Temporal Connections, Research Student Conference and Exhibition

Tuesday 27th March, 2018

This post will draw a summary on key facts which were spoken about during the conference. I targeted upon the subjects and concepts which brought an attachment to my current working operation, which is enhanced from topics of Time, Chance and Existence. 

  • The conference was opened by Dr Beverly Ayling-Smith, Phd Alumna who gave a concise account into the background of Temporal Connections. Aspects which were brought to my attention were:
  • The many different concepts of time and how each stage in time has its own temporal existence.
  • The way in which we experience time supports our own social and cultural actions.
  • Temporal connections are linked to our distant past, our longing for the present and our anxiety or prospect for the future.

Professor Bashir Makhoul, Vice Chancellor – Gave his own personal explanation into the theory of Temporal Connections: 

  • Our memory is temporal as it is designed to help us find what is stored within us.  It is temporal because it is connected to a history which formulates a non stable reaction.
  • Artworks represent the future, because the past is limited. The past has no truthful insight, it is only the present moment which enables us to build an understanding,  as we do not have the capacity to read into the process which may have occurred before.

Visual Artist Susan Aldworth – Gave a very detailed Keynote speech titled Footfalls echo in the memory

  • Time is something which plays a significant role within her work, examining the sense of self, both in what the work is about, and how she makes the work. – My own practice explores the same concept, how the materials I compose with formulate their own existence. I Constantly ask the questions, what has happened? How has it actually got here? What role have I played? What happens to the work over the duration of time – Coming out of the past into the present driving itself into the future.

Interesting extracts from Susan which gave an observation into her practice

“Time is a slippery, complex and deeply embedded part of or own experience.”

“I captured my subjects in a moment of being, rather than offering a general overview of them.”

Extracts taken from Temporal Connections conference – Keynote Abstract, Footfalls echo in the memory

All artists involved in the student research conference gave a brilliant and engaging overview of their art practice. However there was one artist who impacted on me greatly:

Marcelo de Melo

  • Concerns with image making through the regulation of mosaic art, leading from passages connected to the built environment of construction to the virtual image based environment of digital technology.  – I was drawn to this idea of de Melo working with passages in order to construct an understanding. Where images start to formulate from beneath the surface in order to rise to the top, it is a layered process which starts to ignite new openings which were not there before.  

 

  • The work introduces ideas of entropy in mosaic art, this collapse of image and patterns which inherits a distraction which creates more of a noise, than something which is seen as resolved. – The break down in surface is something which corresponds with my own working methods. From the moment the surface is taken away from its usual confinement, it has already started to break away and disconnect from its self. Then the surfaces I work with along with the materials and elements, are added to a process which directly installs a breakdown in their capacity. The whole mixture becomes something unusual forming a state of the uncanny. Not only are the active materials put in a world of ambiguity, I also find myself wrapped up in an inconclusive world. 

    Marcelo de Melo – Collapsing Grid, 2016

In the artists exhibition the work by artist Peta Jacobs also impressed me. I really liked how materials found a new ability, either by changing their given appearance or by transforming the viewers observation.

Peta Jacobs – Unfoldings-Implicate / Explicate, # 1, 2018

 

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Study Visit to Wysing Arts Centre & Kettle’s Yard Gallery, 2018

Friday 9th March, 2018

Study Visit took place on Tuesday 6th March, 2018

This study visit was arranged by Andrea Gregson the MA Fine Art Course leader. It gave us MA students the opportunity to experience two different art settings, which were holding two very different exhibitions. For me it was a massive chance to explore into different styles and modes of art which could hold a connection to my own working methods. I was also excited to encounter both settings, not just because I have never been to either, but because both warrant different opportunities for artists.

I am going to break this writing into sections which highlights upon key facts from my visit. I will talk about my initial feelings when entering each space, and the featured works which brought the greatest impact to me when trying to link a suggestion to my own practice.

Wysing Arts Centre

• On first impressions Wysing Arts centre is installed within a beautiful scenic setting, which also brought notions to the natural and organic. I could not stop thinking how incredible it would be to create and produce works within this wonderful environment. What joy it would be to construct works based from man and industrial techniques, combined with the agricultural and biological life.

• We were all greeted by Artists and programme curator Lotte Juul Petersen, who then took us on a tour of the centre, firstly around the grounds and then the gallery where a most recent exhibition was taking place. Aspects discussed when on route were:

 

• Wysing Arts Centre is a contemporary arts residency centre and campus for artistic production, experimentation and learning.
• Across the eleven acre site the centre holds ten buildings including twenty-four low cost artists’ studios, a live-work space, specialist new media facilities, a large gallery, and education facilities.
• One of the main focus points for the centre’s activities is the international residency programme, but it also hosts temporary exhibitions, retreats, and a programme for young artists, semi-permanent sculptural and architectural commissions and works on offsite projects with many other institutions nationally and internationally.
• Alongside Tate, Wysing has a number of partnerships in place with organisations including the Royal College of Art.
• The main aspect which struck a chord with me was the opportunity to undergo a residency. I think this is a programme which could be highly considered after my MA. I really like the idea of working and living alongside fellow artists, where I would be able to constantly exchange ideas, as well as learn new factors about my work and me as an artist.

The Amphis Building

The Amphis Building was the first subject I came across, I was immediately taken back by the combination of a spontaneous coming together of materials, connected with a knowledgeable attachment to craftsmanship methods.

• The Amphis Building originally known as Amphis, 2008 was constructed by artists Folke Kobberling and Martin Kaltwasser.
• It is a structure which embraces the idea of a patchwork house, this real eclectic infusion of materials and surfaces. The materials actually used were donated by a community of 40 volunteers.
• I was responsive to this fact as it brought a connection to my own practice. This involvement of materials which start to inherit a new life, where they become reused in order to create something brand new and valued again. The purposes of the materials live on and never become deceased.
• Amphis is a house / building / structure it can play many roles as it is used in many different formats. For example it becomes more than just an artwork, it is now a place where people can retreat too, where people can start acting creatively inside. This idea of a creative energy expressed externally as well as internally.

More of an Avalanche

This was the title of the exhibition on show at Wysing. Having read the press release for the show I initially felt this was going to be a show where I would find it difficult to hold any sort of relationship, I just felt the work would be too far away from the techniques, methods and processes I use within my practice.

Themes and Considerations in the Exhibition

• John Eng Kiet Bloomfield, Assistant Curator gave a great account of what More of an Avalanche was about. How it all came together, and what the works were trying to achieve, these points can be seen below:
• The works on show were produced from shared researched which were discussed at Wysing in 2017, when a programme was developed under the theme Polyphonic – (Many Voices).
• The exhibition acknowledges positions of speaking out and mechanisms which are used to stop this from happening.
• The works on show took on aspects of sensitivity and fragility as a starting point.
• I felt I had to engage and forget about my previous thoughts of the works not marrying with any of the works I produce in my practice. So after scanning around the space, one work in the exhibition did have me fixated. This was the work by Artist and Performer Helio Oiticica and filmmaker Ivan Cardoso.

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi, Contain Contain, 2017
Extract from Ivan Cardoso featuring artist Helio Oiticica

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi’s video Contain, Contain (2017), is a film experimented by filmmaker Ivan Cardoso which feature artist Helio Oiticica, improvising with a handmade sculpture.

The work transposes the source from Brazil in a period of military dictatorship to contemporary Ramallah in occupied Palestine. Split across the gallery and the open studio, the work is interested in the re-enactment and choreography of what was once spontaneous and improvisational.

Extract taken from Press Release – More of an avalanche

 

Although the work carries its own direct theory I brought my own perception to the work

• The work suggests past modes of refinement, for example could the work be performed exactly, through a repeated method or would tactics need to be changed in order to execute a reproduction.
• The work informs this act of a physical tension, noted firstly by the construction of the sculpture and then the relationship between artist and work, where this struggle to bring a sense of coming together could be suggested.
• The work has been taken to the outside confinements, which brings to mind an experience of constantly travelling around, and something which is always on the go.
• The title Contain, Contain visually shows the artist contained inside the built structure. The work makes for questions, is the artists trying to release from the process? Or is the artist just provoking the idea of the artists daily struggle with contextualising the work?
• The work has no sound which means the work becomes more questionable, as any indication of a personal experience / battle is muted. All that is given is this image of the artist’s reflection between the author and the work. – The artist could almost be thought of as dancing within the inside of the work, giving a feeling of a planned and comical collaborative performance.
• Could the work also be symbolizing this aspect of being caught in the act? Where a sense of freedom has been stripped away, which now inherits this inability to discharge oneself from this process.

Other associated links to the work

• Control or lack of control
• A movement which has become stalled
• A struggle / battle
• Wrestling with the structural surrounding walls
• To break out / away
• Time – How long will this act last? – What happens if it never ends?
• New rules and guidelines set in order to construct new passages – To break away from such an enclosed activity.

 

Kettle’s Yard Gallery

Kettles Yard Gallery - pic 1

Like the Wysing Arts Centre the Kettle’s Yard Gallery brought an initial feeling of an area which held a non-artistic background, as the structure of the grounds brought to mind a more historical attachment, and nothing suggesting a Contemporary Art Gallery. However the Kettle’s Yard Gallery is a contemporary art gallery, which is situated in a beautiful house which occupies a remarkable collection of modern art. The exhibition I was to attend was to be held at the Kettle’s Yard House and Gallery, which opened on the 10th February 2018 after over two years of closure.

Exhibition – Actions. The image of the world can be different

• Including works by thirty eight artists, – Actions. The image of the world can be different seeks to uphold and present works of art as a poetic, social and political force in the word.
• Actions also reflects on the energizing diversity and breadth of Contemporary art, and also includes pioneering works by artists represented in the Kettle’s Yard Gallery.

Extract Taken from the Press Release – Actions. The image of the world can be different 10/2 – 2/4/18

There were three artists in the exhibition who presented works which caught my eye, these were:

Naum Gabo
Oscar Murillo
Gustav Metzger

 

Naum Gabo

Kettles Yard Gallery - pic 2.JPG

Linear Construction in Space No.2, 1976 – Perspex and nylon mono filament

• Gabo used two new synthetic materials which accounts for the works shimmering appearance.
• Gabo saw his small – scale constructions as models for much larger monuments which could play a dynamic role in society as public works of art.
• Linear Construction in Space No.2 continues the artist’s fascination with light and space, and this idea of dematerialization in sculpture.

Extract Taken from the Press Release – Actions. The image of the world can be different 10/2 – 2/4/18

 

Although the work carries its own direct theory I brought my own perception to the work

• The work records a mapping of space which indicates a precision of time infused within material.
• A delicate sculpture which becomes domineering, not in scale but in the ability of design and craftsmanship.
• The work suggests a 3 Dimensional gaze into objectification.
• A sculpture which initiates a beautiful existence, contrasted by the transparent effect of light.
• The shadows which can be seen give the form another added dimension. Connections to space time and form.
• Line has been chosen in order to create immediate impact between form and viewer, how this enhances communication and a rhythm between one soul to another, the viewer becomes the breadth of the work.

 

Oscar Murillo

Tamawui, 2017 – Oil, Oil stick and graphite on canvas and linen

• With its red, spray – painted ‘pan – national’ and three looping arcs, there is a tremendous life and energy in Tamawui.
• Murillo addresses himself to us, testing the boundaries of what art can be and what it can do.
• The work showcases an energised synthesis of material, imagery and ideas.
• Tamawui, a noun in Arabic, is defined as ‘a rising and falling in waves, but also flowing, swelling, surging, fluctuating or a wavy undulating appearance, outline or form’.

Extract Taken from the Press Release – Actions. The image of the world can be different 10/2 – 2/4/18

 

Although the work carries its own direct theory I brought my own perception to the work

• The work has an expressive and emotive attitude brought from the background to foreground of the surface.
• The energy which is inscribed on the surface has come about from materials working and collaborating together. Not only does the appearance of the work have life, it carries a scent which is very empowering, all you can smell is the richness of materials used in the process. It is like a sweaty heat where artist, materials and surface have been in an act of pushing and pulling.
• The colours in the works suggest dominance and attention, bright flashes of red, yellows and blues, mixed with blocked areas of paint, whilst still giving consideration to the canvas and linen under this intense activity.
• A rebellious statement comes to mind, as the erratic and aggressive nature of line grazes over the top of the surface. It becomes less about what the work is, and instead brings the question how did it actually get here?

 

Gustav Metzger

Reproduction of Auto-Destructive Art, Machine-Art, Auto-Creative Art, Third Manifesto, 1961

• Metzger outlined his notion of Auto-Destructive Art in his first manifesto, published in 1959.
• The manifesto was presented at a number of lectures and demonstrations, where physical experiments using a range of material and processes would be carried out in front of the audience.
• Familiar materials would go through a process, which forces them to undergo some sort of transformation, or revert in to a state of flux.

Extract Taken from the Press Release – Actions. The image of the world can be different 10/2 – 2/4/18

 

Although the work carries its own direct theory I brought my own perception to the work

• The work in this exhibition is displayed in a very ordinary fashion. Nothing really destructive about the layout of imagery, it is only once you get close to the photos that you start to realise what this Auto-Destructive process was all about.
• The photos are small in scale, with probably the largest just a shade smaller than an A4 format.
• A reproduction of Auto-Destructive 3rd manifesto supports the images, which shows Metzger at work.
• Acid Action Paintings = Temporary Art
• Construction with glass = Temporary Art
• The description behind Metzger’s work builds an equation to this idea of play. Where the artist is working more on impulse rather than logic.
• The shapes and marks which suggest outlines of forms appear through a process of slight control from the artist. Each work created represents this notion of chance, as not only is the materials informed by chance, the artists growth of movement is very sporadic and unpredictable.