In January

I’ve revised a piece I made a few weeks ago. The shine of the acetates on top of the moleskin pages was distracting and a little tacky I think. So they’re gone. Well, not gone. As if I could discard of anything. That’s the entire essence of this piece, that I’ve recorded my every action throughout the month of January. The acetate texts are now displayed next to the colour coded sheets.

It makes sense for them to be separate really. Thoughts are so disconnected from actions sometimes.

They’re shown here on pins above a radiator. I think the way the heat from this makes them dance. But degree show is in May so I doubt the radiators will be in operation.

 

go1

 

It was January in the (new) year, 2013

31 type on acetate and 31 coloured pencil on moleskin squared paper

 

go2

 

I picked up two red steel boxes at the recycling centre last week also. Thought I’d attach one to the wall. Because…

I might use them to display my back up work. I might not.

Dear Lynda


Last week was not heavily productive in terms of studio practice. But my work is so multi-layered now, I feel like I’m doing everything! I was kept busy with interAction(s), planning my degree show space and the open install of Dear Lynda, an exhibition being held in the Cooper Gallery with its opening this Friday past.

lynda2

Dear Lynda is a collection of memorabilia from a contemporary art legend. Lynda Morris’s career as curator spans 45 years, this show gives tribute to her tireless efforts to move the art scene away from being purely London based, and make it more accessible for the people. She shows a wide and varied collection of remnants and publications illustrating a colourful career in the art world.

lynda3

Lynda Morris also conducted a series of ‘in conversation’ events to accompany the open install and run up to the opening of Dear Lynda. I was able to attend a talk between Lynda and Graham Fagan, a well respected tutor here at DJCAD. The two chatted like old friends about Graham’s art school days and being picked up by Lynda’s EAST International project. It proved to be an enjoyable afternoon, and an educational week overall in terms of curation.

lyndaI found it particularly beneficial to work alongside Sophia Hao, curator of the Cooper Gallery. While hanging a collection of Lynda’s work it was interesting to hear Sophia’s opinions on how the gallery should be set out. I was given tasks such as hanging publications, labelling works before the opening of the show, arranging vitrines of documents and making Lynda Morris a pot of green tea.

Now that its a new week I’m left to my own stuff however, which I’m grateful for. It’s been nice to keep my activities varied but its time to get immersed in Degree Show work. Eight weeks to go or something crazy like that…

 

Fun A Day

hiFriday night saw the exclusive exhibition of work from Fun A Day Dundee, 2013. This was a project where the objective was to make a piece of work a day for each day in January, and to have FUN. And so we did.

My piece consisted of 31 acetate frenetic texts placed over 31 moleskin pages with colour coded squares of what I did that day. The result is actually quite a personal piece, which I’m not sure I like. I felt slightly exposed with it just hanging there.

A worthwhile show though and I’m not gonna ditch the piece. I definitely feel it should be altered in some way though.

 

Fun a Day

 

Detail

 

 

It was January in the (new) year, 2013

31 type on acetate and 31 coloured pencil on moleskin squared paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more info on Fun A Day, go to: www.funadaydundee.wordpress.com

 

Relics of Attachment Part II

Today has been BUSY. Capital letters and everything. I’ve been working on a couple different pieces for various exhibitions. Tomorrow and Friday I hope to finish my piece for Relics of Attachment Part II. Here’s a sneak peak at the poster.

 

part II poster

 

Come along, drink some wine, even look at some art.

 

Opening Night

‘Relics of Attachment Part I’ is an exhibition I’ve been organising with some fellow Student Curatorial Team members. It features a collection of artwork inspired by the concept of nostalgia and sentimental objects.

Tonight was the introduction to this project. There was a lot of footfall, a lot of interest, and generally a good feeling all round.

Take a look at our work.

Relics of attachment

RELICS OF ATTACHMENT PART I

A – Lucas Battich, Amsterdam Lelylaan Schiphol // Edinburgh Glasgow   

pmsrelics numbers

B – Lisa Gordon, Promises Light

C – Vivienne Russell, Five Seasons       

D – Cathy O’Brien, Empty Packages

E – Rachael Disbury, Everything I know about him

 

This project took a lot of time and planning but I feel our work is paying off. I love the buzz of all this organising. Curating ain’t so bad.

Installation

     pmsrelics4   Installation

 

Audience Opening Night

 

Curators
Our Team
We’re hosting a meeting tomorrow to encourage other artists to submit work for Part II of this project. The 14th of February should see a larger exhibition presented in the Cooper Gallery. So there’s really no time to relax for us!

Dissertation Done

The 14th of January has come and gone. I never imagined a life after this date. And here I am.

And here it is.

I ended up enjoying writing it… I think. I like writing in general. And it has kind of motivated me in the area of practical work too. There’s so much going on this year already. Expect lengthy blogs.

The Christmas holidays were a little bit anticlimactic. I spent my weeks off either working, ill in bed with flu, or writing the dissertation. However, I managed to get my annual painting done. A great benefit of being a creative person at Christmas is that even when you’re skint, there’s gift ideas.

And now Christmas is done, and I’m into my final semester at Duncan of Jordanstone.

So 2013, lets have you.

Everything I’m Thinking Right Now

We were required to do a presentation of our work this week, complete with slides and talking within a lecture theatre. As nerve wracking as this was, it got me to think about the keys points of my work. I want to write these down and have them there to reflect on if ever I get lost in it. So I have.

 

 

My work surrounds ideas of ‘Obsessive Sentimentality’. To give context to this, a personal anecdote is required. Two years ago I took a trip to Paris and indulged in all the wonderful cliches of the place, running around with a beret for a week (go on, judge me). When I came back from Paris it was time to ditch my monthly contact lenses and change them for a fresh pair. I couldn’t. It’s this irrational attachment to a useless object that fascinates me. By disposing of those contact lenses, I’d have felt like I was losing something.

I’ve gone even further back this year, focusing on a collection of old specs. I’ve worn glasses since the age of six, so this is seven years worth.

 

Although the objects are personal objects, and I myself have these notions of nostalgia I’m discussing, the work is not intended as confessional. An idea is what I’m trying to express. The glasses have become something new. Their intended purpose is void. With the repeated image on the backboard in this glasses piece, a postcard picture meaning nothing to me but repeated hundreds of times, I am communicating that these glasses no longer see anything new, they are irrelevant in this respect. Their new purpose is simply to be kept. Someone has preserved these and given them importance. They are shells, and quite useless.

A good artist to reference at this point would be Sophie Calle.   http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/art-now-sophie-calle

With every passing year, Calle throws a birthday party inviting a number of guests, as customary they bring gifts for her. Instead of using these gifts for their individual conventional purposes, she would box them up and keep them, eventually displaying them in a cabinet. Calle made the decision that the purpose or use of these gifts was not important, it was the attachment and the idea of the ‘gift’ that was important to her. She assigned nostalgic feelings of appreciation and gratitude in each and by displaying them was able to look at them as such, rather than using them.

The presentation is key in this example and in my own work. There is a permanence in encapsulating something. When an object is preserved and framed in the confines of a box, it becomes important and provokes observation and interest. I am constantly framing, making box structures and displaying pieces while continually trying to keep the look clean and uncluttered. The stage of the frame assists the objects, emphasising the idea that they have been assigned a significant not originally intended for them.

 

Similarly, text is a necessary component in my work. The use of titles, explanatory paragraphs and longer spiels of writing is an enjoyable aspect of my practise. I find myself getting obsessed with phrases, the same way I become attached to an object, I get attached to words and repeat them over and over. I sit on my studio floor and typetypetype, annoying studio mates with the pounding of my sentences. This gives a more active representation of the obsessive nature of this sentimentality. A phrase that has been in my head for a while is ‘Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.’ I love this because the words mean nothing. However it is an old typing exercise and so is remembered and has a significant purpose for so many people, and yet the content of the sentence itself is irrelevant. This echoes the idea of the object becoming a shell for ones own ideas to be projected on, rather than used for its original intention.

Often the work is quite ambiguous in appearance. I find titling helps provide more of a context. For example in my previous work with contact lenses, I had a cabinet of 84 bottles, some with lenses in them, and the title at the bottom read Everything I’ve Ever Seen, 2006 – 2011. This allows for a more interactive experience with the viewer. They see the piece and consider its meaning, they read the text and connect the ideas of sight with the bottles of lenses. They consider it for themselves. I strive for simplicity in the work while trying to maintain the ability to communicate ideas without being overbearing.

My current project continue these values and take them further. Rather than replying on the use of old object, which if overdone can definitely start to look kitsch, I have stripped back my concept to focus on the raw idea of this need to maintain something that has become useless. I am preserving banana peels

 

The bananas themselves are not important, it is the physical process and experimentation I am undertaking, the actions of maintaining an object that naturally has to decay. And I am liking the results. I am left with a collection of these funny shrivelled objects. And like the glasses project I am showing how they have changed and lost purpose. The difference with the bananas to the other objects I have worked with is that the change in then is physically apparent. They are no longer yellow, they are physically completely different to their starting point. This allows the concept to be clearer and more easily communicated than in my previous works.

Taking this further still, this semester I have been continuously collecting data. I have been recording my daily basic functions, and plan to develop this over the Christmas break (providing the dissertation doesn’t kill me). Although I still feel strongly about the work being 3 Dimensional and installation based, I won’t rule out the use of sound in this piece. Stay tuned for that one.