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Evaluating the Evidence of Existance Project

October 22, 2010

In this evidence of existence project, I have been mainly looking at natural themes, nature and the world around me. I find nature fascinating and also I myself am made of organic materials, and am made from nature. Since I was young I have always loved being outdoors and camping, and when you camp somewhere, you always leave visible traces behind – be it the shape of a tent on the grass, ash from a campfire, even a piece of litter. Some cultures also believe that when you have been somewhere, you leave behind an invisible imprint of yourself. I like to physically leave things behind.

In Sculpture, I made a giant guitar from wood. I chose the guitar shape as I love music and I play the guitar, it makes up part of who I am. Combining art and music is something I have always wanted to do. I changed the wood through various processes’ – such as burning, shaving/ sawing, weathering and cutting. I was inspired by the Earth Artists, in particular Andy Goldsworthy whose work I love. His way of using nature and particularly the colours of nature astounds me. I spent a whole weekend in the woods making the piece and I think this allowed me to spend a long time working on it. I think it’s a successful piece as it conveys a sense of nature, but also a sense of me. I liked the piece as I thought the way I used colour and texture fit the medium and my concept well. I also really enjoyed making it, and spending time outside.

In Print, I used a variety of techniques to make work. I used collograph, relief printing and monoprinting. I used natural elements such as feathers and leaves to make my imagery. I think my collograph was successful, as I used a simple feather images on the plate, which printed well. I also think the monoprint went well as I achieved a nice amount of detail.

In graphics I made a typeface using natural rudiments such as; shells, dirt, petals, sand, feathers, mushrooms all ones I had found myself. I made individual letters on the scanner, and then scanned them in to Photoshop where I tidied them up a bit. After presenting them on an A2 sheet, I made a poster. I had a little trouble coming up with relevant ideas for the poster, and made a few different ones, all around the natural theme. I finally decided to use my font to make a tree shape, as a tree symbolizes nature and is an easily recognizable object. I feel my font was very successful as all the letters were unique, but fit together well as a whole. My only fault is that for some reason, when I printed it in A2, it was a little blurred, even though I set the resolution higher. This is something I will rectify, however my other poster (set the same way) printed out to a high standard so I am pleased with this.

In photography, I was looking at my “Dark side”, and as I don’t consider myself to have anything particularly dark about myself, I decided to continue with my nature theme. I also chose to continue with this subject, as in fairytale books for children, I always remember reading stories of witches who used toadstools and bizarre things in their spells, so this is where the “Dark” connotation lies for me. I experimented with scratching into negatives as well as acetate and photograms. I enjoyed these processes, most of all the negative manipulation which I tested a few different ways. I looked at the work of Aliki Braine and David Williams who both manipulate negatives, who inspired my work. Braine especially works with nature, hole-punching the negatives which directly related to my work. For my main piece, I drew toadstools growing up and old negative I took of a wooden bench. I think this was a success as after a few test strips, I feel I achieved a good contrast between tones, allowing for a clearer photograph.

Illustration was interesting for me as I had never experienced that subject before, but it was fun and I made some interesting work from it. I chose to illustrate the 6 scenes of my making my sculpture. We used several methods of image making, such as collage, wrong-hand/ body part drawing, stencil making and magazine cut-outs. I decided after some experimentation, to use stencil (as my prototypes turned out well and I like the detail you can get in stencils) and magazine collage as it produces some interesting colours and textures. I also used an airbrush machine to create some different backgrounds which integrated well with the rest of the piece.

Carrying on with the natural ideas, in textiles, I researched a wide variety of artists such as; Debby Smythe, Claire Heathcote, James Hunting, Julia Griffiths and Lotus Peles-Chen, all of which use threads and stitch to create artwork. I experimented with techniques like stitching over magazine images, Hand embroidery and other stitching methods. After this research part, I started the final piece, which I decided to embroider a tree, but instead of normal stitching, I made my own pattern, of which I was inspired by the works of Hunting and Griffiths. I tried to make the pattern weave its way out from the tree, but I don’t this was entirely a success, as it just looks a bit unfinished, but this was my intended look. I also used text “Ideas bloom in nature” as this is how I feel – nature inspires me so much in my work. I found the text a bit tricky to do at first as I’ve never hand stitched text in this way, but I was pleased with the results.

Painting was tricky for me, as I’m not a natural painter, and I find I get easily frustrated with myself as I don’t think my work is good enough. I like painting, but I find it a challenge to get the features and colours right. I chose to paint a photograph I took of my friend Stevie laying on a tree with a textiles hammock I made last year. I chose this piece as it has lots of colour which I like, but it would also be a challenge for me. I had researched into some artists, and one woman who has always influenced me is Maggi Hambling. I love her style, swirling colours and thick paint brush lines. I tried to emulate her style, but I don’t think I achieved it. I got a little bit of a muted version for some parts, and then just started to develop me own style, which I’m not necessarily unhappy about. I found it challenging but I’m glad I finished the piece and that I managed to make it look like what I was aiming for.

Overall, I enjoyed working on this project, but I found it to be a very fast paced one. Time management was a bit of an issue, but I got the work finished and was pleased with most of the outcomes. I liked working with my organic themes and it is something I would like to continue in the future.

Look out for further photos on this theme!

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