Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Seen and Not Seen

I have just got back from an inter railing trip round Europe with some friends which was the loveliest thing, and I've filled a sketchbook and a half this summer so far. We visited Paris for a day and then Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna and finally Budapest: going to art galleries and exploring all day, plus hours and hours of train journeys.

I also went on a day trip to Dungeness to see Derek Jarman's home by the beach and wander between the lighthouses and the huge power station. There was a perpetual wind blowing and Prospect Cottage's black and yellow silhouette stood out against the orange wildflowers and stone sculptures. It was v sad as well as beautiful seeing Jarman's deserted garden preserved as he grew it and reading the Donne poem carved on the wall among the plants.

 Thou, sun, art half as happy as we,
               In that the world's contracted thus.
         Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
         To warm the world, that's done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy center is, these walls, thy sphere.


(Also my portrait is finally on show in the room before the BP Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London!)

I am listening to..
Elliott Smith / XO
Blood Orange / Freetown Sound
Parquet Courts / Human Performance

Good luck for anyone getting their exam results in two days!!
from G

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Eff Off New Tate Modern

The new Shift Building connected to Tate Modern is underwhelming and disappointing. I expected young, unknown artists from less privileged backgrounds, and a host of new artworks I had never seen before, but I was met with the familiar "Stack" by Tony Cragg in Room 1, a white male artist who peaked in the 1980s in Britain  (I literally just googled "rubbishy cube of wood tate modern" to find out what that was called and it was the first option). So much for Shift's promise to push boundaries and widen their horizons..

I do understand that the new building features far more ethnic minorities and females in its rooms than the previous Tate, which is an improvement, but why is it all still so stagnant? The featured artists on the whole are not young, (some of them even dead) nor are they breaking any boundaries. I saw room after room of minimal sculpture, installation and video, but not one painting. (The Louise Bourgeois room being the exception.) Of course, the creative arts have moved further away from plastic practices such as drawing etc. but that doesn't mean no one does it any more- Without a single work that demonstrated technical skill or even the sign of a human hand, the pieces on exhibition were sterile and showed no sense of humanity, which is Not representative of the modern art world today. I felt shut-out and unconnected, so I decided to stop taking it seriously and added a note to the Comments board in their foyer.

I also wanted to mention the so-called "interactive" art downstairs in the Tanks, that were supposedly aimed at a direct connection with the visitors through performance and sculpture. Rasheed Araeen’s Zero to Infinity, for example, lay untouched in a perfectly-assembled square on the floor, as the audience silently stared at it. Nothing happened. The artwork's purpose was for its spectators to move it around and TOUCH it when it was first made, but when I took one step closer, a surly guard in a Tate uniform with a walky-talky told me to "stand back Miss".

I went into Tate yesterday excited and hopeful, with an open mind.. and there are of course lots of positive things to say- one of the fifth most visited museums in the world has decided to (slightly) widen its depiction of the art history canon by introducing more artists from overlooked groups ! Great.
But overall, I shouldn't have found so many things to be disappointed with.
I found the atmosphere uninspiring and intimidating, which I think is sort of depressing, as a young artist.

(The macaws that were supposed to be in this installation weren't even there.)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

The Dream Synopsis

Dear all,

I know it has been many months since I last posted, I have had a stressful time sorting out where Im going to go for Art foundation in London next year (Royal Drawing School!!) and exams for university.
I also turned 18 in March, which was so strange and exciting and I got a cheese plant (above) to put in my room and some pretty art supplies..My friends and I took a daytrip to Margate to celebrate- we went swimming, played in the arcades and then sat on the beach as the sun set which was so lovely. But at the same time, everything is becoming a little strange and scary as exams loom closer and I'm beginning to realise I'll have to say goodbye to a lot of people going to university next year..

In other news my portrait is going to be displayed in the National Portrait Gallery.. It was selected out of the NPG Summer School Portrait painting week which I attended in 2015, to be displayed in the summer next to the BP portrait Award, which I am so excited about.

My new year's resolution to find two new bands/artists each month is going v well too, having seen Fat White Family live in March with lovely Mona (one of the best gigs I have ever been to- a sweaty mess in Elephant and Castle's Coronet, climaxing with the song off their first album: Cream of the Young) and I've also been recently listening to Alex G (Trick), The Stone Roses and The Last Shadow Puppets' new album.

I have spent the entire day today scanning in my sketchbook pages which  have accumulated over the past few months, but I also wanted to post my recent A Level Art final piece: an installation investigating the significance of the artist's process over the finished product when creating art. It consisted of a constructed studio which displayed three self portraits, depicting myself in the act of making work.

PS. My dearest pal Jessie and I were recently photographed by Wyatt Dixon on a Spring day in Kings Cross, he's super cool and worth looking at, so you can find his facebook with all his other shots here !!

Good luck in ur exams kids!!
All yours,