Sunday, 13 June 2010

not merely learned

Yesterday I went to the BA Visual Arts by negotiated study degree show at Bournville. I woke up thinking 'ugh it's going to be another lazy wasted day'. Until I checked my calendar and realised the graduate show was opening and I HAD to see it, because I also have to write a review of it and I needed some inspiration. So as I usually do, got dressed in record time and headed to Bournville.

It still surprises me how nervous and anxious I get when I'm on the bus and I realise I'm getting closer to the Bournville stop. That needs to stop! When I got there it was surprisingly quiet, but I did arrive early which was a good thing as I prefer viewing Art alone so there are no distractions and I can truly connect with the artist and the work.

The first piece of work I saw was by an artist called Michelle Black. Usually the last piece of Art work I see or the one that relates more to fashion stays in my memory. But this piece was like a black stamp on my mind. I walked through the door into the dark room, filled with voices and the sound of a train moving over the tracks. The images were blurred and created a distorted effect of looking through rain on a window, fog or stained glass. The combination of these two elements drew all different kinds of emotions all dancing around this room. There were scenes of children laughing and a parent's voice that was manipulated to sound quite sinister. This made me think oh someone help the child. Another effective scene was where you could hear a heart beat that started off quite low and slowly got stronger. Similarly it felt like my heart started to beat to the same rhythm as the heartbeat I was listening to. The artist comment started that she wanted to
'encapsulate the psychological, emotional and metaphorical journey' and I think this was very well executed. As a viewer I felt very involved in this journey and I really connected with the work and the artist's emotions.

Moving onto some photography by Lucy Waite. When I saw the photographs I immediately thought, 'how delicate' and some of them may contradict the delicate appeal. In particular the photograph of a girl laying on the floor with messy hair and ripped tights. But to me it was beautiful, the photographs- although staged, captured some form of reality. This photograph was also very contemporary because girls wearing ripped tights, with shorts and boots seems to be a trend. A way to be a little more edgy. Another photograph that I loved was of a girl in a beautiful lace top sitting in a chair in-front a mirror. This image was effective because there were a series of photographs of this girl, as if there were telling a story of character development. They showed a very delicate feminine side of fashion photography.
The photographer said she was interested in '90s realism fashion photography movement which informs much of my work and results in a combination of documentary or real narrative and high fashion styling.' The high fashion styling for me was well shown in the photographs of the girl in the simple lace top. It reminded me of Dolce and Gabbana fragrance adverts found in high fashion magazines such as ELLE or VOGUE.

Finally found something that connected to my comfort zone, textiles. I walked into the room, the atmosphere was very relaxing and calming. In the background a little tinkle tune was playing. Like a child playing on a xylophone. Hanging from the ceiling a quilt like panel. But this wasn't any kind of patchwork piece, it was made up of hexagon patches with childhood photographs and newspaper clippings. This piece reminded me of Natasha Kerr's work with old family photographs. Adding to the childhood nostalgia effect, there was also an active patch like little home-made video. This piece was truly inspiring and completely reflects the designer's love for textiles and family memories.

Continuing with the fashion/textiles theme Eva Fong's autumn and winter collection got the little designer in me excited. The collection is vibrant, fun and feminine for a autumn/winter collection. The colour palette was rich and earthy in particular soft turquoise and fiery red. Lace and ruffles were effective in capturing the romantic and elegant appeal the designer was aiming for. Some of the fabrics used may be a bit light weight for autumn/winter, but suitable for capturing a feminine look for the season.

Artists, Designers and Photographers all have to have one thing in common and that is innovation, this piece by Gurshinder Sohal I think was the definition of that word. At first glance you think it's just cardboard cylinders in the middle of the room, that someone decided to call Art. But then you look closer and you see that this artist has done something very amazing with cardboard. The piece focused on Eastern traditional culture in India, each cylinder narrated Indian history with delicate carvings of emperors and floral motifs. I think this piece successfully brought tradition to contemporary art.

A medical condition that inspires Art. Impossible. No, not really. Lewis Rose created moving autobiographical drawings that illustrated an abstract reaction to living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This piece wasn't a elaborate drawing with creative mark making for textures, a beautiful textiles piece, engaging photographs or a interesting sculpture. But this piece was an engaging visual into living with a life controlling disorder. And I loved this piece because it allowed me to experience the artists emotions to living with the disorder and how it complicates everyday tasks, this I think was achieved by the layering of drawing and movement of the drawings around the screen. The drawings that were in colour seemed to move faster than drawings in shades of grey, this could because the colourful drawings relate happier days.

Walking out of the exhibition, by the gate I noticed a black curtain. I wasn't sure if it was part of the show but it had some artist information on it. I wanted to see what was behind the curtain but I wasn't sure if I should, the security guard was sitting in the booth behind me so that added to the pressure. Until someone told me I could take a look as it was part of the show. HURRAH! So I pull back the curtain walk up 3 steps and looked up. At the top to the stairs was 'The Snow Queen'. This piece actually made me say 'WOW' involuntarily. I just couldn't take my eyes off it, like I was waiting for it to come to life. The artist said she wanted to explore the sinister qualities and themes of fairytale. I loved the use of different textures used for the train of The Snow Queen's cloak train. Also the light shining on the piece made me think of waking up at 3AM in winter and looking out my window watching the snow fall and settle under the street lamp.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the BA Visual Arts by negotiated study degree show, every piece of work showed off the graduates personalities and passions. It inspired me to show more of my personality in my Art which I did touch on for my Art exam and also got me very excited about my foundation course. After all Art is about bringing beauty to the imperfect. And what is seen as Art to someone maybe be contraindicated by another. It's so good to see that everyone has different styles when it comes to Art and we all have different ways of showing our love for the subject. I will take this little piece of knowledge to keep me going on my Foundation Course when I think I may have messed up.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your lovely comments about my Snow Queen work, Im really glad you like it.

    Good luck with your time at Bournville, i'm sure you'll enjoy every minute of it.

    the fashion and textile staff are great- they'll teach you alot!!

    Good luck x



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