Monday, September 30, 2013

MA Fine Art Studio Practice and Research Methods

Got back from the UK last Tuesday and enrolment on MA Fine Art Studio Practice at Uclan with course leader Pete Clark.

I plan to work on two of the modules, research methods and studio practice, here in Brussels returning at the end of November to work in the print studio and make scheduled student presentations for these modules at Uclan.

I have started reading, researching and writing for this around the theme of 'photography as image in contemporary painting' and will post this presentation on the blog when it is properly ready.

After Pete's introduction the new MA students took a tour around the MA Fine Art Degree Show and the studios facilities which include a very well equipped print room which I am looking forward to using with some prepared copper plates made here in Brussels.

MA Degree show work by Heather Chou 

Print Studios Uclan 

Printmaking Installation in Foyer 

We also met Prof. Lubaina Himid who curated 'Thin Black Lines' at Tate Britain in 2011-12.
She has been active in making, curating and archiving the visual art of the Black Diaspora in Britain and internationally.

I saw her 'Lancaster Dinner Service' installation at The Judge's Lodging in 2007- a powerful reminder of how the history of the slave trade in Lancaster and Liverpool continues to challenge contemporary ideas about British society and culture.

Also went to Edinburgh on Sunday 22nd Sept. to see the Peter Doig exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery, 'No Foreign Lands'.  Born in Scotland he grew up in Trinidad and Canada before moving to London and Chelsea School of Art.  He currently lives and works in Trinidad alongside his friend the British African/Carribean artist Chris Offili.

There is an interesting interview with both artists about living and working in Trinidad published in  BOMB maganzine. by Leon Wainwright.  Lecturer in history of art and design at Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)

Doig's best paintings in the exhibition are like large painterly pyrotechnics of light and colour with dazzling greenish, yellow whites on watery surfaces or deep blues of reflected night skies evoking dreamlike and magical places that are as much states of mind as descriptions of real topography.

                                 Peter Doig. 'Music of the future'. Oil on Linen 2003-7

 Working from photographic images as starting points for memory and imagination the work is as much about the visual and expressive qualities of the paint itself as it is about the landscapes we experience through desire and longing or as personal evocations of  'genius loci'.  In the Edinburgh exhibition some of this seems hit and miss however and only a few of his paintings really seem to work for me, many of them falling flat despite their huge scale.  I still remember being bowled over by his painting 'Window Pane' 1993. which I saw at the Musee Correr at the Venice Biennale in 2003 at the exhibition  ‘Pittura,1964-2003 Da Rauschenberg a Murakami’

Peter Doig. 'Window Pane' oil on canvas 1993

Art is neither static nor ideological. In contemporary painting the globalised politics of identity give way to the poetry of constant displacement, where memory and imagination create new visions from old in media that are elemental, like water and ice, altering states from fluid to solid, forming and reforming in ever changing cycles.

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