Final Major Project Evaluation
For the Final Major Project (FMP) I wasn’t entirely sure what I would do aside from the fact that it was based around Macro photography, the Statement of Intent (SOI) although I had set out a direction and a timeline for my project to go, had been left with vague areas so as to allow a certain degree of freedom ranging from the materials used, whether I was using 2D or 3D elements or both.
Although I had been placed into Drawing and Painting for the FMP, no area specifically relies on what is most associated with them which is why I kept the 3D part an option. The SOI was always a way to allow me to experiment and keep my options open so as to explore different areas and see which areas I could develop further.
At the beginning I had planned to extend upon both the four week Drawing and Painting rotation and the four week Textiles rotation if only in the fact that both concentrated on macro images allowing me to create pieces that had a focus on the subject and to put an emphasis on the subject in a way that could make the viewer pay more attention to them. Having looked at the work of Georgia O’Keeffe I had decided that this was going to be my aim, to put attention of something that may be taken for granted or isn’t as noticed as it should be. My initial subjects that I had picked to look at in closer detail were hands, carrying forward from the four week rotation, a rose, jewellery, guitars and not quite as important but the view out of a bathroom window which had a distortion to it because of the glass.
I had spent up until the two week holiday focusing on certain things as listed above but was starting to run out of steam and also was starting to irritate me as I couldn’t achieve abstract with representational by using only images and paintings. I put my focus solely onto music and guitars as this plays a much more important part to me than any of the other objects I had been looking at but would allow me to incorporate a 3D element by using casts of guitars. This change is also the reason for the name change from Altered Macro/Macro Me to just Macro Me as even though the final piece isn’t specifically based on me it is based on something that has a lot of meaning to me.
Before the change in direction I had been trying to recreate work similar to my four week drawing and painting rotation, using oil bar which has a subtle, ethereal feel but found this to be unsuccessful. Using other materials I was always getting drawn to acrylic paint as this is a media that I feel I am confident to a degree but still have a lot to learn about especially in application and use of colour so it was a good chance for me to try and push myself further .
The aim had been to use palette knives to create a textured piece, the colours dependant on what the subject was but I always came back to a flatter but still slightly textured through use of a dabbing technique which was a basis for adding in the gradients to the sections I was painting.
My choice of colour was pulled back to blue as I felt I could work with it better due to the paints I had available and also through having worked with it for the previous two four week rotations. The reason for blue is it was quite ambiguous when I first started using it in the drawing and painting rotation as to whether it was happy or sad, partially holds a bit of mystery but is also calming which was a factor. I don’t believe I could have made this work in any other colour due to having quite a few elements but allowed this to deviate when it came to the background with warmer colours due to the way the sheet music images printed. I had considered using a lot of colour but ruled this out because I always find that too much colour can be distracting when not contained in separate sections.
The introduction of using casts in my final piece wasn’t a sudden thing, I had been thinking over this but unless I had been focusing on the one thing, guitars, I wouldn’t have been able to fully utilise adding them to my final piece. The process for this was to use modelling fabric on a guitar covered with cling film and Vaseline, once dry sand off the rough parts, paint with a base coat and that was them ready for painting on with acrylic paint. I had made smaller casts beforehand when I changed direction slightly but another half cast was made and cut up into sections.
I had been fighting over how to remove the images from looking like guitars, having added in the casts I sorted my issue of having something representational but I still could not get my head around making what I was painting look less like what it was until I had seen what other people in the class had been using, origami cubes. Utilising origami techniques I used photographs I had taken of my guitars and morphed these into cubes, this was the perfect way to get an image I could work from that looked nothing like a guitar but at the same time I knew what these were images off which balanced out the representational/abstract issue I was having.
When I had first decided to change direction to focus on guitars I had in mind something including casts and possibly guitar stings linking these to paintings done similar to the work of Georgia O’Keeffe to highlight specific parts of the guitar, as I made progress I felt that breaking this up and combining in a different way would make this work better, all the elements were still quite separate, the 3D and 2D parts, but there was a connection between them and it forced me to think more about layout and presentation, something that at times had escaped me until I was struck with more than one route and had to make decisions.
Artists and art styles that influenced me throughout this project followed on from the previous two rotations, binging forward Georgia O’Keeffe for her close up macro style and Yan Pei Ming for his use of monochromatic colours these were artists I had in mind at the beginning. As the FMP progressed I found I was heading towards Cubism and the work of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Arthur Segal, not just for the way in which I had been painting but also for the way I presented my final piece, with Cubism about different viewpoints it made me think about the possibility of incorporating other viewpoints which led to the layering on my final piece. I found that as I was branching out for the background that Idris Khan and Gherasim Luca brought together the alterations needed for photographs I took of sheet music by combining the layering of Khan and the Cubomania technique created by Luca. By taking bits from each of these artists I found that it opened up more possibilities and directions to go but I ended up focusing on a few to keep myself from straying too far into areas that I wouldn’t be able to combine to create the final piece.
The issues I had to overcome were the weight and size of the piece having had to scale down as I didn’t know where I was hanging helped in a way but I got around this by sectioning off the cast into what I could use and put the rest to the side. Another issue I had to get around is when creating the back that all the casts and squares were to be attached to I had to not come up with a solution for flattening out the cardboard as when using pva to attach the printed out cubomania inspired sheet music it warped the cardboard, to flatten this out I had to attach another piece of cardboard to the back, stich the edges to keep them from separating and also sandwich the cardboard between heavy objects, despite this not working fully it did resolve the worst of it and during hanging I made the decision to nail in the piece at the top and the bottom to keep it against the wall as it was still curved and trying to pull away.
What I have learned from this project is to combine ways to alter images, the initial idea was far from prefect and it naturally rolled and morphed into what the final piece is now but through combining different aspects that I found appealing I found my own way to interpret these and to make them work together. I tried to keep an open mind when it came to artists but I couldn’t help but be caught up in what interested me
If I had a second chance I would have created this on a larger scale which was partly an issue of not knowing where exactly my piece was going to be hung as initially the plaster cast I had made did weigh a bit more than I had expected and I decided to scale this down to allow me to hang it without too much difficulty. If there were no time constraints, money constraints or space constraints I would have created a piece to fit a whole room, top to bottom to envelop a person as they walked through, to make an impact, add something for all the senses and to grasp their attention, to make them stop and think whether they hate it or love it or having their sense bombarded turns into an adventure or a nightmare.
I think seeing my final piece as a whole with all the elements pulled together, despite the number of changes and the numerous different areas I looked at on the route, allowed me to fully realise where exactly I had been going. Throughout the project I had touched upon different areas but hadn’t fully tried out all the parts together until near the end of the project which could have ended up quite disastrous.
The final resulted in something I had never imagined myself creating, it had never been a possible outcome even after the route change and up until the last week it wasn’t until some of the decisions had been made that it started to morph into how it now looks. There was a fair bit of doubt as to whether the 2D and 3D elements would come together and if the background would make the piece pull together but I believe out of the decisions I had to make that the right ones were made.