Saturday, 30 April 2011


King of pop art, surrealist and general creative genius on 2d and 3d practise. One of my main inspirations. His collages and screen prints are bold and unapologetic in composition, using a variety of image combinations and overt colour schemes. In the documentary it is suggested that he was inspired by futurism and science fiction themes , shown through his sculpture that combines man and machines. May of his sculptures access the figure and condition of the human form.

His inspiration: The cinema, time, fragmentation, cigarette cards that he collected whilst working in the family shop: the visual connections between images: the audience forced to make these.

His early work: cutting up and reassembling 'Time' magazine which formed the basis for his later collages.

It's really strange because he collected images since being young, like i do and he won't stick them down if both sides are nice and that's often my problem..i have too many loose ones too.

He questioned machines and people, the idea of robots versus humans, how far is a human naturally a machine? he asked these kinds of questions. Themes of our relationship with the pop culture and technological environment.

Documentaries to refresh a saggy brain..

'The genuis of british art'

' How to get a head in sculpture' :
No longer available on iplayer unfortunately but this docu was really interesting and inspiring as David Thewlis ( actor) has sculpture of his head created by 3 very different sculptures and it is intriguing to see how these artists see the purpose and intention of a portrait in terms of what it represents or conveys. The sculptor that intrigued me the most was an artist whose name i cannot find who creates small scale sculptures of the essence of the person that actually look nothing like them, it is their soul,energy and personality he tries to convey, for example white actor Thewlis was recreated as a bald headed man from African descent but strangely i could actually see Thewlis in this sculpture which i thought was amazing!

Friday, 29 April 2011

collages and too much sci-fi

Fishle Screenprinted poster art

to be continued...

Photo graphics research: Juxtapositioning.

Michal Batory

Werner Jeker

Leonardo Sonnoli

I got quite a few books out at the library, including a book mainly in german that contains a collection of poster art that uses photography or 'photo graphics' in innovative way released by the Museum fur gestaltung Zurich and written largely by Bertina Richter, in 2008 (please excuse the phrasing and punctuation or lack of it.) The book belongs to a series of books on poster art that focus on a particular style, e.g, typography or abstract. The 'photo-graphics' book caught my attention as it appeals directly to my own style and really captures me in how the posters are composed in terms of randomness and boldness. My practise revolves around the principle of collage and the combining of seemingly odd or non aesthetically pleasing images or text, movements etc. Ive included a few of my favourite posters as examples of my inspiration.

its funny actually, there are a lot of photographs of open mouths used!

Influence for typography!


I researched Wool last year and actually completely forgot about him and how much i liked his direct style and it's obvious to me now that i must have been influenced by him when making my posters. Plus his website is wicked!

Fishle Poster art: Photography based.

Poster art and graphics based on photography manipulation, mainly handmade, has always intrigued me and is something i have done a LOT of this year. I recently did a photo shoot of random facial expressions with a lovely model and i used these to photocopy a layer of random text with no spaces or normal formatting, influenced my christopher wool ( I'll pop him in the next post), of which there are 3 versions that are all true events in my life. I wanted to explore posters that say something irrelevant to others but it is made to seem like a relevant event in their lives, the main goal of a poster. I suppose i was trying to subvert its meaning.




I then photographed the finished print and edited them to make them look a little odder.

Structural posters.


I seem to have invented this phrase: structural posters, which is basically a series of photographs that I have taken on my SLR generally in the back alleys in the cities Manchester and London. The term is my way of explaining how i see the world in photographs, I tend to view cities in shapes that to me balance each other to make an interesting photograph transforming the 3d world into a flat 2d composition. I was focusing on poster art at the time and I did plan to insert illustration and text to make the 'poster' bit a little more apparent but then I thought maybe it is more alternative if these are displayed next to all my other versions of 2d posters to suggest how we frame our cities in terms of what is hidden and rarely framed as aesthetically pleasing. I suppose that really I was just exploring why i find these images interesting to the eye , so I focused primarily on lines and framing , lineal shapes, 'closed-up' windows, reflections and the idea of closed areas in general.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Who Cares about Mary Kelly's family allowance

Whitworth Art Gallery : 'Who Cares' ,'The Mary kelly: Projects 1973-2000' and 'Family allowance' exhibitions.

20/04/2011 I had a day trip around the corner to the Whitworth,i think this springs exhibition selections have been my favourite so far that I have seen there, as the 'Mary Kelly' exhibition Incorporated themes of memory and personal history versus national history, using clean and direct installations and repetition that created these long sequences of text and repeated visuals, as though portrayed as symbols, on inventive media. One of the pieces was a series of slate slabs that had been scratched into, as though a diary , the words on these slabs seemed quite disjointed and fragmented, as though the artist understood this completely at the time of writing, containing numbers and odd word combinations, which proved very subjective from a spectators angle. The exhibition continued like this, another series seemed to be about the artist's child and the stages of his development, also recorded using hand prints and brown ugly stains on pure white with typed text. The exhibition used text and image with the idea of recorded history cleverly, as the visual style was interesting, even though each series followed similar layouts.
I remember one particular series, perhaps the slate work, discussing in a abstract and highly personal way, the nature of getting older as a woman which i thought as white, aggressive scratches on a slate surface, was communicated in a clever and unexpected way and it really inspired me into thinking broader for my next project in terms of how installation can using light and text to invite the viewer in, as i found the larger installations, in particular a hut-like structure, to be very present in the space, also Mary Kelly uses language in such a way that reading does not get tiresome.

Information off the Whitworth Gallery website:

As much about everyday experiences as big historic events Kelly’s art makes the personal political.

From Post-Partum Document (1973-9), the series about motherhood that provoked tabloid outrage in 1976 because of its presentation of stained nappies, to more recent installations about feminism like Love Songs (2005-7), the exhibition traces the artist’s enduring commitment to women’s narratives. The celebratory glow of Multi-Story House (2007) invites visitors to step inside and read the intergenerational dialogue patterning its walls.

The impact of conflict and war also runs through the exhibition. The polished shields and trophies of Gloria Patri (1992), quoting soldiers in Iraq, are hung high like an heraldic display. The Ballad of Kastriot Rexhepi (2001) about a child lost and found during the Kosovo war, makes a continuous sweep around the gallery walls. Kelly’s most recent commission unifies her long-term questions about how history shapes us; the bomb shelter-like Habitus (2010) is ‘corrugated’ with the memories of people born around the Second World War, legible only by looking into its mirrored floor. Mary Kelly’s work reflects back to us how we remember and talk about our experiences, from world wars to daily struggles.

Who Cares (pictured at the top of the page)

Exhibition tag line: 'If you only see the illness, you miss the person,' I was drawn to this exhibition because of the very human subject matter and interested in how successfully the contemporary artists, Lucy Burscough and Kevin Dalton Johnson had managed to portray a contemporary outlook on inner struggles in comparison to Lucian Freud and etc, appearing in the same exhibition. I connected more with the work of these contemporary artists, in particular the 2 part portrait by Lucy Burscough in which section on one side of the portrait had been censored out by red squares but appeared in a fragmented shape on the other half of the canvas, the piece was quite eye-catching and i felt it had something new and different to say. Alternatively, Kevin Dalton Johnson's sculpture had a definite, over- powering presence in the room. the exhibition booklet quotes the artist:

' making large impressive sculptured busts that act as a visual diary of events that reflect my identity and journey as an African diasporic man living in the UK.'

Personally i am not usually a huge fan of figurative sculpture but the awkward proportions and deep eyes of these works really drew me in.

Family Allowance:

This exhibit on was probably the closest to my own practise,as it used collage, dark humoured paintings and Richard Hamilton style juxtapositions but largely the exhibition consisted of how artists throughout the ages have portrayed the changing nature of the British family. My two favourite works were a long portrait picturing a very male, odd looking version of snow white being seductively undressed by his/her mother. This portrait shocked me because it was created quite a while ago but was seriously quite taboo. I enjoy work that simply suggests and leave you to decide the rest and this work definitely did that. Paula Rego is also quite interesting in her large headed women and dark dreary settings, i enjoy her style of illustration and story telling, i hope to do more of this in my illustration to convey meaning.

See the link for more info!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Tate modern. The collection.

I didn't really mind that i couldn't afford the Miro exhibition on the top floor as there was an absolutely huge public exhibition! It took us 2 hours to look around the Collection, which was listed as follows:

Level 3: Chromatic Structures
These three rooms bring together artists from the early and mid-twentieth century who explored the use of colour and geometric structures to create abstract art.

Level 3: Material Gestures

painting and sculpture from the 1940s and 1950s, showing how new forms of abstraction and expressive figuration emerged in post-war Europe and America.

Level 3: Poetry and Dream

These displays also show how characteristically Surrealist techniques such as free association, the use of chance, biomorphic form and bizarre symbolism have been reinvigorated in new contexts

Level 5: Energy and Process

The displays in Energy and Process look at artists' interest in transformation and natural forces. A central room focuses on sculpture of the late 1960s

Level 5: New Documentary Forms

This five-room display explores the ways in which five contemporary artists have used the camera to explore, extend and question the power of photography as a documentary medium.

Level 5: States of Flux

The central space of this wing is devoted to the early twentieth-century movements Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism.

The collection split different artists into these categories, for example surrealism into Poetry and dream , also including a a secton on dark humour, which included dark but humorous illustration by David Shrigley and Marcel Dzama.I also particularly enjoyed the 'realisms' section on Level 3, which explained how the realism became popular because it was easily recognisable for the audience and contained impressive sculpture but i was a little disheartened that there was no Ron Mueck! The collection included quite a few large sculpture and installation pieces, For example a 'cot' made out of uninviting metal and sharp, thin wire for the base, i didn't have chance to note down the work but i am still going to try and hunt down the artist, as the work was really atmospheric and clear in its cold maternal message. The other sections contained artists such as Gerhard Richter, Monet, Salvidor Dali, CY Twombly,Anish Kapoor, Andy Warhol, Mark Rothko's dark red paintings, Kwie kulik, Picasso and Francis Bacon!

The work varied in size and scale so much that it really kept it interesting, the large abstract paintings made me consider maybe working with my love of layering and going back to painting over summer, as the Rothko's dark red canvases in the dark room proved that the canvas can be quite a vocal medium. I was extremely inspired by the 'dark humour section' in poetry and dream, as my own illustrations are largely dark humour and odd juxtapositions.

Inspiring and rejuvenating is how i would describe my experience!