Blue Room Exhibition

As the final part of the ‘Do It Yourself’project, we were fortunate enough to be able to use the upstairs of the ‘Roath Park pub’ for a final exhibition. The space was such an exciting space to exhibit in – though I did find it a challenge to find a suitable place to show my work. The state of the walls, and the room lighting were all factor  that I had to consider when deciding on the placement of my drawings. There was no direct theme that the exhibition was following, but it acted more as an opportunity to work together as students preparing and exhibiting in a pretty much independent way. The TV channel ‘Made in Cardiff’ even came to cover the exhibition for their program ‘The Lowdown’. Here is the link to their website!

 

 

http://player.piksel.com/v/a0yu8544/c/76609?video_uuid=a0yu8544

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Franz West

My collage and drawing work has been influenced greatly by the collage work of artist Franz West. If I am being honest, I am particularly drawn to the aesthetic of his work, as opposed to any further conceptual element. I am interested in the relationship between the collaged elements of his work and his use of painting to develop a sense of placement. Wests work demonstrates how the combination of cut out images and more traditional materials allows a playful conversation to emerge, examining the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction.

Second Year Constellation – A Reflection

It seems difficult to believe that our final constellation assessment for second year is here so soon. I felt quite daunted initially at the prospect of proposing my dissertation at this stage in second year, I have always thought that ‘dissertation’ meant the end of the degree was drawing near. But having begun to consider, discuss and propose my chosen topic at this stage in second year, I have found that starting in the second term of second year has proved helpful in allowing me time to really dig into to my chosen area of research. I am actually looking forward to dedicating time over the summer to continue to investigate my chosen topic, I am particularly preoccupied with the wanting to delve deep into the issues that my dissertation will address.

This being said, what I have found challenging when writing the proposal for the dissertation is exactly this preoccupation of wanting to delve deep. I considered so many different directions to my chosen research area, that I became quite distracted by them all. Although this may not necessarily have been a bad thing, it did make deciding on a specific title quite difficult. For a long time I was unable to decide how exactly I should take on the topic, which resulted in quite extensive rambling (on my part) during my initial tutorials!! It is also worth noting, that I am expecting that the dissertation title and plan may undergo a fair few changes when I eventually do come to the task of writing it.

Upon approaching the more formal task of a proposal, I continued to find it difficult to pinpoint the exact direction that I wanted to take in my dissertation, and did struggle to actually commit to the proposal and make a start. I was continuously became intent on reading that ‘one more extra book’ before I began. I can see now how this was perhaps not the most helpful approach, as I found that actually sitting down to write the proposal was a pretty good way of forming my otherwise scattered thoughts. A plan of action slowly began to reveal itself as I began to organise and link up the different things that I had read in a more formatted way. This was however, the first proposal I have ever written, and so I was a bit apprehensive of how to approach it. I attended a CSAD workshop on how to write a dissertation proposal – and this has proved extremely helpful!

The initial act of choosing a research area however, was not as challenging as choosing the exact title and focus of the research itself. The research area that I chose followed on from my interests in Post-modernity and meaning, something I am attempting to explore in my second year subject work. I did want to branch out slightly from this and examine something quite personal to my own experience of being an art student, the relationship between Christianity and contemporary art – with particular consideration as to how Postmodernism has affected this relationship. As a Christian myself, I have been interested in the dialogue between the Christian faith and contemporary art, how this exchange can often be seen to exist in quite a controversial way, with neither side seeming to always understand the other.

Something that I have begun to find whilst approaching research is how the Constellation module is all beginning to link up. I find myself referring back to lectures that I have had during first year, and early second year. It really does feel like all of the things that I have been taught throughout my time in University are slowly beginning to link up into a more holistic understanding of the subject area that I am interested in exploring. Attending ‘After Modernism’ lectures in first year, and ‘Puzzling Out Contemporary Art’ lectures in second year have benefited me so much now that I am coming to write my proposal. I have really been able to draw from the different ideas, theories and artists discussed during these lectures. I have found myself also building upon some of the essays that I completed during first and second year, particularly my first ever essay at university. Within my ‘baby cage’ essay, I addressed the work Piss Christ, 1989 by Andres Serrano, and discussed how the issue of meaning impacts the way that such a piece of work is received. This is a fundamental idea that I intend to build upon in my dissertation.

Overall, I have found the task of proposing my dissertation exciting (I’m not sure if exciting is perhaps the acceptable word), but approaching the dissertation it has really encouraged me to take a position of ownership within my writing and research. I am really starting to bring together my personal interests and concerns, my areas of research and the knowledge that I have gained from my time at university. I hope that this connection continues to strengthen as I enter into 3rd year and begin to write the dissertation itself.

Field Summary

I have found the field module this year has provided me with a great opportunity to grow as a practitioner and an individual, teaching me a number of transferable skills that I will definitely be able to draw on in the future of my practice. I was able to recognise the importance of both networking and independence in my practice, understanding the importance of sitting outside my comfort zone and mixing with new environments and ideas that I would otherwise shy away from.

Art and the Conscious Mind challenged my ability to interact with a rich range of subjects, theories, questions and ideas that I would perhaps otherwise overlook in the subject matter of my art,  such as quantum physics and psychology and the philosophical implications of discoveries in these fields. I can recognise how exploring such a wide range of topics has really broadened my practice – the more that I am learning about subjects that I would usually overlook, the more questions  I am asking, and the more ideas I am gathering. The module really enriched the places and subjects that I consider looking to for inspiration in my art, and I can see already how this is allowing me to create much more informed work. I grew in the knowledge of the debates and ideas surrounding the subject of ‘art and the conscious mind’ which has helped me to broaden my points of reference, but perhaps more significantly, I was able to see the real ability that art has to express nuances  and experiences that perhaps are otherwise inaccessible through data and writing. It has challenged me as an artist to consider my position in the conversation that is happening between art, science, psychology and philosophy, recognising the significant role that art can have within this.

The second module of Field, ‘Tipping Point’, was also a hugely helpful opportunity. It provided me with practical experience of working within  a more professional environment, whilst also prompting me to consider the significance that we as individuals can have on creating positive changes. Working closely with a climate change organisation, coupled with what this project has taught me about the wide and lasting impact that even small changes can have, has encouraged me to consider the environmental impact of my practice, and how  I can live and work in a much more sustainable way. This is not something that I intend to directly tackle as a theme in my artwork, but it has really inspired me to consider the way that empathy and a view beyond my immediate environment can be involved in future practice. This sensitivity to social and environmental sustainability is an incredibly important aspect of art practice, and this project has really encouraged me to  consider the importance of how we support and engage with one another in a working environment and  also the significance that our work as artists and designers can have in a wider context.

 

 

Formative Assessment

Statement 

I am really interested in our relationship with meaning, and am particularly concerned with how we sit within the world. My work at the moment is attempting to explore this relationship, examining how we make sense of the world and how we make connections within the world following a rejection of the authority of ‘meta-narratives’. My work responds to the writings of Jean-Francos Lyotard, Frederic Jameson and post-structuralist theorists, to examine how a shift into Postmodernism has effected our relationship with meaning. I have drawn from a wide range of influences including Surrealist and Dada practitioners such as Hannah Hoch, Max Ernst and William Burroughs exploring their exploration of illogical and disconnected narratives. Through the use of collage, video-montage, text and drawing I aim to playfully visualise and articulate what it feels like to position ourselves within a time that finds it difficult to bring together it’s individual experiences into one cohesive experience.

Contextualisation: 5 Key Points

https://rebeccadavies16.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/genesis-3-6-10/

https://rebeccadavies16.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/surrealism-and-automatism/

https://rebeccadavies16.wordpress.com/2016/02/01/key-thoughts-on-postmodernism/

https://rebeccadavies16.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/dada-photomontage/

https://rebeccadavies16.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/william-burroughs-cut-ups/

Documentation: 5 Key Points

https://rebeccadavies16.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/draw-what-you-see/

https://rebeccadavies16.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/text-cut-ups/

https://rebeccadavies16.wordpress.com/2016/02/07/image-and-text-montages/

https://rebeccadavies16.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/leaking-into-the-public-realm/

https://rebeccadavies16.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/video-montage/

New Media in Art

art that has been born from the art-and-technology marriage is perhaps the most ephemeral of all: the art of time, an image created inside a computer resides no place or time at all. Images, scanned into a computer, then edited, montaged, erased, or scrambled, can seem to collapse the normal barriers of past, present, and future.
– Michael Rush

The emergence of new technologies has had a significant influence within contemporary art, challenging the use of traditional art forms and expanding the number of ways that we relate to the world – allowing artists to move away from the canvas and towards an embrace of new means that are able to express a changing relationship with the world. It is this changing relationship with the world that I have found myself becoming more interested in.

I really am just beginning to consider the impact of new media, and its influence on art and my own practice – its influence on our relationship with reality, with its ability to blur the boundaries between real and not real. Its ability to question the way we represent and use language, meaning and narratives. Its ability to act as a tool to both faithfully capture and represent, as well as deconstruct and manipulate, time and the perception of reality. The way it is completely reshaping our relationship with the world around us is something in my work I am just beginning to sheepishly explore but am really excited to see how this can influence my future practice.

Video Montage

As well as exploring image and text montages,  I have begun to utilise video as a way of exploring the relationship breakdown between ‘signified’ and ‘signifiers’ highlighted by Jameson.

The idea of the archive is also quite a prominent feature of postmodernism, and something that I am quite keen to explore. In my videomontage work, I have used the text cutouts that I have been generating as a reference point for my exploration into archived footage. I am taking the sentences, and word by word, inputting them into a video archive site, using the site, I download the first videos (of suitable length) that I find and collate them together into one montage. I am experimenting with the best ways to collate these, currently I am looking to explore how these clips can sit together in one screen.

For me, the videos work well to convey this ‘schizophrenic’ idea of post-modernity that Jameson puts forward. Each individual clip has been found through chance encounters with language, and following on from this, an excavation into what one specific word conjures when searched for within an archive. The video is then taken out of its original context and placed alongside video clips that have also been found using the same method. The video clips are left to contextualize one another, yet the dialogue that grows between each video clip does not satisfy a logical narrative. Instead the videos interrupt one another, drown each other out and create an experience of confusion and frustration.

(It is worth noting, that I don’t actually think that the video montages above are the most effective way of achieving my intentions. I think there are more effective ways to edit the clips together, and I intend to continue working on this)