Wednesday 22 February 2012

Article in the Guardian on the impact of the Olympic Park

A friend of my sent me link to an interesting article in the Guardian by Alexandra Topping. The article looks at the impact of the development of the Olympic Park and its connection to the surrounding area:

An alternative Olympic tour takes in Hackney's art, history and fashions

The article in many ways touches upon what I am trying to achieve in my project. Have a look and see for yourself and please feel free to leave comment on the blog.

Monday 20 February 2012

Three more 3D

Q) Did the other three 3D pieces emerge in the same way as Leaded Tree

Yes - all were produced from materials I had found around the industrial area of Walthamstow which connects to the Lee Valley Park. Industrial Landscape.was constructed from an old radiator which was once part of an industrial size fridge....   
Industrial Landscape
Deconstructed Landscape used corrugated board.around the outer edges and wood chippings in the centre and was framed in an old wooden wine storage box....

Deconstructed Landscape 2
... and A Grey Area was produced by inlaying corrugated board into MDF. All of the works were then painted with acrylic to harmonise them visually and remove them a step further from their original function and appearance.  

A Grey Area

Saturday 11 February 2012

Interview (2)

Q) It seems that 3D has emerged organically from your painting but did you have any interest in sculpture before conceiving of Changing Spaces or is this a completely new  thing for you? 

Part of my interest in sculpture and 3D artwork does go back a long way to GCSEs at Chiswick Community School in West London in the early 1990s. We had visiting teacher who introduced me to the media of assemblage. Although this was a short-lived introduction it left a strong impression on me although, at that time, the process of creating  the assemblage was often much more appealing that the outcome!

Assemblage was about using found objects and presenting them in their raw state, so when I produced my first 3D artwork in 2010 I used the general ideas of assemblage and added my own style and approach. My aim was to try and strike a balance between the conceptual and the aesthetic. The results off the first group of sculptural  works led me to explore other possibilities. Ironically I found myself going back to some basic creative principles I had as a teenager and the freedom to experiment in order to develop ideas. Nearly all my ideas for each sculpture are inspired by the physical process of creating the work. I find it nearly impossible and actually quite restricting to actually plan each piece in terms of preparatory sketches or set processes.

The first 3D work I produced was called Leaded Tree. I had  found a piece of tree branch on an industrial estate in the Lee Valley Park and I took it back to the studio intending to carve it in some way. First I found that the tools I was using had a huge impact on the nature of the carving. In fact, it was the chisels themselves which began to dictate the work rather than any ideas I had for it. At that time my studio building was being renovated and I had picked up several scraps of lead which were just sitting in my studio as I was working on the wood. I had often worked with lead doing building work so I knew how supple it was and how easy to shape. The two materials are similar in the sense that both lead and wood are created by nature but each is also very much perceived, and used, as an industrial staple. So these two things just merged to form my first sculptural piece in 2010.

Saturday 4 February 2012

Interview - Part One

As one of the collaborative aspects of Changing Spaces,. artist and writer, Valerie Grove will be conducting an ongoing interview as the project unfolds. Her first question is addressed in this post.

1. Up until this point all of your work has been 2D and all has been painting. Although there have been changes in your painting style over the years this project seems to mark a major shift in your artistic development. How did this move to 3D emerge? 

In 2009 I produced several paintings in which the surfaces were very thickly layered  and the paint was actually applied over other materials such as corrugated card inlaid into MDF. I left parts of the underlying materials exposed which revealed the depth of the layers and actually gave the appearance of 3D sections within the flat surface of the whole work. This was important because it was transitional work which really brought my interest in 3D into focus.

I took this much further in 2010 with four experimental pieces of art  in which I used found objects to produce three-dimensional wall mounted works. These were included in a solo exhibition exploring the physical relationship between London and England shown at Vestry House Museum, London E17. There was a lot of  interest in the approach I took in producing these works which encouraged me to investigate other ways of working within a 3D aesthetic using found objects. 

I was fascinated by the physical scale of the development of the Olympic Park and its structural complexities and was lucky to be given an opportunity to visit the Park in its development stages. The ODA and the Lee Valley Park subsequently provided me with materials to produce a more ambitious body of work and the Lee Valley Park then offered me an exhibition as part of their 2012 programme. So this is my first real opportunity to just focus on producing 3D artwork and is how Changing Spaces has emerged. 

After The Fire