Archives for category: art college

The Orpheus building wall piece has continued to grow over the last few weeks. I have employed the same rational, measured and almost ritualistic process of tracing and transferring marks in it’s creation.

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Marks congregate around my eye level, the natural and most comfortable place to work. In this way I leave a trace of the mass of my own self on the space.

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Several sections occur where where marks are most layered and concentrated.

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A photograph of one wall inverted. I think it resembles a constellation.

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I could continue this approach until the end of the academic year, but I want to interrupt it and set new rules.

Documentation of piece in progress on the walls of my studio space in the Orpheus building in the Belfast school of art. The building is to be demolished in June.

wall wall1 wall2 wall3 wall4 wall5 wall6

I set myself the parameters of only using black conte crayon to trace, and pencil to transfer marks. Traced marks were only to be from sources present in the MFA studio environment, such as cracks in the floor and plasterwork and stains from spilt paint. The majority of marks come from traced knots in plywood boards. I like their shapes, and on a deeper level am intrigued by how they mark the passage of time and growth of the trees that were used to make the wood.

The tracings are transferred to the wall several times, the marks become fainter each time. Sometimes the pieces of tracing paper are loaded with crayon again to achieve a darker line. It is a fragile and delicate material to use, it often rips when a sharp point of a pencil passes across it.

I joined several pieces of wood together that I had drilled, hacked and otherwise distressed.

One red lamp and long exposures create the impression of the room being bathed in a red, somehow primordial glow.

The assembled, glowing structure appears like some kind of hive ready to crack open to ooze lava.

hive2house

I’ve been working directly on to the walls of my studio space in Cathedral Studios. It has been a liberating and exciting process. I’ve continued the marks on to the floor and the ceiling, which encourages the viewer to feel that they are ‘in’ the work; to relate to the scale of the work with the size of their own body. The work has gradually grown over the past few weeks. Part of the feeling of freedom comes from the awareness that the piece can only be transitory. Ultimately it will be painted over, only to exist in photographs and memory.

This makes documentation especially important, though it is wholly inadequate in terms of experiencing the work. I have often thought this when looking at installation or performance art. Immediacy, sensory stimulation and interaction cannot be translated into a two dimensional image or video.

Walls:

wall piece 1

wall piece 2

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Ceiling

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Floor

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scored

I obliterated an old piece of work scoring with knives, drilling and gouging the surface. I like that it looks like the bi-product of  another process.

The same method has been applied to a piece of MDF primed with grey paint below.

scored panel 2

liminal

The following is an extract from the report I wrote from my recent first group critique in 11 years.I showed this piece and several others to the MFA class and tutors:

“I had mounted 3 map tracing drawings on canvas at eye level on the wall in my studio space. There were old maps of Belfast on the floor and tracings that I had made from them and transferred to canvas. A piece of wood with drill holes and various marks and indentations leant against the adjacent wall. There was an old piece of work on MDF that I had transformed into something new as I drilled, scored, nailed into and cut into it with various implements.

The group gave me their initial reactions to the pieces presented. The map based drawings on canvas were interpreted as resembling veins, graffiti scrawled on school desks, freshly cut hairs on the floor of a barber shop, or colour inverted ariel photographs of cities at night. Many people realized that the conte crayon marks originated as lines on the maps, others did not. It was speculated greater ambiguity in interpretation may have happened had the source material maps not been present. Stuart read the marks as being akin to the actions of an obsessive compulsive disorder sufferer or the cutting of flesh by one who self-harms.

Some of those present picked up on a certain kinetic feel in the work, a sense of rhythmic repetition in some marks.”

beyond

conte crayon and emulsion paint on canvas

Here is another work from my recent series of map based pieces.

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