Artist Statement

My practice has explored methods of process art and fluid painting, considering the movement of the paint, the surface, texture and pattern when dry. I have been painting onto household objects, such as fitted bed sheets, which in itself carries a dialogue. This has led me to my current final piece, which is something that could be considered an installation or painting, involving a clothes dryer, a painted on, draped bed sheet, with interruptions of peeled, dried acrylic paint circles scattered around the surrounding area. I am still experimenting with how subtle or figurative the ‘trees’ will appear when painted onto the sheet, as well as how to suspend it from the clothes dryer.

I want to capture fleeting moments, dreams, and memories of childhood that can’t be recalled in detail as an image or representation, but have a feel or sense. Hopefully the final piece conveys that through the manipulation of materials and suggests at these experiences. I’m interested in how the mundane domestic items become disrupted and disturbed through the intervention of the paint surface (both in the form of when painted onto the sheet and the already dried circles). The final piece challenges traditional preconceived ideas of art work as the aim was to essentially represent a canvas frame and fabric with paint, but assembled differently.

The choice of materials has significant connotations, the obvious being the bed sheet. The piece was originally inspired by dreams, so the bed sheet created a direct link.  As a child, I remember the clothes dryer creating a kind of den so for me it evokes nostalgia. At a young age, we often see things differently, running a wild imagination and seeing ‘monsters’ or ‘creatures’ in the drapes and folds of hanging laundry. Memories of childhood are often quite blurry and interpreted differently when we are older, so the final piece is a collection of those memories. The shape of the circle can be interpreted in many different ways but for me they show the movement of time and remind me of my mother.

Using domestic objects combined with the dripped painted surfaces has started to bring a more personal and almost confessional sense to my work that I want to explore further. I have looked at the work of Jessica Stockholder and think the appearance of paint skin surfaces with materials such as bedsheets, towels, clothes, furniture etc. start to create a friction that explores dreamlike, surreal disjointed experiences.

It began as quite a childish, playful piece, but introducing the bed sheet brought in an inarguable darker sense. Looking at the work of Tracey Emin and her work “My Bed” inspired me to consider objects out of context and how they would be perceived when put into a white gallery space.

The work of Angela de la Cruz with her ‘disrupted’ canvases has been useful to research and led me to experiment with how to install my own piece. I really resonate with the idea of objects holding their own character as well as the humour and playfulness of them when manipulated in a certain way around the gallery.

Experimentation with suspending the bed sheet and placement within the studio.

After consideration and time spent changing around the appearance of the piece, I prefer when the sheet is much more contorted as if it is clinging on to the frame. However I do still want there to be a hint at a dreamy or landscape scene, so maybe only part of the sheet will end up being twisted and it lead into something more figurative?

In regards to its placement within studio, apart from a few changes I think most people are using the same space as the mock exhibition before easter, which worked well. Ed’s handmade musical instruments had a nice link of using the domestic item in a alternate way. It was also suggested the Hannah’s minimalist piece worked well next to it, because if someone were to walk through the string in Hannah’s, it led to my piece and could be interpreted as walking through a forest and at the end you were confronted with a vague image of a forest. (see end image above).

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Comparison of in studio vs in domestic spaces…

The main emphasis on my practice so far this term has been playing with the idea of taking typical domestic items, such as the bed sheet, out of context and put into a white space to see how this instantly changes what we think of when we see these objects. Around the house (like in the pictures above) we probably wouldn’t think anything of them, they become part of the mundane everyday life.

When hung up I studio in the same way, they all of a sudden shift in relevance and we can see them for what they truly are. It also carries a humours element to it, as we are aware something is not quite right because we know its not meant to be there.

Washing out the bed sheet

I have been considering how to achieve the right amount of subtlety regards to the painting on the bed sheet. I am considering washing out the sheet I have already painted figurative trees on to see if it will leave any ghostly looks marks or if it will just wash out completely. The paint is a mixture watercolour and acrylic, so if not much is left visible after washing out, I will paint in a very subtle ‘dream’ landscape. It was suggested during a studio crit that ‘less is more’. Personally for this piece I agree as I don’t want it to look over whelming with the paint circles as well, as I think this will hinder on the overall feel of the piece. The idea is to represent only giving a sense of what is there as often dreams and memories are hazy.

 

How to paint the “landscape”

I have been trying out different methods of representing what I want to appear on the bed sheet on some scrap fabric. I have used acrylic, water colour, dried paint pieces and pastel. So far  I think the watercolour is more successful as it bleeds into the fabric more, giving a more haunting gesture than acrylic which is much more heavy. Im quite fond of the first image as its interesting when held up to the light, almost resembling stained glass. I also like the minimal approach of just having a singular line to represent a tree as involves the viewer guessing more about whats going on.

Why Circles not Squares?

For me, using circles in in my final piece has relevance and I interpret them as the movement of time as well as the symbolic meaning of them being a token towards my mother.

Meanings of the circle:

  • The circle is a universal symbol with extensive meaning. It represents the notions of totality, wholeness, original perfection, the Self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness,
  • The circle can represent the power of the female, a symbol for a goddess, and the sun.
  • The circle can symbolize Mother Earth.
  • The meaning of the circle as a symbol is universal. It is seen as a divine sign, sacred to several cultures. It symbolizes the ongoing energy found in nature. It symbolizes the way the universe includes everything.

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Minimalism

“Minimalism is an extreme form of abstract art developed in the USA in the 1960s and typified by artworks composed of simple geometric shapes based on the square and the rectangle”.

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/m/minimalism

As an experiment I thought it would be interesting to to compare a fresh out the packet sheet, kept folded, with my current used and draped sheets already hung in the studio. An example scenario could involve three folded sheets, evenly displayed, opposite something like my current unfolded, draped sheets in a gallery space to create a kind of juxtoposition.

The below pictures are what I imagine it looking like. The fresh- out the packet sheets could symbolise a new beginning or clean slate- something that hasn’t been put through daily life. Another way to look at it would be before any of the dreams or memories had began, so something waiting to inevitably be changed in some way. The appearance of the sheets look minimalist due to the geometric shape of the object and nature of display, enhanced by the crisp whiteness and cleanliness.

Mock Exhibition

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img_3828I enjoyed the practice exhibition and think it was a good opportunity to just try out where I am at so far when thinking about a final piece for the summative. I am happy with the overall the sense and themes it is currently portraying although certain elements I still want to develop. For me its still looking a bit too structured and looks like I’ve placed it in a very specific way which I don’t think aids to the piece. I want it to have a bit more of its own character and movement within the folds of the fabric achieved by how it is hung. Looking at the piece front on, the clothes dryer isn’t visible but when you walk around it, it is. Im not sure yet whether I like this element of intrigue or if seeing the clothes dryer directly would enhance its connotations. It was also mentioned that depending on which door you entered the room through, the piece gave a very different perspective. The way that the clothes dryer is currently fixed to the wall still enables the two side panels to move which I think is quite an interesting element, especially when the sheet is hung as it allows that to move too. The circles I think should appear more scattered and random, maybe having a few around the room, in the window, and on the floor to make it seem more immersive and surrounding to the viewer. The way the sheet is currently hung I feel gives off quite a inviting or engulfing sense due to the cave in the middle. To move forward I want to experiment with different installation methods, to make it even more disruptive out of context, taking inspiration from Angela de la Cruz.