‘Getting the Art Out on the Streets’ Article

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/arts/international/getting-the-art-out-on-the-streets.html?_r=0

‘Public art is changing fast. The challenge for today’s private patrons is to finance works that make people feel they are walking around a world-class museum, rather than an enormous commercial art fair.’

‘Vroom Vroom’ by Lorenzo Quinn

‘Slip Stream’ by Richard Wilson

The article emphasises on how funding for public art is becoming less accessible. Personally I believe that public art is important as it attracts tourists, and makes cities seem more real and alive. Currently, I try to keep spending to a minimal – and therefore do no yet seek funding. When you are creating large sculptural pieces such as the above to examples, funding is important and necassary. My current aim with my project is to add small details of colour to dull lifeless settings which offer a glimmer of unexpected happiness and surprise. In the future I may proceed to creating larger, more impacting sculprures.

Creating art work outside of galleries is very significant as it accesses a larger audience, and communicates to people who may not step foot in a gallery, helping to gain a larger appreciation for art.

 

 

 

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Gabriel Dawe

Gabriel Dawe creates site-specific installations that explore the connection between fashion and architecture, and how they relate to the human need for shelter in all its shapes and forms. His work is centered in the exploration of textiles, aiming to examine the complicated construction of gender and identity in his native Mexico and attempting to subvert the notions of masculinity and machismo prevalent in the present day.
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What drew me to Dawe’s work was the precision of the installations, as well as the bright colour. The use of thread, on a large scale, means that the lines almost become blurred, and create a vision which almost appears digital or as if it was a mist. Though the installations are quite translucent, they are still very striking and still dominate the room due to their scale and range of colour.
My ambition is to eventually work on scales of a similar range, as it is much more impacting for a viewer to experience.
Another beauty of Dawe’s work, is the juxtaposition which is created, with the installation never being in correlation with its setting. It hence works effectively in a multitude of environments, including bare industrial spaces and intricately decorated grand halls.
Included on Dawe’s website was a text which he had written, to explain his inspirations, which really helped me understand his reasoning and visions:

When I was growing up, my father was fond of clouds, particularly when a ray of light pierced through them, so luminous you almost wanted to touch them. He sometimes followed such sightings with a sketch on a scrap of paper, deftly portraying the light breaking through.

As a child, I often heard my mother express her admiration for the beauty of the sky, particularly on holidays any place in Mexico outside of Mexico City.  The bright blue skies of her childhood there, which by the time I was a teenager were often infested with pollutants, had made an impression on her in her youth. Her new-found admiration for the skies in places like Oaxaca or Querétaro was sometimes followed by nostalgic recollections of those long-gone skies of her childhood. I never quite understood her admiration at the time, particularly because what she seemed to admire the most was the blueness of the sky in plain daylight. As a young boy, I would roll my eyes, since the sky was obviously much more interesting at sunset when the colors were more intense and dramatic. If there really was a blue worth looking at, it was the rich blue that seemed to intensify after the sun dropped below the horizon. And despite my jaded attitude towards my mother’s appreciation of the not-so-intense blue of the sky in daylight, today I am able to appreciate her fascination with it. It pointed to something that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

My own admiration for the sky, with all its subtleties of form and color, peaked when I moved to Texas. The dramatic overturns of the Texas sky captivated me, particularly during my long train rides to the university where I was doing my Master’s degree. It was in Dallas where the Plexus series came to be. It all started with a compelling experiment, one due to my inclusion in a show that aimed to explore the intersections between fashion and architecture. In this, and other early pieces in the Plexus series, I had not yet recognized the link between what I was doing and my own fascination with the sky and its subtle gradations of color and light.

And yet, right from the start, it was clear that this work is infused with many layers of complexity and meaning. One of the first ideas I began developing, which comes directly from the theme of that first show, is related to the human need for shelter. I decided to create an architectural structure by using the core material of clothing. I realized that among the many intricacies of the raison d’être of both fashion and architecture is the capacity to offer shelter to the body. When we get cold, we wear a sweater. When it’s raining we can go inside a building. By reversing scale and material to create an actual structure made of thread, the sheltering quality goes through a transformation, from protecting the body on a physical level, to soothing the human spirit in a subtle, yet powerful way.

Immediately, I had the desire to use gradations of color. It just made sense to subtly blend colors into a fine progression, and it was only later that I realized this was connected to the way light blends in the sky. The fineness of the thread makes these installations ethereal, almost immaterial, yet not, almost disappearing to the eye and leaving a color haze behind. This color mist alludes to a symbolic quest to materialize light, to give it density, so that I can offer the viewer an approximation of things otherwise inaccessible to us- a glimmer of hope that brings us closer to the transcendent, to show that there can be beauty in this messed up world we live in. Light is composed of the different colors of the spectrum. Here, it also comes to symbolize unity and wholeness.

The choice to use thread was a natural extension of my work at that time, which was, and in many ways still is, an attempt to explore and subvert social constructs of gender. My growing up in Mexico, where machismo is ingrained in the very structure of society, led to many frustrations as a boy, one that looked up to his older sister—a sister who was privy to certain activities that were a definite no-no for boys. One particular activity was embroidery. Eventually, I grew out of that frustration, but the memory of it led me to explore this technique as an adult, and in doing so, to question the many social constructs that we sometimes presume to be permanent, rigid and inflexible. Eventually, I came to see the structures I was making with thread as symbolic representations of these social constructs, the viewer navigating and negotiating the installation in a dance that is analogous to what we all do in real life, without any particular thought, on a daily basis.

When it came to title these installations, I wanted to convey the complexity within and throughout all of these themes. I decided on Plexus, which literally means the network of nerves or vessels informing and sustaining the body. It was the perfect name because it not only refers to the connection of the body with its environment, but it also relates directly to the intricate network of threads forming the installation itself, and to the tension inherent in the thread, vibrating with an almost tangible luminosity. Plexus evokes the intrinsic order within the apparent chaos that exists in nature. A hidden codification breaks through, piercing our daily perceptions, seeming to create both matter and the immaterial with colorful rays of light.

Alongside the large scale installations, Dawe also creates a variety of other works. I feel as though within my practice, I also wish to experiment with different angles of viewing things and different ways to portray my visions through different mediums._2011-08-10_dawe_april2011_41_2011-09-25_End-of-Childhood-No3_W_GD_july_1102_PAIN-SERIES_No_1_alt-vie

I wish to explore different ways in which I can push the boundaries of my weaves and increase the size of them – with inspiration from Dawe’s installation style.

I also wish to experiment with neatly encasing things which may usually be otherwise messy such as the thread in the transparent boxes. Recently in the media, both Blackburn and Burnley have been referrer to as ‘struggling’ and in a mess. I could use this as a reference point, as to me the thread within the transparent boxes seems to be pressing against the surface, struggling to push out and expand, as are our ‘struggling’ towns.

Project Proposal 2nd Draft

Candidate Number 82106
Pathway

 

Visual Communications
Project Title Urban Juxtapositions
Section 1: Review (Approx 150 words)
The landscape of Blackburn is at times bleak, the town centre has empty shops, boarded windows and derelict buildings on all sides of the campus. Within my previous units of work, I decided to fill ‘holes’ across the town, referencing The Beatles song, ‘A Day in The Life’ (4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire) – which also provides a context that is immediately recognisable and is actually valued in the local community. The proposition of these brightly coloured weaves representing a direct intervention into the architecture was developed after a research visit to Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, a Victorian response to the poverty of the town during the industrial revolution. Blackburn was a cotton town and by constructing weaves of bright colour, I intend to create a juxtaposition of colour and tradition against a derelict, redundant environment.

 

The university courses that I have applied for are two Spatial Design courses and 3 Fine Art course, as my specialism is working with installation/sculpture, and creating pieces which may work interactively with the public, in outdoor environments.

Section 2: Project Concept (approx 250 words)
There is a broad range of influence to this work, it is informed by the local history, the pop culture references unique to the town, and also the proposition that the use of bold primary colour creates.  Jan Vormann also inspired this work, with reference to the concept and question “why are we brought up playing with bright shiny toys, but live in dull grey cities?”

 

For my FMP I wish to extend this project and expand on the concept and theme, continuing to experiment with bright engaging colours and collecting responses from the viewers. An aspect of my work which I feel really boosted my project was creating the hashtag, as it allowed for me to view the opinions of the views and understand whether my intentions were met. My intentions were to create a more positive and energetic environment by installing glimpses of colour and vibrancy, which many people may associate with childhood colour schemes and joy.

 

Many of my weaves have been of a small scale. The larger weave was the one which regulated the most conversation and speculation. I feel that larger scale outdoor installations are much more attractive and engaging. For my FMP I wish to created larger scale outdoor installations, continuing to respond to the dull environment within Blackburn and creating juxtaposition with the bright colour. With my aim being to transform depressing neglected sites within Blackburn into more exciting sites, I feel that the scale needs to be larger.

 

Section 3: Evaluation (approx 100 words)
Visiting Blackburn Museum also gave me an insight into the culture the South Asian population of Blackburn, and displayed many of the fabrics which they use for clothing etc. I wish to look at this for inspiration of colour and pattern, with the intent of celebrating Blackburn’s cultural diversity.

In order to evaluate my project throughout, I will constantly analyse my progression and research on my blog, reflecting on my practice and proposing ways in which I can improve it.

As I am interested in how people interact with my work and their responses to it, I have decided to create a hashtag which people can then link and comment about my work. With public interactions being one of my main interests I also plan on possibly creating a survey for members of the public to fill out, so that I am directly responding to their needs and what they would enjoy to see.

Proposed Research Sources and Bibliography (Harvard Format)
·         Ltd, S. (no date) Home. Available at: http://www.damienhirst.com/.

Sierzputowski, K. (2016)

 

·         Ai Weiwei wraps the columns of Berlin’s Konzerthaus with 14, 000 salvaged refugee life vests. Available at: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2016/02/ai-weiwei-konzerthaus-refugee-life-vests/.

 

·         MICHAEL WOLF PHOTOGRAPHY (2006) Available at: http://photomichaelwolf.com/#earth-gods/1.

 

·         Gabriel Dawe + mixed media and installation artist (no date) Available at: http://www.gabrieldawe.com/.

 

Project Proposal 1st Draft

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Jo and I went through my first draft of my Unit 7 proposal and found that I needed to add the following to my proposal:

  • Explain my previous units
  • What my specialism is, and what I’m applying for at university
  • Explain how I’m going to analyse my work constantly
  • Explain how I will structure my blog
  • How I will record my work and peoples opinions
  • What exhibitions I plan on visiting
  • What research I wish to look at

Pitch Tutorial with Jo

During the pitch me and Jo come up with a few ideas which I felt may be worth researching, in order to carry out and gain extra ideas for my project.

http://news.sky.com/story/1650487/ten-of-uks-12-most-struggling-cities-in-north

The article above highlighted to me how much the economy of Blackburn, and my hometown Burnley are struggling. This hence has led to uninhabited buildings, and neglected spaces.

Images of boarded up buildings are on display on this article as a front face of the ‘struggle’. My idea was to attempt to communicate with people who own and are demolishing these buildings, in order to transform them into more aesthetically pleasing and colourful buildings.

Another contextual issue which arose, which we thought may be a good scope to study for my project was within an article was concerning the doors of asylum seekers. They had claimed that the colour of their doors was almost a code which led to them becoming targets of abuse from racists and vandals.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/26/g4s-jomast-bosses-admit-number-asylum-seeker-red-doors-too-high-select-committee.

Me and Jo talked about different ways in which I could use the Urban setting as a ‘canvas’. I feel that continuing with the exploration of derelict and neglected buildings is a good suggestion, as bright energetic colours against the boarded up buildings creates a striking juxtaposition.

In order to do this, I plan on attempting to gain permission from the owners of buildings which I may wish to  add colour too. I plan on experimenting with different ways to add colour to these sites, whether that be with textile (weaves) as I have previously used, or paints, or with installing sculptures/objects.

We decided that if I was not able to gain permission, that I could possibly recreate and up do the designated settings digitally, or even recreate them with sculpture.

Unit 1-6 and an evaluation

Here is a link to my blogs for Units 1-6:

http://www.ciarabrownualfadblackburn.wordpress.com

 

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Above is my feedback sheet from from Units 1-6. Overall the feedback was positive though it was mentioned that I should carry out more research for my Unit 7 project, and make sure that I understand and engage with the research more thoroughly – whilst making connections with their work and my own practice.

Unit 5/6 Evaluation

Initially, my unit five project was only bounded by the term’Outdoor Installation’, as I had realised that it was a type of art which I was particularly interested in. My interest in this particular type of art sparked as I started to visit more cities. In a visit to London I saw an interesting sculpture made out of pots and pans, outside the Victoria and Albert Museum:

IMG_0254

In Liverpool, dotted around the city there are ‘Lambananas’:

year of 08

On the island in Stockholm, where a lot of the art galleries are, there  are many surreal outdoor sculptures dotted around:

 

Seeing these sparked an interest. At first it was the idea of the art work becoming part of the city in which it is placed, often dominating a space – or becoming a part of their identity . The fact that the art works are seen by people, all walks of life, who may not be interested as art as a hobby, as they pass the sculptures and are addressed by them. The idea of art being bounded by the walls of a gallery seems less interesting to me, than having it juxtapose against the everyday settings – which is why I wish to engage with outdoor sculptures/art works.

After visiting Blackburn museum, and seeing the mummy – I was influenced to look at the art of wrapping and how it can be explored and pushed. Artists such as Christo and Jeanne-Claude have exhausted the  art, with pieces such as the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin:

Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-95

As well as Penique Productions, who wrap the insides of structures:

Penique productions inflate giant rooms, in order for them to engulf the space of the room and create an extra layer. This hense creates in interesting aesthetic in places where the light is shining through the block colour skin and in places where it appears to be vacuum packed the to exterior.

I was influenced by the work of Penique productions to create a ‘bubble wrap room’. It was proposed to me that there would be an opportunity to create an interactive space – which both children and adults would appreciate and enjoy. I brainstormed, and come up with the idea of a bubble wrap room, after discussing the idea with many people, and coming to an agreement that most adults and children have found great satisfaction in popping bubble wrap, whether that be to relieve stress or just simply listen to the sounds of the popping. I used brightly coloured lighting equipment to enhance the experience of the interactive room. With there being no window, the lighting was all artificial, and seemed surreal as it illuminated the whole room.

Doing this project brought to light too me how important bright colours are to children. Jan Vormann, is an artist who rebuilds ruined walls using lego bricks. His concept remarks that we are brought up as children playing with brightly coloured objects, and fall in love with varieties of vibrant colours, to then be filtered out into dull urban societies. I also feel passionately about the neglect of colour in urban society – which is why I chose to follow a theme of bright colours within my experiments.

Following a crit in class, I decided that due to my theme of ‘outdoor installation’ and with me being new to the town of Blackburn, that  I should centre my project within and around the town. One thing that puts Blackburn on the map – something which many of the residents are familiar with – is a verse of The Beatles song ‘A Day in the Life’ which says, ‘4000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire’. I thought that it would be quite fun and humourous to adopt this as a starting point for my project.

I decided to talk a walk around my new town, looking for ‘holes’ to which I could base my project around. I photographed any interesting holes on a map, and marked their location on a printed out map, as well as a record of the journey, so that if I wished to revisit the holes, I would know remember their location.

Seeing Juliana Herrera’s work, of potholes filled with yarn, influenced me to begin experimenting with fabrics as a material to ‘fill’ the holes with. Blackburn holds a strong history, of being one of the most important cotton producers in the world in the 19th century . I decided to experiment with weaving, after seeing the loom machines in the museum which used to be used in the factories of Blackburn.

Within unit 1-5 I developed many new skills which I can apply to my current and future practice. With filling the holes with weaves, I developed skills in a process. In order make this project successful I had to measure the hole, build the frame, create the weave and install the weave. I also learnt to appreciate the fitting of the weave, as a performance, as it was done out in the public. With this project, I learn’t how to use a loom machine. I also experimented with mediums such as plaster, resin and drawing.

My university applications were quite diverse, to Chelsea College of Art and London College of Communication I have applied to Spatial Design, at Brighton, Goldsmiths and Central Saint Martins I have applied for the Fine Art courses. My main interest is working in a way which directly interacts with the public, as a whole, not just in an art galleries – which is why I chose to apply for Spatial Design as well as Fine Art.