there with no purpose, not trying to represent anything, which was still beautiful, but then as you stepped away, the scene came into focus.

I was a little offended by some of the viewers comments. Sometimes I feel frustrated that some people only appreciate an exact replica of the object the artist is painting/communicating. Why? Why would you want exactly the same thing you can see when you personally view the object/scene? Isn’t it more stimulating to have an expression that allows you to see it differently, invites you to use your imagination? Or maybe that’s the trouble, imagination is lacking, or left rotting away in a buttie box in a long forgotten classroom.

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Sketchbook collaging.

My friend gave me some magazines for my collage work. I sat in work and set myself the task of making something out of limited resources. Sometimes I think I am guilty of over complicating things and looking to too many things, so I wanted to challenge myself and give myself a limit. Using just one magazine I flicked through to see what type caught my eye and then using just that one magazine, respond to it. There was an advert with a woman in a feminine, floaty dress with the words ‘You are woman?’. This made me think of the social expectations of women. How there are two contradicting views; one, should be lady like, should act in a certain way, opposite to a man when it comes to life style and sex. Yet the other is sexually objectified. It made me question why if they can be sexually objectified, then why are they frowned upon if they become the subject?

 

hold-your-desire

 

snow-white-sex-face

 

you-are-woman-

Developing drawing conversations with collage.

Looking back through my conversation sketchbook, I wanted to develop some of the collaborative sketches with collage, see what I can come up with using the ideas that came quickly from the workshops. Here I will post some developed work alongside what they were prompted from.

constentina-book-1                                              collage conversation 1

constantina-book-3                                    collage-conversation-2

constentina-book-2                                         scissor-legs

constantina-book-4-1                 shoes1

constantina-book-5          >abstractabstract-fish-woman

fish-head

passer                <Response to note I found. I crossed the ‘to’ out and added ‘do not’. People are always in a rush. It’s nice to spend time in a place or just time with yourself. It reminded me of a brief our tutor, Chris, set; Stop, switch everything off and be who you are for 10 minutes.

thoughts       <Response to an article I noticed as I was cutting up magazine pieces. It was an interview with a man who said “I remember when I was first in love with my wife I said; “I am jealous of your thoughts because they are inside of you”. It seemed like a bit of a confession, yet, I, myself, and I’m sure plenty of others have wondered what someone is really thinking or how they are feeling. It is something that unless spoken, you will never truly know. Even when spoken, the thoughts can be altered. I chose to blur the words a bit with masking tape to keep the confession feeling, also to create a wondering of whether the words were actually said or are they spoken in a thought too.

songbird- > Response to the song ‘Songbird’ by Oasis.

Lion canvas.

After painting people canvases for Christmas presents I realised how much i enjoy painting and how much I miss it as I don’t do very much of it in my illustration work. It makes me feel completely different compared to when I am collaging. When I am collaging I am more calm and I am evaluating everything as I go along, more experimental with the material and more particular. Even the music I listen to is different, a bit more mellow, enjoyable, but in the back ground. When I am painting and using mixed media, even though I am still collaging to a certain extent, it’s a completely different feeling. i feel more free and I loosen up allowing the material to also have a say. It is liberating. And it’s messy, extremely messy, which I love. The music I listen to is more up beat and bold, which mirrors the way I work. It’s quick and expressive. I wouldn’t want to change how I am mostly working with collage as I thoroughly enjoy it, but it is nice to let go a little.

I am trying to put myself out there offering to paint people customised canvases. It does feel like i am cheating a little as i get my reference mostly from the internet, but I do put my own spin on things.

Image

Developing drawing conversations with collage.

Looking back through my conversation sketchbook, I wanted to develop some of the collaborative sketches with collage, see what I can come up with using the ideas that came quickly from the workshops. Here I will post some developed work alongside what they were prompted from.

constentina-book-1                                              collage conversation 1

constantina-book-3                                    collage-conversation-2

constentina-book-2                                         scissor-legs

constantina-book-4-1                 shoes1

constantina-book-5          >abstractabstract-fish-woman

fish-head

passer                <Response to note I found. I crossed the ‘to’ out and added ‘do not’. People are always in a rush. It’s nice to spend time in a place or just time with yourself. It reminded me of a brief our tutor, Chris, set; Stop, switch everything off and be who you are for 10 minutes.

thoughts       <Response to an article I noticed as I was cutting up magazine pieces. It was an interview with a man who said “I remember when I was first in love with my wife I said; “I am jealous of your thoughts because they are inside of you”. It seemed like a bit of a confession, yet, I, myself, and I’m sure plenty of others have wondered what someone is really thinking or how they are feeling. It is something that unless spoken, you will never truly know. Even when spoken, the thoughts can be altered. I chose to blur the words a bit with masking tape to keep the confession feeling, also to create a wondering of whether the words were actually said or are they spoken in a thought too.

Hannah Hoch at Whitechapel Gallery.

I visited London at the weekend. I got off the tube station at Aldgate East as told and decided to take the exit that directed you to Whitechapel Gallery (obviously). As I waited I went inside the Gallery to find there was an exhibition of the full works of Hannah Hoch. I couldn’t believe it! I could of spent hours there given the time. I was completely blown away by her work. It helped me seeing the pieces I have saw on the internet actually in the flesh. Sometimes I struggle with my collage with what to put in the backgrounds, how to give the pieces something else with out over complicating things. Seeing hers gave me ideas. She used a lot of simple shapes that she had painted with water colour then cut out which simply complimented her photo montage rather than complicating it and taking focus away from the area she wanted you to be directed to. Her colours were simple and comfortable to look at when the image as busy enough and on others, like her abstract work, the colours drew you in.
Another thing I will take away is the idea of a ‘finished’ piece of work. I have struggled with this, I feel like the have to be of a large size and a bit too perfect and planned. These pieces still felt raw and organic. It was the way they were presented that made them accepted as final pieces. They were of all different sizes, but mounted on the wall in frames. The space around the pieces acted like a pedestal, the board within the frame that blocked out the rest of the paper, a bit like a large viewfinder, was authoritative, showing you exactly what was important, blocking out any rough edges. It was refreshing to see that. It made me think that you can come up with a piece in a sketch book or on a random piece of paper, but it’s the extra things separate from the work itself that make the work be final and presented.

What blows me away about her work is how timeless it is. To think that some of the pieces are 80-90 years old is incredible. I am looking at contemporary illustrators that are creating similar work now! I am also drawn to her personality, the bold steps she took, the controversy, how she was brave enough to put her work out there and speak through it and have people take note to the point she had to hide herself away for fear of prosecution. It’s especially admirable for the time.

I made a lot of quick sketches while walking around and sketched over some again once I had left the gallery and pondered over what I had just saw. The notes made were rushed and will be barely legible to anyone but me, but will hall me remember things more clearly when I come to looking back at my book for my dissertation. I can’t believe I spoke about her work for my dissertation on Friday and stumbled on this on Saturday, it couldn’t of worked out any better!

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03_Hannah_Hoch_Peasant_Wedding_Couple_1931s

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large face

indian dancer

4

5

baby body

6

7

monkey and bird

abstract

hoch

http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/hannah-hch