Saturday, 24 October 2009

Clinton's advice

As part of wacky week I signed up for tutorials with Mack and Clinton.
Yesterday there was only a few of us with Clinton, and instead of launching into our silence project straight away we had a good chat about work placements, other work we were doing and where we wanted to end up. Clinton gave us some great advice, told us to re-evaluate our skills and try to imagine where we think we want to go when we finish uni. He advised us to make sure that by christmas that we had a strong idea of the direction that we wanted out work to go in. This was not meant to mean that we should pigeon hole ourselves or narrow our options, but to make sure that we know what are strengths are and what we want to get out of this degree.

This tutorial really helped me clear my mind and summarise everything that i've been thinking about since summer. I have been slowly, and without realising it, drifting away from being so set on advertising. This is a scary prospect! It's not that I have ruled it out, I still think my strengths lie in idea generation and I love the psychology behind it, it's just that I want to do something more. I don't want to sit at a desk and be an idea machine, I want to meet clients, solve real problems, work on things that I care about and work with people who I have chemistry with. Clinton said that we should see ourselves as 'creatives' that can actually work in a number of jobs and places, create work for ourselves and be very adaptable to different situations.

We discussed that sometimes it's difficult to know the exact jobs out there and what they actually entail outside of the obvious ones. Clinton told us it's really important to research out who is in industry, what their jobs are, which are the jobs you want to do and how did they get there?

This tutorial helped me so much I feel a lot less scared about confronting the real world but more importantly, i'm quite excited that my life is not mapped out and I don't know what's going to happen or where it might lead any more!

Data Flow

Wow this book is amazing! I got it out the library hoping for some inspiration in the next step of my Silence project and it totally surpassed my expectations. I would recommend anyone to have a flick through it whatever they are interested in.

As I mentioned on another post (Girl Power) I have been trying to think of ways to represent how important my summer placement was to me and just how much it has impacted my work and my future. I want a way to visually document my journal and intertwine my practical and contextual and written work together. This book has given me a lot of starting points!

Girl Power

Well it's nice that so far that two of our guest speakers have been past graduates and that they are both girls. It seems a lot like the girls who graduate each year are at the top of the class, getting the best grades and making exciting work - but why are there so few successful and established women designers in the industry? Hopefully, people like Libby Scarlett and Nicola Rowlands are setting new trends and opening new doors to show that the women are just as talented as the men out there!

Libby Scarlett:
I remember admiring Libby's work last year before I knew who she was - her style is very appealing to me. I like the conceptual basis of all her work and the quite simple minimalist finish which is so clean and clear. I like how she works across so many media - it is about what best conveys the idea.

My favourite bit about Libby's work is her ability to contextualise but also to find interesting ways of document everyday things in a creative way. I hope that I can take a leaf out of Libby's book and always go the extra mile to really express everything... Like she said in the lecture, I also really enjoy the Journal and essay side of the syllabus and I am going to make sure I try to use my strengths in order to make these something more and an important link with my practical work.

A creative piece to go with her essay_

Nicola Rowlands:
Her work is very different from my own style but I do like the hand drawn natural quality to it. I especially liked the way she uses words I think she has quite a unique style in doing this!
My favourite piece of her work was this illustrated map she made for someone at the BBC. I like it because it doesn't look like something the BBC would produce and its fresh. Some information can be so boring and necessary and I think she's done a good job of turning it into something useful and interesting. I have been looking at a lot of mind maps and ways to map and illustrate my thoughts and journeys - all the things that feel really significant but are somehow very hard to express!

One last point to make is how comforting it is to talk to people who have survived graduation and the transition into real life. For most of second year a huge part of me was petrified of third year. My whole life has been education and the thought of the next step and actually putting everything you've learnt into practice is a daunting prospect! I have started to calm down for a number of reasons, and hearing from people just a year a head of us is a big big help!

le scaphandre and la papillon

le scaphandre and la papillon - Directed by Julian Schnabel
''Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he'd only visited in his mind.''

I remember this film being at the cornerhouse and I very nearly went to see it but never got round to it. I can't believe I didn't know what I was missing out on. As everyone has said, this is an absolutely beautiful film, perfectly directed and it so captured Bauby's experiences and emotions.

I know many people have said that they found this film an emotional roller-coaster, but for me, although it was a very touching and tender memoir, I didn't cry, and I'm a crier! I felt all the way through that Bauby was a very strong character before his stroke so I have to admit I never felt pity. His tone of voice - the dialogue he continues to have through the film that no one else can hear, was always sarcastic and humorous. Yes he did go through the self pity, I want death thoughts but somehow the overwhelming feeling that I got from him was realisation and a stark take on reality, and above all defiance.

The fact that he died 10 days after his book was published is a miraculous true story which made everything he did seem even more an act of enormous strength and self preservation. I think that human will power and strength can be an incredible thing that can allow people to hold onto life until they have accomplished what they need to.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Tate Liverpool

Liverpool continued!
Here's some stuff I found at the Tate... Again I've tried to select just the best bits, the stuff I really liked.
The first few things are really relevant to my silence project and will be reappearing in my sketchbook!

David Lamelas - Time
Each person has to count 60 seconds before they turn to the next person. A visual way to record the movement of time. I guess time could be thought of as silent - a clock ticks but time itself just goes on and on without any interruptions, it doesn't make a sound yet it dictates everything.

Francis Alys - A personal repertoire of possible behaviour while walking the streets of London town.
I really love this work (there were many of them but I can't find images). Posed scenarios of a journey around town displayed next to a list of verbs which all could describe what is going on. The work is simple and beautifully presented and links with my silence ideas.
Luis Camnitzer - sentences
'Six chrome plated cubes each with an inscription describing a visual situation in raised typeface.' I have a lot more research into this artist to do - what I've seen so far has really inspired my project.

Rebecca Horn - pencil mask
This looks quite sinister in the picture - maybe its meant to - but the mask fits perfectly on the artists face and she used it to draw. I'm not sure what it was that drew me to this concept, I like the fact that the marks would be different for every face, that they respond to the way that your body moves. You could never create the same drawing twice.

Richard Artschwager - tower 2
This tower is about communication. When two people talk through the wall the artist leaves only space for the face to be seen, highlighting the eyes and mouth and forcing them to focus on this. In my project, working with words, I want to experiment with removing all of this communication, to see how it effects people's personal interpretations.
Richard Long - Here the artist records his journey in writing with one line of physical descriptions and one with descriptive imagery.
Another piece which really caught my eye - Robert Morris - location space. Little indicators on each edge adjust to the space which the work is placed to measure how far away it is.

Allen Jones - chair

Antony Gormley - Three ways, Mole hole and passage

John Coplans - self portrait
Jeff Koons - Three ball equilibrium tank

Bob and Roberta Smith - Make Art not War
Bruce Mclean - pose for work on plinths
'Iconic and humorous commentary on what he considered to be the pompous monumentality of Henry Moore's large plinth based sculptures. Use of plinths is a reference to the dogmatic rejection of plinths as a legitimate base'

Charles Ray - Plank Piece

Dan Flavin - creates pieces of work that are dictated by the place they are to be exhibited. In the corner of Tate, the dimensions mean that it can hang in the middle of the wall with no support from below or above. The cross shape has no symbolic reference.
Heinz Mack - Light Dynamo
The best optical illusion I've ever seen!!
Helen Chadwick - Ego geometria sum : The labours

John Davies - The redeemers
extremely creepy, I found this very difficult to look at!!

Julian Opie - You see an office building

Edgar Degas - Little dancer aged 14

Man Ray - indestructible object
This object was made by Man Ray when Lee Miller left him. It is her eye attached to a metronome creating a beating, pulsing object that could watch him while he worked.

Michelangelo Pistoletto - door
This door is about personal identity in a world full of symbols and signs. I just realised when looking him up that I posted some more of his work earlier that was at the London Tate gallery.

Reg Butler - girl on a round base

Richard Serra - patience
This reminded me of a massive cliff face/mountain on a dark night, with two figures making their way across the top. I have no idea why.

Ron Mueck - ghost
I've seen some of his work last year in London at an exhibition called 'statuphilia'. His work is so lifelike but always the scale or shape is out of place. I don't usually particularly like work that places with scale, but his work is so effecting.
Rene Magritte - The future of statues

Thomas Demand - Zeichensaal (draft room)

Thomas Schutte - untitled

Yayoi Kusama - the passing winter
What struck me about this mirrored box, something I had never thought about with reflections like this, is that they are infinite. That just completely blows my mind!!

I got so much out of this trip it was a really productive day. The exhibition was split into three sections and layed out very nicely... particularly the 'remixed' part. This room was transformed into a silent disco complete with music choice, dance floor, and disco lights. It explored the human body and how it has been represented in sculpture throughout the ages. It was a refreshing change from the norm and we had a nice little boogy!

A sting of Passion

I went to Manchester Gallery to see the Goya exhibition, but I came across 'A sting of passion' first and the gallery shut by the time i'd finished so I didn't end up looking at that. I really loved this exhibition though!

The exhibition is based around 12 of the galleries pre-Raphaelite paintings, all depicting strong and powerful women. 'There can be no doubt, these women are dangerous. They appear to have an hypnotic power of men which serves to highlight his vulnerability.'

In response to these paintings, 12 jewellery artists have created work which can only be described as on the 'fringe of jewellery', based on their experience and feelings about the paintings.

apologies for bad photos, no flash allowed.

Joli Couer - which means pretty heart, refers to both the girls beating heart and the necklace she is wearing. Marianne Schliwinski has tried to interpret the girls sexuality and seduction in to her jewellery.

Above is a painting which was based on the Bible story 'The foolish virgins'. The virgins are given oil lamps, but this girl wastes her oil and so cannot find her way to the party in the dark. When she finally arrives, she is locked out. The jewellery Sarah O'Hana has designed is a keyhole and prism, so the distressed girl can look into the party. Strange!Sappho was a greek poet who wrote about love, yearning and reflection. Painted here by Charles - August mengin, she is about to throw herself into the sea because of an unrequited love. The bracelet by Jivan Astfalk is in the form of a written line from one of Sappho's poems to Aphrodite.

Ophelia is a character from Shakespeare's Hamlet. Driven mad by Hamlet's murder of her father and rejection of her love, she is about to drown. The concrete necklace below is inspired by prison walls, the glass shards represent the violence and oppression she has suffered. Will she sink or swim?

Hylas and the Nymphs - Hylas is enticed into the pool by the water nymphs and is never seen by his friends again. George Manilla has created brooches made from fragile bone to represent the deathly allure of the nymphs, oval shaped refering to the intimate female form.

The first femme fatel, Eve, she is persuaded by the snake to take the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Arek Wolski has taken a light hearted approach and created an item of clothing that reads 'Lust forever'.
Vivian was an evil enchantress who entrapped the magician Merlin by misusing his spells. Bettina Speckner based her brooch on this poem:

The lady of the lake
Everything faces everything
The woods and the waters
Man and woman
Good and Evil
Faith and will
Everything is one.

I particularly enjoyed this exhibition. I like the concept of commissioning new artists to respond to original work. These paintings are so full of stories and symbolism, and I think this work refreshes their beauty and brings them into the 21st century. I like the way the paintings were displayed with the jewellery in front of them and the background to the stories, and the fact you could see the originals also in the gallery. I think this was quite a unique exhibition!

I love the idea that the original paintings were interpreted mostly from literature. Each artist read and connected with the stories in their own minds and then responded with their own interpretation. Its interesting that most of these paintings have shaped our visuals of these stories to this day - if we had to picture Eve, most of us would draw her naked with long red hair, because that is how art shows her. But these images began as unique visions in the mind of the artist based on words written down. This is really relevant for my silence project - it has helped me to start thinking about in some new ways.

Injustice - a visual poem about freedom and injustice based on talks with a historian about the slave trade. Each letter is individually designed to make a statement.