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 key moment in my work, I feel was the Field project, Illuminated. Illuminated focused on creating installations and making triptychs. I was put into a group where 2 groups had created the first part of the triptych and middle, my group had to make the last part of the triptych.
We understood that this was like a journey through art college, so we decided to create a professional looking desk, how life could be 10 years from now.
The first part of the triptych shown in a photo frame
The second part of the triptych shown on the computer
I really enjoyed creating this installation and think this is one of my strongest works I’ve made throughout the year, I feel I was my most confident creating this work. As there was many different disciplines in the group everyone applied different ideas and created a professional looking installation. This has definitely made me interested in creating more installations in the future.
When I created my previous field final piece, I felt it was too similar to Frank Stella’s piece, Shoubeegi.
I wanted to put my own touch on the piece. I decided to use fabric and the same metal grid used for the first final piece. I was going to use black and white to completely strip the colour from the piece.
I decided against this because the black and white wouldn’t stand out enough. I have contact to a Ugandan artist who sent me African fabric from stalls and material he had printed at university. I didn’t have a use for this material and so decided to use it on my field final piece. The materials are very beautiful and colourful and use the technique of batique and print. I plaited and twisted the material and tied it to the grid. The fabric was much better to work with than the paper because the material flowed with the design and doesn’t look just stuck on.
I have decided to call the piece, Twezuule. This is the Ugandan word for expressing yourself in an artistic way. The word fits with my piece as the fabric is twisted and plaited around, the word sounds like ‘twisted’ too, kind of. I’m also expressing myself through using the material from my friend, I struggled in the last piece as I made a piece very symmetrical to Stella’s work.
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.
The piece of work that sticks out in my mind when thinking about an outcome that has failed is the pinhole camera project from field.
I created the pinhole camera in a way that I was told would work. I used a pringles container and painted the inside with black acrylic paint, this was to stop the light reflecting around the foil inside. I painted the clear lid black and put a black piece of cardboard in the lid to stop any light being able to pass through.
Then I added the pin hole in the lid and used photographic paper from the dark room.
I went outside and used the camera, exposing the paper inside for 30 seconds, then developed the paper and nothing happened. I also tried the camera inside for different amounts of exposure time but still, nothing happened.
The pink paper and brown marbled effect are pretty and definitely different from everybody else but not the outcome I expected or wanted. Maybe I used the wrong paper?