My initial thoughts when approaching the first pages of Sustaining Your Practice, was that there are many exercises I have undertaken in a professional capacity beforehand. So it is entirely feasible that I could be efficient in working though exercises like writing an artist statement or building up a CV. In addition, having entered and been successful in professional awards and hold an Associateship in Fine Art with the British Institute of Professional Photography, I am used to presenting my work and receiving feedback. My experience in holding exhibitions and being published means I don’t have a sense of ambition to have my work realised in such a way as may be with other students.Read More
After concluding my theorisation in A3, I set about using A4 to bring this concept into the public space. This is not only an evolution of formations as a strategy, but also a return to A1, where I presented my notational impulses of photographing shadow patterns which I regard as a form of ephemeral street art. Even now I continue to make notations whenever inspired. Together with my approach to framing shadow patterns within a standardised form of A4 paper before returning a 1:1 scale rendering to its place of creation; a way of seeing has evolved both for interior and exterior spaces which is interconnected in its various forms.Read More
My work doesn't have any kind of political agenda or a narrative. I would go as far to say that my work for BoW was borne out of a diverse group of influences such as street art, sculpture, Bauhaus and East Asian art. It brings together physical and meditative acts as discussed by David Campany in his essay Physical Space, Image Space, Psychical Space (2018). But it has also contextually evolved through the academic theory I have read, and reflected upon during this module.
It is also fair to conclude that if I was not theoretically challenged I may have continued to pursue the safer ground of photographing the Asian landscape through a graphical, Western minimalist eye.Read More
Back in May I had the opportunity to finish my time up in Liverpool by putting into practice the theory for my BoW in the public space, before heading to my new pastures of Kuala Lumpur. While this wasn’t completely a now or never situation, my coming 6-12 months will be limited to the domestic space where I could, in theory continue with my formations strategy which is based upon working within the confines of home much like Uta Barth. In addition my accessibility to photo quality printing is not the same as what I had previously in my studio space, making the logistics of the process more inhibiting.
There was a sense of unknown how the ideas would translate outside, however I had undertaken plenty of research beforehand on site-specificity and participation. After a period of getting the technique and process right, I gathered 6 completed interventions on the public space around Liverpool.Read More
Admittedly I might be treading on old ground by referring to Richard Serra, James Turrell and in a photographic context, Hiroshi Sugimoto, however I do regard it relevant to see how there work, sculptural and photographic are sequenced. Having written about site-specificity regarding sculpture and its influence on my practice, I also have the books at hand to reflect on the layouts based on a new point of focus.
Since my work is not based of narrative, I think surveys and monographs are more relevant publications to explore. Monographs in general are not narratively sequenced, but more often divided into series.Read More
Sometimes Liverpool reminds me how active it is with contemporary arts festivals. LightNight is an annual free event where for one-night only recognised galleries and museums, combined with local an independent pop-ups celebrate arts and culture. Perhaps more inclusive than my experience of the Liverpool Biennial, here more than 100 organisations join together to create a free-flow of talks, workshops, performance, live music, etc.Read More
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have started working with my ideas of shadowgrams and formations in the public space.
I quickly realised that working with a camera setup was too slow and intrusive. Much like my notations and many of my earlier OCA projects, I drew on the incognito characteristic of the smartphone which allows me greater mobility and dexterity in operating within the public realm. My ‘gear’ was now reduced to a simple A4 wallet which I carried chalk (for dark surfaces and paint stick (for light surfaces) and an A4 card to mark the space. I could then use the wallet for transporting the prints for installation. In a way, the wallet has become part of the “…presence of the artist…” which then “…endows places with a ‘unique’ distinction.” (Kwon, 1997, p.105).Read More
This case study is grounded in the theory I presented in A3 in a domestic space. While I considered those earlier formations to be a form of visual meditation, the interventions in the public space take on a dynamic course of action akin to street art. The process requires a “fluid mobility” that embraces “…site specificity as a nomadic practice.” (Kwon, 1997, p.100).Read More
Admittedly Illuminating the Wilderness, a film and installation exhibition on the top floor of Tate Liverpool initially does not have a specific relevance to photography. The film is a collaboration with Project Art Works, focusing on people who are highly sensitive to the sensory stimuli of the world and have have complex needs. However the accompanying installation is an evolving piece that starts off as a series of hanging rolls of plain paper which are expressed upon through a series of workshops in the gallery by participating groups from Social Care organisations across Merseyside, culminating in a unique piece of work relevant to its space and place.Read More
After a successful exhibition at The Bluecoat in Liverpool last year, artist Emma Smith returned to the North West of England for a repeated presentation of her work Euphonia, together with a new piece, 5Hz at HOME, Manchester.
Smith’s practice centres around human connectivity. She creates site-specific works, a subject of interest for me in BoW based on a period of research and production with a diverse group of “…academics, professionals and hobbyists and drawing on the fields of anthropology, history, psychology, neurology, physics and biology.” (Smith, no date).Read More
Prior to entering the public space to commence with experimenting for A4, I have had (too much) time to consider how my A4 paper placeholders will be affectively used. Scale becomes a matter of concern in making a coherent formation. Shadows outside are significantly larger outdoors compared to the contained graphic compositions in the image space when working indoors. So if I was to try to create a mosaic of time and light on an exterior surface, I will need to consider the size of the object that the shadow is being cast from.Read More
Following on from my previous post, the second essay my tutor recommended I read was Claire Bishop’s controversial piece The Social Turn: Collaboration and its Discontents (2006). It did not put me off engaging with public space per say, but it did stimulate some self-reflection on just how involved I want to engage my work publicly and whether or not I was prepared to “…renounce authorial presence in favour of allowing participants to speak through him or her.” (Bishop, 2006, p.183).Read More
There has been an extended break since I completed A3 for BoW. After coming to a satisfactory conclusion to how my visual strategy and theory behind formations works, the focus shifted with me and my tutor how best to bring it into the public space. Two recommended essays from Robert really did help me to decide how, and where I should engage with participation and site-specificty. Firstly, Miwon Kwon’s essay One Place after Another: Notes on Site Specificity (1997) provides a strong overview on how the artists role has evolved from “…a maker of aesthetic objects…” to “…a facilitator, educator, coordinator, and bureaucrat.” (Kwon, 1997, p.103). This alludes to not only the multiplicity of roles the artist undertakes, but perhaps also the levels of meaning that can be attributed to the work. Kwon refers to the work of Richard Serra in how size, scale, location of the work are collaborators when determining how a work will be initiated in a specific space (see fig. 1.). In this sense Serra is as much a spatial consultant as he is a maker of sculpture. It is in this spirit that I see my formations being determined by the light and shadow patterns unique to the surface I attach my gaze.Read More
In my previous assignment I recognised the use of A4 paper as a symbol of standardisation in framing my shadowgram abstractions of light and shadow. The connotations being that standardisation is a part of human desire to organise and simplify the processes of work, play, etc. The rhetoric I have been pursuing in my BoW with formations is the importance of gaps/intervals/pauses in the arrangement of works to provide a physical space that can psychically engage the viewer (Campany, 2018) to ‘read between the lines’ and form his/her own opinion on the subject of representation. Representation is a burden (Tagg, 1988) on the image and image maker which as Douglas Crimp says “…can never be fulfilled, insofar as the original is always deferred.” (Crimp, 1993, p.111). I believe that in providing this ‘psychic space’ in my site-specific work I am working towards easing the burden on the image maker to be conclusive, definitive, not to sell a way of seeing to the viewer, but to facilitate a discussion based on shared experience of the image.Read More
As I mentioned in my reflection, I am very satisfied with how the critical thinking has developed in A3. Especially after some of the convoluting of theory in A2. So not only am I pleased to see this rewarded in my tutor report, but also the encouragement to continue to read and take risks in my work. Overall the report was very positive and through my tutorial and follow-up emails with Robert, I was able to find a good balance of theory without creating a referential overload. My thinking has been quite deep for what looks a simple abstraction process, but I think the continued sharing with my tutor and study group peers has helped me to distill this into something much more concise.Read More
The process of A3 has been an interesting development in my BoW. From my initial progression past A2 I was confronted with the great doubt, initially feeling the need to defend my work, or more specifically, the purpose of it. I acknowledged that the personal meditation was not substantial enough as a point of entry and the use of video didn’t quite work. However I remained steadfast in the basic idea, I just needed to more succinctly express what I am doing and why. And so a period of reading and research helped me to articulate the areas of documentation, process, representation and site-specificity.Read More
After making good progress into the articulation of my shadowgram work, my tutor for BoW, Robert suggested looking into the work of Agnes Martin (1912-2004) which I would suggest, acts as a global counterpoint to a recent research post into Lee Ufan, who used repetition and harmonious form in which structure is implied. Spatial awareness in Lee’s case is founded in his early education in calligraphy, where the use of a grid is central to the arrangement and proportion of a character. The grid, the interval and line was previously considered an underlay to construct a representational image and written language. György Kepes refers to this as “Plastic Organisation” that arranges the two-dimensional space. Similarly, Josef Müller-Brockmann regards the grid as an essential tool “…for solving visual problems in two and three dimensions.” (Müller-Brockmann, 1981/2015, p.13). It is, in essence to those who use it, visual grammar. With experience and skill, the grid will remain present without being ‘seen’ as the distribution of space becomes more intuitive.Read More
After catching up on my last experiments with the shadowgram last week. I finally reached a state of being up to date in both BoW and CS for all the work I had carried out. So without having any outstanding works for once I posed myself a quick assessment and mini challenge.
The central idea of the shadowgram strategy is to return the abstract image back to its place of capture; therefore leaving an intervention on the ‘physical space’, while the standardised A4 paper print occupies the ‘image space’. David Campany writes about these spatial considerations saying when we see “What Sander called the “mosaic” of the photographic assembly is an expression of the mosaic nature of bodily and spatial experience.” (Campany, 2018).Read More
Joan Kee describes Lee Ufan (b. 1936) as “…as a champion of the global before the global turn actually came to pass.” (Kee, 2011). Lee is regarded as a leading figure of not one, but two art movements, in Japan and his native Korea. In his initial literary capacity, he wrote the manifesto for the Mono-ha movement in Japan, and later influenced Dansaekhwa in Korea. Both of which are regarded to be amongst the most significant practices of 20th century art in East Asia (Morley, 2013). If we were to simplify, Lee’s sculpture would be more representative of Mono-ha, while his painting (see fig. 1.) would come to be more identified with Dansaekhwa.Read More
Following on from my last post, I expanded on the isolated shadowgram by conducting further experiments within the domestic space. I recall when I was researching Uta Barth, that her approach of harvesting her work from within her own home reminded me of the studio of Piet Mondrian, who lived with his aesthetic in an ever evolving arrangement, showing “his signature style was something he discovered, not something he planned.” (White, 2014). This was something I wondered about, but due to time commitments I couldn’t follow-up on for another month. I find that the mystery of Mondrian’s home resonates with what I have been doing.Read More