Friday, 2 July 2021

Graduate Degree Show

Last Friday the class of 2021 exhibited the work from the Final Major Project, a unit which ran from February of this year until June 7. I was pleased to arrive on private view night to see I had been nominated for two awards - the Project 78 Award for Artistic Integrity and the Vincent Lines Memorial Trust Award for Creative Excellence, for which I received a Highly Commended.

I know last Friday I used the space here to speak about some concerns I was having on my journey into understanding more about our natural and man-mad landscapes, but here I want to talk about the Final Major Project and share a few images of the final piece in situ. The body of work I produced for Major Project is called "The State We're In", and speaks of the uncertainty the next generation, our children, face as the country follows the roadmap out of lockdown.





Above you can see the scale of the final piece. I had spent nearly every day for the preceding three weeks either on the phone to my printer, or at the printers. The tonal ranges were hard to fine tune as the drop off was originally too pale for a clear white "edge" to be visible around the image. I corrected this by adding a tone in Photoshop, and correcting the awful chromatic aberrations that had occurred, essentially due to blowing it up so large. Once the test strips had been approved, I had to make a decision - either print at this size on this paper, which was the largest size my printer could go to (5ft2 by 7ft2), or face one of two other choices. Choice 1 was get the paper I really wanted, which was a smooth mat paper, at a huge extra expense, or Choice 2, get it at the size I really wanted (which was a couple of feet larger in either direction) and face having to "join" it. The thought actually terrified me, and with time constraints what they were I opted for to meet myself in the middle and the above is the result. 

The postcards I have displayed in wall fixings are the images from the rest of the series, see images below:






To explain the work, I have copied my artist statement below which accompanied the work on the wall last week;

"The State We’re In is an on-going body of work exploring the interrelationship between man and place, seeking out how human activity is expressed in the spaces around us. The primary artistic concern of the work is to synchronise metaphorical analysis of place with human perceptions of the world we inhabit.

The image displayed for the show depicts a sublime landscape that the viewer can engage with experientially. Shot at the moment of sunrise, the sense of depth is enhanced by the way the sea washes away from the shore, taking with it any memory of the lockdown and replacing it with a fog of uncertainty.  Is this state of paralysis over the unknown future that awaits us after ‘unlocking’ like the hypnopompic state between sleeping and waking? Will we forget all that was discovered during the lockdown, including these little man-made areas of escape from the urban centres so altered by the imposition of social distancing measures? My child is present as a mere presence in the right-hand side of the frame. An echo of his time spent within the landscape, before his memory of the last year of his short life is repressed as things returns to ‘normal.’"

Sadly, due to the ongoing pandemic concerns, my graduation ceremony at Brighton Cathedral has been postponed until February, however this does mean I could be graduating twice next year pending the successful completion of the MA. Silver linings and all that. :)


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