Over the last few weeks I have been working on stretching, preparing and painting on canvas to explore my MA Proposal in more detail.

I feel in a way, it is difficult subject matter, and different process to visually explore. It is a challenge, my usual way to create artwork is to be confronted by a place or someone locally and take a photograph. This is how I developed ‘Homelessness and Perception of Reality’. It was more of an organic process of being overwhelmed by the amount of homeless people on our streets.

To explore my MA proposal, I firstly wanted to look at the treatment to aboriginals and the history of Australia. The only logical way to explore this is without being overwhelmed is to start at the beginning and paint a visual journey from the first settlement to today. Then I can reflect on different moments within the history.

The first painting, ‘Man in the Sky’ or ‘Hangman’ (title not locked down) is the option faced by those who committed crimes in the UK.


I have been influenced by Kinetic Art, looking closely at Bridget Riley’s paintings and the figures that are in the animation by  Len Lye ‘Rainbow Dance’, which is within a previous post. I feel this style works really well in moving image, and aesthetically I think it allows for images to move through time with a rhythm.

In the essay ‘Creating a way of looking’ by John Elderfield allows you to understand the different layers of Bridget Riley’s paintings. In the way her painting style changes, challenges identity and perception.

Henri Matisse, Jazz, 1947

‘Success = Prison. And the artist must never be a prisoner. Prisoner? An artist must never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of a style, prisoner of a reputation, prisoner of a success, etc… Didn’t the Goncourt brothers write that Japanese artists of the great period changed their names several times during their lives. I like that: they wanted to protect their freedoms.’

T.S. Eliot, 1944

‘history is merely the chronicle of human devices which have served their turn and been scrapped, one for which the world is the property solely of the living, a property in which the dead hold no shares’

In a sense I don’t want to be a prisoner of the past, with looking at the historical events and painting these. However, to move forward I think it is important to reflect on the past, then it enables yourself to look to the future to explore potential abstract thought.

The contrast of painting, which is an old medium and running parallel with moving image will hopefully allow development to cross over and ideas will be able to be deconstructed. I would like to read the other essay’s mentioned in this essay by Bridget Riley:

  • Perception is the Medium
  • Creating a way of Looking


Recently I visited Sokolowsko in Poland which is close to the Czech Republic boarder. My partner and I are renovating a flat in this village. Within this village is the below building:








Function of the building

  • 1855 tuberculosis sanatorium
  • After World War II – changed to the treatment of respiratory disesases
  • In recent years – a health resort
  • 2005 – a fire occurred
  • 2007 – Situ Contemporary Art Foundation

Situ Contemporary Art Foundation have restored part of the building,

‘Currently the main objective of the Foundation is rebuilding the burned down, historical Dr. Brehmer Sanatorium in Sokołowsko, and creating there the International Cultural Laboratory (Laboratory of Visual Art, along with building a contemporary art collection, Film Laboratory, Architectural Prototype Laboratory).’

The Film laboratory is inspired by Krystof Kieslowski who spent his childhood years in Sokolowsko.

For more details, please take a look at their website if you would like to read more about their festivals and exhibitions

Situ Contemporary Art Foundation also have another building, Rozanka. There are different exhibition spaces and on the top floor is Bozenna Biskupska’s studio. We were lucky enough to view the artwork on display. On the day we were in her studio, she was working on a 2m sculpture.

The artwork that I found really inspiring was when the was the abstract figure paintings and then nearly 20 years later, Bozenna was revisited the work and created an installation of the figure. Please see photos below:









This was inspiring because it made me reflect on what I could recreate from existing paintings. I would like to experiment with my painting ‘No time for Art’ by redrawing and deconstruct the image. I would then like to play around with After Effects.

No time for art

After Effects Excercises

I decided to learn After Effects at City Lit. I have been completing a course for the past 4 weeks on a Friday evening for 3 hours. It is with John Horabin, a Stop Motion Animator.  The class is set up with a large projection on the wall with us following John in After Effects. He is very passionate about animation and the energy that is created through very clear instruction and at a fast pace really makes you engage and pick up the basic skill set. I researched his work and it is really impressive how he is able to bring to live clay models. Please see an example of his work:

This is what we have learnt in the different weeks:

Week 1 – animation transformations, animate to position, keyframes to new position and orient to path

Week 2 – VFX project, images are provided creating complex layers in the timeline, sizes of the stage, short cuts and keys, playhead, resize duration of layers, scale, duplicate layers, directional blur affect, time stretch, ram previews, reposition files in terms of their start and end points in time and blending modes.

Tower from Vanessa Gould on Vimeo.

Week 3 / Week 4 – mask tools, shapes and motion graphics. Masks – feathering / expansion or contraction, some different blending modes, pen tool, understanding that shape tools don’t pixellate, auto trace, animate free hand shapes


star from Vanessa Gould on Vimeo.

Robin Hood from Vanessa Gould on Vimeo.

Fight Club from Vanessa Gould on Vimeo.

Edward Scissor Hands from Vanessa Gould on Vimeo.

Chicago from Vanessa Gould on Vimeo.

Mapping of art practice

At the moment I have two parallel worlds going on. I have the drawing / painting running parallel with the digital, playing around with After Effects. In terms of my own Art Practice I want to continue working this way to create some fluid links and differences. It is a way to explore further and not lose momentum.

My other parallel world running side by side is my MA proposal which raises questions around language and Australian history. On the other side is the theory behind the digital world of moving image. To be able to understand the history of artists, that have artistically moved things forward with animation. Then learning how drawing can be animated into a visual idea.

I will create a series of paintings that is reflected from my MA proposal and then create digital work from reading and learning about the history or art of moving image / animation.  I think from experimenting in this way will really highlight the issues around my initial MA proposal and allow myself to create a version two of my proposal.

I want to create a lot of experimentation and continue developments.However, it feels like there is not enough cross over.

I have simplified what I mean by this with where I presently sit and where I would like to be in the future with the diagram below:



It was a great day out in Margate visiting Turner Contemporary. Their currently exhibition is the Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’. It is a collection of artwork that has been chosen by a Research Group that reflects on the poem by T.S Eliot.








Left: Vibeke Tandberg
The Waste Land, 2007

I really enjoyed these collages of looking at the words in ‘The Waste Land’ It really did consume my attention to look at the frequency of the words. The way it had been collaged together and how clean and aesthetically the text was working together in groups and columns.

Right: Cy Twombly canvases

I thought Cy Twombly paintings were interesting with the large scale and daubs of paint. Finding out more detail around these paintings they reflect on the different seasons and this is highlighted with the different colours used. It also reflected in the poem, which is very descriptive of the locations.

Quote from ‘The Waste Land’

‘Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.’
I really loved looking out at this sculpture by Antony Gormley from the shore near Turner contemporary. Just seeing the torso emerge from the sea was interesting to reflect on nature, with the change of time of how the tide comes in and out. When we first arrived it was around mid morning and the sculpture was not visible, it was to the end of the day around 4.30pm where the torso began to appear from the water. I would really of liked to see the full sculpture but just seeing part of the sculpture really felt like you were watching a mystical.