My focus has been on research this week, I’ve started to think a lot more about writing and the role it plays within fine art – the texts that I read vary so much stylistically and its really satisfying to be able to compile them all into something cohesive with in my own way.
The time spent out of the studio has given me a lot of space to think about what I want to achieve in my work and how I will be able to explore different ways of working – I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way forward is to experiment, with photography, with scale, and ultimately giving myself a lot of freedom so that I am able to truly see what works and what doesn’t. The lack of volume of work in previous years has left my work a bit 2-dimensional – I would come up with a concept and make the work, and that was the finished outcome, there was not a lot of progression in between works.
I went to one of the research seminars on Thursday evening, focusing on the uses of texts within practice and arts education, overall I think it’s helped me to realise that there is no shame in writing that is unfinished/unformed, it is still substantial and sometimes the draft becomes more important than the finished element. I want to try and change my approach to practice and writing and start seeing them as overlapping rather than running parallel to each other.
Also this week, I went to the first editorial board meeting. A team of 5 of us will be directing the production of a publication that will accompany the degree show. We discussed ideas about the publication – so far we haven’t got much direction, but know what we don’t want based on looking at previous publications. We plan to meet again before the next scheduled meeting to discuss contributors and possible approaches – what we want the publication to focus on etc. I’m really enthusiastic about being a part of the process, I think that if I’m going to be thinking about a more research based career in the arts, it will be a valuable experience.
In the few days that I did get to consider my practice, I’ve begun trying to see my research as a starting point for making. The notion of the tableau is about absorption, and so I’ve managed to source a few photographs based on this. They’re quite candid photos, I can’t remember the circumstances surrounding them but there are a few that stand out that I’d be interested in painting.
This one in particular I like, I think the angle of the shot is really unusual and the scattered objects and long shadows are compositionally very appealing. The scenario itself also has a sort of uncannyness to it, the weird setting of the roof sort of doesn’t sit well. Around the time the photo was taken there was a lot of debate/friction between the group I lived with about the roof and if we should be allowed to sit on it. This photo was obviously a moment in amongst all of that where we all wanted to be up there and put everything to one side, however I still think there is a bit of unease there, you can see in some of the body language that there’s a bit of tension – its very fixed in its position and you can tell there’s deliberate silence and lack of interaction.
Hopefully I’ll be able to make time soon to paint this, I might start trying to divide days rather than weeks, so I spend mornings on the essay, evenings in the studio, but will have to see what sort of mindset I have in the next few weeks.