Yesterday evenings MA meeting with Angela Rogers was on approaches to academic reading and writing. We were looking at various articles and writing. We were asked to consider our hopes and fears and the importance of developing our own voice and style. Reading widely to write better a wide range of texts, novels, journals and essays. If what we are reading is not feeding you then stop; this I felt was good advice.
Our first piece of text was by Michael Glover about A Wall In Naples 1782; a painting by Thomas Jones. This had been looked at last year and people agreed that the writer had no real relationship with the painting.
The next piece of text was by Donna Tart on The Goldfinch, a painting by Fabritius. In this piece of writing we are asked lots of questions which personalises the writing. Tart draws the reader in and engages the reader.
We were asked next to think of a piece of art that had excited us and to write in the present as if experiencing it now. We were given 10 minutes to write 100 words. After reading out what we had written we were asked to cut it down by about 20 words and to improve what we had written.
I chose a piece of work by Eva Hesse called “Hang Up”, This is my edited piece of writing:-
Hang Up consists of an empty picture frame painted white to grey; extending from it is a steel tube which reaches onto the floor and returns to the frame.This is a piece of art that could be both a painting or sculpture. It has an awkwardness which questions its own role.
The steel tube seems to break out of the frame whilst remaining attached.
This piece intrigues me with its empty picture frame and simplicity.
Our next piece of writing was by Suzi Gablick Chapter 5 : Deconstructing aesthetics Orienting towards the Feminine Ethos, which we had to summarise:
Gablick writes about art in relation to our current aesthetic model and how she feels it is outdated. She talks about how it requires therapeutic attention; by which I feel she is relating to an art practice that is concerned with people and their environment. A more naturalistic view of art practice that is sensitised to our current place in society and the world; is what Gablick hopes to encourage.
Now my paintings are in place for three weeks I have to ask the question, Who is it for? I hope that it is not just me that gains from the making and display of the work. Interaction is essential otherwise we are working in a vacuum. I intend to send some photographs of my work to ACE ( Art & Christianity Enquiry as they expressed an interest in what I was doing when I emailed regarding exhibiting in Churches.
Today I attended the service of Remembrance at St Nicholas with my family. The service was personally emotional and having my paintings around me was a strange feeling. Because of the nature of the service I was unable to gauge what people thought of my work or whether they even noticed them! There was so much content to the service that people’s attention were focused inward. It made me think how in formal settings we are often less relaxed and possibly aware of our immediate surroundings.
I left a comment book and my bookmarks with a statement explaining my work but again as the service continued outside to the war memorial I don’t think anyone would have had time to write a comment.
I do feel relieved that the work seemed to work in the space. The experience has tested me and brought to my attention how in a religious setting contemporary art can give a new or different element to the space.
Today I installed my paintings at St Nicholas’ in Hurst. I felt anxious about how they would look in a Church setting and how I would display them. Luckily the church wardens helped me and allowed me to place the four paintings under each window.
The light from the windows helped to show the paintings and provided a backdrop to them. The Church is quite dark inside and the paintings needed to be seen from a higher angle than if they had been placed on the floor against a wall.
I have had bookmarks made and left them next to a comment book at the entrance of the Church.
The service tomorrow is a Remembrance service and I did not feel it would be appropriate placing a bookmark in the hymn books as the service is too specific. The wardens have said that I can leave the work up for three weeks which will allow for more audience interaction.
I felt so relieved to have put the work in place as there are so many different aspects to showing work in a religious setting. I feel more confident in considering approaching different venues to show my work and want to become more involved and active in this way.