Summative Post: Contextualisation

1: Graham Hancock – The War on Consciousness

This post is significant for the understanding of what excites me and motivates me to create artwork. The talk involves my passion for social change; at this point in my practise I realised that I wanted to project this passion onto other people and to use art to be in that position. I visited London to attend a very similar talk by Hancock also and his ideas were a crucial push in the direction in which my context went.

2: Andre Breton & Surrealism

I always considered involving my dreams in my artwork because they’re a significant part of my life but until I learned more about Breton and his strong manifesto’s, I didn’t feel the contextual connection. During my dissertation I researched heavily into surrealism, particularly Breton’s manifesto in 1924, where I discovered a strong resemblance between his and my own ideas and motivations which suggested a way in which I could engage people.

3: Claire Bishop on Installation Art

This book was crucial in understanding the deliberation of consciousness within art. Bishop’s perspective on what installation art is and can do in terms of disorientation and embodiment, left me adamant that my artwork must immerse my audience because of the impact that has on an individuals state of consciousness and self-awareness. Bishop’s ideas also satisfied my aim to consolidate subjectivity of consciousness, being a big influence in my decision to attempt installation practise.

4. The Red Studio – Henri Matisse

Working on surreal dreamscapes derived from a dream diary, I found Matisse’s Red Studio to influence how I depicted the obscure perception from within a dream. I incorporated the block colour in most of my subsequent collage/paintings/drawings, intending to distort the shape of a room the way Matisse achieved.

5. Richard Serra, Gagosian Gallery

Evidently leading on from being curious about installation art, I enjoy Serra’s artist incentive, but visiting his exhibition amplified what I knew about his material emphasis. I immediately understood his use of material by being immersed by it and that urged me to consider how I wanted a viewer to feel in relation to the elements that make up an installation piece and so I began considering the use of fabric to represent a metaphysical mind.


Perspective in Projection

Spinifex Group in collaboration with Audi

Spinifex Group in collaboration with Audi

Spinifex Group in collaboration with Audi

Spinifex Group in collaboration with Audi

These installations use technical properties to provide a visual that distorts perception, similar to The Red Studio by Matisse: the beginning and ending of the architectural elements are unclear because the projection has suggested a paradox of the space.

Architectural Elements: Floor; Venice Beinnale (2014)

Architectural Elements: Floor; Venice Beinnale (2014)

Throughout architectural space in the 2014 Venice Biennale, Koolhaas’ research lead him to scrutinize the existing fundamentals of our buildings (from floor to fireplace to staircase). The result of Koolhaas’ part in the Beinnale included permeating the ordinary spaces to respond to the presence of people in a ‘smarter’ way.

Imagery of the revitalized space such as the image above, shows how space can be visualy manipulated through the floor to provide a different perspective. When my space for the degree show is ready to build in, I will be able to adapt the projections to create a space that can alter the perception of outside of the space, to disorientate and confuse the viewer much like the feeling I have from within a dream scenario.

False Awakenings – dreams

A false awakening during the sleep cycle is where the subject believes to have woken but in fact has not. The experiences with this myself has been very realistic perceptually and therefore been vivid and often terrifying until I have actually woken and realised the difference in realities. Research would suggest a phenomena called sleep paralysis, of which I would like to incorporate because I believe it to be correspondent of the anxieties I get from the society I live in, which is where this artwork originates from.

A company named Urban Projections, who create immersive and sensory stimulating environments provoked an idea I will be able to incorporate when building my space:!sensory-environments/c17t5

The imagery that particularly resonated was that of the silhouette of a figure seen through fabric in a certain lighting. The figure is evidently distorted because of the changing contrast depending on how close each body part is to the fabric and the light source, which I feel has potential to represent the sense of uncertainty about the reality of my dreams. It also obtains a sense of mystery as to the existence of the figure which is similar to how sleep paralysis makes me feel.

Delaine Le Bas – Finance scale for final show.

Formative assessment at university was positive and beneficial, with my finances being something to work out. Unfortunately, the plan that I’ve currently got for my degree show is an expensive ambition due to the expense of printing onto fabric; I therefore need to think of the possibility of reconsidering the ‘labyrinth’ display. Because of the importance of the material aspect, I won’t completely rearrange the idea or what I’m aiming for, but I need to potentially minimalise the ammount of fabric needed.

2008; mixed media installation

Delaine Le Bas


 The images above are of installation pieces by artist Delaine Le Bas. Le Bas uses mixed media to create the spaces, including fabric. The pieces as a whole have a surreal, dream-like juxtaposition because of the odd found objects and the chaos and intensity, therefore I feel like considering the way my space is used in this way would still obtain the dream-like intention whilst softening the financial problems because of the minimalised use of fabric printing.

Le Bas also embroiders into the fabric she includes. I beleive this increases the intimacy that she has with the artwork because it provides a stronger handmade essence and by using less fabric than planned in my work, I would also be reducing the time spent on it and so this is also a possibility; with the subjectivity of a conscious mind being a key concept, I think this will compliment how personal the artwork would be experienced as it does so with Le Bas’ concentration on her personal position as a Romany.

Makiko Kudo

Much like myself as an artist with a role in the society I am living in, Makiko Kudo was subjected to the rigid societal structures and a failing economy of Twentieth Century Japan. During this time, escapism almost ocupied a political resistance status which justifies the creation of the utopia-like fantasies of Kudo’s artwork:

Makiko Kudo, An Untouchable Cat, A Floating Cushion (2012)

Makiko Kudo, An Untouchable Cat, A Floating Cushion (2012)

Makiko Kudo, Stage Curtain (2011)

Makiko Kudo, Stage Curtain (2011)

Makiko Kudo, Floating Island (2012)

Makiko Kudo, Floating Island (2012)

As an artist, Kudo acquires the same intentions as myself. Kudo says that she connects what she sees and what she feels using imagination and emotions – much like dreams. I understand that Kudo uses painting, almost therapeutically, to release chaos from within herself.

Learning about the way Kudo uses artwork in this personal, escapist way can provide my work with a new perspective; the similarities in political intention between her work and mine are significantly appropriate and the chaos from within me throughout the body of symbolism I have collected from my mind is what is fueling the work initially. Having come to this conclusion emphasizes the need for a sense of chaos projected into my work.

Janet O’Neal

Janet O’Neal’s work is strongly inspired by symbolism and mythology in the area of collective consciousness, in particular the theories of Carl Jung. Within O’Neal’s online artist statement, she claims great influence from Abstract Expressionism also, believing in a connection between herself and these past artists (she mentions Mark Rothko).

‘I also believe in our relationship as an artist to this space in time and the expression of our experience of it, whether it be conscious or subconscious.’ (O’Neal, personal website).

This statement from within O’Neal’s artist statement is extremely relevant to my current studio practice because it derives from understanding the world we are in, as it stands at this moment in time: society, and the symbolism imprinted on the unconscious mind by everything that we encounter as today’s dynamic world. O’Neal’s work varies, but her mixed media pieces display her emphasis on symbolism and her Abstract Expressionism:


Cosmic Dreams IV, Mixed Media on Canvas


Visions #3, Mixed Media on Canvas

The paintings here engaged me because of the intensity that O’Neal has created. Not only is her use of colour expressive and potentially suggestion of the colours one would fine in The Red Book of Carl Yung (, of whom she claims to be a follower of, but the way she composes the symbols of her mind is chaotic, which is personally an important factor to incorporate in my work because of the infinite production of visual stimuli that my brain subjects me to, consciously and unconsciously, which is principally how I am depicting the imaginative capacity of a human mind.

Artist Statement Update

My work is my depiction of the visual stimuli from natural unconscious expression within dreams and wakefulness. The body of imagery used is acquired directly as unconscious influence; layered with flattened perspective to result in surreal narrative experience. The fabric orientated display of the narratives demonstrates the metaphysical immateriality of the human conscious mind, which is displayed in a disorientating labyrinth to embody the viewer and therefore alter their state of consciousness, provoking self-awareness and a first-hand mind-world experience to substantiate the articulation of a phenomenon that is irrefutably subjective.

The ideas derive from a personal belief similar to that of Breton and the Surrealists in 1924: the suppression of the human conscious mind’s evolution opposed by democratic conformity in Western society as an external influence, in comparison to the acceleration of the evolution of consciousness seen in previous times such as Ancient Egypt. By embodying the viewer with the capacity of my imagination, the artwork suggests the aptitude of the viewers’ mind, further than the level of creativity at which we live under societal directions.