I've been working through ways of executing more 'painterly' work and concentrating on aspects of expression; throwing materials onto the paper in a looser flowing action and allowing materials to react and blend with each other. The previous experiments threw up some lovely organic markings that resonated lots of movement but I'm not too keen on the garish in your face aspect of the work and want to create a more subtle expression similar to the work above.
I've been really interested in JMW Turners work recently after watching the BBC programme 'Art That Made Us'. Turner is one of Olafur Eliasson's greatest influences and an interesting thing he said in relation to Turner's work was that '.... Turner paints what we cannot see' This concept is something I'm striving to realise in my work.
Reading the book 'How Turner Paints' he had an ability to express the environments he inhabited with such visceral effect capturing the huge shift in society happening within the early 19th Century and the Industrial Revolution. Turner could see the effect this change was having on our planet and our way of life. He expressed this change from a slower pace of life to the aggressive fast-moving impact of industrialization through his paintings capturing the atmosphere of the time and the places he inhabited. He was the first Environmental Artist!
Within this air of change his own way of working differently seems relevant. Experimenting with not always traditional painting materials, using what was to hand, thinking outside the box, throwing himself into his work physically and mentally reflects the huge times of change around him. It all strikes a chord with me and how he was able to create such visceral atmospheres within his paintings.
It all seems relevant to what we are living through today; the consequences Turner was warning us about, pandemic, climate change, war.........
We had a session with the performance artist Jamal Gerald this week. He pushed us into different ways of thinking about our work in a more sensory aspect asking us lots of questions which allowed us to think of different ways of expressing our work. The questions below are a snippet of what he challenged us with but some I'm going to answer briefly here as they define my practice and ways of working:
What do I want to say and why?
I want to portray the fragility and beauty of life with the use of the most basic of materials from the lands I inhabit in order to make the viewer look at the world around them differently and respectfully.
What am I making and why?
I am exploring paper- based drawing/paintings using materials sourced from the places I inhabit to feed my need to create works of literal mark making as opposed to ephemeral works that rely on photography to record their existence.
What do I want my audience to take away?
I want the audience to connect to the work on an aesthetic level, to wonder how it was made, to realize the importance of expression and influence others.
Do I care?
Yes, both positive and negative responses still mean the work has connected to someone!