LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY. BA (Hons) FINE ART (1st)
School of the Arts, English & Drama Outstanding Final Year Student, 2019
Development Trust Award, 2019
Dissertation Spirituality & Abstract Art: A Study of the Paintings of Kandinsky & Rothko.
My work is concerned with conveying my interest into the enigmatic nature of reality and consciousness, which is perpetually redefined through breakthroughs in science and quantum physics. I am also motivated by an appreciation of the human body, which is the subject of all my paintings, even if there are no identifiable human features. I have chosen, through studying the work of the early abstract artists — specifically, Kandinsky — and later abstract expressionists — such as Rothko — to utilise abstraction within my paintings, manipulating and distorting the subjects in my paintings to reflect my intrigue into existential matters. I have been acquainted with the intrinsic spiritual aspect and theory of abstract painting — expounded by both Kandinsky and Rothko in their books, Concerning the Spiritual in Art and The Artist’s Reality — and also by contemporary artist, Jungu Yoon, in Spirituality and Contemporary Art: The Idea of the Numinous, which introduced me to the concept of the numinous and sublime, two features I wish to emanate in my paintings. I will help achieve this through working on a larger and impressive scale. Abstract Expressionism is the movement in which I would situate my own practice, as it most evidently influences my own painterly style, importantly, in the approach I take to the physical act of painting: being spontaneous and expressive, trusting the process and my own intuition, not worrying about making mistakes — resulting in a freer and more authentic painting. Situated between abstract art, and abstract expressionism, my own paintings show varying levels of engagement in abstraction, as I try to find the most effective balance between the two.
This semester I have investigated the themes The Body and Consciousness, seeing how they can be visually described and abstracted in different ways, specifically considering elements of Geometry: shape, colour, and line, along with incorporating narratives into my outcomes. I was influenced heavily by the modernist De Stijl movement, both conceptually - studying Mysticism, Elementarism and Theosophy, but also visually - in consideration of colour, figuration, and degree of abstraction. In paint, I was influenced by Theo van Doesburg’s Elementarist theories - deconstructing an object into ‘pure’ shape and colour, whilst incorporating an energetic dynamism; inspired by Julie Mehretu’s paintings and sketches. Specifically influenced by Wassily Kandinsky’s, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, I developed my Digital work by depicting my subjects more sensitively; whilst considering the detailed and expressive paintings of Andrew Salgado and Italian Futurist Umberto Boccioni. In Photography and Print, I focused on setting a narrative, using small triangular ‘creatures’ created in the metal workshop to symbolise Human Consciousness. Lynn Chadwick and Eva Rothschild’s sculptures provided the stimulus in creating these small ‘life forms’ - a motif in the project. In the former, I drew ideas from Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg with their ‘combines’, and also Hannah Hoch, regarding collage and multimedia, resulting in a trio of final outcomes, each describing the same scene but with different mediums - ranging from 2D painting and collage, to 3D modelling using plaster. Whilst experimenting with the latter, I became acquainted with Mandelbrot’s Set, Fractals and Chaos Theory. I so advanced my screen printed scenes by printing geometric patterns onto nets which I constructed into 3D models, contemplating the structure and geometrical and mathematical shape.
Comparison of Beatrix Potter’s Mice Sewing the Mayor’s Coat (c.1902) and Marcel Dzama’s Untitled (2002), investigating themes of childhood, stories, and animals.