The artist Tania Kovats varies her practice between sculptural and 2D drawn pieces. Kovats manages to open ones eye to the hidden wonders on planet earth this is evident in, The British Isles, 2003. Focusing on drawing, she has created a series of work based on existing islands of the British Isles. There are over 2000 islands described in 10 drawings some full of the islands overlaid and others tiny specks: There are no boundary lines within the shapes of land which almost makes them abstract paintings/drawings for me. The landscapes that interest Kovats are, “explicit landscapes where you can clearly read the narrative of formation or erosion”. Thus she chooses islands that were once connected to the British Isles but have later eroded away creating a new land, a new life.
39 sheets of Dura-lar matt film paper were drawn on using different tones of ink (focusing on grayscale) forcibly hiding some islands by layering up the sheets, as if hiding the context making it more difficult to decipher. Yet for some of her pieces hardly any islands are noticeable, the layered sheets draws the viewer in forcing them to look closely at each formation and to discover the islands hidden under others.
Her methodology embodies how in naturally hidden the islands are in reality via creating this translucent layer between the viewer and the islands: It therefore evokes and intimate and searching nature in the viewer to find the islands that are often the lesser known islands around the British Isles.
Kovats series certainly makes one aware of discovery, and that traveling is an important part of revealing hidden wonders in the world. She relates much of her work to the research she does when traveling, and her piece, British Isles shows the extensive work she went through to find the naturally eroded and formed islands around the British Isles. Thesignificance of this series is opening ones eye to beauty’s the natural world can create over a period of time, if nothing else Kovats make the idea of patience for work an element for developing as an artist. Kovats is opening up her series to the Indian and Atlantic oceans to find places people may not of been aware existed makes the idea of traveling that ever more appealing.
Fred Tomaselli is an artist who constantly experiments with new ways/materials to include his personal ‘love and obsessions’ into his work. The attitude of wanting to tell your story through your work is inspiring and is why I am fond of this artist. Some of Tomaselli’s more recent works include medicinal herbs, prescription pills and hallucinogenic plants alongside images cut out from books and magazines which are combined into dazzling patterns that spread out over the painting that create something quite mystical and breathtaking. (See fig 1 and 2)
Figure 1. Figure 2.
The choice of materials may not relate to my work but the fact that Tomaselli aims to try different mediums to translate a particular emotional message is probably one of the strongest reasons I am inspired by him. ‘I want people to get lost in the work. I want to seduce people into it and I want people to escape inside the world of the work. I throw all of my obsessions and loves into the work, and I try not to be too embarrassed about any of it. I love nature, I love gardening, I love watching birds, and all of that gets into the work. I just try to be true to who I am and make the work I want to see.’ I am also inspired by many things and wish to impart this into my own work.
I discovered Tomaselli’s work through a previous art project at university, the simple brightness of the colours contrasting against the black backgrounds made me interested in the idea that you have to study his work in at least two different ways (close up and from a distance) to understand the meaning behind it. Close up we see isolated elements, and from a distance we see the ‘bigger picture’. This linked closely to my Bauhaus project in which different elements of the work had different meaning but were brought together.
Tomaselli only has a particular style that involves collage use of herbs. His focus on birds, people and nature have such strong meaning and are constructed so cleverly, Tomaselli has the strength to succeed without having to change. One of his works I believe to be the strongest is Dead eyed bird blast, 1997 (fig 3.) This piece of work has so many elements to it, the choice of materials includes pills, marijuana leaves, bird photos and much more.
The arrangement on the canvas at a quick glance it appears to look like an explosion creating a new world, it takes time to realise what each colour represents which is the interesting choice of birds. The strongest part to this is certainly the arrangement with a shadow created around every bird the third dimensional look created is just amazing. One’s eye can not simply focus instead it darts around picking out every little detail, colour even shapes – an effect Tomaselli was perhaps wanting to create possibly to resemble hallucinogenic state after taking drugs. It is like swallowing the pills, but through one’s eyes. This piece certainly follows Tomasellis belief of wanting ‘people to get lost in the work’. I hope to engage my viewers in a similar way, for them to spend time in awe focusing and understanding my work.
The inspiration for this project came from a visit to the Venice Biennale where each country had a separate building exhibiting artwork; something I had never seen before. It was interesting to me to view the maps from the leaflets of each country – I wanted to utilise them to create art works. I began by over layering the plans of the buildings/galleries on top of images of the relevant country. Which made it difficult to interpret the country and became more of an abstract piece. In such abstraction and reduction of obvious visual information I wanted to embody the Bauhaus ideals of function over form.
Photography is an interest and hobby of mine and I got a great oppurtunity when I was asked if I would like to shadow photographers at a friends wedding. Having recently been bought a SLR camera I jumped at the chance and thought I would share on here. This is a collection of some of the photos I took…
Venice, a place that truly will inspire any artist that visits this city. The atmosphere is busy yet peaceful perhaps due to the surrounding elements. You enter a certain awe when the sun reflects from the colourful surroundings and water of theGrand Canal. When you take a trip down the canals it makes you ponder on how each building was constructed and in fact how they remain standing when all you could see under each building was the water itself. The architecture of each bridge going along is different from size down to the miniscule detail to the layout of the steps.
The most influential place any artist could visit inVenicehowever is the enormous beautiful Giardini, one of the biggest galleries to visit. The layout was quite extraordinary a separate building for each country. Each building had a different design from fragile, to dominant modern to beautiful intricate designs such asHungary’s building. It had a very religious feel to it but the artwork inside couldn’t of been more opposite. The artwork created an uncomfortable feeling with the first art work which was sealed in a red light distressing the eyes, also including a video installation of two opera singers performing a script you see in the previous room continuing the journey of this car crash and photography certainly not what you expect to see in a religious looking building.
When one sees a sign for a country you instantly picture what will be inside the stereotypical icons of the country. TakeEgyptfor example, you would expect to walk in and see a museum of the countries iconic items. The amount of artwork presented in each building was interesting the choice as to why the amount was chosen, for example theEgyptbuilding only one work was presented a video installation across approx. 5 screens one piece of work but very effective it certainly created discomfort as you witnessed clips of riots, injuries that happened in the country. Perhaps another piece of work would distract for the effect wanting to be created?
The USA building was quite a shock, some of the artists included in the building weren’t from the USA, it was like an anti-USA feeling. When you’re presented with the first artwork, a statue laid on a sunbed, you don’t believe it sends a clear message ofAmerica. With every artwork there’s always a message from the artist either intentional or not. When entering a building for a country you expect a message to be created sending positivity for the country. But faced with artwork from artists that aren’t from the country the messages are mixed, there’s the message you create through instinct and the intentional message from the artist. For a viewer it could be uncomfortable and difficult to view the art for its purpose. All these differences between each building certainly bring the Giardini together into one big unsuspecting exploration.
Upon my research for my project Bauhaus I came across Piet Mondrian the creator of Broadway Boogie Woogie. This is something I find to be a riddle, looking at it without knowing the title or origin this piece looks to be truthful a number of boxes or an image over pixelated. However, in fact it is a simplified map of New York broadway down to the colours used that Mondrian was inspired to use upon a visit to New York. When looking at it it makes me want to follow the map and wonder what each building representative is. The smaller squares on the ‘roads’ is interesting as it could represent cars or people but the fact that it makes you think is a riddle in itself. Why would you pick out the smaller squares and wonder? why not view the piece as a whole? I do find a Mondrian a strong inspiration if you were to go down the path of exploring seeing something different.
The exhibition “International Printbiennale’ was successful as a whole. To me, it opened up my eyes as to how many different ways of printmaking are possible. The epic sizes of some of the artists work showed how much determination one can put into their final outcome for instance, Jennifer Prices ‘Dodge White’ a black monoprint of an entire outer shell of a car on fabric, that took up and was placed on the ceiling of a single room. Within this work you could see folds in the fabric to which it had been placed on the car. This for me made me imagine the process the artist may have used to accomplish this. For as detailed as it was, it made me want to study each detail of the car separately and strangely enough lie on the floor and view it as a whole. It certainly made the room feel enclosed which could have been the artists intention. To me the actual intentional use of the car is unclear however the moods created are certainly strong. another piece that stood out to me was Barthelemy Toguo ‘Who is the true terrorist?’ It was different to see the wooden stamp used to create the black print with them presented together as one piece. To me you could visualise the artists hand creating the work. I thought the use of a question mark was quite a strong element as it makes you think of what answer the artist would want, why did he choose wood as a stamp? To the right of this were 11 more prints all with different words/sentences written on them. As well as a different wooden stamp used for each print, it was interesting to see each wooden marking left off the wood and how each stamp was not circular. Some of the letter on the prints were back to front a mistake perhaps? or intentional meaning. Also the way they were presented was interesting, a row of 5 and a row of 6 it made me think why the artist would single one out. Certainly an intended statement making you think about each word/sentence, why it was chosen. These two pieces of artwork certainly sum up the intention of the exhibition certainly the size of the artwork, and the detailed process each artist goes through in making the outcomes.