- In response to WordPress daily prompts I am an artist whose subject is ageing and how artists myself included deal with issues of ageing in their practice
- wrinkles and lines are part of the ageing process
- how do we represent these lines and folds in our skin
- how do we take our own experience of becoming older
- do we portray age in our practice?
- do we use the fun and carnivalesque as we draw the lines and wrinkles that are part of our presentation
It’s a complex issue about how much quantity of art to look at before it becomes overwhelming, whether it’s a better use of time to spend looking at one or 2 pieces of work in detail, or to go around one or 2 exhibitions to get an overall impression, but is guess it’s how it takes you.
I’ve just spent 2 days in London part with a group from university and part of the time on my own. Usually when I’m with others I go round exhibition more speedily. This time it was reversed. Maybe it was the character of the exhibitions we visited together influenced how the viewing was done. First starting at Tate Modern artist rooms of Bruce Newman and the monumental Joseph Beys. Then the exhibition at Tate Britain All Too Human so much Lucien Freud, then also part of the London Group of the 60s Micheal Andrews gentle painting, teaching his daughter to swim, Kossoff’s the swimming pool and the huge to my suprise Paula Rego. The luminosity of paint in Rego’s work which I had not seen before drew me in to just stand and stare, perhaps I’m answering my own question.
Then Wednesday starting the day in St. Paul’s cathedral communion, under the eye of Bill Viola’s martyrs. Looking and experiencing both physically and visually. It was apparently the feast day of St Perpetua a female martyr featured on Thought for the Day yesterday. what more could I do than look at Viola’s visceral images and participate.
It’s nearly 2 weeks since we returned from an amazing visit, that came out of the Blue. Friend Liz Smith had opportunity to sing as part of an international choir in Carnegie Hall, and her kind friends Revd’s Brenda Husson and Tom Faulkner offered accommodation to her and this unknown woman.
What an opportunity for me to see art! and the rest of New York. Tom as a sculptor offered daily advice on planning what to see which was appreciated greatly. My own photos seem to be very much the outside of buildings. Sometimes I was so overcome by the site of a work that I recognised. This particularly included the Whitney where a compilation of American art gave me a context, and there was Alice Neel’s Pat Wheelan union official and activist.
Look at his hands. You know how it is when you see something that is so real? so much to see in that exhibition and then also in the Whitney, ‘an incomplete history of protest 1940 to 2017, everything possible from Vietnam war protests, to Guerrilla girls, feminist action, Aids epidemic, black rights.
All so individually important in the history of civil rights.
Then to Moma with my niece Amy Scragg who just happened to be in New York at the same time, obviously Van Gogh’s Starry, Starry Night, rediscovery of Louise Bourgeois for textile artist Amy, and discovery for me of photographer Stephen Shore , this is beginning to sound like a travelog!
Then to PSI an addition to Moma, the retrospective on Carolee Schneemann, ‘Kinetic Painting‘, this extraordinary performance artist who used her own body to becoming the ‘image and image maker’and avant guard of the 60s 70 and 80s. Her film on making apple pie in the American meaning was quite hilarious,with all its connotations /America.
A trip with so many more discoveries that are impossible and too long to list, lots about American history, conflict, emergence of civil rights so much more, and in the present situation wow!
and then music Carnegie Hall, wonderful concert, and a play with history comedy and music, Farinelli and the King- Philip 111 of Spain madness eased by music, an actor and musician playing the part of the counter tenor by pairing and working symbiotically together.
Dissertation submitted following a really very interesting process, of reading and researching on how the contemporary artist deals with ageing and how that influences their emerging image. i looked at a range of artists including painter Mira Schor photographer Rosy Martin and a performance artist Suzanne Lacy.
I sense all i have done is begun a search and process as much for myself as the requirements of a degree.
I became aware of projects addressing the subject of how ageing women areare portrayed. including the representing ageing project set up in partnership with amongst others Sheffield university.
I continue working working on my own house and art space, including taking a window space out to let the light in, metaphoric! So I include this photograph of the light coming through the new window space as my own work of art in itself.
W,hat an experience, so much seen it’s overwhelming and now to reflect and think through.
From pylidda Barlow in the British pavilion, outstretched into every corner and space with colour and structure, fragile yet strong
Never been to Venice before so working out directions or more often following others. The shear volume of pavilions and indeed artworks at the main sites of Gardini and Arsenale, both with all the different countries pavilion. Highlights are many, so I can only give an impression, a snapsho, gosh this whole business of camera phones means that I collect all these images , the battery runs out and there is a blank space, what is the art!
Whether it is Ireland’s Jesse jones ‘tremble tremble ‘ an archaic witch figure requesting a transformation of history, or Russia with grey and white visions of totalitarian states, always a duality in both context and agenda.
Then the individual selected artists in the Arsenal, wonderful to find favourites like Kiki Smith with her light effemeral line, of female form questioning asking,new discoveries too, the work of Zilia Sanchez, a Cuban artist working away all her life it sounds like Phyllida Barlow suddenly rising to prominence in her late 80s. Or Damian Hirst answering his own questions about the art market with a huge monstrous structures of a fictitious treasure trove, that never was, and the finds that never could have been blazed, occasionally beautiful but undoubtedly questioning art.
And then the find of ‘Intuition’ at the museso fortunay http://fortuny.visitmuve.it/en/mostre-en/mostre-in-corso-en/intuition-exhibition/2017/04/17284/intuition-fortuny/ masterpieces hidden away against Fotunay stage sets. Cy Twombly, Picasso, Joseph beuys, the suggestions of Japanese art, names I don’t know
Back at Bath Spa again for the final part of my 3rd year of the Fine Art degree.
A dissertation to write and a presentation & new website to construct for Professional Practice.
Had a very art based weekend,
- Friday at Frieze Art Show
- Saturday morning stewarding at Black Swan Gallery in my nearly new home town of Frome. the amazing show by Gladys Paulus is just so evocative I will continue to tell everyone about. felt costume images of her family history
- Saturday evening at the PV for Wells contemporary art show WAC entitled Rewind Its basically a review of the recent winners of the competition following the death of Kate Noble who was a leader in its inception.
Where will my own art work feature in what I am doing as the Studio practice element of the degree is now complete.
To some extent there is a relief that I can just take sometime to consolidate without having to constantly put everything out there for scrutiny
Well practically all I have done re my own work is begun to create a new white base layer on a collage I completed sometime ago. and from here?
Well that’s part of my studio space as it stands at the moment . Better late than never!, This newish piece are the my 3 right feet, reflecting both the reality of the imperfection that comes with ageing, and issues surrounding coordination, in the studio this stands above and some work I’ve been trying with different grounds with added texture and a moving figure, you will see this later.
There’s so many fun comments coming from the idea of 3 right feet, thanks Gary Corbett for the yard one! I had thought I’ve got 2 left feet why not 3 right ones!
Also thanks to Ra about compliment re moving figure on yellow! But as I said you will see that later.
I also love colour, so the white background is a bit different for me, I’m naturally drawn to colour and the experience of vibrancy in everything I do. But humour will survice for now.