Archives for posts with tag: Paradise Road SW4

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.

The main focus at school has been preparing for the Fine Art Work In Progress Show. There is a nice tension of activity in the studios and workshops with everyone busy for the deadlines.

I have been working on my ‘Paradise on Earth’ series.

Paradise Road SW4 test print

Paradise Road SW4 test print

I wasn’t happy with the screen prints I had done on paper using grayscale and then a strip of colour added by mono-printing. For this to be successful it will need a separate screen making for the strip, using paper to block off the strip means the lines aren’t that clean. Also the colours needed more attention.

However I was happy with the screen prints I did onto polyester. Using opaque matt grey textile ink through a fine mesh screen meant I had to wash the screen after every print and the image did disintegrate on the screen but I was able to get a few copies to work with.

Paradise Road SW4 ve 1

Screen print over sublimation on polyester

Printing the grey ink heavily over the high saturation colour on polyester blocked areas off leaving jewel like glimpses between the grey. I lost some detail with the heavy ink but ran another layer over with print room ink in a darker colour which brought it back a bit. The clash of the dot matrix pattern on the screen mesh and the fabric weave created a moire effect which gives the image a sort of 3D effect and also looks a bit like driving rain.

Paradise Road SW4 ve2

Screen print on polyester

I printed grey straight onto white polyester leaving a blank strip for the colour sublimation print. Working with the polyester spray-mounted onto thin card to keep the image square I used the heat-press to add the strip of colour.

Big relief once I had managed to mount these prints onto aluminium. I used 3M positionable adhesive on a roll. It was a tricky process to get it straight with no creases and took most of a weekend to get both done and the edges cut and sealed off.

Both pieces work with the idea of a glimpse of colour through the grey – a space for the imagination to flourish within even a grim urban landscape. The idea of the plastic palm trees as a symbol for paradise. How fulfilling is this idea of association.

I enjoyed the film Gravity at the IMAX and have tried to hold in my head the backdrop of space – drop upon drop of light. The effects were amazing, really vertiginous and the relentless tension was exhausting. I am planning a new piece of work where I aim to create the feeling of the universe, some vast space. I am going to try this with acquatint on a large steel plate. I spent a whole day sanding the plate which is almost a metre square. I was in so much pain at then end but hopefully it will be worth it if I can get a good range of tone and depth.

Gravity

Gravity

Floating in space will be an image derived from a photograph of Paradise Forum, Birmingham and added as a photo-etching.  I was inspired by the two girls sitting on the steps, they look like they are ready to leave this grey version of paradise. It’s easy to forget the magnitude of where we are.

Paradise Forum

Paradise Forum

Some time ago…

A series of 8 short films were screened at the BFI London film festival under the heading Bizarre Ride.
They came under the thrill section of the programme, a new way of labeling the films rather than by country that has been adopted by the London Film Festival in the last couple of years. Since the nice lady with the boots was replaced by someone who thought a trailer featuring pop corn consumption was appropriate.
I’m not sure any labels should be applied. Alphabetical would be fine and leave people to decide for themselves if the film was a thrill or a dare. The Spanish film ‘That wasn’t me’ was terrifying rather than thrilling in the knowledge that it reflected the reality of child soldiers and the horrors they are forced to commit and endure.

'That wasn't me' directed by Esteban Crespo

‘That wasn’t me’ directed by Esteban Crespo

The beautiful French entry ‘5 metres 80’ was an entrancing spectacle of gawky giraffes performing elegant acrobatic dives into a deserted swimming pool.

'5 Metres 80' directed by Nicolas Devereaux

‘5 Metres 80’ directed by Nicolas Devereaux

Maxine Peake gave a wonderful strong performance in ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ which swerved from comedy to gore while trying to reveal the undercurrent of repressed emotions.

'Keeping up with the Joneses' directed by Michael Pearce

‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ directed by Michael Pearce

‘The Slaughter’ saw a father and son bonding through a harsh lesson in how to kill and butcher a pig. Vegetarians look away now. Some people did walk out  -so was this more upsetting than the rape and bludgeoning we had seen in ‘It wasn’t me’ or was it just a coincidence they had to leave.

'The Slaughter' directed by Jason B. Kohl

‘The Slaughter’ directed by Jason B. Kohl

‘The Double’ Richard Ayoade’s second film turned out to be a decidedly grey comedy.

Set in an indeterminate period a sickly light pervaded the film, along with a musty stench of deprivation and humiliation.

The Double

The Double

It was I suppose a story of self discovery, facing your true self. The horror of subjugation went on so long and the final denouement was so brief that we were still left with the grey feeling at the end.

I am however glad I saw it, I might even watch it again.

I visited Daniel Silver’s ‘Dig’ on Halloween. It was suitably other worldly.

Daniel Silver 'Dig'

Daniel Silver ‘Dig’

Set in the Old Odeon Site just off Tottenham Court Road was quite extraordinary to move between two such different locations in such a short journey.

Daniel Silver 'Dig'

Daniel Silver ‘Dig’

Visiting at dusk seemed to be a good time to go.

Daniel Silver 'Dig'

Daniel Silver ‘Dig’

Unearthly shadows added to the aura of mystery.

Daniel Silver 'Dig'

Daniel Silver ‘Dig’

The raw bones of the building above revealed a brutal concrete structure which seemed fitting with the atmosphere created below.

It was the sort of building we associate with hot dusty countries where it is uncertain whether the building is in a state of construction or destruction and history is ancient and full of mythology.

Daniel Silver 'Dig'

Daniel Silver ‘Dig’

Daniel Silver 'Dig'

Daniel Silver ‘Dig’

At the entrance to the site multiples of artefacts were displayed.

Mass produced and slightly alien in appearance.

Daniel Silver 'Dig'

Daniel Silver ‘Dig’

These collections in the brightly lit arena do not possess the magic of the lower excavations. Like any object removed from its archeological source something is lost.

Like mass produced souvenirs.

Daniel Silver 'Dig'

Daniel Silver ‘Dig’

It was interesting to hear what Mark Leckey had to say about his exhibition The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things during his talk at the RCA.

The exhibition promised a kind of ‘techno-animism’, where the inanimate comes to life, returning us to ‘an archaic state of being, to aboriginal landscapes of fabulous hybrid creatures, where images are endowed with divine powers, and even rocks and trees have names’

In his lecture, In the Long Tail (2008), Leckey describes the ways in which the ‘entire vastness’ of the internet caters for the desires of an infinitely long tail of consumers with minority interests.  As modern technology becomes ever more pervasive and sophisticated, objects begin to communicate with us: phones speak back, refrigerators suggest recipes, and websites seem to predict what we want.  While this takes us into the realms of science fiction, it also boomerangs us back into the past and a more animistic relationship to the things around us.

Mark Leckey The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things

Mark Leckey The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things

‘The status of objects’, Leckey argues, ‘is changing, and we are once again in thrall to an enchanted world full of transformations and correspondences, a wonderful instability between things animate and inanimate, animal and human, mental and material’.  Our hyper-rationalism of modern technology has paradoxically produced its opposite, an ‘irrational’ magical realm – or as Marshall McLuhan, communication theorist, described “a resonating world akin to the old tribal echo chamber where magic will live again”.

For the exhibition he was able to request all sorts of objects that he had only previously seen on his computer screen. He chose items that possessed some quality or aura that made them in some way magical. Once the objects were delivered to the gallery though he seemed a bit disappointed when he finally came face to face with them. He seemed to be saying that he preferred them as images on his computer screen where he had the possibility to transform them though software wizardry. To make them vibrate with digital life.

He was fascinated by the digital animation Viral Vacuum.

Viral Vacuum

Viral Vacuum

Particularly the ability of the cat to pass through glass. The rules of the solid world do not entirely apply.

Viral Vacuum cat

Viral Vacuum cat

He should check out Dynamo magician impossible.

Dynamo Magician Impossible

Dynamo Magician Impossible