I choose an artwork for the brief over the next year, myself and a few friends decided to go to London. We visited: The Saatchi Gallery, Tate Modern, The White Cube and The National Gallery.
A few pieces interested me but I have 3 in mind that I will explore and research to find out if they are suitable for the brief.
One artwork I was drawn to was Josh Faught’s, Untitled (I), from BE BOLD For What You Stand For, BE CAREFUL For What You Fall For, 2013. The colours and the scale really brought me in, also the items that had been sewn into the tapestry where very random. At the time I did not know the meaning. The work is aimed at the ‘queer community’. I enjoy making work to make other people aware of subjects, so this could be a possible artwork.
I’m also interested in Maria Bartuszová’s piece, ‘Untitled’, 1973. The artwork is made from plaster and carries both with maternal and erotic associations. The work suggests a body rather than represent one. The human body has always been a fascination to me and I feel this piece could simulate my work throughout year 2.
At Tate Modern I saw a voice and sculpture/ installation piece by Otobong Nkanga. The installation reflects on contemporary anxieties and suggests how people gather in a crowd. The ropes suggest the networks in today’s society. The concrete balls can also weigh up to 600 kg, so it also implies the impossibility of moving forward alone. The idea behind the work was what appealed to me, I think it is an intriguing way to display a crowd and the anxiety that comes with it for some people.
Now I have to narrow my decisions down to one artwork.
I 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.”
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.