Monday, May 2, 2011

Mini Works - Grey Area - 26.04.11

Camilla Cannon - Downward Gazing Angel

The Grey Area is a small, dark, cavernous, basement gallery with three main rooms, a small space that links them together and an outdoor patio and stairway space. Our part time foundation group was given the gallery for the day during which we were given the task to curate and hang our Mini Works pieces together ready for the private view from 2.30pm onwards. With 32 people exhibiting in such a compact area communication and coordination was an important part of the day's exercise. As a group it felt as though we successfully navigated the sharing of this space and collaborated with each other to make sure that the show worked on an individual and collective level.

interior detail

As my first time group show, I was particularly interested in the curation side of things and how the choices involved in the hanging or placement of each piece within and outside the space had the potential to effect and enhance the nature, meaning and experience of the work. I enjoyed the overall variety and individuality of our group's output and particularly engaged with pieces that conceptually engaged with the brief or it's constrictions as well pieces which took advantage of the nuances of this particular gallery space.

Jason Tremlett - oil on card

Sophie Yesilyurt

left: Martin Tomlinson - 54, photo print . right: Miguel Ivorra

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mini Works

the mini works brief:

'You are to produce a piece of work no bigger than 20cm in any dimension.

This work should be a synthesis of your experiences and make a statement about yourself'.

Changing States

With this project I became interested in the visual representation of the repetitive, changing states of mind and the way in which we try to solidify our identity only to find that the illusion of self is constantly shifting and dissolving. The first stage of this project involved the shooting of an 8 minute short film whilst cycling, capturing my reflection in the surface of a circular, glass building complex. From here I selected and printed out a series of stills from the film footage and made them into the concertina book which I put into the group exhibit.

Through the creative process I became interested in the way in which the act of making work is a practice in and of itself and therefore becomes an integral part of the piece. Here my participation in real and recorded time whilst shooting the film; my physical presence, movement through space and state of mind in the moments of creation, though not directly visible in the gallery space are as important as the piece that was eventually displayed.

Being open to new ideas that come naturally and spontaneously in a given 24 hr period, and which often represent a significant and unexpected departure from premeditated solutions was also significant to the making of this piece as shooting this film was not a premeditated act. Something in the way my reflection was appearing and disappearing in the glass panels of a building whilst out cycling caught my eye and resonated with the essence of my thinking around this project. Here I was shown a spontaneous solution to the visual representation of my thinking, where I was participating in the act of creation in more of a direct way and unselfconscious way.

I've noticed and become interested in the meditative quality that arises in my practice when I am directly documenting or interacting with the world around me and the present moment e.g. taking photographs, drawing from observation, or as with 'changing states' cycling on my bike and filming. Through these acts of recording, my experience is being directly mediated, I am present and my mind is clear, engaged and concentrated. In this instance I also become a tool of mediation with eyes that see and select and a mind that is able to make conceptual connections.

The process of deciding what to exhibit in the Mini Works show was also an interesting learning experience. Here I had the choice of either showing the book or the unedited film as the final piece. Through discussion with my class mates I decided on the book even though the film also has a potential I would like to develop. In this instance though, the film became the primary research and the selection of the frames and the making of the concertina was the development that resulted in the final piece.

As I was making the book it became clear that this particular form complimented the concepts behind the work and hopefully helped to communicate them. In particular the ideas around framing, repetition, absence and presence. Watching the film I became excited by the idea that time cannot not be measured in physical space and that therefore this 4th dimension had the potential to subvert the brief we had been given. I felt that this subversion was also manifest in the final piece as the concertina folded up or opened and leafed through as a two page book complied with the 20cm by 20cm restriction but if opened to it's full length, which represented the stop motion passage of time, it contravened this restriction. A physical contravention to represent the subversive nature of time.