John Akomfrah- Gallery Artist

Screen Shot 2017-05-27 at 10.18.59I visited the Artes Mundi 7 exhibition a few times in Cardiff Museum and found each of the artworks interesting. John Akomfrah’s work was really intriguing, as I watched the video he created about migration I felt on edge, like something was about to make me jump. Akomfrah explores migration from 8 mass migrations which has happened during the past 400 years. The piece of work is in the form of a video displayed on 2 big screens. The video was quite confusing at first as I didn’t know what it was trying to expose to the viewer. Once I understood the video was about migration, I felt like I understood refugees in a whole different way.

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I really like how Akomfrah captures social problems like migration in such a captivating way. I take great inspiration from this as I especially like to show problems that are present today in this world. This was a useful artist to find as I am trying to highlight the social problems of homelessness in a way that makes the viewer think about the homeless in a different, more sensitive way.



Maxwell Rushton

Maxwell Rushton was recommended to me by a friend. His piece, Left Out, inspired my second final piece and encouraged me to create a sculpture.

‘Left Out’ is an artwork that looks like someone is sitting in a black bin bag. It was created as part of a social experiment. The artist placed his sculpture across London, each time observing the public’s reactions. Rushton talks about the ‘public’s reactions of non reactions’ and said it was ‘unimaginable’ to watch. Some people would try to help the ‘person’ in the bin bag whilst others would walk past.

This piece of work shows that homeless people are normally just walked past, this is kind of like the message I want to get through to people when they view my work. By creating a man like sculpture out of cardboard, I hope people will pick up that the message is about homeless people being almost ‘invisible’ to passers-by and that we should take more attention of them and try to understand the reason of why they are homeless before prejudging them. 


Inspiring Artist

The artist I have chosen that has inspired my work is Frida Kahlo. Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter best known for her self portraits. She began painting after being involved in an accident. The artworks I am inspired by the most are ‘Broken Column’, 1944 and ‘The Two Fridas’, 1939.

The Two Fridas, 1939
The Broken Column, 1944

These paintings look inside Frida’s body. At the very beginning of the year, I was going to base the Outside Inside project on the body. Looking at how we look from the outside and what we look like inside. Frida Kahlo’s paintings shown above inspired me to think of this idea.

I then went on to looking at the brain and how we store our thoughts and feelings/ what we look like from the outside. I decided this project was not going in the direction I wanted. Now, I am looking at a completely different outcome for the final pieces for subject, however, still developing and researching mental thoughts/ illness in the homeless scene. Even though the project has changed, Frida Kahlo inspired me from the start.

Frank Stella- Field

Frank Stella is an abstract painter. I am interested in his work which has inspired me to create a paper sculpture using screen prints for my individual piece for field.

The piece I am looking at is Shoubeegi (1978). It is part of the ‘Indian Bird’ series which Stella began when he stayed in Ahmedabad, he named the pieces of work after the birds found on the subcontinent.

The medium used in this piece of work are enamel, metal and glitter. Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 20.23.49

I like the bright colours and curvy shapes and the way the work spills into the viewers space and grabs attention. The messiness of the work is what attracted me to the piece as it is cluttered yet controlled which I find interesting, it also reminds me of my own work as I work in a rather messy way.

Shoubeegi allows light to pass through and create shadows with the different shapes on top of the grid. This influenced my final piece because light is the subject for Field.

Ed Ruscha

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Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha is an American artist well known in the air movements, Pop Art, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism and Conceptual Art. The work that has inspired my final piece is the series, ‘Metro Mattresses’, 2015, which was on show in Sprueth Magers from 2015 to 2016.

Ruscha noticed abandoned mattresses on the streets of L.A. and started photographing them. He described the mattresses as, “not just litter in the landscape but more like scary animals.”

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Metro Mattress #1, 2015
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Metro Mattress #9, 2015
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Metro Mattress #8, 2015

The artwork shows only an old mattress, but it is very captivating. The worn mattresses have rips and stains, each stain showing the intimacy and experiences the mattress has been through. The style of painting shows the creases and stains clearly. The neutral background also exposes the mattresses so the viewer is focusing only on the painting.

This artist is important to my development and final pieces because although my work has a different meaning, Ruscha’s mattresses are very similar to my paintings and how he looked out for the abandoned mattresses to make artwork. Ruscha was intrigued by the fact the mattresses were abandoned and just left on the side of the road. This is like my artwork as I am trying to show furniture that has been dumped on the side of the road, symbolising being unwanted like the homeless.

Short Writing Course (3/4)

The first task on day three was something called, ‘Six Degrees of Separation’.

We were given 2 images, a starting image and an end image and hd to find atleast 4 connections between the 2 images that linked them together.


The first image I found difficult to connect to the artwork. I came up with  picture 1 > squares > darkness > moonlight > picture 2.

The second artwork I found easier to describe. I came up with picture 1 > trees > nature > nature V manmade > plastic > picture 2.

The third image had to be connected with my own artwork. Picture 1 > portrait > paint > life drawing > my own artwork.

The fourth artwork had to be connected to myself. Picture 1 > house > family > warmth > me.

Task 2

The second task was to describe an artwork I had seen in the last 12 months.

I chose to describe Bedwyr Williams, Tyrau Mawr (Big Towers), 2016 from the Artes Mundi exhibition. I found the basic descriptions fairly easy to write down but going in to depth was hard.

The next task was to draw the artwork from memory. Again, I was able to draw the basic things I saw when looking at this artwork but when it came to the details, I could hardly remember anything.

This was the artwork. It is a video installation showing what Wales would look like as a city like New York and how William’s thinks we wouldn’t be able to cope. screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-17-48-54

In the afternoon, we had to look at the artwork and talk about what we had missed.

This task showed me how much I hadn’t drawn/ wrote down, I was surprised by this when I looked back to the image of the artwork.

Short Writing Course (4/4)

Unfortunately, I could not attend the last session of the short writing course due to illness.