The plan with these ornaments, as it was before; I want to place them on plinths, placing art works on plinths is a very “fine art” thing do. This was something that was mentioned when getting feedback on my piece; Untitled (Ornamental Figure), again the titling; a very fine art thing to do. I agreed with the majority that generally I don’t like works being Untitled however for this piece they kind of liked it. It’s very fine art way of titling, yet it was almost emphasizing the setting that the piece was in. They said that it was a statement about being made by an artist- for a contemporary art setting. When I began making the work, the use of the plinth was about taking these figures out of their home context yet bringing back somewhat of their original context by using the wallpaper. This is what I intend to bring through in the next series of plinthed ornaments.
When I began thinking about the plinth some more I remembered the 4th Plinth; situated in London’s Trafalgar square. The plinth was originally intended to hold an equestrian statue of William IV, but remained bare due to insufficient funds. Since 1999, the plinth has become a home to temporary contemporary art works. Contemporary artists are commissioned to make works for the plinth. Some of these artist include Antony Gormley, Yinka Shonibare and one of my faves Rachel Whiteread! Her piece Monument is pictured above. The newest addition is Katharina Fritsch’s: Hahn/Cock.The big blue cockerel also pictured above. I really like the idea behind the 4th plinth and I think it relates really well with what I’m doing here with my wallpapered plinths.
I really got into this chipping away process at the plaster house. I began to chip away at the windows and doors creating this “house you can’t see into.” It stemmed from Alex Lowery’s paintings I spotted the other day. https://rachelfenwick.co.uk/2013/10/23/alex-lowery/
What I see in this piece is the privacy of our homes. When I unintentionally didn’t complete a painting back in 1st year I created a house without windows. With this plaster piece I’m commenting on the same notions I was touching on then- that when your house goes up for sale images become available on the internet of our private home- everyone can have a peak through your curtains! You can’t peak through any curtains here!
I wish I had something really special to post about on my 100th blog post, I don’t have anything majorly special unfortunately! But got to crack on with the Blogging! Would like to thank everyone who takes the time to read my crazy thoughts and my constant obsession with the home. Thank you!
So on Thursday actually got myself back in the studio! It was really good to get making again! Just trying a few things out and playing with a few ideas. I first decided to re-work a cast I made way back in 1st year, it’s a silicone mould used to make a plaster cast of a miniature house. I started playing around with the cast, chipping away at it. This chipping away meant a build up of plaster excess began to surround the house. This reminded me of Lara Almarcegui’s piece from the Venice Biennale. It really dealt with this idea of the fragility of our homes. The way the front steps just fell off like that. It also reminded of some photos I took the other day similar to Almarcegui’s work. The rumble, the fragility, “the past forever expunged from the present”. What I also like about making this piece was the making of the material- plaster. Got a real satisfaction creating the right consistency, it also has a massive relevance personally- as my dad is a plasterer. It’s a real important part when building a home. I think there might be something special here with my use of plaster. Rachel Whiteread is also a massive lover of the material too! Also wanted to mention (photo below) Matta Clark, an artist I found recently. Another great reference here.
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.
I bought my first piece of furniture to play with today! I really like those marks already there, the remnants of human touch. When I saw this piece of furniture I was reminded of something I wrote down from one of Rachel Whiteread’s books, this object was once in someone’s home; “a silent witness to our most private and vulnerable moments.” Although just a telephone table, it probably had a few frames on there, personal possessions perhaps? And it was a silent witness to all those personal phonecalls. Important calls of grief or celebration or just those quick chats with a friend. It’s interesting now that it’s just cast to one side.
I’m going to have to jump ahead a few blog posts because I can’t wait to write about last night’s adventures up on the hills of Ullswater. Me and few friends decided to take a trek up a fell just behind the village of Glenriding in the late hours of last night. Walking up there in the darkness, but for the little light coming from the torch on my iPhone, was needless to say pretty scary! On the way back down, as promised by the friend who’d done the walk before, was an abandoned cottage named Close Cottage. It literally looked like we’d just walked into our very own horror film and we hadn’t even gone inside yet! The house was perfectly creepy. A small symmetrical house, the door in the middle, four windows either side and one above. In the darkness, I was certain that from behind those curtains someone was going to peer their little ghostly eyes from behind them. We were fulfilling all the stupid character roles you see in films, you know when you shout at the screen asking why on earth would they go inside there?! But it was so intriguing! Especially to me, my inner art was ready to go inside and explore the abandonment.
Entering through the front door with a little force we all bustled in scarily awaiting the fate of the house. I was so excited though! It was amazing; looked like I’d just walked into a Rachel Whiteread piece, especially with the fireplace. It was just so eerie! We walked around screaming and jumping at any new sight. We even managed to muster up the courage to go upstairs. The windows looked so creepy and it felt as though something or someone was going to touch me at any point!
It was a crazy experience! Really got me thinking whilst I was in there though; Why was I so scared? Someone had once lived there; people had had memories, memorable moments there surely? Without people, without furniture, without light it became an empty shell- a really creepy one at that! A big pile of post was scattered at the door, I rummaged around to try and find a name, a previous occupant. I found a name of Geoff Taylor, Mr and Mrs Taylor. Where had they gone though? Why had they left? How long has the house been empty? Whilst trespassing in the house, it felt scary; it didn’t possess any qualities of home. It just provided a shell of shelter.
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.
Had such a nice day reminding myself that I can draw and paint! I’ve done some collage pieces mixing up parts of houses to create an impossible house structure. I then experimented with the collaged image using pencil, chalk, acrylic and a photocopier. I think I prefer the drawing on its own, before the paint. Especially when colour photocopied the chalk blurs and the yellow tinge of the paper is highlighted. I also like that the house can be mistaken as one when it is still in the drawing form. I want to carry on experimenting in this style becoming more precise with my drawing possibly like Laura Oldfield Road.