At the end of the intro project there are eight artist links to research, looking at their use of drawing and mark making. I looked at all 8 links and wrote notes on each of them in my paper learning log but I am typing my notes onto here as well so it’s easier for my tutor to see all my research in one place. I am certainly no art critic and have not reviewed artwork since my A level art days so I can only say what I see, my first impressions of the work and whether I like it or not.
Link 1- Louise Bourgeois www.moma.org/explore/collection/lb/index
“Clothing is… an exercise of memory…it makes me explore the past…how did I feel when I wore that…”– Louise Bourgeois
The simplistic, childlike drawings in her fabric collection belies the depth of meaning that each piece has. I liked ‘embracing the tree’ and the story behind it. https://www.moma.org/collection_lb/browse_results.php?criteria=O%3ATTH%3AI%3A2034841&page_number=23&template_id=1&sort_order=1
‘Insomnia’ also really spoke to me (as I suffer from this). It really portrayed to me the feeling of not being able to sleep – wide and extended eyes, busy and unable to close down.
There were lots of evolving work, a simple image, added to and developed. I liked seeing the progression of this.
I really liked her work, the simplicity of the lines, the abstract of dealing with a deeper concept.
“It is not an image I am seeking. It’s not an idea. It is an emotion you want to recreate, an emotion of wanting, of giving and of destroying.”– Louise Bourgeois
I really liked this quote, capturing the feeling of the piece rather than the piece itself.
Link 2-Alison Carlier www.alisoncarlier.com
A new one for me- “Spoken drawings”. I had not heard of this concept before and after spending a great deal of time on this link my own opinion is, artistic expression, yes, drawings, no.
I listened to few of the spoken drawings with my eyes closed. I liked the gentle tone of her voice, it was very meditative. Her words flowed and she had great vocabulary, describing colours and touch, but I didn’t have a clue what objects she was describing, I had to read the explanations afterwards.
I felt that she was creating a vision, an image in your mind, rather than a drawing. No image will ever be the same as someone else’s image. With an actual drawing or painting you may interpret it differently from someone else but everybody is looking at the same image. With these spoken drawings no two visions of the object will ever be the same- but is that the point???
“Adjectives, lines and marks” is the artist reading a piece of text about an old pot (not her own text, I believe). While listening to it, it reminded me of The Antiques Roadshow programme. Dissecting an old piece, breaking it down for analysis before telling someone how much it is worth. Again, I probably would not have known what this piece was describing unless I had read the explanation. Your own interpretation of the pot would be nothing like the actual pot she is imaging. It also put me in mind of describing an object to someone who is blind, they can’t see the object so need as much description as possible to form an image of it. I wanted to see the image of the actual pot at the end of the description but that was not included. Whether that’s my OCD side kicking in, but I didn’t like that! It felt unfinished. I wanted to see if what I had imagined in my head was anything like the real object.
The video of ‘shelling broad beans’ confused me a bit as well. I don’t think these are ‘drawings’ in any sense of the word. She is capturing a moment, memories, sounds and images. Some may say artistically, but unfortunately this video for me didn’t really hold any artistic qualities.
Overall a little bit ‘out there’ for me, maybe I am more of a traditionalist, but I like my drawings on paper where I can see them, not imagine them. That’s not to say I can’t see the artistic creation she is producing, just really not my type of thing.
Link 3- Alex James Chalmers www.alexjameschalmers.com
Some of his work, from a distance, looks like nothing much, or just scribbles, but, when you get up close you can see the extraordinary detail and geometric lines that make up the piece. ‘Untitled’ is a good example of this. http://www.alexjameschalmers.com/8607523
You can see the architectural influences in some of his work with the accurate lines and geometrical shapes.
A lot of the video pieces at this link, I didn’t get and there were no explanations of the pieces except for the titles of the work, which really gave nothing away. I would not want to hazard a guess as to what any of them were about. The actual work can be appreciated as it stands of course, but again for me, I like to have some idea of what I am seeing. I like art that makes you think, analyse and speculate, but I also like to have some context as a starting point.
Link 4- Hilary Ellis www.hilaryellis.co.uk
I really liked this artist’s work but I think I would find it hard to explain why. On the surface, simple pieces, especially when viewed from a distance, but up close the detail is exquisite. I loved the ‘Enigma ll’ piece http://www.hilaryellis.co.uk/portfolio1314_image1.html it looked like handwriting but then the detail shot showed you all the lines of stitching.
I liked the artist statement on her page as it gave an insight into her work, and although I had to read it several times before I felt I really understood it, I then could feel that statement coming through when I looked at her work again.
I am finding it strange that the artist’s work I like, I have a lot less to say about than those I am not keen on.
Link 5 – Michael Griffiths www.michaelgriffithsfineart.com
The link that was given was not valid so I had to look further. I went to this link first http://www.mikegriffithsart.co.uk/buy.html and realised that it wasn’t the artist I should have been looking for so I tried again. http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/collections/aldrich/michael-griffiths this seemed to be the right person but I found it very difficult to actually find a site that had more than 2 or 3 of his images on. If I searched images on google, more came up but when I followed the links they still did not give me any information on him or more images of his work. Considering from the bio I found on him that he has exhibited all over the world I don’t know why I can’t find out more about his work. I managed to find out that he is a printmaker who set up the Badger Press. From looking at the few images I found, he is very abstract. Some of the charcoal drawings I found were extremely childlike- or even toddler like to be honest but as they were just images with no context that I could find maybe I am being a bit unfair. https://www.saatchiart.com/account/artworks/80996
Link 6- Debbie Smyth www.debbie-smyth.com
I loved this artist’s work. I thought it was very original. I loved the concept of ‘thread drawings’ and the way that this technique made the images 3D. The threads just flow to create the images. I liked the fact that lots of modern companies have commissioned works from her for their buildings, offices, or ad campaigns, for example Sony PlayStation and Adidas, even Hermes window displays. I feel it helps to bring textiles into the forefront and maybe make people realise that Textiles can be very cutting edge.
‘In full swing’ made me smile, I love how she really captured the feel of that childhood memory of swinging higher and higher. http://debbie-smyth.com/in-full-swing/ I liked how the threads were loose and messy in places to give shading or more lifelike effects.
Link 7 Katie Sollohub www.katiesollohub.co.uk
This artist’s work was bright and vibrant. ‘Lunch at the butterfly museum’ http://www.katiesollohub.co.uk/gallery/2010-2/paintings-and-drawing/ immediately struck me as very Picasso like, and likewise her use of bright, bold, sometimes clashing colour suggested this as well. Her work was very free and childlike and perspective and scale are not really a consideration in her work. I found that her work was very energising and engaging. In her work ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ I liked the vibrant greens against the grey of the sink and her concentration of colour and pattern. Some of her sketches looked almost unfinished, outlines and silhouettes but with lots of detail in maybe one or two areas. Her sketches seem to be about quick marks to get the feelings down rather than precise detail. I liked ‘Circle of life’, http://www.katiesollohub.co.uk/gallery/2008-9/paintings-and-drawings/ it seemed a little more detailed than some of her other work and reminded me of ‘Spiral speak’ by Sam Brown. www.ceruleansam.com/spiralcollection
Link 8-Roanna Wells www.roannawells.co.uk
I found this artists concepts fascinating and thought provoking. The ideas behind her pieces are very unique, even if I didn’t find some of the finished pieces striking or interesting to look at, I appreciated what she had achieved from her concept.
I liked ‘tracing process’, allowing others to make marks on your art; stepping back from the control, letting a piece of your art go in order to see where your lack of control takes it. http://www.roannawells.co.uk/tracing-process
‘Spaces between’, each brush mark representing a minute of the day was interesting, although I think I liked the concept more than the finished artwork. ‘Knowledge and understanding of the world’ really intrigued me and I liked the way that she translated the simple drawings onto fabric with thread, capturing the essence of the child’s original art work. I would hang one of these pieces on my wall as a great talking point. This is what the artist says about the concept:
“Inspired by my time working in a nursery combined with an continuing interest in child psychology, art therapy and speech and language development, this ongoing project captures the specific point in a child’s development where meaning is beginning to be put to seemingly random ‘scribbles’. By translating the child’s spontaneous mark making into detailed hand embroidered pieces, some of the intent and importance of the young artist is aiming to be given back.”- Roanna Wells
I enjoyed researching the artists and found I had more insight into how I felt about their works than I thought I would.