It took a couple of weeks to settle into work in the studio. I have come to the opinion that reviews are awful things. Intended to give focus to where the tutors think you are compared to where you think you are, it only ever ends in tears. I was distraught for a while. In the depths of despair I saw the last six years as futile. I was all set to leave ECA and get a job doing something undemanding and one where I would not have to bare my soul for others to abuse. However, this did not last long and soon I was able to bounce back with a vengeance. At this point I have to refer to the steadying influence of John Brown who always manages to convey support and belief which all said and done is what should be conveyed by all staff to those who like me gives a monkeys about their artwork!
Karen, the tutor who advised post mid-session review had suggested a different way of working. A bit late in the day really for radical changes in process but I did seek out a light box and lamp and used them to record characteristics of my many new found objects (gleaned from the beach at Prestongrange one chilly Sunday morning). I also catalogued them in terms of shape, colour and material and photographed them. I soon arrived at the objects which were to give focus to new work - glass fragments. The material collected from the beach was quite raw in that it had not been weathered to the same degree as my older collection. Clearly the glass shards were the bottom of vases and glasses and still retained defined features which were visible when placed under bright light. I set to documenting these patterns and arrived at interesting repeat compositions which could form the basis of paintings. I wanted to keep things simple and did some research on minimalist artists. Additionally I have become increasingly interested in the way work is displayed, the way artworks based on the same object can relate to one another in terms of positioning and space.
One final push came from a talk by Daniel Sturgis. He talked about 'equivalence' in his paintings. That is the subtle differences between seemingly identical paintings. This is what I wanted to achieve. A series of paintings based on one single object in which a large painting could stand alone but be supported by a series of smaller ones which highlighted details of the larger one. Back to the macro and micro idea from 3rd year work I suppose.
Here are the artists I researched:
Carol E Duff