Second year summary post

I started the year by selecting the Strata map by William Smith (1). I wasn’t really sure where I was going to take this and so tried to research the history of the map and look at what it told us about the island I was born on. But I quickly realised that the real reason that I was drawn to the map was its colours. I, therefore, thought simply about this and the idea of a map as allowing for a journey.


I was proud of the work I was producing but I was fully aware that it was lacking. although I couldn’t work out what it was lacking. It is possible that this was simply because I expected more from myself.


It was during my first field project that I started to reconsider the way I approach my work. For example the play and creativity project forced me to consider the methodically way that I approch briefs, intead of starting by playing or having fun with them. This is what started the “doodles” (2) that I started creating.  The second field project then gave me the alternative aspect of this play, instead needing to create a concise design brief for the project that I wanted to create. I have been completely inspired by both projects, and the opertunites that they have, and will continue to give to me.

Field summary (3)

It was after these that the ideas started to form that is now evolved into my final piece for the year. I began by thinking about my hero artist Mondrian who focuses on the use of base colours. But I wanted to test what happened when these are layered instead of blended. I decided that thread was the appropirate material  to produce these layers, and so began the first piece.
It was actually through the action of playing with thread that thoughts began to form about the gestural style and the reasons why the piece was so important to me and why I was happy with the way that it developed. I began to call it painting with thread (4) , becoming a form of medition I began to consider what conceptual ideas could be woven through the thread, leading to ideas about humanities journey through life (conecting the piece to the original map). How we all face unavoidable events but all respond uniquly to situations, but also about the unavoidability of community and the support network that we all attempt to surround ourselves with. The thoughts on community brought the second painting into creation as it relies on the all the indavidual thread to support itself, almost as a magnified look at the areas between the nails on the first piece.


The infomation critique project fits in somewhere between the end of field and the start of the painting with thread. It began as an idea to mimick the paintings on a larger scale but due to unforseen circumstances this did not come to fluishion. However, in highndsight I am glad that I was not able to produce this work as I do not see what it would could be gained from it. As I explain in this post there would be better ways to achieve the desired responce: Infomation critique (5).

After the selecting the William Smith Strata map most of the artists that I explored were environment artists such as Richard Long or Andy Goldsworthy, and even though I visually love their work, I’m not convinced I actually gained anything from this line of enquiry. Therefore the first artist who stuck in my mind was Tiffany Chung (1) and later was to influence me into using thread as a material. Within the Key concept lectures I was struck by the work of Adolf Wolfi (2) who worked everyday, obsesively. Thus inspireing the doodle phase of my exploration, along with the play and creativity lectures, although I have not been as consistent as I would had hoped. Within the play and creativity lectures it was actually literature that provided me with the greatest influence, exploring books and poems from childhood (3) that had given me hope, and as a result improving my own wellbeing. Returning back to the subject piece, it is fair to say that I began the piece thinking that the Mapping in Manhattan (4) book was going to be of most interest, as it related almost directly back to the Strata map. Although instead, it was probably the Running Stitch (5) piece, which became the more literal version of what I was trying to represent. Where they were showning actual journeys across a town, I wanted to bring a more metaphorical representation of a path through life. And with the knowledge of the moirai (fates) from greek mythology this piece took an even deeper dive into a posable the position of the artist as the manipulator of an artworks creation, life and death, therefore encompassing all three of the fates that eventually end our visible exhistance in the world. However just as an artist ends the creation process of a piece and hands it over to an audience who can reinterpret the artwork, our own lives are recreated through the stories that we tell about the person after death.

It is my desire that people are willing to give my work time, I believe that we can someimes rush the exploration of art and so lose the depth of meaning that is there. Although I have my own ideas about the piece, I hope that people are willing to explore what they see within the woven thread. I invite people to experience the artwork and us it as a visual distraction to daydream, either on what I have suggested or equally valid would be to daydream about something that it inspires you to think about. In my experience abstract art has a difficult personality to discover, and it takes as much self exploration from the viewer as the artist might have considered to create it, I am not showing you something literal or obvious and I am not answering question, instead asking a consideration of potential questions.


2nd Year Show piece


My focus for this year has been journeys; starting as a very literal exploration of journeys influenced by the Strata Map by William Smith, leading to my current work which is a more conceptual exploration of journeys.

My main source of inspiration has come from looking at the works or Tiffany Chung, and the running stitch projects, as well as the field courses that I participated in this year. These influences have forced me to think beyond how I would traditionally work, and in doing so improved my confidence to create artwork.

The artwork I have chosen to exhibit forms a visual culmination of many possible journeys, personally it forced me to consider the journey through life and our position within the journeys of those around us; we must all face similar events in our lives but how we move forward from that is always unique. Alternatively, the journey of the artist could be considered, our methods and decisions that manipulate the design and form. Although the artist has to hand over control to an audience eventually and that is when the journey of artwork can become unpredictable. And so as I hand over this piece I request that you, the audience, allow yourself the freedom to consider your own interpretation.


Painting with thread update

I think that I have done as much as I can on the first piece;





The second piece is still being worked on, but the plan at the moment is to hang the first onto a wall with the second hanging in front. Hopefully, people will feel that they can walk between them comfortably although I feel that I might have to include this in the statement.

Ciaran Miles at CSAD degree show


I saw this piece at the degree show and loved it! The piece explores the global communication that has been made possible through social media. He talks about not feeling the distance between friends as drastically because of the ability to share information so quickly across such vast distances.

WNO oppertunity

Thanks to an email that I received from my field tutor I have been volunteering for the Welsh National Opera in an invigilating role of the Field installation located outside the Millenium Center:
imag0924.jpg My role has been to make sure that the public understands the reasons for the installation, and are able to appropriately interact with it.
This opportunity has really benefited me as I have considered taking the Taff trail project further, being able to confidently chat with the public and hopefully get information and ideas across to the, and the need for awareness. Now that this project has been there a week it is being respected but this was not the case on the first night when it was damaged.


Dissertation Proposal:

The relationship between the artist and their audiences; focusing on the active and passive participation of the audience.

The thought of coming up with a dissertation title was extremely daunting, the constellation lectures that I had attended (“Expressing the unseen” and “The Absurd”) were extremely interesting, with a vast amount of potentially inspiring topics discussed. Although it wasn’t until a brief conversation with a family friend that I seriously considered the topic for my dissertation, after he remarked on the passionate way that I spoke about the dependant relationship of the artist, their artworks and audience. This symbiotic relationship fascinates me, as the three depend on one another to continue the evolution of the creative and aesthetic fashions of society but it could be argued that neither the artist or audience are completely aware or appreciative of the others role in the cultural development of society.

Once my research into the relationship of the artist and the audience had started I began to understand the vast nature ot the topic and so searched for themes so as to formulate a more reasonable sub-topic so as not to over complicate the paper. The sociology and philosophy writings that I initially  began to read formed a fantastic base for my research, as well as the museum and curatorial literature that better considered the audience’s perspective. From these my dissertation topic began to take shape, spurred on by themes in and suggestions made about my own work;

The continuous piece – Although this piece does not include the audience directly in any interactive form it does alter the natural order of the relationship in that it never finishes and so no two audiences see the piece in the same way. By never finishing the create process, or resolving the piece the question is then asked whether the audience must consider only its current appearance or consider the stages it took to get to its current appearance. Started last year, the piece now looks like this: current appearance of the continuous painting

As an abstract artist I find that is sometimes difficult to decide when a piece has reached its resolve, and so the idea of this piece was begun as a slight protest against the need to say that a piece is “finished”. Especially as I consider the pieces theoretically shouldn’t “finish” but instead continue through the varied interpretations and receptions of those who encounter it. As well as the ideas that might be formed in the artist’s mind, inspired to create future pieces after ending work on a particular piece.

Painting with thread (This piece will be summated in May as part of my subject project) – The idea behind this pieces is journeys either the physical or theoretical journeys that we all go on. It was suggested that instead of doing all the thread work myself I allowed the audience to continue the painting. Although this would allow a new interpretation for the piece, it is my currently my opinion that allowing an audience to interact with a piece sometimes stops them from taking the time to consider what the artist is really asking of the audience. If an artist is considering an audience from the beginning of the process onwards then the piece created will probably be a more interactive piece. However, if the audience is not considered until later, the shift towards interaction has the potential to complicate an artists intentions as well as dulling the audience reception, and in some cases pause the audience from engaging intellectually with the art works. 

Considering my own opinions regarding the proposed dissertation topic I began to create a mind map that brought together some of the initial discussions that I hoped to raise in the dissertation (Mindomo – dissertation mind map) when looking at the relationship of the artist and the audience as a whole.

As previously mentioned sociology/ philosophy and museum analysis of the relationship of the artist and audience will form the base structure for my dissertation. So far the following books and articles have been of significant interest are:

Although I have managed to collect together a variety of resources that are mentioned in more detail within the dissertation proposal. With the sources I was also able to find alternative opinions that will help me to write a balanced dissertation, which plans to collect together debates on the relationship of the artist and audience and hopefully bring a new perspective to the discussion.

The plan now is to continue developing my understanding of the subject that I have chosen to write on in order to be able to critically analyse my own, and others opinions on the increased inclusion of the audience on the creative process and how this might affect the relationship with the artist. I then need to section discussions into a structured format that allows for a coherent dissertation. I have already begun to notice that there are subtopics to consider in order to contextualise the dissertation better, but want to avoid simply summarising others ideas as I have found some books have done when faced with such a vast topic. I am aware that this dissertation has the potential to develop my own work, with a better understanding of one’s audience it is easier to express ideas with a more successful reception, as well as understanding that better the balance between including and excluding the audience so as to create the most intellectually stimulating experience for the audience. Ultimately this dissertation hopes to show how the art world must be adaptive; and with a fast paced technology engrossed society maybe participatory art is the next development in the relationship of artist and audience in an attempt to regain the attentions of the, arguably, distracted society.

Continue reading Dissertation Proposal:

Painting with thread

In order to demonstrate why I call the method for this piece “painting with thread” I have filmed myself in the process of “painting”. I find that I make similar gestural movements as when I paint, despite being restricted to the positions of the nails. With varied speeds of movement and gestures I have to consider where the journey of the thread should go, similar to mapping the best positions for paint.

I have also included a link to an audio recording of the noises made while making the piece, it is almost musical, but with minimal tonal quality. Personally I find it similar to listening to white noise; calming but with a sinister, or mysterious quality to it.