I think that through my final peaces i have been successful in achieving what i first set out to do which is creating an ambiguity of relationship between the figure and ground. Through colour combinations and gestural marks i have created a distribution and balance of form. The compositions of the ink drawings are all inspired by collaged photographs of my own body layered over each other and i believe the sense of the amalgamated androgynous forms are apparent in my drawings. The ink drawings then lead us to the oil paintings which they inspired. I also think that the pieces are successful because although they are based on my figure that is not inherently obvious and the universally recognisable language of the human form asks the viewer to consider their own body and become aware of self.
I believe the way i have chosen to display my work also reflects this, the viewer is firstly confronted with a grid-like layout of a colourful, visceral, dismembered and emerging bodily imagery which is effective because it allows us to view them all at once, like a body of work or a study, this then directly leads the viewers eye line to the four large paintings on the wall which in contrast offers the viewer breathing space between each complicated composition. The paintings and drawings are hung at quite a height since i wanted the open and sexual compositions of the figures to confront the viewer at eye level, thereby having a more dominating and engaging effect. The colder paintings were placed in the sunlight as they could handle it without it reducing pictorial depth, the portraits of each pair of painting complement each other and the lilac branch of the light pink painting leads the viewers eyes to the lilac in the top left corner of the last painting which offers space before we enter the complexity of the last composition.
It is important to me that the viewer still gains a sense of the human figure in my painting. I don’t believe that a depiction of a body can be as objective as that of a chair or object. Both mediums of painting suggests figures engaging in the drama and tension of a human experience. The inks wet on wet look ad to the concept through it’s gestural fluidity and dynamism whilst also giving in to chance and accident. The oils show a stronger ambiguity of narrative and gender through the tonal balance and discord of complimentary colour and forms, this creates a confusion of pictorial depth with regards to the figures relationship to the room.
I wasn’t completely happy with my purple drawing to be displayed in the exhibition along side my oil paintings. I feel the composition of the figures were strong and the imagery of a mounting figure was powerful, I felt as though it was much to illustrative and not as well drawn as the others. It almost seem to give to much away to the viewers compared with the other drawings I had decided to show. Therefore I decided to work on a new one with a similar composition, however with this one I focused less on being completely descriptive and heavy with the ink and let the colour describe the figure whilst keeping the control of the ink to a minimum as I worked with wet on wet. The pink oil painting influenced me to keep the hues and tones subtle, working with pinks and purples mainly and keeping the change in tone to a minimum, I believe overall my second attempt was more fluid, abstract and subtle and therefore much more appropriate for my final piece composition.
After much consideration and speaking to my tutors i decided that this would be the best layout for my pieces. I feel as though my subtle pink painting works better on the wall with less light as it shows more depth. I think the natural light flattened it a little. I also feel as though the lilac tones of the piece then leads well to the lilac in the corner of red and orange piece and that along with the direction of the branch gradually eases the viewers eyes into the intense distortion of the right side of the painting. I feel as though they read well against each other. I also feel that the two blue pieces work well against each other and can handle the strong natural light without looking flattened. The portraits of the blue paintings complement each other and are more similar, and then the same goes for the portraits of the warmer toned paintings.
I have spent a lot of time moving my paintings around and changing their placement in order to consider every possibility of composition. I have decided that i would like to place two on each wall in order to utilise the space equally as i feel this would be the best way for the viewer to experience the paintings, ideally if i had more space i would have more of a distance between each painting to juxtapose the intensity of confusion of the composition in the paintings. It’s been rather difficult to decide which ones work better with which as theres many things to consider.. which work better in dimmer light, which correlate better in composition, weather i want the two blue paintings together or weather i want to separate the tonally warm paintings or keep them together.
Today i have been playing with the display and composition of my ink drawings and working out the means to which i will be hanging them. I have considered many methods go hanging and i have come to the conclusion that using pins would be the best option. Because the paper has been wet it’s become warped and using a frame or glueing the paper down would not work aesthetically. I also feel that due to the style that i have been applying the ink, the warped look of the paper adds to the fluidity and movement of my concept. In which case using velcro or magnets would also restrict the paper too much. With pins however it allows for the paper to be more malleable.
I have also decided that i want to work with a grid composition of six drawings with a couple of inches of breathing space between each piece. I have picked what i believe to be the most successful of my drawings and i have considered the balance of colour across my grid composition. placing colder tones on either side of central warm tones and making sure the ones of much stronger hues don’t make the others look washed out.
My practice currently involves working with the relationship between the human figure and its environment. I work from collaged photographs of myself to create drawings and paintings that suggest an ambiguity of gender and narrative which are further abstracted by the distortion of the surrounding scene into the figure. I attempt this by disrupting and balancing form, the use of discordant colour combinations and expressive gestural marks. Through the universally recognisable use of the human form the audience is invited to reflect on their own corporeality and physical presence in the world.