Tuesday, 13 March 2012

somehow it all makes sense

Post Modernism
Developed from critiques of architectural Modernism of the 1970s. By the 1980s visual art which criticised society was also being refered to as Post  Modernism.
Post Modernism is effectively a late Modernism and is considered to be less formal and more playful in style.
Parody of earlier styles is a dominant Post Modern trait. Also art is valued for being imperfect, low brow, accessible, disposable, local and temporary, conceptual, minimal and sensational.

Key artists include: Jeff Koons, Marcell Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Sol Lewitt, Donald Judd, Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin.

Little,s.(2004)'isms' Understanding Art: Herbert Press: London    

somehow it all makes sense

Modernism was a broad movement encompassing all the avant-garde movements of the first half of the 20th century.
They all rejected the dominance of Naturalism which represented the world with a minimum of abstraction or stylistic distortion, and Academicism  which focused on art being produced to a set of rules favouring classical ideals of beauty and artistic perfection. many of the narratives were about history, life drawing and classical sculpture.
This rejection lead to art being produced in a more radical/experimental way often seeking to answer fundamental questions about the nature of art and the human experience.

 Key movements: Fauvism, primitivism, expressionism, cubism, futurism, dadaism

Little,s.(2004)'isms' understanding art: Herbert Press London

Group presentation notes BAS7

Think about why you chose the subject of BAS7
Discuss initial thoughts around Karla Blacks piece and why we rejected it...to opinionated about the subject.
Discuss our decision  to talk about David Noonans work...Tapestry

Look at three aspects
the artist.......Paul
the piece......Ryan
positioning within the theme of the show...Tess
Bear in mind that we only have 10 mins in which to present.

Method of presentation...Powerpoint with each member presenting their own research.

My part
David Noonan was born in 1969 in Australia, but lives and works in the UK
His major works are in paint/screen print/installations, he is also a filmaker and a set designer.
He has exhibited his work in several countries as well as in the UK.
He produces his screen prints by making a collage using found imagery sourced from film strips, books, magazines and archive photos.
These are then photographed to form one main image.
His prints are mainly Monochrome/beige.
He builds up his prints by layering process using translucent paint, often painting abstract images over figurative to create mysticism in his work.
His finished images are remaniscent of cinematic images of the 1950s.

Comment by the artist...'The idea of collage is central to my work, I take images from different origins and time zones and bring them together to create new narratives'.

www.foxyproduction.com/artist/view/12 accessed 30/11/11www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2009/oct/21/artist-david-noonan Accessed 30/11/11
 www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/artists/david_noonan.htm    Accessed 30/11/11

lecture notes place

Almost everything has a element of: place,location, place in time, social space.
Artists are now playing with spacial concepts

Space vs place:

Space....territory, distance between things,emptiness.
Space has a rythmn that changes at different times of the day.

Place...A configuring of positions e.g think about what elements make up a village,
church, pub,cottage etc
Village identity...everything in its place.
Maps of places
Tourist gaze...seeing the expected.


Agraphobia...fear of open space
Claustrophobia...fear of confined space
Dormatophobia...fear of houses
Ecophobia...fear of surroundings
Kenophobia...fear of empty rooms

Topophillia...love of place/attachment to place

Narratives...an attachment to place
Aboriginal paintings used as maps and to tell stories of ancestors

Every place has its own unique qualities.

Non places...places of transience that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as place.
eg foyer in airport
Non places generate solitude instead of relationships

lecture notes visit to city museum

lecture notes culture shake

lecture notes visit to bas7

lecture notes time lines

library example 1
library example 2

somehow it all makes sense


Jackson Pollack

pollack no8 google images (19/10/2011)
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) was an American artist and a major figure in the American Abstract Expressionist movement.
Pollock dispensed with traditional brush and easel methods of painting, choosing to paint on large canvas placed on the floor.He completed his work by pouring commercial paint onto the canvas with the help of a stick.This revolutionary type of painting involved him pacing vigorously around the huge canvas as he applied the paint.
 Time Magazine dubbed him 'Jack the dripper' when describing his unique style of action painting, in an article titled ' The Wild Ones' in 1956.

Ref: Little,S.(2004) 'isms'. Herbert Press:London
Accessed: 1/11/2011

some how it all makes sense


BAS7 Penninsula Arts

During my visit to the gallery at Plymouth University, I looked at a piece of work by David Noonan.
untitled 2010 www.googleimages.com
This was a large, untitled tapestry completed in 2010 at the Foundation of Victoria Weavers and was hand woven by Sue Batten, Amy Cornall and Cheryl Thornton.

This tapestry is displayed on the left hand wall of the gallery entrance.
 I was intrigued by the work initially by the amount of layering there was, and also by the fact that it was a tapestry and not a traditional painting.

At first glance I thought it was a digital image simply transferred onto a large rug in some way, but upon further investigation I found that it was actually a hand woven piece completed by three practitioners from Melbourne Australia.

I liked the way that the piece was 'untitled' because it allows you to think about the work without being influenced by any title given by the artist or curator.
The tapestry was completed in monochrome with many of the figures in the image overlapping each other which gives depth and transparency to the work. For me the piece has an oriental theme, with the central figure sat in an almost religious  Buddhist pose. The arm in the bottom right hand corner seems to lead you into another narrative, leaving you wondering what's happening in the space not portrayed, also the giving of flowers provides an idea that the central figure is someone to be worshiped.
Peacocks also feature heavily in oriental art and by surrounding the 'monk like' figure, I think the artist provides another indication that the figure is important or even regal.

The figure on the left is pushing a cart carrying a young boy, who has a saw in his hand. This made me think of labourers which I found odd as, for me, they have no place in the piece other than to perhaps re-enforce the importance of the central figure.

About the artist.
David Noonan was born in Australia in 1968 but now lives and works in the UK.
Explaining that that idea of collage is central to his work, Noonan says; 'I take images from different origins and time periods and bring them together to create new narratives.'

Curator notes on the artist's work (Peninsula Arts Gallery)
Using a palette of black, white and grey, his spectral figures populate a theatrical landscape somewhere between reality and illusion. the superimposed peacocks with their defiant stares challenge the gaze of the spectator.

somehow it all makes sense

A sense of place

There is a term used called an English man's home is his castle I feel that where we choose to live and how we set out our living space in our homes gives a sense of place.
In my house, the main living room is of great importance to me, in that I see it as a place to relax at the end of the day, but in order for me to relax every thing has to be in it's place with some semblance of order. I see clutter as a distraction to whatever I choose to do in order to relax, whether I'm watching the TV, reading a book or playing my guitar.
Belongings displayed within the living area tend to give clues to my interests as an individual, for example my guitar proudly displayed on its stand. Also two water colour paintings, framed and displayed on the wall for all to see, they show friends and family my progress with art, almost as a validation for my decision to return to education
The kitchen, although smaller than the living room, often tends to be the main area in the house where friends and family congregate, but this is mostly because it's the only room in the house where we allow people to smoke.
The way each space in the house is governed by functionality and a set of rules. many of which help to maintain some order in what I feel would otherwise be a more chaotic, slightly overcrowded living space.

The house is surrounded by walls which provide boundaries and a feeling of safety, keeping unwanted elements out and children and family pets in. Nearby parks are important places for me as my yard is very small and I miss having a garden.

The location of my house is in a relatively quiet street across the road from a school, which all of my children have attended. The local post office no longer exists and shops in the area seem to be constantly changing (a sign of the times). Interestingly there is no pub on the entire estate due to a condition set out by Lady Astor when she handed the estate over to the local council. The estate is within walking distance of the city centre, but just far enough away from all the noise and hustle and bustle.

The city is filled with non-places, the voids between A and B.  For example, when you park your car in the multi story car park you take the stairs to the nearest shop.
There is a huge walkway in the shopping mall which is used mainly to cut through from one street to another with no stopping off in the shops that occupy that space.
There are places that feel safe when occupied during the day, but become quite unnerving at night as the underbelly of our society starts to occupy the same space. ie the bus station, the benches, the alleys between the main streets and the entrance areas to pubs and clubs.

Public art, like the the example in this image is used as a way of disrupting the space we use in public places, encouraging interaction with passers by.
In this example by Stefan Segmeister, over 300,000 coins were laid out in a public area in Amsterdam. The experiment was to see if the public would interact with the finished piece of art once the protective barriers were removed. would the coins be stolen? would the piece be changed in anyway? Or would any of the coins be turned over to reveal their bright blue painted underside?

image: http//conciousdesignliving.blogspot.com
Accessed 23/11/2011

Wednesday, 7 March 2012



Dean,T.(2005) Place: Thames & Hudson; London
Goldsworthy, A.(2000) Time: Thames & Hudson; London
Lailachi, M.(2007) Land Art: Taschen; Germany
Relph,E.(1976) Place and placelessness: Pion; London
Smithson,R.(1996) The collected Writings Of: University of California Press; USA


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Andre  Accessed 24/2/12
http://www.canterburytales.org       accessed 5/3/12
www.hamish-fulton.com/  Accessed 23/2/12
www.sculpture.org.uk/AndyGoldsworthy/biography/ Accessed 27/2/12
www.richardlong.org/ Accessed 27/2/12
www.situations.org.uk/people/claire-doherty/ Accessed 13/3/12
www.southwestcoastpath.com/ Accessed 22/2/12
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRCJLCZLMys    Accessed 12/3/12


You tube Rock balancing with Adrian Gray.
You tube  From site to situation Claire Doherty

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The pilgrims way

Hamish Fulton is an artist whos practice revolves around the experience of his walks. Often his walks across the landscape take him to obscure, inaccessible locations that are off the beaten track. He documents his journey with little more than a photograph of the places he visits choosing images that are unrecognisable and that seem to lead to nowhere. These images are accompanied by short texts outlining his journey.

When talking about his practice he stated that 'my work is about the experience of walking. The frammed artwork is about a state of mind- it cannot convey the experience of the walk. A walk has a life of its own,it does not need to be made into art. Iam an artist and choose to make my artworks from real life experience.' (Lailach (2007, p44)

excerpt from the Canterbury Tales

When April with all his Showers sweet with fruit,
The drought of March has pierced unto root,
Then do folk go on a pilgramage
And bathed each vein with liquor that has power,
To generate therein and shire a flower.
When Zephyr also has with its sweet breath,
Quickened again, in every holt and heath,
The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun,
Into the ram one half his course has run.
And many little birds make melody,
That sleep through all the night with open eye
(so nature pricks them into ramp and rage)
Then do folk go on a pilgramage,
And palmers to go seeking out strange strands,
To distant shrines well known in sundry lands
And specially from every shrines end....

Chapter 1: lines 1-15 of 860

Mount batten to Wembury

This walk started from my home with a mile walk to the Barbican and a water taxi to take me to Mount Batten. My plan was to walk from Mount batten to Wembury along the South West coast path. Along the way I looked for opportunities to explore the area off the beaten track and to collect materials with a view to making simple pieces of art
.This video shows my trip on the water taxi.

This video shows a snapshot of my walk which was approx seven miles long. (not edited very well sorry I will re-post asap)
I looked for opportunities to go off the beaten track but after falling several times I decided that staying in track was a much safer option.
As I began to walk from From Mount Batten, up over the hill towards Jennycliff, I started to think about what I might find along the way, Where my walk would take me, what places of interest I might stop at and when to call it a day.
Just a bunch of words........
Excited, hot, windswept, out of breath, heavy, sights, people, muddy, slippery, eye watering, dry, calm, warm, steps , paths, water, waves, rocks, nature calling, thirsty, cold, quiet, branches, trees, grass, dead pheasant, beach, ships, the breakwater, falling, seagulls, wet, sun shine, clouds, hunger, rest, cave, make,camera, kestrel, thorns, sheep, signs, stream, reeds, bridge, cafe, cars, chalets, fence, walls, radio beacon, sand, pebbles, surfer, tired, dead rabbit, fields, horses, barns, sunset, moonlight, beautiful, carpark, wife, home, shower, food, reflection.

Learn to relax

Visit to Heybrook Bay.
Lacking inspiration I decided to try my hand at rock balancing.
Below is one example of trying to get to grips with this very relaxing and fun activity creating curious structures.
Warning a great deal of patience required!!
I must have suffered fifty failed attempts at this before finally after, almost giving up, success!!
My eagerness and my inability to be still were my obstacles. After some time my surroundings seemed to disappear  as my body slowed and my mind quietend down to focus purely on the stones. The weight of the stone in my hand, the fragile relationship between them, my hands able to sense the slightest transference in weight which would inturn tip the balance and result in yet another failure.Finally, hardly breathing, I stepped back and slowly moved away. My next thought ...............
Where is my Bloody camera?

Time, Change, Place

In his book "Time" Andy Goldsworthy states that ' Whenever possible, I make a work every day. Each work joins the next in a line that defines the passage of my life, marking and accounting for my time and creating a momentum which gives me a strong sense of anticipation for the future. Each piece is individual, but I also see the line combined as a single work...(Goldsworthy2007 p 7)

The idea of individual pieces of work combining together interests me as this forms a map in my own minds eye of the places I have visited being marked by the work I produce.
By striving to produce work each day, I think that you can begin to notice things in the landscape the otherwise would not be seen, especially the effects of the moon and tides, the weather and the changes to the landscape each season.

Many of his pieces are ephemeral in nature and there is also something very tactile in the way he produces them.
The placement of the work and materials he uses seem to create a curiosity factor which would intrigue any passer by.
Documenting work with good photography skills is something I am going to have to get to grips with.

Richard Long uses the landscape and the act of walking to produce art. Many of his sculptural pieces are formed in straight lines or as this image shows, by upturning rocks. the line represents the path he took whilst on his walks.
Long  uses the act of walking to explore the relationship between distance, measurement and time. He has used the act of walking in his art for forty years which have taken him all over the world.
' My art has the themes of materials, ideas, movement, time. The beauty of objects, thoughts, places and actions' (Lailach, 2000. p74)

This image was taken whilst on one of my walks along the the Southwest coast path. As with many of the images I have captured, it offers a very picturesque/romantic view of our landscape.
After reading a chapter from the book 'Place and Placelessness' by Edward Relph, I became interested in what our preconceived ideas of landscape are, and how those ideas relate to the reality of present day.
Do we only see what we want to see? Whilst annoying to me, I certainly never chose the photograph all of the junk and litter I encountered along my walks or anything I considered to be unattractive, but the reality is that it is there.
 Relph talks about criticisms that have been made about the condition of our Landscape as ' criticisms that are usually combined with a simultaneous lament and plea for the local, handicraft, harmonious landscapes of peasant societies....'(Relph,1976.p122) He then talks about the age old sentiment that somehow  past places must have been better than the present day placelessness. and how therefore we should make places the old way. He also states that this type of fix is far too simple.' landscape is not merely an aesthetic background to life, rather it is the setting that both expresses and conditions cultural attitudes and activities, and significant modifications to landscape are not possible without major changes in social attitudes...'(Relph,1976.p122)
It is clear to me that rural pre-industrial British landscape is very different to the present day landscape we live in. the event of the machine replacing manual labour and the resulting migration to industrial cities has led to a detachment from the land. with the development of  cities came the mass produced, modern apartment blocks, built quickly and economically to meet the needs of the ever growing population. Many of these city blocks are now considered ugly and are un cared for. There seems to be a lost sense of community. Is this place (which once was desirable) becoming placeless(now undesirable). The reality is that much of the landscape that might be considered by some as undesirable or ugly, such as train tracks, roads and motorways, were all fashioned out of necessity and progress in the interest of man. These man made structures are very much part of our present day landscape. Should we embrace them as such?
 I think many of us still hold onto an idealised view of what we expect the landscape to look like, this is evident in the places we choose to visit when we take a holiday to seaside resorts or country parks. We use this as an opportunity to escape from our familiar ,and perhaps unloved surroundings. As tourists/sightseers we go in search of what we consider to be unfamiliar beautiful places to relax and get away from it all.
As a society  I think we strive to posses material things for individual gain.Because we can obtain these mass produced items quickly, again and again we seem to lose our sense of value and have become a throw away society. This is evident in our wasteful nature and the way we treat our present day landscape.

" Significant modifications to landscape are not possible without major changes in social attitude" E Relph.

'Nature is a cultural construct, a place that feeds the urban imagination as much as the urban belly. It is here that we are said to find ourselves, our "true nature". Yet we are increasingly unaware of how to read the terrain and are blind to the many changes and marks that our predecessors have made to the land over the centuries. To wander across cultivated fields is to encounter the earliest forms of human activity. Even those places that remain unaltered by humankind, areas of pristine wilderness, have become the crowded habitat of our cultural minds, from writers and poets to artists.' (Dean,T.2005 p47)

The world has become a much smaller place, with the development of transport and the increased  accessibility of the internet. We can now visit far off places by jumping into the car or by jumping on the plane, we can even visit from the comfort of our living rooms via our lap top, the TV or by flicking through pages of  a glossy book. But none of this can replace the actual experience of the walk.

Jennycliff beach

 I decided to visit Jennycliff beach on a Sunday afternoon with the intention of exploring the area whislt the tide was out, unfortunately I got the times wrong so was limited to just the small beach area you can see in this image.
It was interesting to note the amount of people who were collecting things, such as shells and pebbles, perhaps for some artistic practice.
Beaches are very much a popular destination even in February.
 I noticed that part of the cliff face had collapsed leaving a large amount of slate laying against the rock face and started to think about what I could do with it so as not to have had a wasted journey.
There were so many people on this small area of beach walking dogs, throwing pebbles into the sea and collecting shells and other objects that I decided this corner of the beach would be a good place to work.

Inspired by the work of Andy Goldsworthy I started to build a cone like structure from the fallen slate.

This structure took approx five hours to build and was a good exercise in careful selection of the slate pieces as I started to build up the structure, also a valuable lesson in developing patience!

I returned to the site one week later to discover the structure had collapsed, perhaps by the wind and tides or by the arts appreciation society.( I jest but if that was the case at least the work would have encouraged some human interaction)

Art in the Landscape

Andy Goldsworhty ice sculpture
Site.....traditionally Gallery space

Situation....Those artistic practices for which the situation or context is often the starting point...Claire Doherty

Does artwork become important for its own qualities or is it the gallery that positions the importance and relevance of the work?

Robert Smithson Spiral jetty
During the 1960's artists such as Carl Andre began to reject the gallery as the site for displaying their work and began to react against the over commodification of art by producing work within the landscape.
 These works were often on such a scale that they could not be placed into a gallery space or they were sometimes of an ephemeral nature, completed in isolated places.

Earthworks or Land art as these artworks became to be known were not sculptures placed into the landscape,but the landscape was used as a means of their creation.

Claire Doherty is a bristol based curator who is currently leading a project called Situations that looks at the significance of context in the commissioning and production of contemporary art.

 The British curator, writer and Director of the Situations programme, Claire Doherty, considers how the time of public art is being shaken up. 

Doherty will consider her recent projects including One Day Sculpture, the year-long commissioning series in New Zealand and Black Cloud by Heather and Ivan Morison.She will also introduce her curatorial vision for Oslo Harbour in Norway.

 Situations is a research programme concentrating on contemporary art based at the University of West 
England, which also produces installations for public space.                                         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRCJLCZLMys           

Parts one and two
I dont know that I have fully grasped the concept of site and situation. I think that from and artists point of view that allowing the situation to be the starting point for creativity and working in the landscape allows for more freedom control and ownership of your work. In a sense you become artist and curator.
Ultimately as land artists have become recognized for their work the draw of the gallery comes back into play and curators become owners of the space your work is displayed in.