Week 23 – 20/03/17

This Monday our group presented our finished film for the cross collaboration project. I was happy generally with the feedback – lots of people suggested that the video might say something about the angora fur industry because of the apparent brutality we treated the rabbit with and the fact the fur was quite objectified. Watching other people’s films, I think we definitely could have been more involved with the project and again, make something more substantial if we’d have had more time, because of people’s commitments we could only utilise 2 of the days in the week. Maybe this comes down to us though and our use of time.

This is our finished film: RABBIT (Collaboration)

Also this week I took part in another life drawing session, again using paint but this time with acrylic. I really  liked the  way this painting turned out. I was focusing more on tone than colour really but I think this works really well. The study was from a 30 minute  pose,  so I think now having done this I might look at painting some portraits from life rather than 2d images to try and make the subjects  in my works a bit more lifelike and animated.

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I also spent a bit of time this week playing around with my video footage and my projector. I made two 4 minute videos from the original footage, where the vocalisations of people in the film and the television itself can be heard. In the second video I layered up multiple clips and distorted the audio so that it becomes pretty much unintelligible, but you can still pick out phrases and melodies. As a piece on its own, I think these edits are sort of successful, however I don’t think they’re that sustained and don’t have too much thought behind them other than their visual quality and the possibility of displaying them alongside my paintings. I think in the future I want to develop them more so that they communicate something on their own. I think as videos there is a danger that they become quite  trivial or become more about the domestic/student setting than the viewer/subject relationship.

The original edit can be seen here, and the distorted version here. I named one of the videos ‘we are the watchers’; which is a play on the phrase from the show Game Of Thrones: “We are the watchers on the wall.” I think it’s quite effective at outlining the themes in the video while also relating to appropriated media, although again I don’t want the films to seem too much about an aesthetic or focus too much on my life as a student.

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I managed to briefly set up my projector in one of the project spaces and experimented projecting the footage onto the walls, into corners and over the top of one of my original paintings. I got some quite nice footage doing this although it was quite difficult to capture both the painting and video because of the light levels. I think although projecting onto my paintings has been kind of an end goal for me, I wasn’t 100% happy with how it looked. It was quite confusing and the static image wasn’t that effective under the image. I might start thinking about projecting next to my paintings and how practically this would work.

Towards the end I also played about with placing myself in front of the projection to add to the idea of layering and the blurred boundaries between the world behind and in front of the screen. I think this is quite interesting however as a video it was maybe a little bit irrelevant/confusing. The edit can be seen here, although I’m not 100% happy yet and plan on maybe editing the film in a different style.

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Week 22 – 13/03/17

Currently I’m working on the cross course collaboration with Games Art & Design, making a film based on an image/artefact. I really enjoyed going beyond the scope of our course. Although all courses at the university are creative, to me fine art seems less grounded, and because its open to interpretation its often difficult to communicate/collaborate with people outside of the course. As a group we decided to take quite a humorous stance on the project based on our image of an angora rabbit. After looking a the Castle Museum’s taxidermy collection we started to think about the idea of excess, texture of fur itself and its ability to obscure something/someone. Initially we were sort of stuck as to how to translate this into film, and so we chose to leave the conceptualisation until after we looked at possible materials etc. Although this was sort of a reverse way of doing it, it allowed us to be quite spontaneous and we gradually built on ideas rather than coming up with a concept and sticking to it.

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We ended up coming up with the concept of obscuring and excess, using a toy wind-up rabbit and covering it with ‘fur’ until it became unable to function, and ultimately becomes an unidentifiable mass on the floor. I think our finished film was quite funny, which is something we wanted from the beginning, however it was quite challenging to work in a group situation and it could have been more successful. To be honest I think because of the nature of the project, there was a general lack of enthusiasm/involvement, and it was difficult to come up with much of a concept before we reached the stage of having to make the film. I think given more time, we would have been able to make something more substantial, however it was difficult to arrange meetings over the course of the week because of the interchange, and we didn’t really have a plan to follow. I felt that I was having to direct the group a little bit, and even then it was difficult because there wasn’t a lot of feedback on suggestions, so it became a challenge to come up with something cohesive. I think again, given more time we would have more success because we could have worked through it a bit and taken more time to discuss and really get involved with the project.

I also did a few interchange projects this week. I took part in a 3 hour life-painting session Wednesday evening. It was really helpful to learn how to manipulate the paint in such a short space of time. it’s something I think I’d like to do again in relation to my current practice, my trouble at the moment is trying to work quite quickly to create the idea of motion and creating a realistic connection between viewer and subject. I was really happy with my outcome – I was using oils and so it was exciting to go back to this medium after using acrylics for quite a while. I’ve booked another couple of sessions in, as I talked about before I think they are useful just as practice painting the figure and to get me painting.

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