INFLUENCES AND CONTEXT

 

  • Generative Art

  • Rule/System Based Art

  • Hilma Af Klint

  • Sonia Delaunay

  • Katrina Blannin

  • Gunta Stolzl

  • Bauhaus Manifesto

  • Biggs and Collings

  • Owen Jones - The Grammar of Ornament

  • Adolf Loos - Ornament and Crime

  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman - The Yellow Wallpaper

  • Frantisek Kupka

  • Sonia Delaunay

Unit III

Hyper-Pattern

 

Messy, Mirrors and the 3D

Unit II

Unit I

ORder versus Chaos

 
 

At this point in time, [I had come straight from BA Painting] I was happy with my core practice, I liked the work it was producing and the ideas that I was using, the evaluation of decoration/ornamentation [and all that it encompasses] in art. However I was stuck in a rut when it came to the type of work that I was making. There were no great developments apart from the style of design used and the materials. My work was typically a circular board with a tessellation made from no more than 6 different types of materials, although many colours were used.

 

Geometry is an integral part of my work and has been used by many artists before me in many different ways. Sonia Delaunay, 'the woman who made colour dance' [according to The Guardian], used geometry as a major component of her work. Sonia Delaunay was the main protagonist [along with Robert Delaunay] of the Orphism movement. Her use of contrasting colours and smooth transitions between forms is structured by geometry and she was not the only one to do this. Sarah Morris, Katrina Blannin, Anni Albers and Hilma af Klint all use strong colours controlled by geometric forms. In using the geometric patterns the works also take on a tessellation aspect.

The repetition in my work stems from the fact that in any pattern, symmetrical or not, will have the same shape repeated in some way, shape or form. Lisa Milroy repeats whole pieces in her work, whether it is shoes or handbags. Biggs and Collings have the same simple shape repeated over an entire work, this then creates the pattern. Agnes Martin commonly used a grid in her work.

 

I was now considering Systems Art and Generative Art, Marlow Moss, Jean Spencer. Zombie Formalism / Crapstraction. After Constructionism by Brandon Taylor. Also the technical side of making; using Plywood / Perspex instead of MDF boards, have a split baton on the back of each board [for stability and accuracy] and using a conservation grade glue - Lascaux Acrylic Glue - mainly because of yellowing that occurs due to acid in some glues, degrading my fabric and materials over time.

 

Generative Art as it is now called uses or is created with autonomous system. Sol LeWitt's list of rules is the style that I favour. His uses of geometric shapes and detailed lines hark to my patterns. But the fact that they are usually made directly onto the wall link to Richard Wright.

 

I knew that I wanted to change my style of work, not the research behind it but its physical makings. I knew which ideas were important to me Ornamentation, Rules and Circles, and I knew what I was willing to bend on Geometry [specifically the line dividing the materials].

This led me to remove the geometry from the making equation, the lines that separate the materials, the underlying pattern. This decision meant that there was no boundary between materials they can intermingle. In terms of physical aspects I kept the Circular Shape, Colours, Materials and Textures.

With my work now a step removed from geometry, I was looking into 'chaos'. For me the natural opposite to order - geometry.  I was already looking at fractals as part of my work and the kaleidoscope and these both stem from Chaos Theory. From chaos theory I jumped into Nebulas as they had a chaotic-ness to them and I wanted something to inform the ornamentation on a working piece. This led me into thinking of the work as a landscape of space. So I started looking at nebulas - Carina, Lagoon, Tarantula… . These then informed the placement of materials.

 

The ideas I drew from this type of work were that they were a type of landscape [when seen flat, not on wall], they looked as if they were ways into a different worlds, portholes. They were chaotic in their appearance compared to my other work, even though there were rules still involved. But I started looking at a lot more visual sources compared with the geometric pieces. The word landscapes kept echoing for me and the idea that they were from a different world, so I looked into Nebulas and astronomy.

Loos Haus

Loos Haus

Sonia Delaunay

Sonia Delaunay

Lothar Goetz

Lothar Goetz

Lothar Goetz

Lothar Goetz

Vassily Kandinsky

Vassily Kandinsky

Biggs and Collings

Biggs and Collings

Richard Wright

Richard Wright

Technicolour Cocktail

Technicolour Cocktail

Acrylic, Artex, Cotton, Enamel and Ink on Board 700mm dia.

Azure Forest

Azure Forest

Acrylic, Artex, Cotton, Enamel and Ink on Board 500mm dia.

Lemon Spring

Lemon Spring

Acrylic, Artex, Cotton, Enamel and Ink on Board 500mm dia.

Electric Cyan

Electric Cyan

Acrylic, Artex, Cotton, Enamel and Ink on Board 300mm dia.

Damson Dream

Damson Dream

Acrylic, Artex, Cotton, Enamel and Ink on Board 300mm dia.

The paintings I was making in response to the 'chaotic' theme were messy  with no clear direction as they had the materials flung down and then arranged to look somewhat organised. This in complete opposition to the geometric tessellations, and I wanted to make something of these paintings and so started to look more into bacteria in petri dishes. These bacteria are left to do completely their own thing. There is no human involvement, and although when making I would have a hand in this, making there be human involvement, at least that was the idea. Completely autonomous.

 

From these I started to consider more the making of these circles.  But now I was looking towards the autonomous side and letting the materials make their own portals. With the introduction of some petri dishes [helpfully circular] and using PVA instead of Agar, I simply dropped some paint in the dishes and let the paint 'grow'.

 

The petri dish works evolved to become a side part of my practice, something that I was doing only when a block came. This helped the petri dishes as I was not as concerned with how they turned out, I was allowing the paint to actually do what it wanted.

The use of mirror stemmed from the idea that 'the small, detailed geometric tondos look like portals, like ways into another world [Alice Through the Looking-Glass], or the windows in a ships cabin, the small circular ones.' This links to the petri dishes as they are microscopic world in themselves. 

So for this project, I took some mirror paper and then painted/created the messy and chaotic materials around a pool of mirror. This process I found fascinating as I was deliberately leaving a piece out, this meant that the audience could see themselves reflected back. However it was not a perfect reflection the mirror paper meant that it was hazy and irregular and unless standing a certain distance from it you would only see parts reflected.

 

I further did a geometric tessellation with the mirror paper leaving some sections out, this was far more successful as it had a clearer objective, there were deliberate pieces missing. Michelangelo Pistoletto smashes mirrors, and although he views them as a representation of interconnectedness, they still leave certain fragments behind creating a portal.

 

The mirror lended itself in the making of depth much like in the Shah Cheragh, a funerary mosque in Iran. This mosque's interior is entirely mirrors. Each small individual tile is engraved and creates this awe-inspiring  mosaic. Death and mirrors seem to go hand in hand as Jean Cocteau uses mirrors as a portal to the underworld in Orphee and in Alice Through the Looking-Glass, the mirror is a portal to a completely mirrored world, death like.

 

Although I knew the design for the piece of work, I did not know what form the work would take, I knew it was to be different than my norm and so I set out doing a series of experiments playing around with different material combinations. This lead me to the use of the mirrors again. The cut-outs let you see through the door onto the Euston Road, and for me this was as if you were looking into another world [where the mirrors come in], the busy modern world compared with the throwback Gothic style crypt.

Site-specific mirrors have been used before to create illusionistic worlds. Marc Wallinger at the Fred Museum hung a mirror on the ceiling of Freud's study, doubling the space and creating a sense of self-reflection. Yayoi Kusama's Infinities Room, a room covered in mirrors and LED lights, expressed an interest in infinite, endless vision. Jeppe Hein uses mirrors as another material, his Mirror Labyrinth NY creates a fragmented view of New York, making it unfamiliar and disorientating, like a labyrith.

 

In an experiment for The Eyes of the River I layered the materials creating 3D, which had always been brought up in the past in relation to my work and I had put it aside due to logistics and aesthetics. Although I went with a different approach for The Eyes of the River, I did once again bring up the idea of the 3D. I chose origami, I knew that I could easily create 3D shapes and it would have the pattern element that I still wanted to retain by choosing patterned paper.

 

The work that I made using the origami, was itself an illusion. The paper used, from a distance does not look like paper. It looks softer than it is. From a distance it also looks flat. The design on the board only revels itself once hung on the wall.

 

The paper used was patterned wrapping paper, not meant for origami, but it came in large format sheets which was useful for the larger triangles. I chose this paper because of the patterns and colours it used. It was not fabric like my normal work, but the colours were so vivid that it could have been. The patterns on the paper were also different to my fabric as they were minimalist patterns, with not much detail.

MOVING FORWARD

 

  • Petri Dishes become only an afterthought in my practice, they are secondary to the main geometric work

  • Relief and the layering of materials

  • Take note of the patterns used. Is there any way to combine entirely random pattern styles

  • Explore more the idea of a portal

  • How does the portal work with a reference to taste [domestic/aesthetics]

  • Making a portal between different spaces

Shar Chergh Mirrored Ceiling

Shar Chergh Mirrored Ceiling

Nasr ol Molk Mosque Ceiling

Nasr ol Molk Mosque Ceiling

Hall of Mirrors, Versailles

Hall of Mirrors, Versailles

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama

Orphee, Jean Cocteau

Orphee, Jean Cocteau

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Petri Dish

Petri Dish

Two Hundred and Fifty Three

Two Hundred and Fifty Three

Paper on Board 700mm dia.

The Eyes of the River IV

The Eyes of the River IV

Acrylic, Artex, Cotton and Mirror on Board 457mm dia.

The Eyes of the River II

The Eyes of the River II

Acrylic, Artex, Cotton and Mirror on Board 457mm dia.

The Eyes of the River Experiment 2

The Eyes of the River Experiment 2

Crypt Doors

Crypt Doors

Seventeen

Seventeen

Cotton, Lace and Mirror on Board 200mm dia.

Petri Dish Experiment 16

Petri Dish Experiment 16

Petri Dish Experiment 7

Petri Dish Experiment 7

Petri Dish Experiment 1

Petri Dish Experiment 1

INFLUENCES AND CONTEXT

  • Oculus

  • The Hive at Kew

  • Olafur Eliasson - Kaleidoscope Mirrors

  • Emma Kunz

  • Breathing Colour: Hella Jongerius, Design Museum

  • Kaleidoscope

  • Patchwork

  • Rose Window

  • Notre-Dame

  • Man-Hole Covers

  • Portals

  • Cosmati Pavement

  • Owen Jones - The Grammar of Ornament

  • Adolf Loos - Ornament and Crime

  • Stained glass window of the MAK Museum Vienna

  • Entangled, Turner Contemporary

  • The Yellow Wallpaper

  • On Ugliness / On Beauty - Umberto Eco

  • Yayoi Kusama - Infinities Room

  • Shah Cheragh

  • Mark Wallinger, TFL Mazes

MOVING FORWARD

 

  • Look more into the Rose window style, and the types of pattern that it creates.

  • More busy in terms of fabric and style of layered design.

  • Try to incorporate the lace back into the work, or a try a textured layered work?

After the origami piece, I started to think about my work in terms of illusion and decoration. Was my work about the illusion that is created with the fabrics and the tessellation. Was it about the decoration of the work itself, the floral patterns that are in the fabrics and the design that the geometry creates. I looked at it from the view that I create the illusion through the use of decoration. The illusion is that; at first you do not know what you are looking at, it could be painted, it could be anything and with the geometric design, it is so busy that your eyes bounce around. The decoration is all encompassing, it is the floral fabrics that make up my materials, it is the geometric design of my layout and it is the board itself, being a circle, it is viewed more as an object and so becomes a decorative object.

 

Continuing from the origami piece, I started to plan another 3D work, this was to be more like my geometric tessellations. This board was also to be the largest circle that I had cut to date. It was 1220mm dia. To make the 3D element of the work I would be using a layering technique, where each ring of pattern would be another layer of hardboard. Each layer would rise 4mm. The materials I used in this board were my usual suspects of floral fabrics, enamel, acrylic and artex. While designing the geometric pattern for this work, I decided to make it a diptych. One board would be convex and one would concave. The convex board would rise up to the centre of the board and in reversal would be in darker tones. The concave would sink down from the edges and use lighter and brighter colours. The scale of this work meant that it was more of a monument and less delicate. There were mistakes on both boards, some of the edges did not meet up of each layer. This was down to the fact that I used a band-saw to cut the shapes myself and so human error was involved. It was also noted that some of the florals jarred, and detracted from the overall appearance making it seem lesser in value.

The geometric design for this work was directly edited from an Islamic pattern. The pattern helped the work, because of its radial symmetry. This gave me the 'ring' of shapes needed to facilitate the layering.

 

The Hive at Kew was a reference point for this piece of work. Although The Hive is an architectural sculpture, the oculus at the centre of the roof is a marvel. As the eye moves closer to the centre of the metal frame, the shapes become more organised and the layers of metal work align. This gives the appearance of regular shapes moving around a central point. Not unlike my work.

 

My reference points have always been about inhabited spaces [the domestic] and how the materials interact with that space. The glass and the concrete, almost sterile in nature would be the ultimate space to inhabit, contrast with and take over using materials that echo the home. This idea would lead me to realise Adolf Loos’ ‘Ornamentation and Crime’ [1907]. Loos’ talks about ornamentation being a crime and that the only way forward was in the smooth and precious surfaces, with effort wasted in ornamenting. [He later goes on to introduce ornamentation as immoral.] My rhetoric about the décor would contradict that. I would be messing with the glass and concrete that he would applaud, introducing the ornamentation that he so vehemently hates.

The word pattern has many definitions but the one that I am focusing / investigating on at the moment is…

n. = an example of excellence; an ideal; a model.

 

Medieval scholars believed that rose windows were to be intrinsically divine and perfect, an example of excellence. These circular oculi are the basis for my current set of paintings. In conjunction with this definition, pattern can also mean a repeated design. In the Notre Dame de Paris, there is a set of rose windows done in the Rayonnant style, so less ornate than a typical High-Gothic window. These windows fit with the medieval time period of the scholars. There is both a north and south transept window, these windows have the same structure [masonry] but different design [glass]. I have re-iterated this in my current work. I have make two paintings. They have the same structural pattern. But different floral fabrics.

 

I have gone on to re-interpret the definition of a repeated design, as the boards are based on a rose window and I have used a fabric with roses on it. This continues the repetition along with the fact that the structural pattern employs radial symmetry.

After doing the layered pieces, I was considering the use of pattern in my work and how it was the pattern and not the decoration or ornamentation that was important any more. It was about PATTERN and all of it definitions.

 

Pattern is a way to control the materials that I use. Pattern, as a term, can also mean template, but I associate it when stating that it organises surfaces and structures in a consistent, regular manner. Continuing from that tessellation is the tiling of a plane using one or more geometric shapes with no overlaps or gaps. Zellige a form of Islamic art uses geometric patterned mosaics to ornament. Mandalas, although not a form of geometry take on the pattern/symmetry aspect - these are used to represent to cosmos, a microcosm of the universe.

 

I regret that pattern [in terms of a decorative floral pattern] is dying out. An issue of this was when Chintz introduced people went mad for it. So much so that the English were importing so much of this India styled patterned fabric, that the native mills were suffering. This lead to government banning the importing of Chintz [with loopholes of course], so that the mills could once again prosper. A pattern has left the building, although now it is used for upholstery more than anything. Another occurrence of something effecting pattern is the Ikea effect [not the cost but the styling] how when Ikea came long everyone did away with the chintz and the patterns, the loud clashing colour the nick nacks. They tidied it all up, they went for minimalism and monotones, with only small bursts of colour. Pattern had left the building.

 

With this new direction came a new type of work. However, still in circular form. I was still hung up on the idea of the portal, and from doing the concave board with the idea of going 'down/underneath', I started to look at man-hole covers. These metal grates were often designed to be decorative [and helpfully circular], in Japan each district has its own painted design. The type of design of the covers, lead me back to an experiment [Exp.4 ] that I had done for the Crypt Show. This entailed of a two flat layer design. The background had a series of fabric shapes, tessellated. The foreground had a series of fabric shapes, but these were not tessellated and so with gaps between meant that you could see the background fabrics.

 

Experiment 4, lead to the latest series of work. A Crossing of Windows… …Into a Labyrinth of Circles. The design for these was based off an earring of mine with composites of rose windows, which I then edited to make more symmetrical and coherent. The board would follow the structure of Exp. 4 with two flat layers of shapes. The materials used would only be floral fabrics this time, because as with a  window, it is flat; so lace and textures would take away from that ideal. While making these pieces I was thinking more of the making than with any others, partly due to 'an example of excellence' [See Below], and because of how precise I needed to be so get the finish I was after. This meant that, even though it resembled more of a patchwork than any previous work, there would be no stitching involved. The shapes would all be glued and this was down to control. I am no master embroiderer and so to get the perfection and clean edges I was after, a hemmed shape was glue to paper first and then glued to the board. Although if I did have stitching, that would give me another line of pattern.

“THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF ART, THE USE OF FABRIC HAS BEEN A FASCINATION FOR ARTISTS. FABRIC, LIKE CLOTHING OR SKIN, IS FRAGILE; IT TRANSLATES THE UNIQUE QUALITY OF IMPERMANENCE.”

—Christo and Jeanne-Claude

INFLUENCES AND CONTEXT

 

  • National Gallery, Making Colour

  • NHM, Colour and Vision

  • Constellation Map

  • Paper Sculptures

  • Kusadama

  • Origami

  • Relief Acoustic Foam Pyramid Tiles

  • M.C. Escher

  • Trompe l-oeil

  • Microscopes

  • Orphee

  • Shah Cheragh

  • Mark Quinn at Somerset House Courtyard

  • Mark Wallinger at Freud Museum

  • Mark Wallinger, TFL Mazes

  • Yayoi Kusama - Infinities Room

  • Michelangelo Pistoletto - Mirror Smashing

  • Hall of Mirrors, Versailles

  • Jeppe Hein

MOVING FORWARD

 

  • An idea that I did come across was that maybe I do not have differentiate between the geometric and non-geometric, they are just different forms of geometry.

  • Repetition has always been a part of my work, and I still think it is an aspect that I want to keep in my work, but at the moment I am not sure how.

  • What I understand by any material that I use will be different to what others understand when they see that material. Any material I use will bring all the connotations that I associate with that object.

  • Letting the materials do their own thing.

  • Turning these 'objects' into quite grotesque/horrendous pieces by going overboard with the materials. Complete opposite to what some might see as my work being twee.

The Hive at Kew

The Hive at Kew

The Hive at Kew

The Hive at Kew

Manhole Cover

Manhole Cover

Olafur Eliasson

Olafur Eliasson

MAK Museum, Vienna

MAK Museum, Vienna

Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris

Two Hundred and Forty Eight I
Two Hundred and Forty Eight I

Acylic, Artex, Enamel, Cotton and Lace on Board 1220mm dia.

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Two Hundred and Forty Eight II
Two Hundred and Forty Eight II

Acylic, Artex, Enamel, Cotton and Lace on Board 1220mm dia.

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A Crossing of Windows...
A Crossing of Windows...

Printed Cotton Fabric on Board 1000mm dia.

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...Into a Labryinth of Circles
...Into a Labryinth of Circles

Printed Cotton Fabric on Board 1000mm dia.

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Pattern Design
Experiment 4