Monday, 29 November 2010

What a load of research!

Whilst talking over ideas in tutorials, mulling things over in my head and noting it all down in my sketchbooks, I have also been researching new and different artists, to help inspire the kind of route and a comfortable direction I want to continue with.  Here are just a few that have really made me excited!

1.2m (diameter) x 8m (h)
Tulip bulbs,  moisture, light, iron oxid, nylon thread
On each string was suspended a single growing tulip bulb. Collectively, these took on a bulbous form that from certain angles appeared to resemble a helix, sometimes a more chaotic mass. The tulips continued to grow over the 2 weeks of the show until on the verge of flowering. 

'Sometimes while I was foraging in the woods I would find these growing off of branches and logs, which I would move and shift around into new positions. The mushrooms would then start to grow at different angles in response to the change in light and gravity. After a year I would return and find that the mushrooms could be grown into right-angled steps and other interesting shapes.' Phil Ross


Anna Garforth
'Anna Garforth works with recycled and natural media, so far her sustainble artworks have been used for public events, community projects, workshops, campaigns, publications and exhibitions.
With a strong background in design and illustration, her green and nifty fingers work moss into beautiful lettering, bark into animals and rubbish into typographic wonder.'

Monday, 22 November 2010

Situations, but where am I?

Ok, so we've been given the brief of 'Situations', taken from the situations website work, with curator Claire Doherty.  We have to either take something out of its usual situation and environment and place it somewhere which shows it as something new and different, or situate our work in a new environment outside of the studio, thats the gist I've got from it so far anyway.

Last module, I chose to mix my new love of horitculture in with my art work, and I think my final piece for my assessment was pretty successful and the tutors seemed pretty impressed and happy with it, they even told me to carry on with the horticulture side of things as it could be a start of something brilliant, so this is what I will do.  I want to become 'master of the plants'!  Grow them where they might not usually grow, push them into new and intersting shapes and positions that are unnatural, but make sense to the audience, whether it be humourous or environmentally aware.

I feel pulled towards growing more quick growing and interesting plants as well as looking at the juxtapositions of town and city, urban and rural, done a million times before I know, but maybe I could do it with a new angle?  Through horitculture?

I would really like to use moss (grown from scratch), mushrooms (grown from scratch), bark (taken from trees and used as a base to grow other things) and maybe other urban materials such as street slabs etc.

Whilst researching other artists artwork, I found the website stories from space which is brilliant.  The artist running it, works in collaboration with other artists as well as on his own, taking a light hearted view on looking after our environment and humouring wildlife with his public artworks.  He gave me the first idea of using moss in my work.  I have heard it is simple to grow by making a strange concoction of old moss and beer, and he has had some amazing results

I soon started madly brainstorming, how to get hold of bark, how could I manipulate moss to be a new and exciting idea and work for this project, how could I show juxtapositions of urban ad rural?

More internet research found me Anna Garforth which kind've put me off it all, as she had already done everything I had just brainstormed, including using moss as a wall decoration (she used words and some rough picture outlines) and bark as an art medium.  But one thing that convinced me I could do work like this, but maybe even better, was the fact she had grown the moss somewhere other than the wall, and then cut and stuck it up on the wall, made me think it was a bit 'cheating' from a horticulturalists point of view.  Surely the whole point of having a piece of artwork like this was so it would grow continually, like the work from stories from space.  It was also something I hadn't been able to master with my last project and something I really want to 'master' this time.

The next steps will be to
  • Start growing my own moss from scratch
  • Start growing my mushrooms from spawn
  • Get some feedback and other ideas from tutorials
  • Find myself some natural and man-made materials to grow my work from in wallpaper designs
  • Work out if they will be situation based, or if I can move them around and change their situation
  • Find somewhere to situate them 
Other artists I found along the way

Kevin Smith 

Morten Flyverbom 

Claire Morgan 

Thursday, 4 November 2010

since then, for now, till then...

So it's less than a week away, that greats big looming deadline of this first module back and the assessment date.  I think it's going to be with Jane Joan and Sally, a good mix of judgement, each with their own personal likes and dislikes, bold statements and helpful noddings!  I'm not going to lie, I'm bricking it!  But I plan to have a bulletpointed layout of a talk ready to refer to whenever I get lost with explainations, this is usually all the way through!  So far I want to have a wallpaper background of my chosen screenprint (screenprinting room is hopefully free tomorrow so I can get in there and get it done, then get back here and sew by hand and machine into it) with my seedling canvas' hanging over the top of them.  I got a roasting from Joan today about not being in enough with work, but as this blog shows I am home, screenprint room and computer based.  Not alot to show re: paintings large canvases etc.  I would love to be able to trust my seedlings in the studio, but the amount of people, differing in temperature and lack of access late at night and very early mornings would mean no or dead seedlings.
Anyway, this is how far I've got so far over the last week of reading week (lack of internet at home last week meant I couldn't blog my work even though it was slowly progressing) and the different processes I've managed to come up with to fix shortfalls of time and mistakes.
These are 9 hand drawn images I did that all join together no matter which way they are put, except the three at the top and bottom have to stay this way.   I would love to be able to make this into a successful screenprint, but so far the screen prints I've done of these have 'bubbled' meaning they're not good enough to use, they would just look out of shape and damaged.
This is the design for the screen print, but they are all filled in black so they are picked up better when being exposed onto the screen.  I am also going to try screenprinting this:
These were scans of seedlings I have grown myself, that I have then photoshopped and continued a pattern with them symmetrically, I really like this one, and I've already done the screen for screenprinting with looks like it will print nicely.  The previous 2 designs I have printed with a large format printer, just incase anything goes wrong with the screenprinting process, which so far hasn't been very successful.
 These two images are similar images I used to print of my final print for the large format printer.  I can't upload it because it has a fault with since it was printed.  No biggy, just a shame. Its basically a clump of seeds like the above repeated over and over, again symmetrically, and looks quite good as a large image.  I would love to have enough money to be able to wallpaper it all over a rooms walls.  I think the high contrasted image and shape would look wicked.

At the moment, I'm preparing my seeds on canvas for my final pieces for assessment.  I have one busy yet ordered canvas with a grid of seeds laid out and growing.  I'm documenting them by photographing them every few hours to show the growth as it happens.  I hope to make this into a video flip book and will try and post up on here after the weekend.