Working with unstretched yet primed canvas. Using sponges, palette knives, bubble wrap and stencil brushes. I used washes of paint mixed with medium to keep the texture yet intensify the colour. I also left some of the underpainting visible and developed other parts.
I’ve been working with mum’s archive of Greenham Common photos and also in the expanded field. From gestural beginnings on the kitchen table |I pinned up the canvas in the studio and let loose.
I am working on Definitive Practice for the MA Contemporary Fine Art at Salford University. This is the final part of my Master’s degree which by the time I finish will have taken 3 years. I took a leave of absence through the several lockdowns of the last year as I am homeschooling my children as well as working as a teacher two days a week. This enabled me to slowly work with my final piece over a longer period of time punctuated by the rhythms of this new pandemic life. On the plus side I have a studio at home where I could set everything up, use the space whenever I could and leave everything out. On the negative side it has been a time interrupted and lengthened. This has been an organic process really as it’s been a case of adapt and survive.
My proposal for the final definitive practice is to explore the Ages of Woman through the triune lens of Maiden, Mother and Crone. Going right back to the start in a re-visioning, a contemporising yet referencing pre-Christian, pre-patriarchy, folkloric, mythological concepts and symbols both personal and universal. Facilitating an intuitive response and alchemical development, creating my own mythopoeic language.
Who are we? What are the Ages of Woman now and their deeper significance and links? When do our initiations through time and a sense of being occur? What are our significant phases of growth? Where do we perceive our evolving place in the world to be? How do we counter the lasting effects of Patriarchy and honour our process, retell our story? Can our changing role and state be mapped and connected with something more eternal and universal? How can these questions be explored and expressed through this work?
My final work has developed from creating a huge concept scroll of my practice on this MA. I traced my process to this point: I used elements of paint and print imbued and influenced by interconnectedness, perception, time, cycles, crows, feminism, philosophy, archetypes, dreams, symbolism, otherness and magical realism. I have come to a point where I am reviewing the bigger picture and re-visioning the life cycle or Ages of Woman.
This has stemmed from MA work on the concept of motherhood, grief, memory and experience and has broadened though tutor conversations to embark on a creative journey exploring the Ages of Woman. The lens has widened to not only include my own experience of this lifecycle and those around conversations with other women but to also consider epochs, art and movements such as the persecution of witches, the suffragettes, feminism, woman’s protest and #metoo. I aim to draw upon and reinterpret our rich heritage, memory and a personal archive of historical photographs from Greenham Common.
Here are some gestural beginnings stemming from releasing the canvas from the tyranny of the frame and working in the expanded field ( in my kitchen!)
Having spent 160 hours on the first painting of my large triptych I feel completely spent. So I’ve decided to spend the Summer creatively freeing up and going wherever the muse takes me!
Exploring colour, process, texture and creating surfaces to work on (paper and board)
Doing some armchair travelling as we are on lockdown, through some old photos and found this one from two years ago when I was at Glastonbury Tor just before a storm in the evening. The light changed dramatically and I took this photo.
This body of work has taken me to unexpected places. Through
Creativity is not as the crow flies but rather as the tree grows.
Below is an adapted part of the poetical art statement in two ‘wings’ expressing the themes:
Evolved Triptych: the idea of three distinct images connected through time and meaning
Painting as an expression and archive of time
Perspective change over time
Time is relative
Birds: messengers and symbols of freedom, vulnerability, protection, shadow
Divination, communication, ancient meaning
The crow family circle the battlefield
Open to interpretation
Together, the Fine Art element of the MA put on a group exposition as a culmination of our expanded studio practice. After considering various venues, we secured a show space at Partisan. The build-up and process of developing the exposition
One-Night Stand: a performance that happens only once in a particular place
However, we did use different media platforms to promote the work such as
When we had all set up, we were reflecting on the tumultuous process and decided it would have been a better plan to allocate roles to working parties and to spend more time on promotion. Personally, it was interesting discussing my work with those who attended as I found a distinct polarity of appreciation in that some really resonated with the paintings, use of