Archives for posts with tag: Irish Art

finished

1stblob

I cut out the traced blob indentation shape that keeps recurring in this work and projected it using this antiquated overhead projector; the reliable, clunky type I remember from school.

5blob

I moved the projector across the floor. The shadow shape was repeated at intervals across the wall five times.

layer blob

The projector was moved progressively closer to the wall, and the resultant shadows drawn around. This made these concentric blob shapes.

bloblayered

I continued to work using this process at at intervals until the day of our group critique, the predetermined finish point.

blobangle

The piece was accompanied by a fifty second tape recording I made by digitally slowing a ten second recording of me playing bass drum and hi-hat down. I shifted the pitch down and added a series of effects using a program called Wavepad sound editor. I chose analogue audio tape because of its warm hiss, it’s imperfection. The piece was interpreted as the sound of marching boots, or of an industrial process involving heavy machinery.

Fellow students and teaching staff thought that the sound and the drawing seemed to coalesce to a greater extent than before.

The wall turns black, ready for new drawings.

black

I talked about a need for new approaches to the ongoing wall piece in my last post. Since then I have been conducting experiments with new forms:

new forms

Responding to criticism, I have chosen an indentation in the studio to trace and repeat in the above rhomboid form. Care was taken to ensure the chosen mark’s shape could not be easily read as animal like, or to evoke many associations beyond it’s own pure form.

shape of itself

I am preparing for our MFA mid term show this Thursday night in the art college. Rather than try to seek a resolution, where the whole wall coheres as a piece, I have decided to heed one of my tutors advice and set up an experimental drawing ‘lab’ for the duration of the show. This will free me up, the idea of having to produce a ‘resolved’ piece fills me with anxiety. In my experience anxiety is a perrenial enemy of creativity.

One possible idea would be to use black as a framing device, perhaps with the repeated blob shape, as in this hastily mocked up photoshop picture:

mock

This would heighten the impact of the central band of marks. Another idea for potential development is sanding the wall. I like the looking through tracing paper effect of this, as seen in this small section:

sandy

The piece will continue to evolve in the coming days, over the duration of the show. I will be performing in a time based work. I’ll update this blog with what happens.

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.

wall1912b

wall1

wallc

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.

walle

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

walld

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

wallg

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

wp3

 

wp5

wp6

wp7

wpf

Ceiling

wpc

Floor

wpf2

wpf3

 

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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