Home (12/07/2016)

For my A2 coursework, and the bulk of this year, I have chosen to look at the topic of “home”.

The concept of home is something I find very interesting. Google defines it as “the place one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household”, which is true. Google also describes it, of an animal, as a place where an animal can “return by instinct to its territory after leaving it” and I think this is true of humans too. I just can’t help but think there’s more to home than the place we live in.

What makes home? Or, in terms of a house and in the words of a popular saying, what makes a house a home? Good Housekeeping magazine online complied a list of things that they think makes a house a home. It include things such as “the people”, “the noise” and “the constant mess”. I liked the list. Alternatively, you could listen to the simplistic advice of Dionne Warwick- latterly covered and, arguably, made famous by Luther VanDross, or Glee-from the song “A House Is Not A Home”:

A chair is still a chair
Even when there’s no one sittin’ there
But a chair is not a house
And a house is not a home
When there’s no one there to hold you tight
And no one there you can kiss goodnight

Does this mean that home is a place where there are people to or that you love? And that the materialistic things in life don’t actually matter as they’re just “things” we have.

“Home”, to me, is, of course, the place I live, the people I live with and the, or rather a, place where I feel safe and comfortable. It meets all my basic psychological needs- if you’re interested, you can look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as home, physically, covers the physiological and, hopefully, safety and love/belonging needs (it could probably even cover the self esteem and self actualisation tiers if you were that house proud and comfortable. Although many use their house as a place to touch base and to stop over.

However, I can’t help but think there’s another, metaphorical sense of home hidden deep within us. For example, if you ask me where home is, nestled somewhere within the list of places I call home, I’d probably, without hesitation, reply “Glastonbury Festival”. Now, if you look at Good Housekeeping magazine’s list it does have many of their, albeit subjective, ideas of home. Whilst it doesn’t hold many family heirlooms (it may for the Eavis’ though), it does have brilliant people, lots of noise, lovely smells of good (but not necessarily healthy) food, constant mess, countless memories and is a place where you don’t have to wear real clothes. Technically, if you were going by their list, it could be ‘home’ on a more physical sense, but I don’t, unfortunately, live there.

This year I spent the weekend at Glastonbury amidst the madness of all that came with so-called “brexit” and, subsequently, many bands and artists played on the idea of home and Glastonbury being home to them. Matty Healy, lead singer of The 1975, said that “Glastonbury stands for everything our generation wants – compassion, social responsibility, community, loving each other”, all things that make a good, positive and sustainable home for me. Ellie Goulding had a lot to say on the matter, too, she noted that “it is so nice to be in a place where there is so much unity and where everyone is so happy and friendly and dancing together and laughing together and loving each other”. She went on to say that “I really hope now for this lovely country that I live in and you live in that that sentiment, that spirit of Glastonbury, happens all over the country still, because I know some really terrible things have been happening and I really hope that when you go home that you guys will take that spirit with you”. Before concluding with “and if you see that that spirit is not happening wherever you live, wherever you are, to other people… We are all one person, we are all human beings. I just want to say I really hope that we can all carry the spirit of Glastonbury home with us, because that would make me very happy” again urging people to take a bit of Glastonbury home with them.”This song’s for you, wherever you’re from, but we all wish we could live here really and this could be our hometown” Adele suggested, during her headline set, before bursting into Hometown Glory- another good song about the concept of home. But why is it that places like Glastonbury feel like home to so many of us when we don’t live there?

On the other hand, I also think of home as places like the place I work (as I’m there often and have been going for a considerable amount of my life), at friends houses, within both of my grandparents houses and in Abu Dhabi, where my dad lives. Although, this list is definitely not exhaustive and everyone’s lists are most likely different as everyone has different grasps on the concept of home.

Have we lost the meaning of home over time? Has interpretation got the better of us all or is it just something we all have emotional ties to? How and why do we get homesick (is it because we miss the house, the place or the people)? All these questions.

There’s so much left to ponder and discover and it infuriates me that I can’t get to the bottom of it.

USEFUL LINKS AND PLENTY OF SOURCES:

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/tips/a25351/house-a-home/

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/luthervandross/ahouseisnotahome.html

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maslow%27s_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/glastonbury-2016-brexit-eu-adele-bastille-foals-coldplay-damon-albarn-james-a7103016.html

http://architectureau.com/articles/home-real-ideal-the-concept-of-home/

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-definition-of-home-60692392/?no-ist

Advertisements

A2 Art

Sorry it has been a while, but it’s good to be back!

For the last few months I’ve been wrapped up in all sorts of school work and exams so this blog has been quite neglected. The transition between AS, exams and A2 at college has been hard to negotiate thus far, but over the holidays I hope to find my feet again. Originally, this blog started off as a school project, but I now intend to use this blog to enrich my school work as I enter my second year of art in college.

I hope to use this blog to write about different artists I have found, things I have collected and places I have visited. Eventually, I’d like to introduce some of my own work and, later so, some of my own photography (when I have a proper camera). I plan to write here in support of my coursework and, hopefully, it’ll be something noteworthy to examiners- so they can see inside the wacky world in my head, or something.

The new “era” of this blog, as it were, is something I look forward to seeing progress over the next year. Hopefully it’ll be a place where I can gather thoughts and reflect upon my work and I hope it’ll prove valuable over the next year.

I look forward to sharing this arty venture with you all.

Charley

Urbex Beauty in Decay

Urbex Beauty in Decay is a project which uncovers hidden and abandoned gems which we’ve all been forced to accept will never be seen again. It opens up the imagination and mind to the world behind the closed doors of old buildings and establishments which we all crave to know what hides behind them. They describe it as opening “a rift in our collected experience” and their actions as throwing “new light on the boundaries we’ve all been forced to accept”. They photograph such places and publish them online and in books.

I think the project is hauntingly brilliant. It’s wholly intriguing and something of which I find great interest. I love how they’re “debunking” the mysteries that surround old buildings. I love how the photographer has thought of the buildings in a sympathetic way leaving “only footsteps” and subsequently not destroying the untouched, yet previously inhabited, buildings. The photographer has used only the natural light available to them in their photographs which portrays honesty. Some of the compositions are quite moving or hauntingly melancholic- it puts a unique perspective on the piece. The pieces are uninhabited.

3355

I feel inspired by the piece to look closely at pushing the boundaries of social art- without overstepping them. The people behind this project seem to be exposing the world behind the closed doors of old buildings which I believe is exciting and something that’s sort of “rebellious”. It’s as though we’re not meant to see the untouched, ghostly shells of human life that remain. It’s as though it’s kept secret and only inhabited by freely growing plants.

Image

PHOTOS FROM:

http://www.talkurbex.com/urbexnews/beauty-in-decay-competition-winners/

http://www.talkurbex.com/locations/industrial-exploration/papier-plaisir/

Tate Shots: Do Ho Suh- Staircase- III

Do Ho Suh, who is originally from Korea (but lives and works in New York and London), is a sculptor. He’s inspired by quite traditional subject matters like staircases, doors and bridges as they all connect to other places but are all separate and belong in their own right. This fascination stemmed from his personal life, especially living in Korea (and his move to America and their obvious cultural differences).

In this episode of TateShots we’re shown the construction of Suh’s latest installation for the Tate Modern, a floating staircase entitled “III”. III is a scale version, made in pink fabric, of the staircase that connects his apartment to his landlord’s place. The light in the room changes constantly in the room offering different experiences to everyone who spectates it. His desire was to carry his memory of the spaces he portrays and he wanted to make this piece transportable because of it. The fabric used is easy to move and transport without ruining so it can be placed in spaces all over the world and be reassembled at a later date.

“The space I’m interested in is not only a physical one, but an intangible, metaphorical, and psychological one”

I love this piece. I love Suh’s personal connection with his artwork and how it appears so delicate due to the pink, transparent fabric. I love the how the time of day and the light of the space can transform the piece and make it feel totally different. I think it’s incredibly fascinating how it’s so portable and can be recreated over and over due to the way it’s made. It speaks thousands of words and can remind the viewer of their own staircases, perhaps. Plainly, I think it’s very aesthetically pleasing to look at.

 

The transparent properties of the fabric puts me in mind of memories and dreams. The idea of it being there but not there, like a spirit, is something the fabric carries so well. It could be somewhat metaphorical of the memories he wants to carry with him and express through his installations. Likewise, you could say the sculpture looks quite ghostly due to it’s transparency.

PHOTOS FROM:

http://www.wallpaper.com/art/sheer-will-artist-do-ho-suhs-ghostly-fabric-sculptures-explore-the-meaning-of-home

http://www.wallpaper.com/art/sheer-will-artist-do-ho-suhs-ghostly-fabric-sculptures-explore-the-meaning-of-home

Tate Shots: Antony Gormely

Sir Antony Gormley, OBE is a British sculptor. He’s the mastermind behind many iconic sculptures, for example (perhaps most famously) the Angel of the North (erected in February 1998). He’s famous for other works such as “Event Horizon” (premiered all over the world from 2007, London to Hong Kong, 2015-2016) and  “Another Place” (Crosby Beach, Liverpool). His work is so effortlessly versatile spanning from small scale sculptures up to giant towering pieces which stand on hills or in large gallery spaces.
The Angel Of The North

In this episode of Tate Shots we’re treated to a look around Gormley’s studio. He shows the viewer around his studio whilst talking through how his figure pieces are made. He talks in detail about negative and positive moulds and shapes used within his work. He explains how his early work, often made from lead is less effective, he feels, at exploring space in his work. He believes sculptures are collaborative pieces of work.

 

CLOUD CHAIN, 2012I love and admire Gormley’s passion for his art form. I love how his work, especially his later work, is sensitive  in it’s use of space (both positive and negative). Each piece is so meticulously planned out and exquisitely produced by him and a team of others. I like how effective the use of media is in his work and how he uses it to capture bodies that aren’t physically there. His earlier work is less “solid” than his earlier work as it focused more solely on the positive space. His pieces are often large scale which coincides perfectly with his sympathetic use of space and light.

MODEL, 2012

I am inspired by Gormley to look closely and observe the use of space and scale in mine and others work. I also should look at how I use negative and positive space in my work before creating pieces as it can bring pieces together nicely.

Photos from:

http://www.angelofthenorth.org.uk/

http://www.antonygormley.com/projects/item-view/id/300#p2

http://www.antonygormley.com/projects/item-view/id/303#p1

Tate Shots: Harrison and Wood

Paul Harrison and John Wood are Bristol-based artists who are known for their quirky videos depicting their somewhat comical antics and exploring the use of object and shape through the means of film. They’ve done many a “crazy” thing- for example they saw “what would happen” if two people stood on a semi-circle. “Are they just “big kids”?” is something that had passed my mind as I read up about the pair. It’s hilarious, food for thought and extremely interesting to watch.

In this episode of TateShots we’re treated to some of the comical works of Harrison and Wood, most of which are filmed in their Bristol studio/workshop (over about 10 years). We’re told each idea begins as a sketch- or a series of sketches- before becoming what we originally see. There’s a sort of “mediation” stage.

Perhaps the most poignant of their pieces shown is the video, filmed in a makeshift studio in the back of a moving van, of Harrison and Wood rolling about in the rush hour traffic on office chairs with dead serious facial expressions. Despite the odd injury it’s an amazing idea which I’m surprised no one has ever attempted before.

I like their work, I think it’s interesting, unique and exciting. I love the use of a plain white background contrasting, usually, with a singular (often coloured) object. The pair are often wearing all black which juxtaposes the white background so they, and their silly act, stands out. I can see it working conceptually (as it’s strange, whacky and, most definitely, wonderful), but I can’t quite imagine it as an art form. It appears, to me, as two grown men having a lot of fun in a studio- but it works for them and it’s interesting to watch and observe. It’s as though they’re conducting all of the experiments of out wildest dreams and that which we couldn’t even fathom ourselves.

Photos from:

http://www.picture-this.org.uk/worksprojects/works/by-date/2001/twenty-six-drawing-and-falling-things

 

Turner Prize 2015

The Turner Prize is an important event on the art calendar. It is a Tate organised annual prize which is presented to a British visual artist. It was named after “J.M.W. Turner”, a painter, who was the first recipient of the award in 1984. It’s seem as controversial but arguably it’s the most prestigious art award in the UK, if not internationally. It is presented to a British artist, under the age of 50, for their “outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months preceding”. The winner is chosen by a panel of four judges (each of which are invited by the Tate to be there) and chaired by the director of Tate Britain. Previous winners have included Grayson Perry, Steve McQueen and Gillian Wearing. In 1999, Tracey Emin’s “My Bed” lost out to a Steve McQueen video.

Every other year, the prize is presented at a venue outside London as opposed to at the Tate Britain. This years event was held, for the first time, in Scotland (at the Tramway in Glasgow, an international arts-space for contemporary art projects) on the 7th December 2015. The prize award was £40,000 (£25,000 of which goes to the winner and £5,000 to each shortlisted artist). The shortlisted artists were Assemble, Bonnie Camplin, Janice Kerbel, and Nicole Wermers.

BONNIE CAMPLIN

Bonnie Camplin’s work ranges from drawing, film, performance, writing and music. She also does a wide and extensive range of research before coming up with ideas that conform under her idea of  “The Invented Life”. Which Camplin believes is powered by the idea of “myth-science of energy and consciousness research” in which subjective experience is evidence. Her nominated piece was a study room- “The Military Industrial Complex”- and explored what ‘consensus reality’ is and how it is formed. She looked at and drew from physics, psychology, philosophy, witchcraft, quantum theory and welfare to do this.

I found the installation compelling and fascinating. It allows the mind to wonder and imagine. I love the way a lot is left to the viewers interpretation but in fact every piece is placed as a result of extensive research and experimenting in order to fit her own brief. Camplin doesn’t “see art as a mouthpiece” for her opinions and is simply “open to these truth of these testimonies”.

 

NICOLE WERMERS

Wermers was nominated for her installation entitled “Infrastruktur”. It’s essentially an exhibition which focuses on how, even though most things have “structure”, many lack “infrastructure”. Part of this installation saw a cluster of silk lined fur coats hung off the back of chairs (Untitled Chairs) but it is emphasised that it is not an exhibition about fashion . The piece saw the ideas of modernist design and high fashion (hence the coats) intertwined with the idea of lifestyle and class, as well as lesser pleasant (or lesser sought after things), like control.

As soon as I saw the piece I was instantly engaged and excited by it’s mysterious nature. I think it’s wholly fascinating and visually stimulating as it’s unusual and makes you think. I think Wermers has used space well in order to portray an element of the lack of physical life but there is an element intended human intervention with the idea of ownership and the coat owners “owning” the chair their coat is placed on- it’s something I’m intrigued and inspired by.

JANICE KERBEL

This, like the other artists covered so far, is something quite unique and unusal (and the reason, I suppose, such prizes exist). Kerbel has created “Doug”- a twenty-five minute, nine-movement work for six singers. It’s only been performed completely once- with no current intention to ever be recorded or really be performed again (posing questions of how she’d have presented it at the Tate gallery if she’d have one)- at Mitchell Library, in Glasgow. With no real understanding of music but a desire to “write a work for voice” Kerbel created “Doug” in a language of music (a language which she was unfamiliar with previously).

I’m fascinated by Kerbel’s work. I’m intrigued as to how it would sound and work as a piece- I’d love to hear it! I love the way she has used music as an art form for recognition in such a prestigious way. I love music, as well as art, so I feel some sort of connection to this piece in a way of which I’m extremely interested to see what Kerbel has done.

THE 2015 TURNER PRIZE WINNER… ASSEMBLE

Assemble won the 2015 Turner Prize. They’re a London-based group who work within communities on projects marrying the ideas of art and design with architecture. These buildings are used and inhabited by real people and real communities so become quite personal- there’s a clear meaning and message within the art. It boasts a DIY attitude which can be radiated throughout communities but they’re wary of their current work not being seen as an “art” installation.

I love the idea that it’s art with an explicit meaning. It’s not sugar coated necessarily, in as much that it’s helping a community directly and very obviously as opposed to just art in a gallery or an exhibition. It’s directly affecting the people who create it and it has a huge impact on real people’s lives. It’s a worthy winner and that’s argued by the outstanding work it’s achieving within London communities as a result- It got the recognition it deserves.