Last year I posted a blog ‘August is for Action’. This year August is for ‘Ach stop being dramatic and get it done’.
I am very excited about my final year of university. Of course I’m scared about the future and career prospects, but I have this nice naive feeling that I have the world at my finger tips. I think travelling this summer has really opened my eyes to how big the world is and how much opportunity I have. I think I have the drive to make things happen. I expect I’m going to read this back when I’m stressing about deadlines in a few months and cringe. So perhaps I should enjoy it for now.
Four weeks til I go back to Dundee, four weeks to make a start on the bulk of my dissertation. I feel like I’ve made a good start by reorganising my room and desk. This may sound silly, but for me theres a lot of prep work before starting the actual work. I need a comfortable environment, an organised system of notes and a kettle to hand. As of today, the desk is tidy, the green tea is flowing, just need to arrange my folders and books and then we’re off.
The work has been forced to take a backseat over the last couple of weeks due to an ever-nearing essay deadline. I’ve been curling up beside the radiator in the library most days, obsessively colour coding notes and scanning books. I’ve said before, I like essay writing… It just takes a while to get started. I’m hoping to get a big chunk of it written today so I can get back to the fun stuff.
I did manage to start a new piece last week though, and I’m quite pleased with it so far. Continuing with the process of concealing items, I’ve wrapped a shirt in old dictionary pages and contained it in a metal structure. This is a continuation of my focus on the object as a storage vessel for memory. This piece has multiple ways it could go, I’ve not decided on its final presentation yet. Its good having a few ideas though. In fact being in a state of ‘having ideas’ is the best feeling in the world. This might sound like an exaggeration but to me there’s nothing worse than not feeling creatively in tune.
I positioned the piece with a couple of my other objects for this photo. I want to continue work on the binoculars, but separate from the plaster work. Pictured here is also a wrapped up bell, a wrapped up soldiers book and three of my Grandpa’s matches. Make of it what you will.
Side ramble… I love old books. Theres a little charity shop in Musselburgh with stacks and stacks of ageing books. Its a little bit amazing. Perhaps this is an odd fascination? It’s just so nostalgic, the smell and the look and being able to dive into a patchwork library. Nice.
Whenever I start reading about art history, or discover a new artist to look at, all I want to do is paint. So it’s hard to keep studying these Rauschenberg books, skimming museum websites and watching art documentaries, without just wanting to get the oil paints out and try out new techniques. However theres an essay to be written, and I should really stop painting in my bedroom anyway, its hard to breathe with all the paint fumes sometimes.
I’ve had an interesting wee day though reading up on Robert Rauschenberg in order to write my 1500 critical assessment on his piece ‘Bed’.
It was painted in 1955 when the artist was low on funds and canvas and so began to work on an old quilt. I really appreciate his opinion on art.
“Painting relates to both art and life.
Neither can be made.
(I try to act between the two)”
By incorporating objects from life into his paintings, they are not simply about aesthetics but about experience and subject. He wanted to involve the viewer and to find personal expression while moving away from the abstract expressionist ideals of Rothko and Pollock, who would use just colour to convey emotion. Rauschenberg wanted to communicate thoughts on life and so he would include life in his pieces.
I really didn’t know much about Rauschenberg before this essay task forced me to look into him, but he really was an important figure in the development of modern art, acting as an important bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. All this makes me want to look further into the art movements, their manifestos and progression into each other.
So yeah, call me an art geek, I get really into this research stuff. Writing an essay really isn’t so bad if its something you’re actually excited about.