Inspiration – Feminist Art

After playing about with tights, hair, and researching artists who work with hair, I got an idea. The tights looked like hairy legs which is seen as disgusting, but only for woman? I started looking into artists who work with the female form to question inequality and stereotypes in society.

Mandana Moghaddam uses the same medium as I have to create a sculpture of the female body draped in hair. The long hair represents gender and the idea of what beauty is. According to ancient Arabic ideals, hair should be long, thick, and a rich raven colour which is quite a lot to ask of woman.  This is true of woman all round the world as rich glossy hair is a sign of health and fertility but the extreme length of the hair in this sculpture shows just how unrealistic these expectations are.

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Chelgis I

Lara Schnitger creates female forms in a textile fashion highlighting specific areas of interest of the female body. These areas could be sagging breasts, long legs etc. Although unusual, these sculptures still represent the female body by including these key body parts that may be the only thing that men notice about female bodies. The form of Schnitgers sculpture has inspired me for my own sculpture to help make it appear more feminine to the viewer.

 

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Fun Bags

 

Sarah Lucas was a big influence on my 2nd year tights project and has cropped up again this semester. She also uses tights and sexualises them in a crude but beautiful way. Lucas deals with the male objectification of the female body and instead of portraying the female sculptures as beautiful, she pokes fun at the stereotypes of femininity.

So for now I am not only working with hair, tights and the Grotesque but also the idea of equality. As tights and legs are at the forefront of my sculpture I will be asking why it is disgusting for woman to have hairy legs when our male counterparts can look like Chewbacca and no one will take a second glance. Having hair on our legs is natural, more natural than taking a razor to them, so why is there such a stigma? I wish to highlight this point in my sculpture, to create something that causes the viewer to feel disgust but then to question this feeling as after all, its only fair that men and woman are treated the same, isn’t it? Free the leg hair!

Inspiration – The Grotesque

Much of my inspiration for this semester came from the same artists I looked at for my 2nd year tights project including Louise Bourgeois and Hans Bellmer. However, I also wanted to look at some historical examples of the Grotesque to see where it all started. And where it all started, or at least one of the earliest examples, is the work of Hieronymus Bosch. His pieces depict sin and the moral failures of humanity through weird, wonderful and sometimes disgusting illustrations. As he was active in the 15th century, much of the imaginative and obscure imagery were very obscure for his time. Bosch uses dark humour to portray human or human-like creatures that are comical but also makes the viewer feel uneasy.

Louise Bourgeois takes the human body and hangs it like meat. I love the fabric she uses which does not look like skin but you can still feel a fleshy presence. I plan to use the idea of hanging the body in my own sculpture.

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Single II

Hans Bellmer mutilates the body to the point that it is still recognisable as human but is also alien. I hope with my sculpture to represent the body as Bellmer does so it is obvious it is human but is obscure and abnormal.

I was attracted to Eva Hesse’s work due to the material she uses. I again am using tights for this project but plan to stuff them with hair. I like that she plays about with weight and her sculptures still have very human and even sexual connotations.

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Senda Nengudi

 

It was difficult, but I finally managed to find some artists who used hair in their work. I loved Robert Gober’s wax pieces of everyday objects that he has made repulsive by adding hair. He has now given the sculptures a human, living quality and this disgusts the viewer as people do not seem to like hair that is not attached to our bodies.

A second example of an artists who works with hair, as well as the Grotesque, is Jonathan Payne. He uses the idea of the uncanny to make sculptures that look familiar but also obscure. The sculptures are human and alien at the same time and are quite disturbing to look at because of this confusion.

 

All of the examples of the Grotesque I have looked at have one thing in common, they are representative of the human body. So long as we have bodies, we will experience body horror and this is why the Grotesque has been used in art from the 15th century and is still relevant today. The majority of things that ‘gross us out’ are tied to the fear of obtaining a virus or illness that would effect or change or own bodies. My aim is to create a sculpture that provokes repulsion using human hair, but I also want the viewer to question their disgust. We all have hair, it is no more alive when on our heads than it is when lying on the floor, so why are we so disgusted by it? Hair is actually pretty remarkable; its so strong that a whole head of hair can hold the weight of two elephants, and one strand can tell us about our family history due to the DNA it contains. I want the viewer to change their preconception of hair when they first see the sculpture to see that it is only human.

An Art Trip To Glasgow

Last Wednesday all of Art and Media in DJCAD were given the opportunity to go to Glasgow for the day and tour the many art exhibitions the city holds. It was a well needed break between my two projects and offered a chance to gain some inspiration.

Firstly we went to Tramway to see this years Turner Prize nominees. Here are some of the works and their descriptions.

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Camplins work included a room full of books with TVs and headphones in the center.

To be honest, I wasn’t overly excited by any of the works nominated for the Turner prize this year in comparison to past years winners and nominees. I did however like Assemble’s piece as they are not only artists but also a kind of charity group who are not only making beautiful works but are making a positive impact in Liverpool.

We also went to the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) to see the ‘Devils in the Making’ exhibition. My friend Kate appears in these photos, can you spot her?

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This exhibiton was more my style; unconventional, strange and fun. It was just more lively to walk in to and enjoyable to walk around.

Upstairs in GoMA there were many prints in display that I loved. Some were very large and meticulous and some were more abstract and included different textures which is again more my style!

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The last gallery we went to see was The Modern Institute. This held two exhibitions; Michael Wilkinson’s ‘SORRY HAD TO DONE’ and Hayley Tompkin’s ‘Electric Magnetic Installation’.

Wilkinson’s exhibition looked like a very modern installation that may be displayed in a celebrity’s mansion. I loved the rock pool, ‘Dream a Garden’, as an interior piece possibly more than an art sculpture but it was definitely aesthetically pleasing. The prints were exciting but my favourite piece was ‘Tower’ which was made out of lego. It was not only a beautiful sculpture it fit in with the building blocks theme and turned a tactile childs game into a very sleek, adult piece that screams ‘do not touch!’

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Lastly was Tompkin’s exhibition ‘Electric Magnetic Installation’. I wasn’t very impressed with some of the work but did photograph a couple of pieces that caught my eye. These are paintings on galvanised metal trays. I love how the metal effect of the painting compliments the trays and I enjoyed that she chose this base instead of conventional paper.

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I love going to see exhibitions to get inspiration and to also view in person work by artists who are successful in their field. It never hurts to go and look, even if you don’t always like what you see. Going to exhibitions allows you to understand what you do and don’t like as an artist and in doing so helps you to develop your own style and voice.

Inspiration- Tony Cragg

Turner prize winner Tony Cragg is a very talented sculptor from Liverpool. He works with the human condition and finds a relation between the human form and material in his work. Cragg makes abstract sculptures of human faces with a kinetic aspect. I was introduced to this artist by a friend who I had been talking to about my idea to combine 3D printing with kinetic art. I love the abstract aspect of his work but it is still clear to the viewer that you are looking at something human, this is what I also aim to achieve. Cragg’s work is closely related to my idea of creating a still object with the idea of movement so I will be keeping him in mind while I further develop my own work.

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In Mind, Tony Cragg, 2002

In Mind, Tony Cragg, 2002

Group, Tony Cragg, 2012

Group, Tony Cragg, 2012

Kinetic Art- Inspiration

As I have previously stated I have two projects this year; a print module and my studio module, both have no brief. I’ve struggled pulling myself away from the print module and trying to concentrate on a project that is completely bare. But alas I have discovered a medium that is foreign and exciting to me; 3D printing. After having an introduction to the 3D printing lab at my University I began thinking of what I could possibly make. 3D printing is fairly new to the art world so is quite difficult to find inspiration from other artists who have used this medium. After a lot of researching I came across  Dan Collins of Arizona State University. He runs the PRISM lab where he works with 3D modelling and rapid prototyping.

''Of More Than Two Minds', Dan Collins, 1993

‘Of More Than Two Minds’, Dan Collins, 1993

I love how Collins 3D prints suggest movement in a still form. This gave me the idea to look at kinetic art and how other artists tackle movement with the absence of it.

'La Nuit Etoilee', Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

‘La Nuit Etoilee’, Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

An early example of an artist working with kinetics is Van Gogh. He uses obvious brushstrokes to suggest movement and brings a still painting to life.

Nu Descendant un escalier, 2nd Version, Marcel Duchamp, 1912

‘Nu Descendant un escalier’, 2nd Version, Marcel Duchamp, 1912

Marcel Duchamp Descending a staircase

Duchamp shows the phases of movement in a mechanical way.

'Tanzt Entsetzen', Paul Klee, 1925

‘Tanzt Entsetzen’, Paul Klee, 1925

A comical line drawing that still suggests movement in a simple way.

'Abstract 5494c', Kim Keever, 2013

‘Abstract 5494c’, Kim Keever, 2013

A more contemporary example of kinetic art is Kim Keever’s Art Under Water. He fills up his giant fish tank with water and disperses pigments to create this amazing smokey effect. He then photographs the event freezing a kinetic movement.

I hope to 3D print a kinetic model and to also create kinetic drawings using the laser cutter. There are such great facilities available to me at Duncan of Jordanstone that I have never used so I can’t wait to learn some new skills.

‘A Passion for Print’

‘A Passion for Print’ is an exhibition displaying a personal selection of prints from the University of Dundee’s collection made by printmaker Jim Pattison.

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As I am very interested in print it was a great opportunity to have an exhibition on university campus displaying the work of some talented printers. I love to take inspiration from artists who are already successful in their field and to see Ken Currie in amongst the artists was exciting as I had already been researching his work this semester.

Ken Currie

Ken Currie

Its always good practice to go and see exhibitions and I hope to attend as many as i can this year to help me develop my own artwork.

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I love the technique of blocking out colour in this piece and also in Curries’. The white really contrasts and adds depth to the prints.

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Inspiration for Printmaking

When looking for inspiration I head to the uni library. In this case I am working in the print studio so I took out a pile of books on print, contemporary and historical. I make a note of what work jumps out at me and what it is about these pieces that I like so much. When I took a step back to view the works I had picked out I realised they all had similarities. Many of the works are layered with combinations of drawings, photography and different methods of printmaking. This has given the works a very textured look which I admire.

The Journey Back III, Alexandr Yastrebenetski

The Journey Back III, Alexandr Yastrebenetski

The Last Romantic, Boris Belski

The Journey Back 1a, Alexandr Yastrebenetski

Beautiful layering of images with different transparency and parts of the image removed producing a lovely texture.

Steady Drizzle

Steady Drizzle, Willie Rodger

A woodcut with a grainy textured effect juxtapositioned by the block silhouettes.

The Last Romantic, Boris Belski

The Last Romantic, Boris Belski

Lovely, textured layered effect including line drawings much like prints i have previously produced.

Ski Jacket, Peter Doig

Ski Jacket, Peter Doig

An etching that uses the fuzzy shapes of humans and creates a kind of forest effect.

Langlands & Bell

Langlands & Bell

A beautiful embossing, its the simplicity I love about this piece, cream on cream, creates a very soft texture.

Bullfight No.3, Salvador Dali

Bullfight No.3, Salvador Dali

A classic lithograph which combines line drawings with block images to create a kinetic piece.

Cavalier Sur Fond Noir Etoile, Marino Marini

Cavalier Sur Fond Noir Etoile, Marino Marini

Another 20th century lithograph that combines block colours with a more textured, chalky effect. I like the use of geometric shapes in this piece.

I can’t wait to get into the print studio this week and to start making my own pieces! There will be a lot of trial and error until I find the style I like but I’ve got the whole semester to get it right!