The final series of images is a combination of learning from previous modules and in-situ serendipity whereby something unusual happened because of light and reflections being different in my new space.
The first image (green) began as randomly as I could make it – wet paint allowed to dribble down a gloss surface. Then, because I’ve used film as both a surface and a secondary layer, I repeated that and found this time there were reflections and shapes from the roof which had not existed in this form before.
Trying to follow those fluid lines with a pen proved to be an exercise in fluidity itself with each touch of the pen distorting the surface and changing the reflections. Moving towards and away from the painting had the same effect – a blackness spreading over (or retreating from) the surface like a horror film. This made the painting an active piece of work in its own right, the viewer creating their own designs, shapes, and tones by their movement. Film was the only way of recording this with any authenticity and viewing the resultant video pushed me further into exploring this effect.
For the second (red) piece I used the film to mark out the reflections then painted into them and printed from the film back onto the gloss surface, a technique I’d learned in UPM. This again produced a vibrant, reflective image that shifted with point of view and with the prevailing light; an effect enhanced when I’d re-applied the film overlay. I filmed this too, to demonstrate the dynamics of movement due entirely due to the viewer’s own moves.
By the third piece, I’d settled on silver/gold pigments against the gloss black and, instead of the soft dribbles and blotches, I used a ruler to drag pigment down the surface in a hard straight line and then to examine the effects of the gloss and ripples in the surface on its distribution. What emerged was a pair of striped blocks looking something like flags, something like ancient pieces of armoury, or maybe exotic texts. Instead of film, I scratched hard sharp lines into the surface, following some of the lines already in place. There’s something of the engraving about it, and the deep shadows made by the folds in the paper give the two blocks a 3D quality. They made me think of Klimt at the time but I can see as I write how I’m reinterpreting quite a lot of the process retrospectively. I don’t think that invalidates either set of ideas – they’re contextual and one is immediate, spontaneous, the other slightly more detached and with room for other experiences to have been unconsciously influential. I think that’s where the magic happens.
The final submission comprises these three pieces, their accompanying video material, and reflections in the form of creative writing, in one instance a haiku, inspired directly by the paintings. These are my own and each tells one of many stories about the paintings.
496 of 300-500 words
Performance vis a vis assessment criteria :
Demonstration of technical and visual skills. I think I’ve shown an ability to start from a blank sheet and move by thought, consideration, and serendipity towards a finished product by employing techniques learned earlier in the course, and by capitalising on emerging effects.
Quality of outcome. I believe my log shows a coherent and critical approach to my work which is contemporaneous and uncensored, and I believe I have detailed my thinking clearly throughout.
Demonstration of creativity. This was probably the defining feature of this assignment. The exercises were broad and undirected in terms of conscious reproduction of form and so the final pieces, born out of that process, were entirely dependent on my response to unplanned effects.
Context. Research is always my weakest point but I think I’ve brought possibly a ‘path less travelled’* to my discussions of the art and artists to which the research and reading pointed.
*From The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (1915) The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost | Poetry Foundation
Subject to change up to the time of submission.