Looking at projects i have previously worked on, I wanted to draw elements from them and reinforce my original ideas in the way I wanted to work and to how to present my thoughts and experiences. Choosing my ‘extraordinary object’ last year, I was able to create ethereal ghostly images with the white sheets. By incorporating the figure into my images I felt I was able to draw together the body to the earth in a spiritual, theatrical way. The sheets seemed to blend into the landscape. Working with the sheets, figure and landscape last year, I was again able to draw the link of body and earth, which, relating to the Together and Apart project, can show an engaged or distanced relationship. I’ve found working with materials is something I enjoy, as I like to create almost images with slow movement, and sound.
An installation work I made last year was the ‘fabric landscape’. The figure is able to walk around and become absorbed into the handing materials, looking at the folding drapes and gentle, natural movements. To be immersed in a work is something I want the audience to feel with my work. I like having my works large scale, creating a large space for the viewer to enter. Using projections of my images and videos, with the depiction of the figure and the landscape, further created heavenly and ghostly movements and images. I felt the installation was performing, portraying the whimsical and strange. Theatre and melodrama; linking to the spiritual upheavals of the body’s end in the earth. I found something quite frightening and ghostly about this installation, which is something I intend to carry on into my next works. After looking at books revolved around grief brought about the idea that the past can never be left alone. Such as in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, where Cathy constantly returns, and her children live in the shadows of her life. Where temporalities of past, present and future are held together by a single event or time, this I want to be able to portray in my future work.
Another project I have previously worked on is ‘committing the body to the ground’, looking at the ritualistic elements of funerals. With the interest in our culture to bury the body into the ground upon death, I created my own ground and showed underneath a portrayal of the figure, committing the body to the ground, upon where it would eventually decompose and be absorbed into, destiny. Anselm Kiefer is an artist who interested me as he often depicts the body laid upon the earth in a mournful way. He drew inspiration from Octavio Paz’s mystical vision in Blanco (1966)..
is an invention of the world
is an invention of the spirit.
This draws in the spiritual link between the body and the world, to show the body in its natural surroundings.
I think working outside is something I intend to carry on into the next project, especially due to limited inside space to work in at the moment. Working as well with people/portraits and nature is something I am constantly drawn too as I feel that the human reaction in nature is so powerful. Especially during lock-down, I feel this power become ever more apparent, as people came to appreciate their relationship with the outdoors. This work that I previously worked on is obviously also addressing the mournful side of the relationship, which is a subject I also intend to continue portraying
My favourite exhibition EVER was Alexander McQueen’s ‘Savage Beauty’ exhibit in London. This spectacle of emotion and drama evolves from his past experiences, the human forms within these outfits appear to be overwhelmed by grief. I think this is what I want to achieve in my work, for people to have an insight into my thoughts and experience. Also, I feel after experiencing deaths of loved ones, I want my works to be a memento mori. Which perhaps in the circumstances in the world at the moment, is something we can all relate to – aware of death and able to personify it.
In this project I want to use the effects of nature upon self. How the mind use the essence of nature to overcome experiences and transcend. To begin, I will use the sea. The landscape where I grew up and was raised. I have begun by taking images of the sea, images that I feel show its power. Working with images, I want to create an encapsulating surrounding of the sea, mirroring its real presence. In some photos I wanted to try and show the figure transcending, so the figure is posing among the waves, and then rising above them, overcoming.
The Death of Ophelia painting by Everett Millais I find is such a beautiful work. The figure surround by nature, as she picked flowers, overcome by madness, and slowly floats away. The use of water and the figure enwrapped in it is something very powerful, hence why I have chosen in my work to focus on the water, and the power of this with people. After looking into the teaching of Buddhism, some particular phrases stuck in mind, and I found very powerful in relation to my project…‘silence is better than unnecessary drama’, ‘every morning we are born again’, ‘grief is love lost’, ‘free from attachment knows neither grief or fear’. The body immersing itself in the surroundings, blending in with the landscape and becoming it.
I want to work on a big scale in this project I think, to allow viewers to feel immersed into the work and to create a landscape. I will work through linking between the body, the mind and the earth.