MA proposal – latest version

Unit 2: Project Proposal

 

Working title:

 

‘Human displacement and boundaries in our environment’

 

Aims:

 

A practice lead body of work that explores open ended questions of human displacement and the boundaries or borders in our environment

 

In my artistic practice I would like to explore the displacement of individuals that have been affected by social or political reasons. To see how the effects of war have lead to individuals and families unable to stay in their country and migrate to different places that they hope to be ‘safe’.

 

In my previous body of work before starting my MA I was influenced by where I was living at the time. There were a lot of homeless people that surrounded where I lived in central London. They were sleeping rough. I developed a body of artwork, ‘Homelessness and Perceptions of Reality’. It was challenging to deal with the subject matter to develop a way of working that was sensitive to the person.

 

I would like to continue to develop a body of work that engages with the social and political. Also, explore my experience of visiting a refugee camp.

 

In Unit 1, in the painting, ‘the Robot’ and video ‘No time for art’ I felt I couldn’t find the time for art and feeling robotic to my own art practice. At the end of Unit 1, I thought it would be best to have more time for my art practice and to feel less robotic try a new experience to feel more emotions again.

 

In Unit 2 my exploration in my practice was to slow down to really question my intention and to ensure the body of work is creating a language that reflects my idea. To slow down and take the time to draw and look for the visual language that helps explore the subject.

 

Objectives:

 

  1. Experience first hand people who are in a displaced environment
  2. Reflect on a personal journey to become aware of the sensitivity and develop further empathy towards the situation
  3. Understand the defence mechanisms of trauma to be able to enter an environment that is outside my personal experience
  4. Document my travels and experiences; sound recordings, film photography, digital photography, video and observational drawing
  5. Create a visual language that is sensitive towards the subject within my body of work
  6. Explore different art techniques; pencil drawings, painting, spray paint, printmaking, photography and film to resolve how to create a visual language
  7. Research artist or visit exhibitions that reflected on human displacement

 

Historical context

 

I would like to document Greece in different locations to reflect on the transit place for the refugees. I would like to reflect on the time of day and the environment that is their everyday experience. The time of day that represents the waiting and the buildings that is unoccupied but could be used to house people sleeping rough or in tents.

 

While reflecting on my previous MA proposal, it became clear that I want to understand more about human suffering and how this effects emotions or empathy. This idea has developed from my previous working title ‘if we are not as creative as possible we will turn into robots’ by society being structured in a way that it doesn’t allow for time to explore different possibilities or structures. The structure doesn’t easily give time to think deeply about broader issues or chance to explore different perspectives. With my time in Greece, hopefully I have helped in some way and also allow myself to feel more empathy for the circumstances.

 

In my research paper I gained more insight into Joseph Beuys and Anslem Kiefer artwork and how they reflect on history and society.

 

Kiefer felt it was important not to supress feelings from the war, and express his thoughts in his artwork that construct a reality that questions the past. Kiefer also looks at mythology in his practice. This inspired my practice by not being afraid to document the situation in Greece. That documentation is needed or different perspectives shared to create conversations. Greek mythology is also an area of interest, the power of nature that is beyond human control. There are so many open questions around mythology that there are no concrete answers. This is an area I would like to develop further and understand more in my practice to see on a different level how this can inspire. This is an area that may not get resolved in my MA course but a future plan.

 

Joseph Beuys believed that ‘every human being is an artist’ Beuys, J (Utopia at the Stag Monuments, 2018) and communicated this with posters that acted as social sculptures.

 

‘People need language to communicate, they use gestures, or writing, or leave a sign on a wall, or write letters with a typewriter. In short, they use some kind of method. What methods are to be used for political action? I have chosen art. Making art is thus a means to work in the field of thought…this is the most important part of my work. The rest, objects, drawings, actions, come later. I don’t have much to do with art. I am interested in art only in that it gives me the possibility to communicate with people’ (D’Avossa, 2013, p. 15)

 

Both these artists inspire my thought process by reflecting on our society and political events. It has also allowed myself to keep in mind the below questions while making art;

 

  • How political and social issues relates to my concept?
  • How nature and environment is impacted by social and political choices?
  • How mythology influences ideas and questions our history and reality?
  • How people are displaced by social and political events?
  • The Impact of traumatic events has on the individual?
  • Social and political structures that supress emotion?

 

Contemporary context 

In a contemporary context I am interested in artists that explore their own surroundings and how they process these thoughts and interests into their own practice. How they are able to create their own visual language to explore a sensitive subject matter or make sense of themselves in their surroundings. The artists are able to edit their own reality and make sense of this with a visual language.

The artists I am influenced by have explored areas in photography, painting, video and installation to interpret their surroundings and the past.I am inspired by artists; Justin Mortimer, Luiz Zerbini, Haegue Yang and artist that collaborate together David Blamdy and Larry Achiampong. The reasons each artists has influenced my art practice;

  • Justin Mortimer has different objects that are within the composition of his paintings; balloons, surgical bed, computer screen and a patient.  Mortimer is able to question different relationships in his work from balloons that are more likely seen at a party to contrast with cropped legs of a patient. It also contrasts styles from figurative detail to abstract images in the painting.
  • Luiz Zerbini looks at his surroundings and combines this in his paintings for example ‘a bird just appears on the window…’ and then‘I have some ideas and then I need to wait. For life comes through this idea, and make a lot of things happen during that period, that will finish the painting.’
  • Haegue Yang made drawings on a road trip, a bumpy road trip, drawing on tracing paper, ‘an abstract recording of her experience’ (as described in exhibition catalogue). This took place in a remote place in Japan while feeling carsick. This is why I am drawn to Yang’s artwork. To be able to create a physical or 2-Dimensional artwork that represents a time. How migration can be mapped with pattern and physical form. That this can have a historical link to the past and the present.
  • David Blamdy / Larry Archimpong video that has dialogue of stories from refugees that are very familiar to the dialogue that is exchanged from individuals that I have heard within my time in Greece. However, the way it is sensitive by an avatar walking through the landscape. No identitiy of the refugee has been released. “We didn’t want it to just be about our story, we wanted it to be about everyone who is at the sharp end of neoliberal politics – people at the borders or in carceration”, explains Blandy (exhibition booklet pg4)

 

Theoretical contexts

 

My art practice is developed and questioned by some of the below readings;

 

  • Art and fear
  • Speculative Everything

 

Methodology

  • Draw continuously to build up a visual language
  • Practice on wall my skillset to understand or experiment with spray paint
  • Physically print out photographs and understand if there are any associations or images that can make up one painting that summarises the area. The surrounding area can influence words in the painting and the nature can influence the mood around the building
  • Experiment with colour pencil to have more of an idea of the colours and layout
  • Work the painting to a certain stage that has a composition or feels like it is in the right direction structurally and the mood is at a certain point
  • Use spray paint to emphasis the atmosphere

 

Outcome

 

To create an exhibition space that is sensitive to the subject matter. Develop paintings that work as a series. Reflect on space to ensure that it is well balanced and it is a resolved body of work.

 

Work plan

 

 

February

  • 19thFeb – 28thFeb low residency. Reflect and write up notes from the two weeks

 

March

  • Workshop/introduction to etching printmaking to be able to use facilities
  • Experiment with photography film – play around with different film or expired film
  • Stretch canvas so it is ready to go
  • Explore artists that look at dystopia
  • Plan for pop up show
  • Read art and fear

 

April

 

  • Plan trip to Greece; ensure all checks are completed. Ensure CRB / First Aid / Questions and videos watched around understanding trauma (requirements for the organisation, Schoolbox)
  • Plan workshop with children
  • Write a personal journey about daily experiences
  • Draw daily
  • Organise photos, sound recordings, drawings from Kylinni
  • Visit different projects and organisations in Lesvos; Hope project and Low tech Makerspace
  • Take pictures of abandoned buildings with film and draw the buildings and surrounding environment

 

May

 

  • Experiment with spray paint
  • Experiment and decide what canvas size to use for exhibition
  • Colour pencil drawing to plan spray paint colours and help with layout
  • Find a visual language that expresses ideas of nature and building
  • Build the steps to have a series of paintings, plan ideas
  • Work out if it is possible to achieve an animation
  • Complete Symposium 2

 

June

 

  • Ensure all canvas is stretched and ideas are finalised on paintings
  • Visit allocated space
  • Work with space and hang paintings
  • Reflect on space and if possible create artwork that works with space
  • Install artwork

 

 

Bibliography

 

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Beuys, J. The Shock of the New – Ep  8 – The Future That Was. (n.d.) WantedRobot Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td3BCNRElPA[Accessed 24 Oct. 2018].

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