Border, City, Time

Monday 14/9/15

The college week would include 3 bits of information on paper, each with an individual and significant importance to me.

Fig. 1: Charge sheet and bail slip issued by Metropolitan Police.

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Fig. 2: Carousel Project: Fine Art brief (Border, City, Time)

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Fig. 3: Press release to debut UK solo show RAW being installed during evenings after college (screen shot of digital copy)

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Having been given the brief on Monday morning (fig. 2), a quick discussion followed and the class were sent out around Camden to look for materials and gain inspiration for ideas.

Fig. 4: Connotations of “CITY” were jotted down.

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(The diagonal text and text in pencil was added later)

Whilst walking around thoughts of the city as a man made habitat with inhabitants developed. There are materials and resources needed to build a city and sustain it’s population; these resources have barely changed over time and there is often a form of geographical palimpsest as sites are built over again and again due to their specific practicality (e.g the River Thames, a source of water & transport link via boat)

Relevant images taken whilst out on walk:

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Market stall used for trade, a key part of any city.

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Hanging basket which flower was collected from as material due to visual property of colour.

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Currency sign next to gold. Gold has been traded all over the globe across many borders since civilization began.

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Examples of contemporary prostitution, often described as “the oldest trade in the world”. Some trade is illegal and laws have been made to enforce order among populations. When laws are broken there is a system in place to punish (fig.1).

Also collected were; a block of wood (raw material), a metal bar (raw material) and a fridge door (part of technology to prolong life of food).

After reflecting on images trade, law and commerce were added. Charity also added following discussion with other students (fig. 4).

Gallery Visit

Visit to Photographers Gallery where Shirley Baker exhibit caught my eye.

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The children playing in the clothing of the time reminded me of photos of my father as a boy in the East End of London.

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These Images of graffiti show a form of mark making and voicing an opinion in the public space where perhaps otherwise unheard. It also seems to show an attempt to take back control of one’s environment. Graffiti is of particular interest to me as I have been involved in the sub-culture since the age of 11.

Project Crit

A 10 year absence from education led to confusion over idea development and project crit. This led to my final arrangement of found materials being stripped back by tutor and class in real-time. I found this experience highlighted many things in a short period of time (visual clutter, too confusing for viewer etc.) which I found very useful.

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Original arrangement with too much going on. Tutor recommended stripping back elements to change viewers focus of vision.

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Colour of painted paper removed.

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Only a few flower petals in arrangement, highlighting them.

After crit further experimentation was done with composition it different forms.

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As sand was poured into fridge door shelf it slid down the back, this chance mistake informed second arrangement. On reflection physical experimentation with materials and results informing next steps is a preferred practice.

Further Idea Development

Based on project crit further research into artists for visual inspiration was undertaken. As debut UK solo show RAW (fig. 3) was being installed during evenings of project I decided to bring influencing artists into carousel project.

Artist Research: JASON REVOK

Jason Revok is a painter from America who draws on influences from the urban environment around him and the American masters such as Frank Stella. Revok’s Instagram has been a great source of access to art for me, introducing me to Frank Stella and other younger more contemporary American painters such as Andrew Shoultz.

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Work by Revok and his influences taken from his instagram and website. The use of line, shape and form in Revok’s work is interesting. The repetition of a 45 degree angle in vertical, horizontal or diagonal lines will be used in my experiments.

Further Artist Research:

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Through Revok’s instagram I found a hashtag search for Frank Stella. This led me to discover Carl Andre through a shared exhibition.

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Carl Andre’s use of bricks and other raw materials is better suited to the brief of this project. I will also use bricks, a fundamental building material in all cities used through out history. Photographs of my urban environment will also be taken with extra focus on interesting compositions of line, shape and form.

Urban Environment Photographs

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Grid-like pattern of drain with diagonal lines and symmetry.

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Paving stones with miss-aligned square repetition.

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Diagonal square pattern made up of multiple linear marks.

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Staircase and fence with multiple compositions. Note zig-zag steps, diagonal lines and shapes created by negative space.

Following research purely visual experiments in variety of compositions will be tried using block form by Carl Andre as a starting point.

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Sand added to balance composition

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More fluid sand shape added to contrast hard square lines

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Having explored the composition on board a bed of sand was put down, the process documented by video.

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The bed of sand frames the bricks well. Being in situ on the ground allows viewing from multiple angles, note the zig-zag effect of low eye-line in second image.

During project crit tutor mentioned isolating an object to draw viewers attention to it. To create object technical knowledge was used to split a brick with a bolster chisel, the process documented by video.

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Variety of positions around brick form and outside of sand frame.

Tutor also suggested using object as stencil to create shapes during crit:

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As experimentation was taking place a wall in the sand left by the imprint of a brick was noticed:

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This led to idea of building a sand castle like structure with bricks

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Hexagon sand structure, reminiscent of castle or building. The boarder of bricks in second image is most interesting composition due to pathways created between bricks and sand, increasing scale to larger than human would give composition a megalithic presence and allow for kinesthetic viewer experience.

Reflection of Outcomes + Further Potential:

Allowing experiment led idea development worked well, serendipity occurred from leaving materials together and viewing workspace with constant artistic interpretation. More variations for shape of sand structure would be good in future, also playing with scale using concrete in place of bricks. Swapping sand for paint pigment and bricks for plaster blocks would add colour and bring fabrication into art making process.


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