Psychoanalysis and phenomenology focus on the body as it is experienced, whereas the inscriptive model is more concerned with the process by which the subject is marked , scarred, transformed and written upon or constructed by the various regimes of institutional and discursive powers.
Our bodies are storehouses of inscriptions and messages between our internal and external boundaries. Medical processes of removal and addition as well as cultural signs on the surface of body such as clothing, make up and living spaces all mark our bodies. These become like coded signs, often of a social nature.
How do these thought contribute to my practice? I have been incorporating geometric forms to curved aspects of the bodies internal organs. Attempting to analyse the bodies boundaries in terms of its boundaries and zones to show how each system is in a perpetual motion and interrelation with the other. Looking for signs, codes and synchronicity in the outside world with our internal states fascinates me.
I have not written in my blog since completing my MA which is now six months ago. I write in sketch books all the time and realise that by publishing my thoughts to a wider audience the context of what I do changes.
I hope to continue studying Art at PHD level and am currently formulating my research ideas. How are our bodies Liminal spaces? A transitional place or territory?
Deleuze’s notion of the body as something beyond categorisations whose boundaries and organs are open and mutable interests me.These boundaries have moments of detteritorialization and flow, acceleration and rupture.
In my practical work since my MA I have begun using imagery from old medical books . The cutting out and changing of these medical illustrations has given my work a self made structure. Using fine medical tubing I have stitched through the paper giving a sense of flow to the work. The medical world with it’s interventions of man made materials interests me. The edges of materials and the way they meet create spatial metaphors that are sometimes not immediately apparent. The fragility of these boundaries between inside and outside continues to represent a kind of hinge between a lived interior and the outer surface of our bodies.
This week has been installing the MA show which means the MA cohort met in person for the first time. The work is all now in place and as a group we are all going to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
It has been an intense and rewarding few days where the display of my work has changed several times. Originally I planned to hang my work in folds; this worked well but the sculptural work needed to tie into the drawing more. On the last day of installing a new tutor came he came with fresh eyes. We discussed the importance of the drawers that I originally wanted to use. The tutor suggested removing their handles and to sand down the surface. The board underneath the drawing was lifted for the drawer to poke out from with the sculpture in it.Finally the drawing fell down when the tutor pulled it falling in a way which seemed to work ! I was unsure whether to leave it but felt it was more reflective of the ambiguou folding of the body that I had been exploring.
Reflecting on where I am before setting up the exhibition in Barnsley I feel I have learnt a lot about myself and how I work as an artist. Researching the Liminal spaces of the body in relation to Art and medecine is an area that is in constant change and flux and an I hope to clarify my focus over the summer by writing a PHD proposal . Reading university has agreed to help me put together a suitable proposal to work in conjunction with a joint supervised PHD with the Tate. I am excited at this prospect and I feel this is the right way forward for me. Research in relation to my chosen area will allow me the time and space to develop and nurture my practice.
I am currently thinking about how to display my work for my MA exhibition in June; in particular the sculptures. All my work has been made at home rather than in a studio; which can create restrictions. I am constantly thinking about the space in which I work and how it effects my practice. The home has become a space that incorporates my work and therefore becomes one with it. I am wondering how by removing the work from the place in which it is made how it will change. Will it work?
I have started to photograph the work in different spaces in the home to consider their surrounding space more. It is making me consider bringing perhaps drawers to display them in.
Yesterday was spent visiting London galleries, firstly Alison Watts exhibition at Paraffin in West London. The starting point for her new work is Venus Frigada (1614) by Peter Paul Rubens. Her paintings have titles such as Venus(2015), Slip (2015) and Moor (2015) where the human form is suggested in an ambiguous manner.
I was surprised about a number of things; firstly the scale of the work is much smaller than I expected. In Star (2015) and Sphere(2015) Watt paints a sphere. In Star a white, solid ball and Sphere a black, blurred sphere or hole. White is the predominant colour in her fabric paintings which I have been drawn to because of her depiction of the fold. Up close there are subtle colours such as yellow and pink and they posses more texture in their surfaces than is evident in the reproductions. The edges of her paintings are less finished: the ‘edges’ of the composition are also the internal edges around the dark openings of the folds.
The second exhibition which I came across was Michael Joo at BLAIN/SOUTHERN an unplanned visit but an interesting one. His materials include silver nitrate, epoxy ink, quarry marble and steel.The silver nitrate gave a mirrored, refractive surface to his canvas’. His Caloric Tray Paintings are made from using old, commercial baking trays that have a caloric value stamped on. The number of calories were calculated by Joo on the number of calories individuals expend performing various actions. Each mirrored tray is hung at height level creating a self portrait for each viewer. This for me was only clear after reading the information provided by the gallery. Joo is interested in energy and transformation and I found his use of silver nitrate particularly beautiful.
The last exhibition that I saw was by Mark Wallinger at Hauser & Wirth; his new paintings are called the id paintings which are a record of actions that appear to be intuitive. Freud claimed that the id is driven by the pleasure principle and that it is the source of all psychic energy. They are huge paintings that are the same height as Wallinger with his arms stretched. Walllinger uses symmetrical body gestures on the two halves of the canvas to mirror one another. References are being made to the bilateral symmetry of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” and to the Rorschach test.
Wallinger has sculpture and video work in another building at Hauser & Wirth called the South Gallery. “Superego”(2016) is a mirrored piece that is inspired by the revolving new Scotland Yard sign. It’s constant rotation symbolises the ceaseless vigilance of the police.
“Shadow Walker” (2011) captures Wallinger’s shadow walking along Shaftesbury Avenue. This piece is reminiscent of a modern-day Peter Pan and his lost shadow.
Yesterday we had small group Crits where we discussed each other’s work; this was done by listening to each other’s views on our work. We had sent our artists statements out earlier so we had had time to write notes.
Unfortunately we had internet problem; and I only managed to listen to one persons presentation and to present my work. This was very frustrating but luckily i was sent the chat box. It is so helpful hearing others views and gave me plenty of feedback.
Some of the comments were as follows:
I want to touch the inflated bags, beauty in the detail, coherent flow, organic, disturbing, latex bags are like containers, liquid, translucent,like a scorpion’s tail.