Experiment has been the focus this term where I have considered how to develop a concept by choosing different surfaces, scale, types of paint or method, latterly exploring the language of collage.
Acrylic on MDF board 14 x 14cm
Black and white photography in an induction was not as successful as I had hoped, with photographs of “displaced” animals in the zoo, which was thoroughly depressing. I made a small etching using wildlife poaching as an idea, and a Baobab linocut. The Soweto Riot image was successful as a screen print and this is likely to be a route to explore using transfer and silkscreen combined with painting.
Large oil paintings included figurative painting for the first time, and the style in which the small figures were painted is much more descriptive than my previous work. I was flattening surfaces and simplifying marks, trying to create a psychological tension in the stillness of the work. I like this better without the pool as an intimate picnic gathering.
Introduction of the figurative on large scale linen
Paper, canvas, linen, cardboard, chalk ground, and MDF board all offered different surface solutions. I was painting in the expanded field as a result of Geraint Evans’ talk on the subject on 7 November 2018, and Lois Rowe’s observation that oil on canvas may not answer the questions I was asking about my relationship with South Africa. I started constructing three-dimensional structures and looked at the installations by Jonah Sack.
Three dimensional surfaces
After Tim Johnson’s talks about Painters Methods and Materials, I made some ‘memory boxes’ preparing chalk ground to experiment with this new surface in work that was about the ‘saccharine’ sweet memories of my childhood.
Preparing chalk ground using Tim Johnson’s Painters Methods and Materials recipes.
Now that I have permission to use Juhan Kuus’ black and white photography, there are a number of options open to me, including using the actual photograph and painting into and on top of this, as Hughie O Donoghue does, and which I am very excited about as this was my original intention.
Collage idea incorporating Juhan Kuus’ white border farmers photograph.
I have used a variety of paints, which I might develop further with gold leaf as part of the fake white world in Johannesburg, Egoli, place of gold. I still intend to mix ash, and earth from South Africa, as paint. Different marks were made using spray paint in the garden area of the collage painting, creating crisp torn paper edges and soft blurring. This variation in mark making contrasts the aggressive marks of the male figures with the illusion of fantasy.
Spray paint effects contrast with loose, energetic, ‘violent” mark making