For fine art we were required to create a visual response to the project theme of ‘something like a phenomena’. The project was interested in the gap between the explained world and the unexplained, drawing influence from the human idea of the ‘self’ in direct relation to concepts such as the metaphysical, the dream state and personal human belief systems. Some starting points we were given included illusion, religion, mythologies, occultism and ritual.
During this project I was very short on time for a number of reasons and so there is a lot of room for improvement and development. I had carried out some research into the above topics as a starting point but this is not shown, so the project begins with my artist research. I have looked at three artists that I felt had links to the broad theme of ‘phenomena’. The first was Rene Magritte, whose witty surrealist work gave me a lot of inspiration for potential final pieces and also led me to consider the use of collage and mixed media in my development work. Secondly, Javier Perez’s disturbing sculptures that aimed to ‘confront humanity with its own condition’ was a collection of work that stood out to me both for its rich use of materials such as intestines, hides, parchment and latex and the way he manipulated these materials into strong thought-provoking pieces. Contrastingly, Constantinos Chaidalis’ delicate, mostly pastel collages were reflective of ‘phenomena’ but in a very different way. Like Magritte’s, Chaidalis’ playful collages inspired me to make use of collage and mixed media in my own development work.
After my artist research I experimented with this idea of collage. As well as Magritte and Chaidalis, I used the collages of illustrator and painter Eugina Loli to inform these small mock-ups. I used the internet to source images from two distinct areas; vintage candid photographs and images of space and constellations. In combining these it is quite easy to create some witty and interesting pieces in not very much time. I feel that these were particularly effective at showing the theme of phenomena simply because of the juxtaposition between the two kinds of images put together – showing the vastness of space beside the small, candid images of humans.
Overall this project shows that there is lots of potential for development of this work and I think better time management would definitely have helped with that. I would have liked to create one or a series of final pieces making use of the techniques I had experimented with, and would definitely have taken some of those small-scale experimentation pieces and re-created them on an A3 or A2 scale because they could have been strong pieces of work showing the idea of phenomena.