Work In Progress. So good to mix with people from painting, sculpture and photography. To negotiate our spaces, to look at each others work and discuss relationships between the works. To see how consensus forms and finally to install the show.  Really exciting to see what had been created during the past term, to see work emerging from the chaos of the studios.
I took the two images of Paradise Road SW4 to the gallery not sure if I would hang one or both but found they worked well directly opposite each other.

Paradise Road SW4

Paradise Road SW4

It was appropriate you couldn’t see them both at the same time initiating a forced extra looking as people tried to see the difference between them, were they the same image, a mirror or what.

Paradise Road SW4

Paradise Road SW4

With around 150 students showing new work the private view was noisy and vibrant.

Then there were the cross programme group crits. Freezing under scrutiny, it all becomes a blur of half remembered phrases.
Felt rather deflated afterwards, really questioning my themes and motives which is a good thing though tough to process.

RCA Work In Progress

RCA Work In Progress

The most encouraging thing was that during the exhibition people stopped to look at my work and spent time looking.

RCA Work in Progress

RCA Work in Progress

It was also encouraging to find an image of my work included on the RCA website write up of the exhibition.

Printmaking students met at the new Serpentine Sackler Gallery to discuss the current show of Jake and Dinos Chapman – Come and See. There was discussion about who the Chapman brothers make their work for (the media) and whether they were taking the piss out of us, the audience.

Jake and Dinos Chapman

Jake and Dinos Chapman

The excessive lathering on of depictions of horror and violence, the mix of Nazi skeletons and dinosaurs and Ronald McDonald all amid scenes of torture and piles of bloodied bodies reflects the tropes of the horror film and video game industry and bears little relation to real life and therefore was not shocking. I don’t think this is a desensitization of our feelings but just the fact that the depictions are so unreal, like a war hammer game. Maybe they are labouring a point that we can no longer differentiate between reality and fantasy or that we enjoy looking at depictions of horror. This is something worth discussing but it all felt rather heavy handed. It seems they may have drawn themselves into a corner and can no longer surprise their audience.

Jake and Dinos Chapman

Jake and Dinos Chapman

They obviously have a big fan base but the general consensus of the seminar was one of boredom by these repeated depictions. I think there are probably lots of codes to decipher and art history references to acknowledge if you can be bothered. The attention to detail is astonishing from the accuracy of every minute figure in Hell to the layer of aging dust on the crude corrugated cardboard models of earlier work complete with cardboard audience displaying a gamut of emotions (children allowed in this cardboard world).

It felt a great contrast to the very moving and immersive experience of Richard Mosse’s ‘The Enclave’ for the Irish Pavillion at the Venice Biennale. Also work about horrors of war and man’s inhumanity to man.

Richard Mosse 'The Enclave'

Richard Mosse ‘The Enclave’

Filmed in Eastern Congo amongst violent armed rebels using a discontinued military reconnaissance film that registers infrared light which is normally invisible but here turns the landscape into a kaleidoscopic dreamscape where the vegetation registers in shocking pink. Hauntingly beautiful the film reflects a real nightmare scenario. We enter an alien world with a heightened sense of dislocation and confusion. Surrounded by giant screens we are trapped in a cycle, not knowing where to look or where the next assault may come from.

Richard Mosse 'The Enclave'

Richard Mosse ‘The Enclave’

After all the conflict looking for a quiet space for contemplation.

Woods v/e 1

Wood v/e 1

Woods v/e 2

Wood v/e 2

Finally managed to get these works which for now are just titled ‘Wood’ into frames. Greyscale sublimation print from a screen print of disperse dye on polyester under a layer of sublimation print organza.

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