I have expressed my discomfort with words in the past, one of my goals this semester was to become closer with words, by reading and expressing my feelings more openly. This week I am reminded of the power words hold over me. I have been talking to myself in a negative way and I had been writing an essay last week and it made me feel so illiterate and exhausted, not only because of my dyslexia but because my thoughts runaway with themselves and I struggle to keep up. However, after my tutorial on Monday I have been feeling better, not completely but I am trying to be kinder to myself. I know that I may struggle but I am always exploring my ideas and ore than capable of expressing myself through writing. This week I have also been reflecting upon lots of aspects of myself as an artist. For example, how I used to use art as therapy when I struggled in school and how over this semester I have reconnecting with myself through painting. Going back to how words influence me I’ve had an epiphany, I’ve always been a big music person, often using song as a way to articulate my feelings, even though writing was intimidating for me I often turned to song writing. This is an important reflection to my current project as music still had a large influence over my work and in my previous semesters I had used music as part of my memory installation. In particular this use of music in my project now is a tool to both ground me in my work and to boost my creative energy, not only can I not work in silence but I feel I am at my best when listening to something that really engages me. I will take this into consideration more as I move forwards in my project.
Exploring and Experimenting
Thinking ahead to the hypothetical exhibition I needed to develop a final outcome of some sorts to display for the public. I ask myself do I want my project to be very centred around my own work and be a performance in some ways? Or do I want to run a workshop in which I challenge the public to engage with the approach to painting I have been using over the semester?
One way in which I am hoping to answer this question is through our group workshop, I chose the word ‘collaboration’ to explore the group project as I want the experience to be beneficial to my own personal work. As I was unable to attend the previous presentation week I revised Candy Changs work, I wanted for my group to think as the experience of collaboration as an art form in itself and not just the film we are making. I have applied the slides below.
Reflecting on the presentation I have improved my presenting skills a lot since first year, I still have the same anxiety and struggle with the idea of being seen. However, I now can speak more clearly and directly with everyone in the room, I try to stand more confidently and to give off a positive energy. Thanks to everyones feedback, my own observations and comparisons to other students presentations I have a clear sense on how I can improve. Firstly by including videos and animated graphics into my powerpoint to make it not only makes it more interesting for the audience but allows me to show that I have conducted different forms of research. I also have come to better understanding with how much text to have on my slides, I often felt that my slides look to empty and that this will make it appear that I haven’t engaged well with the assignment, however I now understand that this is not the case and bullet points are perfectly fine.
Going back to the hypothetical exhibition the research had made me want to have a collaborative/ interactive element to my work. There after my class I decided to set up a practice piece/stall in which I placed my work on the walls and set up a desk with random objects for life drawing reference material and I filmed myself painting there for awhile. Unfortunately I couldn’t get anyone to painting with me at the time for the demonstration however the set up itself gave me enough information. one thing I learnt from this experience is that again I really not comfortable being on camera or the centre of my project, there for my exhibition piece would certainly not be a performance. I also found by using the Soddy room walls (which are already covered with other peoples work and thought) gave my space more depth. Obviously the paintings I have done that are shown in photos are not all of my work, when it comes to the exhibition I would have a much more complex pile of paintings and notes to cover the walls. Another observation I have made is that I need to spend time making signs ect to encourage viewers to contribute to the wall and work with me. I didn’t set up the paints for this demonstration as I didn’t want to waste my paint, if I was to really set up this workshop I would place stay wet pallet with paint already on to protect my paints as they were not cheap.
Now that I have made my decions I just need to fix the issues I’ve demonstrated, setting up yet another table after class and hopefully I can get a volunteer to stay and work with me so I can have a finished project ready for the proposal form.
I am going to say something a little challenging here – I think the set up – arrangement and photos of you painting and the method of inviting others to paint has negated the strength and sophistication of your individual paintings. Because the paintings are ‘on the edge’ in terms of employing and presenting obvious and conventional skills they are fragile, precarious, they are simultaneously nothing and something. They are quick to make, they are fluid, loose, expressive, and in some cases bad and wrong in terms of conventional criteria and so I think you need to be careful with them. I think they need elevating in status, they need space, time and a carefully considered and curated context in order to hold the space and demand attention. Think back to Sue Tompkins paintings – little felt tip scribbles on bits of notebook paper, what makes them not only survive but hold space and command attention is the spacious, clean, serious gallery space. I think you need to think along those lines…