I think that significant developments in my work in Year 2 were most evident in my Unorthorthodox project, which explored how a traditional style painting is altered by experimentation with presentation in a gallery space. It was the first project of mine that I believe made my work relevant in comparison to contemporary work of today in how I considered how to include the traditional methods I enjoy working with and are skilled with but also maturing my work by thinking beyond the quality of the painting. I think that if I continue to experiment with the physical form of a painting and consider other methods in turning a traditionally 2D form into something more than a flat plane using a traditional medium then I’ll develop my work into something more substantial and contemporary.
What I want to do for this project is create 3 paintings of my mother and I using old family photographs for reference. The photographs have a slightly out of focus, saturated quality due to being captured on disposable cameras from the late 90s. The quality to the photographs and the intimate familial moments between my mother and me as a baby/young child provokes a feeling of nostalgia, which is the feeling I want to inspire in the viewer.
Painting moments between my mother and I when it was just us is my way of exploring the strongest relationship in my life and a time when that relationship was all I had. I think that painting these scenes will not only be an ode to the relationship I have with my mother but to a viewer will be scenes they can project their affections towards their own family members on.
The materials I’m planning to use for these paintings are primer, oil paint, Perspex, wood, some kind of wire or chain to hang my paintings with and some form of warm lighting for displaying. I plan to prepare the Perspex to paint upon with a laser cutter machine to etch a texture onto the surface and then prime it to ensure the best quality application of oil paint. To display my paintings I want to suspend the paintings from the ceiling in a wooden frame that is painted to mimic a metal frame. I want to use warm lighting so that my paintings are illuminated with an inviting and intimate light to create an atmosphere that gives the viewer an experience of how I feel about my mother and our relationship. I think that this would make my paintings more of an immersive experience than just some paintings to look at and not relate to. I want the viewer to relate to how I feel and be able to compare my paintings to their own feelings about family.
The concept behind my piece is that I want to create work that celebrates the relationship that I have with my mother. From being born until meeting my dad around my 4th birthday, my family consisted of just my mother and me. Since those 4 years are significant for development those 4 years alone with my mother gave us a bond that I feel stronger than with anyone else in my family. Though my family is now my mother, my sister and I, it feels to me that my mother and I are like a team and the adults of the family. Our relationship is based off mutual respect and open in being able to talk about anything. Despite having a friendship-like relationship, we very much have a mother and child relationship the way my mother always looks out for me and I feel so secure with her.
To research I plan to research artists that explore themes such as memories, family and relationships. I’d also like to try and find some other forms of media as inspiration such as film and articles about the same themes. Artists I’m planning to begin researching into are Peter Doig, Laura Lancaster and Lorena Guillen Vaschetti whose work all relate to memories. Looking into the themes that my work expresses and how other artists approach the subjects will help me critique my own work and consider from all angles how to develop my piece and strengthen it to emphasise its content. I’m also hoping that if I find other sources of inspiration they will give me different perspectives of my work outside of the way an artist would approach a subject.
Overall I’m looking forward to progress of this project and I hope that my initial ideas will be successful. I’m optimistic about the context and practical development of this project and know that to stay on track I’ll need to be diligent with my time management. Hopefully throughout this project I’ll manage to create some paintings that will have weight to them and the viewer will be able to enjoy as well as me. I think that if there is any major pitfalls to this project it will be either issues with the materials I’ve chosen which I think I’ve researched enough to ensure that won’t happen, or my paintings won’t be relatable due to the subject matter being so personal. I think as long as I keep considering these aspects then I should be able to solve any issues that may arise.
Proposed Research Sources
Artist’s own websites
Peter Doig, Adrian Searle, Kitty Scott, Catherine Grenier