Jo Frederiks is an animal rights activist, she speaks through her art to create awareness of animal cruelty. Frederiks has made a whole series of artworks called the Animal Holocaust. Jo Frederiks has made a Youtube video, below, that highlights the issues with animal agriculture. Cows in striped pyjamas can look quite comical at first, however, Frederiks artwork is quite revealing. I find that some people may be quite offended. I know that when my family see artwork like this they ask me to stop showing them as they would rather not know where their food comes from.
During my 30 minute tutorial with James Green, I discussed my work I want to create and the topics/ inspirations behind the ideas. I also discussed the worries I have about the dissertation hand in as I really struggle to read and write as I find the texts can sometimes be overwhelming, which makes me stress out, especially under pressure of a deadline. I also feel like the subjects and topics I talked about, and was passionate about in second year, have completely changed.
I talked about the areas I want to highlight in my work for 3rd year, I have recently turned vegan while looking at the dairy and egg industries. I have been vegetarian since I was 14. In college, I created a traditional butchers shop, a full display of ‘human’ meat, and a 6 foot pig dressed in a butchers uniform. I want to make this sort of thing again, but make it more modern, something that children and adults will instantly recognise. James suggested to look at menus and start with that. Then create social media or email address’ for people to join. The colours will be bright and tacky. I want to subtly make the facts known to people, but I don’t want to make people seem like I am judging or telling them to turn vegan. James suggested using a title of a burger, and describing it using the facts.
I don’t want the public to just look at it as an installation about saving animals, I want them to read the sarcastic menus and realise how we can save our planet by reducing meat consumption.
Claes Oldenburg- Floor Burger (1962)
Oldenburg saw himself as a realist, not as an abstract artist. He felt art must relate to the realities of everyday life. Yet he took objects from the real world and placed them out of context, making them soft when they should be hard, large when they should be small. I can relate to Oldenburg as I want to create a ‘place’ where the young and the old will recognise initially, but when they read the signs, menus, etc. they will realise that I want to highlight cruelty to animals, a role reverse food shop.
I have been influenced by Maria Bartuszova’s, ‘Untitled’, 1973. Bartuszova’s work has maternal associations, this has inspired me to explore the relationship I have with my mother. I have made artwork in response to Bartuszova’s, ‘Untitled’. It is common for me to turn to acrylic paints in my work, however, responding to this artwork has encouraged me to try different mediums, such as working with clay, sewing machines and screen printing. I feel my work has come a long way since the beginning of second year, I feel so much more connected to my artwork. My final piece looks at my relationship with my mother and my grandmother, two very influential females in my life. The jugs have many different meanings, from the colours, to the shape and the material used.
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Frida Kahlo features pain and suffering in most of Kahlo’s paintings, in ‘The Broken Column’, 1944, Kahlo shows her suffering in a straightforward way. She paints nails stuck in her face and body, her torso split in half, it looks like her body has been affected by an earthquake. When she first made the painting, she left herself naked. Later, she added the sheet which suggests a hospital sheet. The column inside Kahlo’s body is put in place of her spine, it looks like it is on the verge of collapsing, which further suggests an earthquake.
In the painting, Kahlo looks strong, she stares out to the audience with tears on her face, which implies she is challenging both herself and the viewer to face her situation.
I wanted to get an understanding of how to show back pain, as that’s what is wrong with my mother. The crack down the column in her body has inspired me to put a ‘crack’ down the jug I will make for my final piece for subject. Kahlo has the corset which is holding her body together.
I have finally completed my final piece. The jugs don’t look much but the amount of work that has gone into them is what I hope people see.
They symbolise myself, my mother and my grandmother. The colours all symbolise something, I have talked about this in the blog post tagged. A post of my own choosing: Colour and Shape
The jugs have taken a long time to make. I did a small amount each day, which seemed manageable but towards the end was getting stressful. I also made the umbilical cord by French Knitting.
The jugs have all come together and I am really pleased that they fit on the plinth that I made. I made the plinth big enough to fit all 3 together so they would be as one, this represents that we are close as a family.
If I was to improve anything, maybe I would make more work to go around the walls as it doesn’t look like I’ve done any work. However, I wanted the viewers focus to be on the jugs.
My mothers jug is fairly tall, green and rounded at the bottom. It is broken and has a crack down the centre and a stitched hole at the back. The ‘crack’ represents how my mother is ill with back problems at the moment. She has prolapsed discs in her neck, causing intense pain to her neck, back and right arm. My mother’s illness has affected the family in many ways, as she can no longer drive and can’t do simple things like wash her hair, or do house chores. My mother is a district nurse so it has been hard for her to go to work too.
I wanted the jug to look broken and aged. The grey stitches on the large ‘crack’ are the same colour from my grandmother’s jug. This was to show that my gran is a support to my mother. However, she is still not well and is hurting.
I have also added stitches at the back of the jug. It is the pink wool I used to create my jug. This is to show I too am a support to her and she relies on me like I rely on her.
I have now completed my plinth. I have managed to make it a lot shorter which is a huge relief. I had to take the boards off, this was very difficult as I had nailed them in so tight. I have made some splits on a part of the board but am going to attempt to fill it up with filler. I made the plinth in my back yard. When starting year 2, I definitely didn’t expect a drill, saw, electric jigsaw and a spirit level to be in my pencil case.
I painted it white to get it like a professional exhibition plinth, it will also blend into my walls hopefully.
The jugs look good on the top and are spaced out to a perfect amount.
I am so pleased I have shortened the plinth as it would have been too big. I used filler on the corners to get a smooth finish and used white emulsion paint.
I am going to keep the plinth for any future shows where I need one.