DJCAD Reflective Research Journal – Week Twenty

Went to the Gallery of Modern Art on Monday and saw the Paula Rego Exhibition and one called Now. Every time I start to move away from painting in my head and think I am not excited by it anymore; I see a painting or an exhibition which rekindles my excitement for it again. I really related to Paula Rego’s subject matter, always have, but from a technical point of view, it was her earlier more abstract work which made me want to experiment again with collage and texture. I couldn’t see how they were done in the images I have seen on line and didn’t really like them when I saw them there but seeing them in the flesh, I could see there were bits of paper stuck on the canvas, some with pen or pencil lines on them and others painted with contrasting styles and colours. Her etchings were amazing too and I see how the use of aquatint, could be useful now.

Mark Wallace did a sound workshop on Wednesday despite the strikes and Mel Woods also did the scheduled artists talk. For Marks workshop, he showed us three short films by sound artists and then took us to digital loans, and we hired recording devices and then went for a walk down to the Tesco bridge recording sounds along the way. Then he showed us how to use a couple of editing programs. It was very useful to learn about what recording equipment there is available to hire, as I didn’t know anything about it. I have begun to edit the sounds I recorded into some sort of piece. The Grow Lab is one of Mel Woods projects. Design, science and growing food. It was interesting, though I am not so sure what I think about such a hi-tech approach to growing food and sustainability (apparently an old-fashioned word, regeneration is being used instead), as I have been growing food for twenty plus years in a very low tech way, but with varying degrees of success, it has to be said, so who knows, maybe this can help. There certainly seemed to be success stories. I was pretty familiar with a lot of the principles she talked about, permaculture etc., so I’m maybe not her audience, but it seemed enlightening to others.

I am a bit lost with where I am at the moment. Worked on the drawing and then preparing the plate for another etching this week and am not so pleased with it as the last one. I wanted to make a series, but it’s turned out a bit more realistic in style than I wanted it. It’s based on my old painting; Pregnancy and the Bad doctors, looking at the medicalization of birth and the male dominated medical establishment and the constant, routine monitoring, bullying, coercing, controlling and scaring of pregnant woman that goes on all the time. Again, it had not yet occurred to me, to base a performance on this etching too, until Laurie suggested it. So now the idea could be to do a series of etchings and a series of performances (probably three, each with the wolf character) and maybe a series of paintings too. Though the big painting is not going great…can’t seem to remember how to paint…and although my tutor, Kate preferred the idea of using a real person, I think me as the wolf in all three performances interacting with dummies would be so much easier to accomplish and I could probably perform better solo as well. Especially as some people are working from home during the strikes and I wouldn’t be able to find volunteers so easily just now and I need to be getting on and developing a more solid idea. Just thought the last performance idea could be my character Wolfit, from the piece of music I made last year…on the toilet theme…

Also, this week, I entered a painting for the Then and Now recent graduate and current student exhibition and wrote a statement about the work. I also sent an artist’s statement, photo and social media links to Generator Project for my members profile.

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