Sunday, 24 July 2016

Example of How Peter Doig takes from Mass Media for elements of his Painting

While talking at the Slade in 2015-16 in their contemporary art lectures series one of the slides Peter Doig presents demonstrates how he can take from a range of media sources including local newspapers.

It shows a Trinidadian Bay and the reenactment of the arrival of Christopher Columbus. The background is dream like and Doig himself has said that the landscapes during this period of painting were Gauguin like, a painter who much relied on his memory to paint, and have dream like qualities. But mounted in this exaggerated scene is the boat from the cutting on the right. He has quite simply ripped it from the newspaper and then painted it into the image as the main feature.

Doig has obviously connected with this image and it was one that for him was strong enough to prompt it's inclusion in a painting. There can clearly be seen here some connections with these invaders, so to speak, with Doig's own experiences. He very much wondered how he would be perceived when he moved to Trinidad and this image might well be an exploration of these concepts, although he has often said that he was welcomed to the island, where as the photo shows an invader.

It also demonstrates the ease at which Doig approaches the sources for his paintings. He's not afraid to take what he needs from his own daily consumption of media. A newspaper cutting is very easily pulled into a major painting and the idea is given prominence if it's significance is judge as being important.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Canopy Invertebrate Sorting Images as Inspiration

While exploring the Natural History museum I came across a station call the 'Specimen Preparation Area', where the microscope view of one of the research scientists could be viewed on a monitor. The board explained, " Canopy Invertebrate Sorting - We are sorting and identifying Invertebrate samples that have been collected high in the canopy of the tropical rainforest trees (around 40m above the ground). We have to extract the insects, spiders and other invertebrates from the detritus that is also in the sample. Then we sort them into groups for later analysis. Many of the invertebrates are microscopic (less than 0.5mm) in size! We have to be very precise and careful picking them up and moving them around."

You could see the scientist  moving bits of insect and dirt floating in the solution which were lit from behind. It made them glow, some of the thinner particles becoming transparent, their edges alight. It made me think of the plants in the field that I use for my paintings. An over exposed image of a form in nature. The process I have been following with some of my sketches has been to magnify them, increasing their size, very much like what I now saw at the exhibition station which was designed to show a scientific process.

I also like the way they move and filmed a series of shorts I'll cut together as an experiment. It occurs to me that there is a sound that could match the images especially when the tweezers come into shot, potentially a metal sound and I'm interested in making some samples using such implements. Then putting them over the video as a sound track.

Another interesting aspect that I observed was that because the insect and dirt was floating in a solution it created a three dimensional effect. I'm thinking maybe I could set up a series of transparent troughs that I could stack and photograph from above. This could inspire my paintings and drawings but also be a work in its own right.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Three Key Elements of my Work

1) The Use of Film

Each painting or drawing derives from a film still taken from one of my walks.
I work from a printed and copy that in it’s self interprets the colour and form.
A series of Lenses manipulating the light.

2) The Foreground

The Foreground is exaggerated
The aim here is to bring the viewer into the image
It’s also part of the abstraction process

3) Light Effects

Has evolved from the filming process and the over exposed nature of simply looking towards the sun through the undergrowth
The shapes become abstract