After going to the Richard Serra exhibition, I feel inspired to try out the metal work shop (something new!).
I have been finding it hard to think of an idea, so I have decided to make a piece of art about how I am finding it difficult to think of an idea. I am going to try and make a candle holder out of metal. Linking back to when I was trying to see how different people could be represented (etc..), I’ve decided to ask two of my friends to give me an object. The object will represent them; for whatever reason they choose the object they give me, it will suggest something about them. So, for example if they give me a hairband, because that was the easiest thing they could find, then says something about their personality.
This object will then symbolise my idea. The idea I am trying to translate, but can’t quite get out. The idea I am trying to develop, but seems to be going nowhere. The ideas about representing people, process, and reading about Freud’s Metapsychology; of which will now be tied together (metaphorically) by one simple object. The idea I am finding difficult to develop and get a project going with, will now be the subject of my next art piece.
I am going to cover the object in a thick layer of wax, so it is unrecognisable. This will then be held, by the candle holder, above the flame of the candle. The candle will slowly melt away at the wax, until the wax drips onto the flame and puts out the candle.
The object concealed in wax symbolises my idea that I can’t seem to communicate. The lighting of the candle, illustrates me trying to communicate my ideas with the rest of the world through my art. And then the putting out of the candle demonstrates how I can’t seem to.
Beautiful, surreal, like the entrance to a brutalist soviet prison.
I imagined I wasn’t in a gallery, but had stumbled upon these strange square objects placed inside a white empty room of a warehouse. Maybe in an area like across the river from Canary Wharf (where The Princes Drawing School is), where there are lots of old industrial buildings, and the city seems further away than it actually is.
What would I think they were?
How much more beautiful the sculptures are when you take away what you know about them; that they are expensive pieces of art in a well known gallery with men in black coats watching you watch them. When you take this away, you have to imagine trying to work out what they are/what they are used for just by looking. By simply studying them, I became more aware of the space around the sculptures, and how surreal the scene felt.
After standing back and observing these huge sculptures from afar, when you go up close you can also see the beautiful colours and patterns created in the rusted metal. I took some photos of the textures, and it is as if they are paintings or landscapes themselves.
I think the reason I feel confused and stressed about thinking of an idea, is because so much conceptual art is only about the idea. I have forgotten that art is also the act of painting or drawing or the process itself, which is sort of what I have been doing. I think I am now going to focus on the process of creating art rather than the idea.
I spoke to my friend about being stuck, and how it can feel demoralising as an artist because you feel it is a reflection on yourself and your creativity. He said that everyone feels like this at some point (which I know), and that perhaps it means it is time for you to try something completely new.
Recently I have been trying to read Sigmund Freud. I wanted to look into something to do with the way people can be represented (like I spoke about with The Hand), and something to do with the way I process and communicate this information. When I say ‘trying’ to read Freud, I mean, I was reading about consciousness and what the unconscious is, but not really understanding it, because of all the long words he uses. (I was hoping that what I was reading would subconsciously come out in my work.)
I decided to take pictures of my flatmates surrounded by things they own, because people things they own to represent themselves. And I decided to do some drawings of these things in a way that was very spontaneous. I wanted the flow and the action of drawing or painting to influence each decision I made about the composition. It was a way of communicating my subconscious; how I felt about the photograph and the people in it; a way of getting my creative mind working.
I wasn’t that pleased with the painting I did. It was fun to do, but the result wasn’t that interesting. I think it was because I didn’t find my subject matter that interesting…
I feel a bit stuck now because I don’t feel inspired by the images I am painting, and I feel a bit lost in what I am actually trying to investigate in my art. I am really enjoying the process of decision making being based on the act of doing in the spur of the moment. But I feel a bit lost in a tangle of ideas that do not really link up; this idea of representing people, process, and reading about Freud’s Metapsychology….
We have been told to make an art piece in response to the one we brought in, (mine was The Hand). I’ve decided to get out Sigmund Freud’s book on Metapsychology to perhaps get some ideas flowing about how people represent themselves, i.e. our hands? our face, body, or mind?
I’m not really sure how to pull my thoughts together, but I thought if I did some research, it would give my ideas more depth..
But after doing some reading, I realised I hadn’t done any art, so I did these drawings to try and put my thoughts into action.
You could argue that drawing like this is releasing a part of your subconsciousness in that you are making active decisions as you draw without thinking about them.
I really enjoyed the free process of making these drawings, it felt liberating. I tried to draw in a new way that I hadn’t before, and I think it worked quite well. (However I did these over about a day and a half and I’m not sure where to go from here – they were fun, but they haven’t helped me stimulate many new ideas, or what direction to go in.)
The First three artists as you walk through (Hamilton, Marten, Pryde) I didn’t feel so impressed by. I appreciated what was going on; an artistic arrangement of objects, decorated chastity belts, a big bum… But whilst walking round, I just sort of thought, so what? I didn’t feel there was much depth that I wanted to investigate, or find out more about. I tried to look deeper and appreciate, thinking that maybe I was just being dismissive, but I just wasn’t particularly interested or amazed..
I much more enjoyed Micheal Dean’s work. His abstracted words. Words are a collection of letters that have meaning to anyone who is literate, whether the words are in a language you can understand or not. People treat literature and books as if it’s sacred. Dean uses these words he writes for a different purpose; he makes moulds and casts of the words into an abstracted “alphabet of human-scale shapes”; they are unrecognisable, but they still have meaning. You know they are words, but you cannot make them out, which gives his sculptures a shroud of mystery; an unknown story; they withhold secrets. Words can carry so much power and feeling, they can be so clever and poetic, so by not knowing what Dean’s words say, you feel that they hold so much potential. An endlessness of possibility; an untold story…
To be honest though, he might have just written something like ‘fridge’.
His sculptures dictate the way you move around the space. They create a bizarre landscape of figure like sculptures, frozen in time. You question if you can squeeze through certain gaps and spaces, and wonder whether you’re stepping too close as you explore the ‘nooks’ and ‘crannies’.
I’m refraining from calling his sculptures ‘objects’, because I feel like they hold a sense of ‘being’; they are figure-like, they show movement; they are entities. The way they dictate the space gives them importance; they are the landscape within the room.