Squirrel, Badger, Hog, Fable
For my expensive module of Level 3 Product Design, I chose to go a little out of my comfort zone by opting with a Contemporary Art Practice module. We were introduced to a broad range of painting practices, providing an opportunity to expand our knowledge of historical and contemporary painting concerns. The module consisted of lectures, talks and group discussions drawing in on the experience of a range of artists who have a background in utilising painting as part of a wider spectrum of methodologies and research practices.
The module will encouraged us to adopt and develop an appropriate set of skills as we explored the connection of materiality and process with subject matter, specifically within the context of our own work. It also enabled direct access to original work through visits to artists’ studios and exhibitions accompanied by the provision of artists’ talks as a means of engaging more directly with the workshop or studio processes involved in the evolution of the work.
We were tasked with producing a body of work as a result of full engagement with the module materials and our own independent research. This was to be accompanied by a short text articulating, and reflecting on, the progression involved in its evolution.
Originally, I was interested in architecture and how their forms create strong contrasts against their backgrounds and surrounding environments. I thought about mixed media by which I attempted to blend some photographs of buildings found around Edinburgh with vibrant yet abstract painted backgrounds. It was a process of layering and experimentation as I was influenced by the Pop Art movement where it was thought that the idea of art can draw from any source, and there is no hierarchy of culture to disrupt it. Pop Art was defined by characteristics such as innovative techniques, bright colours and mixed media, which created the easily recognisable pieces of work found within the movement. Andy Warhol inspired my project as his typical method of producing artwork was the repetition of images, and the use of advertising as subject matter. I also took inspiration from David Batchelor and Gerhard Ritcher as their visual art was abstract yet minimalistic. I decided to experiment with palette knife painting with a view to blending and creating unique, colourful pieces of work.
At the early stages of experimentation, I did build up various painting skills to allow me to complete different pieces of mixed media. I took myself out of the sketchbook and onto a different material of MDF. Continuing to paint with the palette knife I tried creating parts of architecture I had photographed, with acrylic. This lead to drawing with markers on top of the acrylic layer then I decided to explore cityscapes. Taking the idea of vibrant, abstract painting and the visual appearance of a city, I blended the two together to produce a collection of cityscapes. Each has a name or quote on the reserve to allow the viewer to fully visualise the artwork.