With a four month delay in the next coming posts, I can only apologise for my lack of up to date blogging. I’ll go into why later, but there is so much to write let’s get on! So way back in August, I was hard at work completing the The Great British Caravan series. My tribute to the time I’d spent caravanning in Cumbria. I had completed the series and was excited to be given the opportunity to exhibit in Penrith. I spent a great deal of time curating the layout of the series. Steering the caravan viewpoints towards the central eye line and positioning the sizes symmetrically. I think the photograph of me arranging the paintings is just fantastic- The Great British Caravan, in my humble yet great caravan. It was a novel feeling leaving my works with the café to install, but a really brilliant feeling to walk in the following week and see them displayed for all to see. I felt extremely proud of the work I’d produced. The red walls looked fantastic and although they didn’t all sell, I loved the experience and it was amazing to have a cup of tea, see my work on the walls and watch from a distance people admiring them.
The exhibition ran from 2nd August- 12th September 2016
This was something I’d been thinking about making for a long time. In fact it’s been a fair amount of time since I actually painted this piece. I made it as a Christmas present for my fiancé. We were considering buying the screen print shown above from Rheged’s Great Print Exhibition, when I said I could paint it myself. I instead intended to paint it with our own caravan home in mind. With a backdrop of Lake Ullswater, our caravan stands proud in it’s beautiful surroundings. The Great British Flag waves in the wind just like the American flag does in the print. The flag adds value to the painting, as for a time we’d been toying with the idea of emigrating to Australia. This painting translates as a big thumbs up to staying here in our English Home.
I’m always promising mum that I’ll paint her something- so here it is- My View of Castle Hill. In a response to Sue Smith’s 36 Views of Castle hill here’s mine. My one view taken from one of my early morning walks with mum. The hill truly is a constant in the ever changing lives of Townsville residents. It remains a constant in the backdrop of my mum’s Australian dream.
As well as a bit of painting this week, I’ve been introduced to a new artist who for the first time since completing my degree I felt excited about. I saw the artist on a friend’s Facebook post, which showed the winner of the National Open Art Competition. Indeed it was this guy I’m talking about- Andrew McIntosh who won the award. And I’m not surprised, a painter none the less, Scots man Mackie, managed to paint the very thing I was trying to express in my work almost 2 years ago. He plays with the idea of the private v public, our personal space, our re-treat, our sanctuary. Exposing what’s behind closed doors. As I currently call my home a caravan I immediately fell in love with his work. Not only does his work relate so closely to my current lifestyle he also picks up on the role of contemporary art. He seems to poke fun at the art world, painting an image of Jackson Pollock’s famous Autumn Rhythm in the humble caravan.
Trying to get back into it all again today, which is all I seem to do at the moment! I really did enjoy everything arty way back in 1st year. I’ve just been reading through my old note books. I just need to do more, make more, even if it’s rubbish! I also found this artist Alex Lowery who paints “flattened spaces, simplified forms.” Windowless houses basically. I really like these images! They relate to the piece I did in 1st year “Private Viewing” the painting I placed along side the piece I realise is a bit like Rachel Whiteread- a house you can’t see into. I was really concerned with this idea of privacy then. Considering the images of our homes, how they become available on the internet, for all to see, when our house is up for sale.
It was a success! On Thursday I successfully co-curated and helped host Anti Factory the exhibition and private view! With many thanks to all those involved that helped make it happen; Ashe Wright, Kelly Purdy, Caroline McDougall, Alisia Wilkins, Joe Donze, James Politano, Martin Rayment, Amy Telford and Poppie Jaconelli. Thank you to the performers and most importantly to all of you that came to support!
From the press release this helps those who couldn’t make it get a feel of the exhibition’s concerns;
“Anti Factory is a collaborative project from students on the Fine Art BA course at NottinghamTrentUniversity, who are concerned with the value art has in relation to the time taken in its production.”
“We ask, does work that has taken longer to produce have more value? Are the hours spent actually reflected in the work?”
The venue at Divine Coffee house was greatly received and the space we exhibited was complemented by many. Although we had a drop out on the band situation this gave the audience time to look at the art work, then those who stayed got more free wine and live music!
The live music continued on for me as a few of us went on to Jam Café and later to Golden Fleece where we saw DJ Derek the amazing 71 year old DJ!
So I did want to write about the painting I’ve been working on over the last week. Continuing on from the painting workshop, I’ve been experimenting with what it means to put painting and photography together. Asking if painting has more value to the viewer than a photograph does. The image I have chosen is of Lisbon city, Portugal. The photograph was taken by me; it’s a view from the castle. I have created the rest of the image from memory and imagination. I think the colour represents the vibrancy my memory has from city and how colourful I felt it was. The imaginary viewpoint extends from the work I have seen recently of Hockney. I have tried to extend the rectangle of the lens. Use my imagination to create an extensive viewpoint.
I’m also very excited to say that this piece will be featuring in the exhibition “Anti Factory” this Thursday at Divine Coffee House. I think the focus of the exhibition (wondering if art involving a lengthier time in making has more value) has definitely had an impact on my making because those buildings took FOREVER to paint. So was it worth it? Or could the photo on the painting be enough?
As a response to my painting workshop I’ve created a hybrid of my own. I have used the references I took to the workshop- Turner and Shaw and used them as a basis. I have also incorporated the notion that my practice is questioning: Whether or not there is any value in painting when photography is so easily accessible? By including a photograph I hope to ask this question. I have extended the image beyond the photograph; creating an extensive viewpoint? I think including the image in this painting has been a lot more successful than the Lisbon painting. I feel those images got lost in the painting, where as with this one I feel it has blended in well. I have tried to use a Turner style sky within the painting. I also used wood, getting back to a surface I really enjoy working on, much better than canvas in my opinion. Also I thought I couldn’t paint skies! Not a bad attempt I don’t think!