Mixed media image I did for an exhibition organised by a couple of my peers. The exhibition title is Youth's Dead and the title of this piece is Icarus V.2.0.
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Last academic year I did a lot of work around the theme of failure. I worked with trying to represent time and spent energy through process. Through the course of this work I hit a point where I could no longer progress with the idea in the same format. It had stopped being meaningful. Basically, despite the physical discomfort the work became easy to make and I stopped playing. I had become trapped by the system I had created – which I think is a risk when dealing with failure as a subject.
However, I am still interested in the same themes as last year: failure, the intangible, the ineffable, absurdity, the unresolvable, the inescapable, ambiguity and repetition. I want to explore the tension between thought and action by playing with the language and symbols of myth, fairy tales, Science Fiction and Fantastical Realism.
This year I want to explore these areas using narrative. Towards the end of 1st year I was starting to look at how I could incorporate graphic novels into my work, as they have been a long time love of mine. I realise I have always kept comics separate from my fine art practice and often kept text and image separate too. So I was working with image, text and speech bubbles, until I came across some old projector slides. The blank slides became my panels (frames) and my interest became filling these frames while the text component became pushed to one side. So yet again these components were kept separate.
I’d like to incorporate text in my work this year; Tim Etchells is a fantastic artist to look at for this, I adore his writing. He is funny, poignant and at times disturbing. City Changes was an Etchells piece I saw over the summer at the Gasworks in London. It consists of 20 A4 sheets of paper, framed behind glass. The first one describes a city that never changes and the inevitable stagnant nature of the place. This first piece of text is rewritten 19 times “to produce a sequence of increasingly preposterous variations, mutations and exaggerations of this imaginary place.” I found the experience of reading these works very intense. They fluctuate between humorous and chilling, and elements remind you of very real places.
I’d like to try making my own comic that deals with some of the themes I’m interested in, which would make it seem neither of the graphic novel world or of the fine art world. There are two characters that have been following me for some time, a skeleton and a puppet child; I need to do something with them. A comic seems like a positive way to give them some life and ground them in a reality.
I am also interested in film and animation. Over the summer I made an animation for a short film, which made me realise the potential of animation as a medium. I definitely want to do more this year.
I recently read Narcissus and Goldmund by Herman Hesse, and despite the fact that Hesse writing style can be a little cold, I loved how he tried to describe the constant struggle to unify the heart and soul with the mind (which is the artist’s job, according to Hesse). There is a beauty in this struggle. I cannot articulate it properly yet, but this book had a big impact on me, possibly because of how it highlighted my own struggles with unifying my disparate elements.
 I was hand drawing hundreds of thousand of tiny squares
 I do realise that I have very possibly listed a human experience of life and death.
 Which is the space of possibilities; the liminal space.
 Quote taken from Tim Etchells website: http://www.timetchells.com/projects/works/city-changes/