Copenhagen – Postcard Project

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For this project, I decided to create a jigsaw-type piece. I drew the little mermaid over three postcards, so that when they were separated they became individually unrecognisable. I thought that as I was sending them in the post, I may as well embrace the fact they could possibly get lost by creating this piece which heavily depended on all three returning to the UK. The piece is not complete unless all three post cards return!

Here’s a link to the postage of my postcards (fingers crossed it works..!)

https://drive.google.com/a/brookes.ac.uk/file/d/0B2bCfKWFcoJYdDl4Y0MxMnROY28/view?usp=sharing

Copenhagen – GL Strand

I really enjoyed looking around GL Strand – the art was engaging because you could get involved with it. For example, the work of Jens & Morten, the cage-like piece called Ugens kunstnere. You could walk in to it, look inside, and parts of it moved – which engrosses the viewers. I think in this ‘Extract’ exhibition, what most interested me was to see a “new generation of artists”.

Copenhagen – Louisiana

We got a train to Louisiana and saw the museum there – I liked how the building accommodated all the art, but there was also an outside sculpture park which was exciting. The slide outside was also good fun. You can look over Nivå Bugt, which is a bay that separates Denmark and Sweden which is beautiful.

William Kentridge is a South African artist who works with prints, drawings, and animated films. Kentridge’s work was really inspiring – I loved his creativity and imagination. His work is playful and captivating which I love, and would love to create the same sort of ambience as he does through his work.

There were other artists exhibited there who caught my interest, such as the Francis Bacon painting – I loved the colours in this piece as they were very vibrant and bold (‘Man and Child’ by Francis Bacon, 1963). I discovered a new artist who I really liked called Hans-Peter Feldmann. He works with collecting and repurposing material and is a german artist. I normally dislike conceptual art, but enjoyed his work such as red nose portraits and cross-eyed portraits because of the humour.

Blenheim Palace – Michelangelo Pistoletto

Around Christmas time I went to see the Michelangelo Pistoletto exhibition at Blenheim Palace. It was really interesting to see such conceptual art work situated in such a historical/sophisticated setting. The contrast between the modern art and the 18th century architecture makes the exhibition exciting.

Pistoletto pushes boundaries with his work by challenging religion (as seen above), portraying an anti-establishment point of view, making a reference to consumerism and fascism, as well as alluding to politics. He’s being playfully provocative with his art.

MOMA Oxford

I took a trip to the Museum of Modern art in Oxford recently and saw Lubaina Himid’s exhibition. She’s a pioneer of the British Black arts movement and through her work she challenges the patriarchal society as well as inviting us to question our perception of the world. Through out history, art is dominated by white European producers, and she challenges this through her current work. She aims to make the forgotten black people from our history visible and give them the praise they deserve.

Artefact – OVADA Public Exhibition

For this project, we had to create a piece of art inspired by the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. This artwork would then be presented in the OVADA space as part of a public exhibition. I knew that I wanted to work in paint for my piece as that is the medium I feel most comfortable using. However, I struggled initially to find just one theme to focus on in the museum as their collection was quite overwhelming and I found myself being inspired and interested in everything. Looking at the classical statues excited me most as I studied Classical Civilisation at A-Level, so I spent some time looking at ancient Greek and Roman sculptures.

I was intrigued by the interaction between the viewer and the artwork. The people in the museum that were visiting became something I observed now, rather than the artefacts themselves, and I enjoyed seeing how they reacted to the pieces. In museums the artefacts are presented in ways which prevent us from ruining them, and to prevent damage there are normally signs put up along side to guide us. My focus shifted from the viewers, to the signage of the museum, as I was interested in our response to this.

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I wanted to create a piece which incorporates all of the things I found interesting about the Ashmolean, so I needed to find a statue which represented my interest in the Classical Sculptures of Greece/Rome.

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There is not really any specific reason why I chose this sculpture. The items she’s holding have no apparent reason.

Now that I found the sculpture I wanted, I needed to find a way to introduce the theme of signage and the viewer’s interaction with the pieces. Below are some photos of my final piece for the ‘Artefact’ exhibition. I used acrylic paint on a large white fabric curtain, and then projected an animation I created taking inspiration from the signage I had seen around the Ashmolean.

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Below is the statement I presented with this work:

Joanna Griffiths, DO NOT TOUCH

While exploring the museum, I overheard visitors discussing their desire to touch the artefacts, despite the ‘Do not touch’ signs placed by the objects. It is interesting to see people’s wish to ignore these signs, and it is this inclination of rebellion which inspired my piece. There are many signs around the museum, and those that particularly interest me are the warnings, directions and suggestions which change the way in which we view the work. Visitors are guided around the space with arrows, given commands to prevent accidents as well as warnings and instructions in case of disaster.

When you are discouraged from doing something, intimidation causes you to feel that your freedom of choice is being threatened. So to regain control of the situation, you desire the complete opposite. It is this reverse psychology which makes visitors want to ignore the directions given by the Ashmolean.

For humans, touch is an important way to gain information about an object. Each day, we spend a significant about of time touching objects in our environment. Museums deny touch for many reasons, sudden changes in light, temperature and humidity can cause degradation of an object. Touching museum pieces could lead to depositing traces of dirt and oils from our skin onto their surface. Acidic oils can deteriorate metallic surfaces and subsequently ruin objects. The museum signs prevent us from affecting the quality of the historical pieces.

I wonder what it would be like if the signs were not there to guide us? Do they limit and restrain us from exploring culture and history for ourselves? Or do they enlighten us when we struggle to interpret the pieces ourselves?