3RD YEAR

So here it goes again! For the third and final time it’s the start of the new term. As usual, I’ve already had a small breakdown. Third year is bringing with it all that I expected- stress and a lot of pressure. If I’m honest, I’ve been feeling a little bit deflated by the whole thing. As much I know I am passionate about my interest in the home. Making work isn’t as fun as it always was- there is a lot more pressure now. I just have to get over that though and get making and enjoying the last bit of my degree! Easier said than done I know.

So after my summer of reading; lots of reading, where I am I with my practice now? Before I started writing my statement I felt really confident in knowing where I was with it all but when it came down to writing it in just 500 words what my intentions were for the next half of the year, it was really difficult! Here’s what I wrote:

I have a clear understanding that my practice revolves around the home. I am aware that the passion for my practice derives from the study of the domestic; the human habitat. Like theorists George Perec and Gaston Bachelard I acknowledge the privacy and comfort the space entitles us. More recently I’m considering the home as a fragile space that cannot be untouched by time. I’m beginning to see the house very much as an object of time. Exploring histories of homes and considering the layering of lives that have formed there. My work seems to be focusing towards the time when a house lays empty; void of human presence.  I’m interested in the movement of one home to the next. The gap in between when the house stands empty.
 A house seems to appear empty when it goes up for sale. When a house is for sale it becomes just that; a sale. It is no longer our private space. It becomes a public space. Images become available on the internet. However these images again lack human life. Their belongings are there, but the photos don’t show any people. I’m really interested as to why these images don’t include the people. Likewise in show rooms and adverts in home magazines, again people-less. Artist’s like Michael Raedecker and George Shaw are well known for their ability to create human presence without including any figures in their paintings. It’s this notion I want to portray within my practice. Exploring this further I’m applying to gain some work experience as an estate agent. I’m unsure of how work will progress; I intend to explore in 2D the collaging of images from newspapers/magazines and then allow work to accumulate through documentation of working at the estate agents.
 When one moves into a house we never consider the previous occupants; we just focus on making the place our own. Like artist Lisa Selby, it’s interesting to me to think about the choices we make in the possessions we chose to take with us and the ones we leave behind. Working with found objects like Selby is a way in which I can see my practice developing. I hope to manipulate found objects, be it by deconstructing furniture items and recreating them into something new or, stemming from a previous piece, breaking down these objects- sanding them down, to reveal the bare underneath, therefore removing the remissness of human touch. As a starting point I may well find it useful to consider the making process I experimented with in this talked of earlier piece- covering found objects in a thick layer of magnolia paint- again a process that removes the remissness of a time gone by.
 Another artist whose work really intrigued me at the Venice Biennale is Bill Culbert. Using found objects from the home he completely throws them out of context when he cuts through them with huge bars of industrial lighting. There is something about Culbert’s work that I feel is crucial to where I want my making process to progress. It could be his use of lighting? Lighting is essential within a home. From an experience I had with an abandoned cottage over summer I saw the affect lighting has. I recalled- without lights, without objects, the house became eerie; it didn’t possess any qualities of home.

 So there it is. There is a lot there, maybe too much. There is a lot going on in my head, which is good but need to figure out, probably through making, what I’m really getting at. I’m excited to get some work experience in the estate agents and see where that takes me. I really hope I like it! It’s career option number one at the moment.

There’s also a few other notes than didn’t quite make it into the statement so here’s a little bit about descriptive sounds that I’ve been thinking about. It starts with an amazing quote from George Perec- the master philosopher of home.

“I would like there to exist places that are stable, unmoving, intangible, untouched and almost untouchable, unchanging, deep rooted” George Perec. These spaces don’t exist. “spaces are fragile: time is going to wear them away,”
 When you leave a home it’s going to change, it only stays the same in your memories; something which Bachelard considers when he recalls his childhood home. We can all probably recall our childhood home; however it’s only in this memory that that room still exists. Those furnishings, wall coverings have all gone. I began to think of description when considering this. During a sound workshop way back in 1st year I recorded voice clips of peers describing their room back in their family home. I really like these descriptions. I feel my practice could be greatly influenced by these recordings. The use of description could be played out into a blank setting of a room perhaps. This would allow the listener to create their own image of the rooms described. Work relating to this would be Susan Hiller’s piece Witness, a piece I really enjoyed at Tate Britain back in 2011. 

Fine Art Degree

It’s pretty hard going doing a fine art degree. Going through a bit of hating the course/loving it at the same time over this last month. I have felt a bit lost lately on what I’ve been up to and where my work has been going. Been looking through my blog though and trying to not feel too stressed about it. I’ve actually done a lot this year, so I don’t need to put myself down. I have had my work in three public exhibitions, had my reviews published on Backlit’s website and began the amazing project with Future Artists Nottingham. So not bad at all Rach! Plus looking at the archives on here, the amount of work I did past March last year was amazing so just need to remember that and get cracking in the next few months! Here is my statement of intent which is to be set into motion as of now!! BACK TO THE HOME!

     During the next module I want to establish a clear focus within my practice. To allow my practice to move forward in a much more manageable way I know I need to break down what it is that really drives me and what it is that I am passionate about. I intend to keep to this focus point. During the previous module I was sporadic, exploring various notions regarding the need for painting in contemporary art and the obsessive need for photography in the digital age we live in. I now know that this was too much to take on. I am still questioning these notions, especially the digital age, and the reduction of privacy technology has meant for us. However the underlying passion of my practice has always been the home.
    Within my practice I intend to focus on the notion of the home, what it is to create a home, the nostalgia based there, the layering of lives that form there and the privacy and security that that space gives us. The layering of lives within a home is something that has become especially of interest to me whilst reading Julie Myerson’s book- home. She tells the stories of all the people who ever lived in the 130 year old house she lives in, in Clapham, London. It was of real interest to me to hear the repetition of lives, of celebrations and memorable moments that have all occurred in one house by numerous people and families. I want to explore various ways in which to respond to this- looking at Rachel Whiteread’s casts; especially, Untitled (Twenty-Four Switches), exploring the lives that have touched those walls, memories that have remained in those walls. I will use archives and microfiches in the library to explore the history of our homes. Also graduate from Trent: Adele Boden, is also someone of particular interest to me. She relates to previous ideas I have had about creating a piece using wallpaper layering the wallpaper to have the effect of the house itself. This is something I have attempted before but would like to do this much bigger and more authentic.
       Reading a book currently by Witold Rybczynski, I am learning the history and the functions of the house and home. I am exploring the historical, social and cultural differences the home as under gone over time. This knowledge I am hoping will allow my practice to explore the functions of the home and discover how a house becomes a home. Wider reading of Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space and Species of spaces and other pieces: by George Perec will also be useful here.  
        In terms of making I want to continue to develop work that the audience can interact with. I believe this can be done using installation and setups of actual rooms; an artist I saw in Berlin who relates well to this is Gregory Schneider and also Martin Honert. I also want to get back into casting, perhaps looking at creating model homes based on the paintings of Amy Casey. I need to make/draw/sketch/paint much more in this module as a means to develop my practice and to further ideas more rapidly. The exhibition piece needs to be much more resolved and experimented with to reach its full potential.