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Week 9: Formative Feedback Session (ART718)

Week beginning 30th November 2023

Formative Feedback


Through out this module, I intended to showcase a portfolio of pieces displaying my knowledge and progression regarding the environmental issue, Deforestation. I intended to showcase a range of experimentation within in a field I am not familiar in, such as painting or printmaking techniques I haven’t previously explored. Alongside this I intend to create and develop a thesis and possibly a series of prints or photographic works about forests and the threats they face regarding deforestation within the UK., again like the previous year’s module I have explored themes of nature and landscape in the process as areas of interest. (I have reacted creatively to my findings and have been informed by my research in regard to what I have created and developed). It became clear to me through out the design planning stage that i was to stick firmly within the field of photography given the vast amount of imagery i had collected whilst on placement at Thetford Forest last year. It seemed a shame to me to waste an opportunity to experiment with this imagery and to take this creative aspect further, would only be helping the development of my project from year one.


Here, i have attached some photographs of the ideas and design planning stages of the project, exploring possible ways in which i could use my photography in way i had not yet tried.

I accomplished the intended tasks by using various methods. Using both practical and theoretical knowledge to progress.


Simialr to last year, i continued Researching Into the subject using critical studies of practices, historical studies, and past collections etc. This included artist research, both primary and secondary research and imagery, (Mostly primary in this project). Researching Through performing the acts of photography as processes, developing ideas and works along with experimentation. This experimentation took place in the form of deconstructing and reconstructing my photographs, finding ways to destroy them and piece them back together, in an almost protest art function.


As documented within my blog, I began by sketching and responding creatively to my initial found research. I originally had the idea of creating many photographic pieces. I also wanted to create something which was too be destroyed by a devastating process such as cutting or burning. This of course portraying the deforestation element, the tree being a symbol of beauty and a structure which stands strong and powerful, yet it can be cut down as a result of deforestation in an instant.


As previously mentioned, I took several photographs, initially digital photographs using my mobile phone and then I moved to digital photography techniques. After capturing these photographs i professionally printed them out and began experimenting with them, ripping them, cutting into them and burning them amongst other techniques. In order for me to explore which worked best during this process, i decided upon black and white photography, in order to enhance the tones and textures within the piece and to develop a contract between the action of doing something to the image vs the actual physical image itself. I found critically engaging with my environment through playful and experimental means helped influence my creative journey. Researching For, collecting source materials and acquiring techniques and skills to produce outcomes. (Gathering both primary and secondary research and attending workshops).


I have demonstrated my development and progression through the presence of an online blog/WordPress. And visual progression is to be stored within sketchbooks and workbooks throughout the year as evidence. These will be coherent and available for referencing as and where necessary.

Methods of working: Studio work, workshops, research visits, trips to galleries and exhibitions, creative/critical writing, location drawing, fieldtrips, WordPress, (Blog updates)

Outcomes: Draft Thesis and series of prints or photographic works about forests and the threats they face regarding deforestation and climate change.

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Digital Photography

Looking back at all my previous work related to this course, I discovered I had lots of photographs and sketches I hadn’t showcased yet, these were captured whilst on placement at Thetford Forest earlier this year. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to explore different photography techniques using these images and explore elements of destroying them which I briefly touched upon in the previous module.


Destroying Images: Burning

Burning into images is something I briefly explored last module but not in depth, I found I was being too neat and too controlled in terms of where the image was being burnt and trying to control the overall look and direction of the flame. I decided to explore the burning of images further, but this time allow the flame to naturally take over the image and travel wherever it wanted too. This in itself was fascinating to watch and to watch the photograph bubble and warp in front of me was very interesting. I began thinking these pieces were unique and beautiful like the tress themselves, a true representation of the actual physical forms I was observing, so why were they being destroyed and deforested? and how could I portray this devastation within the artwork itself? I began photographing works in order to destroy them, whether this be by burning, cutting or ripping. In terms of creatively interpreting the research I wanted to create pieces which invoke emotions such as guilt by creating Id profiles of each species, capturing them with such beauty and elegance also narrates their story, their growth, informing my previous subject of the memoires they may contain so by destroying this narrative, this beauty invokes emotions. DESTROYING SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL aspect.



Destroying Images: Ripping and Overlapping Images

I have also experimented with ripping into images to expose the raw textures of the paper amongst the photographic image, it was a perfect opportunity to also experiment with over lapping images and creating a unique focal point bursting through an otherwise simple image, again in a protest art style.



Destroying Images: Collage

I have also experimented with cutting into images and collaging them together to create another. Taking both positive and negative imagery and combining them has created a unique piece full of depth and character. It extenuates the lengths of the trees and the negative spaces between them become trees themselves.

Destroying Images: Scrunching and deforming

Here I have experiment with warping my imagery to create another, and it becomes quiet sculptural. Taking a 2D image and creating a 3D sculpture exaggerates the deformed nature of the trees on the surface, creates an almost shrinking of the forests element which reflects my topic well. I was inspired by the form to formlessness lecture and the artist Jean Fautrier, and the sculpture titled Head of a Hostage, 1943–4 for this piece. Both cost effective yet impactful in it’s a appearance I feel it coveys my theme very well and is something I am wanting to experiment with further. I have also experimented with lighting and shadow, creating shapes both behind and in front of the piece as well and within the piece where the photograph has overlapped and arched.

Destroying Images: Folding

I was inspired by the artist Debra Achen whilst visiting her social media pages. She explores the delicate folding of images to change the length and width of her subject matter. Many of them being trees and the natural landscape, incorporating stitch work into the pieces to hold the folds together and to complement the Image in terms of texture and style. I found this way of working extremely rewarding and something I wish to continue in the next couple of weeks. This folding technique calls out the way the planet is collapsing and folding in on itself due to the actions of humanity. The stitching i have incorporated within the piece symbolically represents the power we have as a planet to change our approach to the changing climate and the Earth.



Destroying Images: Deconstruction with miniature figures

Here, I have experimented with the deconstruction of a single image in five separate stages. Using my digital photography, previously displayed above I continued with the process of cyanotypes as previously explored during last year’s modules. I have briefly continued with this process both to link with my previous year’s work and to try experimenting with the techniques learnt during this module, combining them with the skills previously learnt. The outcome resulted in one single image, created as a focal point, and then with each corresponding frame the image is slowly deconstructed and taken apart by a series of miniatures dressed in forestry clothing. These miniatures were individually hand painted and positioned within the frame to exaggerate the meaning of man-made destruction. The miniatures acting and representing the acts of deforestation and the destruction of something beautiful. The aim was to portray a sense of protest art, with the onlooker witnessing first hand the dismantling of the image frame by frame, resulting in an empty frame hanging on the wall. I have thought of ways to progress with this further, an idea I had was to display a message or deforestation related text/poster behind the image as some sort of reveal. The poster would take the place of the original image. Each piece can stand alone as a singular artwork but displayed together creates a narrative and really drives my theme forward in a sense, what we as a society and as a planet are doing to our natural surroundings.


Digital Editing

Here, i have explored the techniques of digital editing, this is something i have never tried before and i wanted to explore during this module. This is something i have always been a little scared to approach, not having enough experience with editing software etc. but i feel the outcomes are rather nice and crisp and something i will continue in the future.


Adam

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