Today was the day of our first Crit of this semester. If im honest I don't really get very much with regards to my own work from crits but I do like to hear other people talk about what they are doing. I suppose I would like a much harsher crit where we have to stand up and talk for some time about our work, whats behind it and what we are trying to achieve. I then think the work should be dissected and criticised a bit more harshly as that way real progression can hopefully occur. However, I do understand that my opinion would very much be in the minority and I think most people find crits stressful as they are and a harsh one may push people over the edge.
I tend to get positive comments on my work from other students and today was no different. We are all very supporting of each other’s work but sometimes this can be to the detriment of producing stronger work in future. I didn't really get any comments that made me think anything about what I had done that I had already been thinking. However, I did have a good chat with Andy about what I had been doing and about where I wanted to go. My studio practice has very much took a back seat during the dissertation and it will till I hand it in then I can go at with a 100% focus. But I have still managed to produce a good volume of work that has had positive comments.
The overall impression I got from Andy was that what I had done was ok and nice enough but I should really be producing something much better. I utterly agreed with him as I felt that what I had produced so far was very safe and not really challenging to me. He pointed out a few aspects that he liked and we talked about my subject matter and where the line between referencing your subject matter and producing good paintings is. I feel that this is a very good point as ultimately painting is only ever nudged in a direction by its subject matter and first and foremost it needs to be a painting rather than an exploration of something specific.
We also spoke about the legacy of the grid within painting practice and what one can achieve buy using a grid arrangement that has not been covered before. This really made me think about my use of source material and taking elements of it much too literally. By far the strongest element of what I had done so far was my colour palette so that should be what I take forward into the second half of this semester.
Last night I thought about our conversation and decided that I needed to have a bit of a turn around in my approach. Yes, what I had already produced had been accepted well by people but I was not really stretching myself as I should be. I had become a bit of a slave to my source material and at some detriment to my finished outcomes. I decided then that I needed to take a more universal view of my subject matter and rather it being about a photo or two from the Robin Hood Estate I should encompass all that I had been investigating about Brutalist architecture including other complexes such as the south bank and literature as well as conceptual ideas relating to brutalism birth.
Below are the comments I got from the crit.
I decided to gather some of the success I have had other the past two years and start to use elements to begin to construct a progressive approach to my studio practice. I want my final results to have a much more confrontational impact on my viewer so instead of them saying "they are nice" they say "what the fuck is that?"
I started to think about how the simple forms I made last year worked well. I also remembered back to the visits I made to the south bank complex over the years. Many of the Brutalist buildings around the complex are fitted with both orange and green fluorescent lights. During a sketching trip a year or two back I was making some studies around dusk on a wet afternoon and I noticed the fluorescent lights come on. I had previously been looking at overwhelming amounts of grey and all of a sudden there was this little island of colour appearing from nowhere. This had the effect of reflecting back of the wet concrete surface and making a sort of green glow over the concrete. This little feature then started to appear in my sketches and enhanced them greatly as bright green and orange go exceptionally well with grey tones. I decided that I should re-incorporate these elements back into my work as they would give my practise greater depth and a more interesting and hopefully challenging aesthetic.
Below are two pictures of the south bank complex showing the green and orange fluorescent lighting.
Here is an example of a sketch I made last semester where I have referenced the green and orange flourescent lighting.