Exercise 2.3 Putting one thing next to another

So before I embarked on this exercise I really wanted to try out some transfer drawings from some inspiration I took from my research into Robert Rauschenberg. I had a go at this, after watching a youtube video to show me how to do it. My first few attempts weren’t terribly successful but I pursued and I was able to produce two images from my photographs that I took at Canary Wharf. I wanted to include this experiment into my collages, which I tried numerous times but it never seemed the right medium to use. However, I will definitely keep this in mind for future projects.

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1st collage

Wednesday 15th August: 8pm

So for this piece I didn’t have a strict idea of what I wanted to do but I knew I wanted to combine manmade and rural. I started with a rural landscape from a magazine. I wanted to add my own photographs by collaging them in the way Giacomo Costa does in his city scape collages.  However I noted on the course material it said to try and draw. I had a few ideas about composition but they weren’t really working. I noticed a small rip in between the two pages from the image, where I had torn the picture from the magazine. I drew 2 lines pulling away from that rip to the bottom of the page, the idea that it looked like a tree trunk. I stopped at this point to consider what I was going to do and what I would put in the middle. An underlying idea that I noted in my sketchbook recently was about a current idea/thought I have going on: ‘destruction’. Could this piece reflect destruction in nature? I then thought that this original idea of a tree trunk could become an outline of a volcano. My thought process of it becoming a volcano could link to the idea of natural disasters, which ultimatley lead to destruction.  I wanted to pull through some imagery from the magazine image into my own drawing which is what I decided to do inside the ‘volcano’. This was a way of protecting nature but it also being restricted within the bounds of this shape. Some of the smaller details are taken from drawings from part 1. Michele Luger was the artist that I considered in my decision to add colour to my piece. This is something that I mentioned in my reflection for assignment 1 – wanting to add more colour – and as I found in Michele Luger’s drawings it was slightly geometric or finding sections to fill with colour, so I tried to do this in my drawing. I’m not sure that this was the best decision. I feel it was becoming a bit illustrative and cartoony which is what I didn’t want. I feel that the actual drawing is a big let down in this piece. I don’t think it links with the magazine image at all and I’m seeing them as two separate drawings which I didn’t want. A friend recommended that I could perhaps draw with fine liner onto the magazine image to link the two different styles. I feel the piece is a little childish (I think this is because of my use of felt tip around the edge oft eh volcano perhaps?! Although I spent a lot of time drawing the smaller details and considered the composition more as I was working through, I think the outcome isn’t powerful enough to contend with the dominating architecture that surrounds it. ORRRRR could that be the whole point of the piece. Maybe the colours I have used, particularly with felt tip the drawing has this cartoony effect. Do I want my drawing to be separate from the magazine image or do I want to try and connect the two. As it stands, my drawing is far from the magazine image. I wonder if I edit it with acrylic or oil pastel it will create some more earthy tones?! I could draw over the magazine image with oil pastel so that they work together?! Or would ink work?

Should the exercises be finished pieces? Or is it an opportunity to explore?

Or should I just move onto my next one before ruining this as I always work too much on it. I think I’ll come back to it.

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I think for the next one I might try out some compositions first.

Stuck on the ‘winter is coming’ image and feeling a bit lost so I looked at some other students blogs and found that one student brainstormed ideas for what she was going to collage so Im going to give that a go and see if it gives me some focus.

Thrusday 16th August:

So today I was determined to complete exercise 2.3. I think I spend too much time on the exercises, I’m not sure if thats a good thing or bad thing. I am pleased with what I have produced but due to my tight time scale that I am now on to complete the whole of Level 1 I am finding im having to push through when ‘I need a break’ and continue to be inspired. This, as an artist is hard. BUT that said I have now completed this exercise whooo!

2nd collage: Fiction vs non fiction

The theme of this piece is urban vs rural consisting of my own photographs and a magazine image. The magazine image was only A4 size. I photocopied this and flipped the image so when stuck on the A2 sheet it is as though it has been reflected, a mirrored image. I wanted the magazine picture to look as one image, rather than a repeated image  so by flipping the image I think it makes it a piece in itself. I wanted to create the idea of the city dominating over the beautiful landscape that was in the background. The arrangement of the city scape was considered carefully with layering the images by having the large scale photos in the foreground. This technique was inspired by artist Giacomo Costa. As I worked on the piece, more ideas started to flow. I thought the magazine image in itself had quite an interesting play on technology, the modern world, modern society and the beauty of nature. I bought this through into the cityscape by repeating the ‘drop pins’ (which are from google maps). It was a play on what was more important to see? The city or the country or the combination of both. I also wanted to highlight the significance of the drop pins on nature and how we rely on our phones, even though what we should be looking at is right in front of us. This was quite a personal response. I felt that the city also needed some sort of human presence. I used the two children in the magazine image and repeatedly tried a single line drawing to which I then placed over the city landscape in areas where the ‘drop pins’ were. I decided to use tracing paper as I liked the idea of humanity disappearing and technology taking over, as I get the feeling that this is the way society is moving.  Also the reason I called it ‘Fiction Vs. Non-Fiction’ is because I think the magazine image is more of an illustration and would be the type of image in a story book. My images are from real life.

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3rd collage: Tornado

This piece was the result of completing collage 1, and working on the idea of natural disasters. I came across the pool image in a magazine and the words ‘Water Water Everywhere’ propelled me to return to the idea of inevitable, uncontrollable ‘happenings’ – like natural disasters. This was when I considered to draw a tornado. This reminded me of my school years. I would doodle during lessons and what I always used to draw was tornados. I like the use of line and the twists and turns that you could create with a single line. I cheekily googled ‘how to draw tornadoes’ as I felt that this drawing needed to be slightly better than a exercise book doodle. I came across this image (see below) which led me onto another thought.

Fig 1.
Fig 1. Pinterest image.

I remember seeing an image when I was on the sculpture course which used the intaglio process. Although I don’t have the resources to do this kind of printing, my initial reaction to that drawing was that it was made from string. It looked like a relief drawing. So I decided to give it a go. I drew an outline of a tornado, very exercise book like, and started creating the piece with string. I wanted to use the image separately and place it onto the magazine image so I worked on a separate sheet.

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Fig 2

This is the image I was referring to ^^^^^

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At first I wanted to cut out the ‘holiday hut’ image but I quite like the contrast of the destruction going on above it and how it is perfectly preserved. I tore the magazine article apart and then pieced it back together as I felt that this could imitate an earthquake. I was thinking the contrast of the hut and the tornado is portraying 3rd world countries vs. first world countries…?! I recognise the large white area in the picture and I am offended by it. It is just a ‘nothing’ area. But I’m not sure how to work with it so for now I am going to move on. Something to think about when I complete the assignment piece.

4th collage: come to die

This is quite a dark, haunting image. Again, working through ideas in my head, I was thinking of creating the path into lava, drawing a volcano on top of the mountainous landscape. I think I was able to execute this, in some way or another, but I also created a blood bath on my page. To be honest, trying to get ideas together all day and thinking of something each time I was starting to lose interest. I knew what I wanted to do but I had put so much effort into the other 3 collages I felt this might not be as successful. The figures drawn in ink I think have a ghostly aura to them, especially the taller ones at the base of the drawing due to their fragile suggestion of the human form. I wasn’t sure how to erase the text from the magazine article and I tried to play around with the words but in the end I put a big cross over it. I wonder if I added some images of melting or burning it might add something or add images/drawings to show that nature, humans, architecture is completely open to death (death being the woman) and that everything comes to an end – destruction of life. It could also be seen as death being inevitable. That we are all on the same path in life, it will end in death.  This has quite a personal attachment to it and a personal fight of depression and a constant struggle to understanding death. I’m still not sure what to think of this one and I wonder if I need to add more or start again. For now I am going to leave it there and perhaps have another look tomorrow.

Now all collages are complete and I have had slept on them I think they are all seen as individual drawings but all share a constant link of trying to understand the world. Completing the images under the intense circumstances that I did, (I shut myself away in the studio and worked 7am-10pm to get to grips with my study routine) I have discovered that I put a lot of myself into it. Discovering my own understanding of what life is and portraying it through these images has further stimulated a desire to continue on this path and work through my ideas, themes and theories in my art.

At first I was offended by the harsh contrast by some of the magazine images to my own work and I found that I was constantly trying to correct. However on reflection I quite like the visual displacement the two differences between my drawing and the magazine images. I found that I started to create a more in depth response to the images and I kind of let my ideas take me forward without worrying too much on the final result. Although saying this, what I learnt from drawing 1 is to consider composition and the ‘tidiness’ of the final outcome of my pieces. I think this ‘tidiness’ is evident in the majority of these collages, perhaps not the 4th.

Artists:

Artists to bookmark in relation to natural disasters and just general collage that I quickly referred to whilst completing this exercise.

EStudio amorales (s.d) Vertical Earthquake and Germinal. At:http://estudioamorales.com/vertical-earthquake-germinal/ (Accessed on 16 August 2018)

Artnet (2014) News’ Top 10 Most Expensive Living West Coast Artists. At: https://news.artnet.com/market/artnet-news-top-10-most-expensive-living-west-coast-artists-54746 (Accessed on 16 August 2018)- for Mark Bradford

Stephanie Peters – Fine Art (2018) Natural Disasters. At: https://www.stephartist.com/natural-disasters.html (Accessed on 16 August 2018)

Textile Artist. (2016) Jette Clover. At: https://www.textileartist.org/jette-clover-words-and-walls/jette-clover_white_wall_11 (Accessed on 16 August 2018)

Tate. (2018) Mimmo Rotella. At: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/rotella-with-a-smile-t12854 (Accessed on 16 August 2018)

Figure 1. Pinterest (s.d) [user-generated-online] At: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/457256168387808144/ (Accessed on 16 August 2018) – I could not find the artist that produced this image.

Figure 2. Pasmore, V (1974) Linear Development in One Movement [Intaglio print on paper] At: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/pasmore-linear-development-in-one-movement-p01471 (Accessed on 26 February 2018)

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