A quick visit to the British Museum brought me face to face with the markings of the Ancient Egyptians. It was just fantastic to view these huge pieces of stone work and the intricate carving of hieroglyphs. Today after 1000's of years we are able to look and observe these beautiful markings made by an individual. Looking closely you can see the unique marks made by this person. Visually and aesthetically evidence of the decision that was made by the craftsman chiselling away at the stone is there to see. By us viewing this work the individual has left his own mark on this earth and in consequence is never forgotten!
How will our own society leave a lasting impression amidst a digital culture??
I was lucky enough to see the Summer Exhibition at the RA on my visit to London earlier this week. It was a real inspiration looking at the mix of professional and amateur work. The fact that just anyone can enter and the boost of being chosen must be a fantastic experience. The visit to the exhibition has spurred me on and I will look towards entering a piece of my own for 2017. The juxtaposition of the 'city' and organic offers a fabulous contrast. The possibility of having a piece of my own work 'made' up of only organic matter positioned in such a city scape such as London would truly be the icing on the cake!!!
Here are some favourite pieces of mine from the show:
1) Fagus II etching on beech leaves by Emma Buckmaster & Janet French
I was drawn to this because of its delicacy and the fact that real beech leaves have been used. It made me think 'how was this made? 'This is what I want people to ask themselves while viewing my work.
2) Apartment digital print by Seung Yeon Choi
This piece was an amazing play on perspective. At first glance it looked to be a textured 3D piece but on closer inspection it is in fact a digital print. Viewing it you realize you are looking at the outside of a window but looking closer the inside is the outside!!
3) Migration by Cathy copper, wire, Elastoplast, silk, pigment by Cathy de Monchaux
This was a rich collection of materiality in one contained 3D frame for me. It visually exudes a complex process of making. The physical hand work that has gone into producing this piece is stunning.
All of these works demonstrate my love of the aesthetic of dark and light contrasts. The need to take this further and explore other contrasts such as city/rural, fast pace/slow pace, organic/synthetic, cosmopolitan/unsophisticated is strong since my visit to London town!!
This visit to London felt different to the other times I have been. I have previously felt uncomfortable and in need to get back home pretty sharpish! This visit was different. For what reason I am not too sure but all I can say is that the 'London' vibe made me feel stronger as an artist and the way I practice. My approach and need to be constantly connected to the elements and organic matter as a way of expression and within an everyday context offers such strong contrasts between the 'city' and the 'rural'. Contrast is a strong feature of my work. Dark-light, strong texture-delicate texture, organic-technology, city-rural??!!!.
I think of Andy Goldsworthy's Snowball intervention.......you couldn't get more contrast.....snowballs within the city landscape on Midsummers Day!
Andy Goldsworthy 'Midsummer Snowballs' June 21 200
Samples of my work for the exhibition: Immersed Skeletal Leaf In Hand Made Paper Series & Singe Prick Series
I will be holding a joint exhibition with Paula Hickey on 3rd September. Although we both use different materials to produce our work we both draw inspiration from the land and the materials that landscapes present to us. I use raw matter and foraged materials whereas Paula uses traditional artist mark making materials such as charcoal, graphite pencil etc. We are both driven by the elements around us to inform expression; the texture and physical aspect of the land and the elements.It has been interesting how we have influenced each other's experimental processes over the past few months and how inadvertently we have both harnessed the rain to create expression......
'Created in response to the materiality of place and space within the natural landscape, the work explores the multi-layered relationships we have with our surroundings through creative enquiry. Both artists have similarities in their approach, primarily in their desire to evoke a sense of nature rather than a literal representation. Through their use of materials and process they echo themes of temporality, decay, rejuvenation and transformation.'
Paula Hickey 'Rain Circle' 2016 Carol Sowden ' Rain Particle Drawing' 2016
I have recently been exploring the more physical aspect of mark making. The hand and the tactile aspect of having raw clay and charcoal within my fingers, the movement, rhythm and natural expression that flows through and out of me becomes hypnotic. The materials crumble, melt and disperse within my fingers and onto the paper and i am directly connected with these materials and movement. Artist Heather Hanson uses her whole body to record kinetic movement......the large pieces of work record the movement of her body through charcoal held in her hands. It is great to watch how she immerses herself into this process....
I have just been writing a summary/evaluation of the module that is due for hand in next week. I wrote this sentence which i think defines the core aspect of my practice at this present time...........
' I feel my responsibility as an artist is; to harness the elements in order to create and visualise the aesthetics of presence and the fragility of life.'
MA Creative Practice