(Current Studies, by blog description (2015-16)) - Click on each label to see corresponding posts!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Start of the final year of my BA (Hons) Degree Studies

Today marked the start of my final year of study for my degree in contemporary fine art and illustration.

I am conscious that this year my regular blogs will need to adapt in their writing style, so that I report back a clear reflection of the development of my ongoing research into the areas of interest that I would like to engage myself in, (I suspect for many years to come), but also to critically assess my thoughts together with the feedback from both tutors and other students, during critiques as we work together towards our final Gallery degree show destined for June 2016.  I am also conscious that I need to explain how I respond personally both positively and negatively about the feedback I receive from anyone, and in any form, whether it is in a formal setting, or perhaps a throw away comment in a corridor.

Whilst I have spent a fair amount of time during the summer vacation to, as it were, 'set my stall out', my overall objectives still remain the same, in that I want to immerse myself within the artistic study of a field of interest that I have entitled "Things left behind".

I believe that this title encompasses a very rich source in order for me to exercise my artistic endeavours.  As I have muted in previous paragraphs, it is likely that this field of study will engage my interest far beyond my degree course and graduation.  A major influence who has been present in my mind for much of last year, is the contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer. (See my essay at http://grahamhadfield-contemporaryfineart.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/artist-review-anselm-kiefer-scale-and.html)   I see Kiefer's works as a wonderful example where an artist has devoted himself and his life, to the deeply moving, sensitive and intellectually absorbing relationship of national and later universal grief. (See further narrative of a Gallery visit of Kiefer's work at the Tully Museum, Carlisle - http://grahamhadfield-contemporaryfineart.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/anselm-kiefer-exhibition-gallery-visit.html during my summer vacation.

There are a number of other contemporary artists who are also exploring this genre.  For example, the renowned Japanese photographer Ishiuchi Miyako, who has also made extensive and almost lifelong studies of the effect of national grief, as a result of the detonation of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima. (See "Things Left Behind", 2013, A Japanese film by Miyako, Ishiuchi and Monitachi, Nokosareta). The American film-maker, Linda Hoaglund has also studied these works which seek to disconnect the tragedy of the catastrophe on 6th August 1945, with  the every day lives of it's victims.

It is this disconnection from the immediate narrative, that I too, am interested in.

In my investigations, my objective is not to specifically engage directly in the subject of grief itself, but to suggest within my work the opportunity for grief to be part of the narrative that a spectator may take away, as part of their own search for meaning and explanation of my art.

It's worth pointing out, I am keen to disengage myself from an 'envelope' genre of contemporary art, which comes under the heading of "Found Objects".     I'm not interested in rubbish.  Such things are discarded, they no longer have an intentional purpose.  My body of work will explore possibilities of 'why' and 'what' that are open-ended.

My major project - "Things Left Behind" is therefore an exploration of traces.  Traces of people and traces of their existence.  Ultimately, one could say that this is what art is.  This is what drawing is.  We leave our mark.  I want to record that, just as artists have done since the cave paintings and clay sculptures left behind by the early hominids before.

I am a member of the Association of Illustrators (Student) – Varoom - This is an excellent source of contemporary debate for commercial and artistic influences generally for Illustration.  It also provides agency assistance and commercial literature for contract definition etc...   
With regards to the contexts of Contemporary Art,  ‘current’ sources constantly explored are the internet, (e.g. Turps Banana, This is Tomorrow, Tate, / Tate shots, Google, and other general search engines).  As a mature student I have acquired a modest library of books, periodicals and literature which will also form the backbone of my research tools.  Key books I consider as vital for this year are;
The Drawing Book, (2007) Tania Kovats. 
The Primacy of Drawing, (2010) Dianne Petherbridge. Yale.
Everyday Life – (2006), Sherringham, M. Oxford University Press.
Art and Photography, 2014 (5th Ed. 2003), David Campion, Phiadon Press.

Further key works of reference are / and will be;
Arasse, D. (2001). Anselm Kiefer. London: Thames hudson.​
Aristides, J. (2006). Classical Drawing Atelier. New York: Watson Guptill Publications.​
Aristides, J. (2011). Lessons in Classical Drawing. New York: Watson Guptill Publications.​
Collin, C., Grand, V., Benson, N., Ginsburg, J., Lazyan, M., & Weeks, M. (2012). The Psychology Book. London: Dorling Kindersley Ltd.​
Costello, D., & Vickery, J. (2007). Art, Key Contemporary Thinkers. New York: Berg Publishers, Oxford International Publishers Ltd.​
Davidson, M. (2011). Contemporary Drawing. New York: Watson Guptill Publications.​
Finger, B., & Weidemann, C. (2011). 50 Contemporary Artists You Should Know. New York: Prestel Verlag.​
Frank, F. (1973). The Zen of Seeing - Seing Drawing as Meditation. New York: Random House Inc.,.​
Lauterwein, A. (2007, 2nd Edition). Anselm Kiefer, Paul Celan - Myth, Mourning and Memory. London: Thames and Hudson.​
Petherbridge, D. (2010). The Primacy of Drawing. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.​
Sheringham, M. (2006). Everyday Life, Theories and Practices from Surrealism to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press.​