I was just looking back over my blog, to avoid sleeping, and found a post about researching brit art. It reminded me of how much I disliked Tracey Emin’s work. Out of curiosity I bought her book Strangeland and read it intensely for a week. I loved it, and her, and her thoughts.
I’m very happy with the outcome of my final major project . I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to produce a final piece that I was really thrilled with and was a successful outcome to the project but I really think what I’ve created is my best work.
Through this project I wanted to further explore the theme of Western American Landscapes, which I’ve been working on for most of the college year. I felt that in my final project I needed to focus on an aspect of it that could produce exciting and different work. I am happy with the direction I took the project, studying rock formations, shapes in the land and patterns in rock. I think I explored these aspects of the landscape thoroughly and used a wide range of techniques.
I wanted to have a go at printing and see if that could produce some effective pieces. I was looking at rock formations, in particular in the Utah Desert, and painted a study in ink. To get the excess of I dabbed it with another piece of paper which created a really nice print. The shapes that came off gave it a rocky, scruffy look which I thought could be brilliant to convey the surface of rocks. I experimented with etchings, painting on surfaces and printing them onto paper, and there were some great results and a few mishaps. Overall I felt that to create something really successful I would have to produce some larger, more considered pieces. I was 7/8 weeks into the project at this stage and knew it would take up a lot of time. I decided to move on from this idea because I has my heart set on producing a painting as my final piece and because of the time constraints. However, I did love some of the prints and they inspired me to paint more simply which created some expressive paintings, different from my usual style. I also wanted to introduce some unique and exciting surfaces into my project. Robert Rauschenberg was the original inspiration for this and I started to create collages to work on top of. It was mentioned at a 21 Painting discussion that I should try working on top of the rock itself and from here I knew I’d found the key to creating a memorable, inspiring and successful solution to the project. Working on small and large pieces of slate was brilliant as it’s far more interesting to work on and the colours came out brilliantly!
Setting up the exhibition was fun! I was overjoyed that the stress was over and this was the last stage. It took a lot of sketching compositions, placing pieces on the wall and stepping back, but after some advice and consideration I decided on the final presentation and I really think my exhibition space shows off my work at it’s best. My original idea was to hang it on the wall but with the extreme weight of the piece it was difficult. I considered designing and building a contraption to present it on but in the time I had it wasn’t realistic. Amazingly, I feel that the piece looks better resting on the radiator with development pieces above it which is a brilliant feeling. To know you had a problem, fixed it and actually came out with a better solution than you could’ve hoped is great!
What would I have changed? Hmm. I think if i were to go back, I’d put more time into the research aspect of the project. I feel I could’ve expanded my theme by investigating the history of America including colonization and foundation of the states and Native American Tribes. This could’ve brought a deeper interest into my project but in the end I decided to keep the theme more concentrated and simpler. With more time I would’ve definitely done two things. One is download and master photoshop and the other, create some large developed prints. I know that some brilliant photoshopped pieces would have complemented my handmade photomontages nicely, but I couldn’t get my head around the software to do what I wanted to in the time I had which is really unfortunate. I now know for next time, to make a list of things you want to try out and set time aside to do so.
Printing was a great medium to work in I just wish I’d developed and refined the prints I have because it could’ve produced some great, interesting pieces
Overall, I feel happy with the way everything worked out. I’m not great at time planning and I didn’t produce enough work in the first half of the project, but as stressful as it is, I love the last 2 week push because I think I produce my best work in an intense short space of time. Time-keeping is something I definitely need to work on and I will strive to in future. My final piece is something I’m very proud of and I feel it’s an successful piece and completes the project!