Degree Show 2023
BA Art and Design
Within this project, I explored ideas such as the canvas as skin, the process of distressing and deconstructing the canvas, and the memory of surfaces. Following on from my previous project, my initial interests focused on the changing surface of aging skin and how this relates to the decaying and deteriorating walls of a building. This developed into an interest in the memory of surfaces and the marks or dents left over time.
Inspired by artists such as Angela Dela Cruz and Lucio Fontana, I experimented with processes of manipulating the surface of a canvas and mark-making. This includes burning, ripping, tearing, layering up paint and coloured paper, scraping it back, spilling different substances, stretching and un-stretching the canvas. From process-led sample experiments, I produced a series of figurative mixed media paintings of groups of people in urban scenes, working on painting some areas intricately and leaving some sketchy and collaged. I incorporated the destructive processes on areas of the paintings, exploring the idea of erasure.
I am interested in transforming the canvas into a relic, with the intention of enforcing the theme of memory, influenced by artists such as Adrian Ghenie. Leon Golub also motivated my investigation into the notions of presentation and representation, and the experimentation with display and exhibiting. The four large-scale figurative paintings of my family and friends hold elements and markings of destruction and distress to make them appear as relics of my personal memories. I prioritised process and the exploration of the relationship between paint and materiality. I intend for the paintings to appear old-looking and as though they have been found in a pile of historical possessions. The two little studies accompanying them further exhibit my experimentation with paint and materiality on a smaller scale, with the difference in detail.
In the display of my work, I encourage the viewer to think more about the relationship between the paint/markings and the added materials as well as the texture of the canvas. I have utilised experimentation of creating texture and mark-making with metal scrapes and hardened brushes to add areas of abstraction. I have also built-up layers, to remove areas of paint and create fragmentation. The material fraying and hanging off the edges of the canvases remain loose and present..