Week 17 – 05/02/18

This week I’ve been working more into my paintings and keeping up to date with the editorial board meetings and correspondence. I’m also getting quite conscious of time and of planning a work for the degree show.

This is the progress I’ve made on the larger painting this week. I had a tutorial with a new tutor and she suggested working with larger brushes, so that the looseness that comes across in my smaller paintings is evident in the larger ones.

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I’m trying not to over-work it, but at the same time I want the same level of depth in the image I’m working on. We also had a discussion in the tutorial about the nature of photography and using photography that is quite incidental/unimpressive as a base for an image. She mentioned the idea of culture as well – in the last unit where a lot of my research was on realism and representing a specific time and place – I’m interested in how I can capture a representation of a segment of society or cultural group.

I’ve moved on from this smaller painting now – as I really like the looseness and colour – I’m happy to leave it as it is if it means not overworking the image.

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I’ve also tried to start taking photos of TV watching again – in my feedback tutorial last week I was told that the paintings were really successful and connected strongly to my written work. I think now that I’ve had time away from these works, I will be able to come back to them with fresh eyes and make something more successful out of them.

I’ve also been corresponding with the editorial board again this week, now trying to contact contributors and gather texts that can be published. As well as this, I’ve been transcribing the recording of the curation and editorial board, with the intention of writing something about it/using it in the publication. This took up quite a lot of time so I think in future, it would be better to have a specific outcome in mind – eg. only transcribe the meeting if there was a definite use for it as an interview piece or review. I think it’s still a useful piece of test to have recorded, so regardless if it gets published, it will be good for the group to have on record.

I hope that next week I will have more free time to start more paintings and reach some sort of resolution with the large one I’ve started. I think next time I work on canvas like this it will be helpful to have some sort of seam allowance so that if I choose to, I can put it on a stretcher.

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Week 16 – 29/01/18

This week I received my BA3a feedback – overall I was quite happy with the outcome, although it was a bit frustrating to be just below the margin for a first. I expected that the main criticism or area for improvement would be to do with the amount of paintings I’d made and the lack of experimentation I’d been able to do. My essay turned out to be really successful, I was a bit apprehensive about it in its final stages as I hadn’t had a member of staff fully read through it.

Being back in the studios this week, I’ve started working on 2 new paintings – one of the areas for improvement on my feedback was to work on multiple paintings at the same time so that the pace is kept up and I don’t end up stagnating. It also mentions revisiting my ‘We Are The Watchers’ paintings – I agree totally, as through my research, the context behind the works has become really relevant. I’d been sort of planning a piece based on the 2 images I took of my friend’s kitchen, and so I’ve decided to move straight into working on it, large scale. Based on the outcomes of my fabric piece for the collaborative exhibition, the ground stared off very loose with multiple colours bleeding into one another.

A lot of the problems I’ve had with past paintings stems from a fear of the blank canvas – I’ve tried to combat this by working on unstretched canvas and by making the grounds interesting enough that I can leave areas unworked without the painting looking unfinished.

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This is another smaller work I also started – I’m really liking the colours and composition so far – I think I’m going to leave this piece quite abstract/unworked, I think the composition on its own makes it quite interesting as an image

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I had my feedback tutorial on Friday, the comments on my essay were really positive and the tutor suggested that I consider getting it published by JAWS, a graduate run journal that prints mainly MA written reviews and analytical texts. I’m really excited to do this – I will need to adapt the essay quite significantly as they only accept submissions of 5000 words or less, so I’m planning on expanding on one of the chapters and submitting this rather than shorten the whole report. In terms of a future career in the arts, going into  writing and research is something I feel would suit me, so will now be on the look out for opportunities to write and publish works. I will have to keep in mind that my writing is quite time consuming and make sure I balance my time well between studio practice and any future texts that I decide to write.

We’d also arranged another editorial board meeting this week – attendance was again, quite sparse, however I think through the 2 meetings we organised (One on Thursday with Krsyzstof and one independently on Friday) we’ve managed to get everyone on the same page and aware of deadlines. I will be drafting an email to an NUA alumni that is heavily involved with OUTPOST studios in Norwich, aiming to send it out by the beginning of next week. This task is really useful, as it falls into the same category as approaching galleries and individuals for possible career possibilities. This type of correspondence is something that I need to familiarise myself with and improve.

Week 15 – 22/01/18

I went back to London this week for a bit of respite – in my family home I started thinking a bit more about the domestic and how this factors into my work.  I think interest in the idea of everyday reality etc stems from spending a lot of time in a domestic environment and being able to relate to moments of quiet/being an observer in a situation. My subject matter tends to be incidental – I’ll see something that I feel is framed nicely/creates a certain impression and although the image might not be relevant at the time, it might resurface later on as a source for painting.

Following on from last unit, I’d like to start thinking about my work’s relationship with photography and how far the act of taking a photo in the moment influences the finished, adapted and labour intensive painting that becomes the outcome.

I also had another editorial board meeting this week – we’re starting to consider our proposed theme of intentions in terms of the contributors we’d like to ask. Although only 2 of us were able to attend I found the meeting really productive, it’s proving quite difficult to find times where all of us are available to meet and so although we didn’t have the authority to make any major decisions it was good to have an idea of what to discuss in the next meeting and put forward to the rest of the group.

We’ve managed to narrow down a list of possible contributors including university staff, alumni that have gone on to form collectives and gallery contacts. In the meeting we managed to make informed decisions through researching the names we’d put down provisionally – we’re hoping that by focusing our questions/themes for them based on their practice and interests, we will be more likely to get responses.

One thing that’s become clear so far in this project is the need for consistent communication – outside of our meetings it’s hard to reach everyone directly due to inconsistencies in people opening emails etc. I think going forward we need to set up regular meetings that everyone can attend so that we are all on the same page and keep the group quite productive.

Week 14 – 15/01/18

I’m sort of at a loss this week after submitting my work for BA3a – it’s quite frustrating not to be able to use the studio space to work in, as I know the  only way I’ll be able to make progress in my practical work is through making and experimentation.

One thing I have managed to work on is a submission for a group curated/led project called ‘Figured Fabric’ – which I think has been designed as a showcase for a large and diverse group of works. It’s strange to go into something which is essentially a collaboration, but with no knowledge of who I’ll be exhibiting with and what their work will look like. I was given a small fabric square, with the invitation to represent myself, my practice and my culture. I was a bit out of my comfort zone with this, however I think that my work and the subject matter of my paintings tends to lean more towards documenting my experiences and my culture, so I chose to treat the fabric as I would any other canvas and paint from one of the reference images I had to hand.

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This is another image that I assume was taken around the same time as my other roof painting  – in the image the main focal point is the rooftops extending off – however I wanted to adapt it so that the figures in the foreground were the main focus.

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This is the fabric in its early stages – I didn’t have any primer to hand, so worked with white acrylic as a base – This worked quite well, I wasn’t worried about creating a really smooth finish or covering the fabric completely – I still wanted to be able to see the linen  and not treat it as a piece of canvas. Because the layer of white acrylic was not totally dry, the watered down ground I applied bled into the fabric a bit, I think this worked really well and something I might consider when making grounds for future works.

This is the finished piece, I had fun with it and am quite excited to see  it displayed with other works.

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Week 12 – 11/12/17

In the last week of term I had another editorial board meeting – it was really nice to go to the meeting with a lot of new ideas and suggestions for contributors, as well as feedback from the curation team. Now we’ve got a provisional list of people we’d like to ask, it will be a lot easier to try and focus questions/themes around them and to research their specialisms. I don’t think we’re too worried about writing to them just yet, we’ll be able to focus a lot more time on this after we’ve handed in the fist term’s work.

I think we need to try and avoid the publication being too Norwich based, as although a lot of graduates will stay in the area, I think many are looking further afield. I’m based in London, for example, so to get involved with projects and galleries there will obviously be a lot different than approaching organisations in Norwich. With the publication in mind I’d quite like to start creating a bit of web presence etc. I’m quite self-conscious about sharing my work on social media etc so I think I really need to push myself out of my comfort zone and advertise myself as an artist rather than a student. I’m hoping to be able to create a website over Christmas to try and publicise myself a bit more.

On the last day of term, me and a few others took part in a bit of a group activity. In response to one of the tutors leaving a few weeks ago, Paul started leaving sticky notes around the university with ‘Judith was here’ on them. The idea then became a bit of a protest, having had a really helpful tutor leave – and Paul stated producing sweatshirts which a group of us purchased and wore in the lecture theatre. I think his intention was to make a small profit on the shirts so that money could be donated to a charity of Judith’s choice. It’s something I was really keen to get involved with and publicise, as I think as artists we have a right to critique the institution and question our quality of teaching.

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I also took a couple of impromptu photos this week that I hope to do something with after Christmas. Although these aren’t what I’d consider outcomes, it goes to show that in a few seconds I can capture something to work from, and it doesn’t have to be that significant.

Week 11 – 04/12/17

This week has felt quite hectic, on Tuesday evening the interim show opened, it was interesting to see the works all together – some were very much completed, but others were clearly unfinished. I think when confronted with an exhibition, most people felt as though they needed to present something, and so rather than entering something the was really unfinished/up to date, sort of backtracked to hand in something they’d already moved on from. I think I’m personally guilty of that, although I’m not sure what I would have offered otherwise as the painting I’m working on currently only started to take shape after I’d had a meeting with the curation team. Logistically I think it was quite hard to give them something in the making or an idea of something not yet started because of the logistical considerations.

There was a really good meeting on the Wednesday attended by local artists/creatives,It was really helpful to get an idea of what the curation team’s thought process was, talk about the authenticity of work that was not yet made and whether we should hold unfinished works to the same standard that we hold final pieces to. I recorded the dialogues between everyone, so will hopefully get a chance soon to look back on the recordings and make some notes. When discussing my work, I was asked if it was finished and what I’d add to it – I started talking about how technically I’d work into the painting more, and one of the dyad sisters commented that conceptually, then, it was all tied up. I hadn’t really thought of it like this before. I think the idea stage finished before I’d even started painting, so this is definitely something to keep in mind – trying to work something out through painting rather than display an already formed idea.

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After this discussion we organised a meeting between the editorial and curation teams. It was really refreshing, not just to hear their ideas surrounding the interim show, but about future ideas and comments on the institution. I think because we had all just come from the exhibition space, the thoughts were all really fresh, and we got to discuss quite extensively how we are prepared as students to go out into the art world. There was a really strong suggestion that the curation team thought that we were not given a good platform for criticism, and that although we are encouraged to discuss works, often there is a real reluctance to bring up negative feedback. I think, aside from being a criticism of the art institution, that this is really relevant, because when we approach galleries etc in the future, they will be a lot more honest about pieces not working.

I recorded the conversation, and so in terms of the editorial, I think once we’ve had time to reflect and obviously edit the conversation, it might be nice to include as an interview piece – alongside or in place of a review of the show. I’m really excited to be able to focus on the publication more, as in the few short meetings we’ve had we’ve made really good progress.

I had my 3rd year presentation this week too, I was really apprehensive about it, but in the end only a handful of people showed up, so I felt a lot more comfortable discussing my work within a small group. I felt the format of the presentations worked a lot better this way, after we had all presented we were able to sit and have a really in-depth discussion rather than the usual questions and answers when there is a large audience. The feedback I received was really positive, and people were really enthusiastic about the painting in progress. There were a lot of suggestions about time, and photographs and memory, which is something I’d really like to explore.

My painting is also progressing – I’m really happy with the way it looks, but a bit unsure as to whether or not it is finished. I think it will probably remain more or less the same – although I and to try and work into a few details like the hands and faces.

Week 10 – 27/11/17

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This Monday we had a short editorial board meeting outside of the scheduled sessions, discussing the interim show and what we would do to incorporate it with the publication. I was surprised that there hadn’t been much overlap between the two groups in the past, I think we all wanted to get their take on the interimexhibition and on the degree show so that we could try and reference the ideas that led them to the show title ‘intentions’. We also discussed potential collaborators/contributors to the publication and decided that we wanted to try and lead on from the interim exhibition – so take ‘intentions’ and expand on this, not just the intentions for potential practice/works in progress but intentions in general: where do we as students see our practice heading outside of university? We wanted to try and reach out to individuals that have experience with this – local artist-led organisations, galleries/curators that might have ideas about what they look for in artists/graduates, and perhaps people related to the institution that have seen students progress from year 1.

I also took part in a group crit this week, as I’d missed one the week prior. I find it quite helpful/reassuring to know that I’m not the only person struggling to produce much work quantity wise. I think by looking at what other people have been up to this term I’d quite like to get involved in group exhibitions or maybe a solo exhibition to get some more feedback on my work. The reaction to the painting in my studio was really positive, people felt very confronted by the figure/unsure of the gesture he is making. We also discussed time in relation to the piece, and how you can tell it is from a definite snapshot photo – I quite like the ambiguity of the scene – no-one could really place when the photo was taken, which is something I’m looking at in my research. we also talked about the impressionists and how the birth of the camera changes the way people paint and frame images. I also had a discussion with a second year student who works with a similar theme of trying to capture moments etc while also bringing attention to the surface and texture of the painted medium. He worked entirely differently though, usually from life, and using very quick, immediate marks and lines. I’d be interested to work in this way, to try and see if the lack of a photograph helps or hinders me to better represent something.

I spoke a little bit with some of the group about what work I wanted to exhibit and install, I think the conclusion was that my large painting, although sort of finished, still had scope and was not really a final outcome, so would work well as an intention.

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I was really happy with the way the work was installed. The corridor was very light and the surrounding works fit quite well in terms of colour etc. My only criticism would have been that because the corridor is not that wide, it was difficult to hang the work in a way that the viewer could really stand back and look at it. I think, had I not been so focused on the research report, it would have been nice to have made some new work for the show/had a few more works in progress to choose from, because the painting was the only substantial thing I’d worked on this year.

I also managed to get started on a new painting this week, based on the photo taken of the roof, I’m really happy with the progress on this so far, I wanted to try and maintain the ground/not work into it too much. I’m treating it more like an experiment at the moment so am not putting myself under too much pressure to get it perfect/exactly like the photo. I sort of wanted quite a limited moody palette, but have unintentional returned to quite dark greens and blues.

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I had a tutorial today, and the feedback I received seemed very good – its quite encouraging that the points I’m trying to get across about the mundane and the snapshot moment are coming across. I think I need to start focusing how I make the work about the viewer, but not so obviously, creating more tableau-like pieces. I don’t know if it’s worth me looking more at the gender of the subjects and if this makes any difference when I’m trying to present an image to a viewer, as in the crit it came up that my painting of the party is a very masculine scene.