Thursday, 13 November 2014

MA-Ness Week 10 London and That.

Am torn between thinking I haven't done much college-wise this week as I'm still struggling to to get to grips with some of the theoretical stuff about arts based research. I read an article by Shaun McNiff twice and it still makes as good as no sense at all to me. Though I have learnt what heuristic means and the most useful definition for me is:
an educational method in which learning takes place through discoveries that result from investigations made by the student or allowing students to learn things for themselves.
Which could also be boiled down to what my Dad often says - 'you learn by doing, not by reading about it'.

I also feel a bit behind as in spite of my best efforts to negociate the e-reading system at college it remains as clear as mud to me so I'm going to ask in the library tomorrow for some help with this as I'm clearly missing the trick to using it. But this is feeding into my Captain Paranoia/Imposter Syndrome voice of 'you're not intellectual enough to do this course' which I know isn't true but I am struggling a bit with that at the moment...

But on the plus side - I have been lots of 'doing' - took lots of pictures on our recent trips to Whitby and London and whilst I am still taking pics of graves, I am also taking more pictures of abstract patterns - reflection of different coloured lights in sides of vehicles and  which I am thinking about blowing up and applying to fabric as I can never get my hand with a paintbrush to make the marks on paper that I would like it I have had the fantastic inspiration of the Terror and Wonder Gothic Exhibition at the British Library (not enough Peter Cushing but a James Mason voiced short film made up for that omission from my lust list) and an evening with John Waters who was just WONDERFUL and who laughed when I told him about the documentary I'd seen on C5 which featured 'anal bleaching' - before you go thinking I am even worse then he is, he had asked in his show if it was real. Whoever said some things cannot be unseen was right.

There was also a powerfully thought provoking exhibition at the Imperial War Museum called Truth and Memory which was intellectually stimulating, depressing, and had some wonderful for that read visually impressive paintings. It featured the work of artists like CRW Nevinson, Paul Nash, William Orpen and Percy Delph Smith. Overall though the effect was depressing - at the risk of sounding naive - war is just so horrible and so repellent and it made me feel quite powerless in how to respond to it. War I mean - not the paintings which made me respond in a mix of 'that is a really powerful/depressing image' and my usual envy when seeing any kind of figurative painting which I admire which is 'I wish I had that kind of skill with a paintbrush/pen' plus Delph Smith's rendering of Death as a robed skeleton was just visually stunning. It raised all sorts of questions about the ethics - eg one of the most to my eyes realistic looking paintings of a wound station turned out to have painted by a man who had never seen action on the front but had spent the war innoculating soldiers in Blackpool. Plus it did make me think about voyeurism on the part of a viewer too.


We also had time for an impromptu trip to Tate Britain where I  fell in love with the photographic work of Karen Knorr and had a restorative half an hour amongst PreRaphaelite splendour - I'm a sucker for a Pre-Raphaelite painting though I'm not entirely sure why though some of it is simply envy at such skilled and incredible brushwork and use of colour and just such wonderful over the top lush-ness plus the fact that they were painted in victorian times - one of my favourite periods in history also has something to do with it, though the irony that a fair number of them feature classical or medieval mythology is not lost on me - an artist who creates work 'now' but who is inspired by the 'past' so much.

What else? well got a to do list as long as your arm and a reading list that I just don't seem to be getting to grips with so I'd best crack on with that hadn't I? Afraid I cant add an image of the new more abstract direction my work is taking me - I could lie and say it's because they're not finished yet but it's more that I haven't worked out how to use the new card reader properly yet.......and yes they were digital as opposed to film and that was because the trip was a 'travelling light' one and so I left my heavy film camera at home and used the lightweight digital one instead.....but have no fear - film remains and will remain my firs love for non abstract pattern type photography.

Plus must add before I forget I got a reply from Exeter Museum in response to my query about the 'smothering' cap, and information and offer from Vivid Project based in Birmingham which sounds very interesting indeed....


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