playing with perfume | speculating on studio spaces | investigating creative processes

A Departure to the Countryside

Leaving food alone for a bit to think about trees instead.

Landscape. It’s a subject that – like still-life – can be given a bit of a kick up the arse in order to allow it to become relevant in the 21st Century. If we take into account my incessant desire to progress and embrace new artistic direction, it seems appropriate that a departure from food can emerge in the shape of re-considering landscape.

So winter is (Finally) beginning to recede, buds are tentatively emerging from trees and, more noticeably, embalms associated with the spring are beginning to appear: Woodland creatures can now be found on crockery, floral designs began to emerge on garments and as I was walking down the street, I noticed a woman wearing a small acrylic pin badge cut into the shape of a fox. Bearing this in mind, a poem began to form mentally, which regarded the acrylic fox-shaped badge as an object which, despite being lifeless, still retained connotations associated with a fox:

The Acrylic FoxNow, bear with me – there is a point to all this. You see, my initial hunch was that this poem must be related, or relatable, to the notion of re-considering landscape. And upon pondering the relationship between the two some more it hit me – The fox in my poem is of interest because it is removed from nature: It becomes a component; an emblem that, through the medium of plastic acrylic, is able to transcend its surroundings and become a symbol, a fashion statement, an entity that becomes open to subjectivity and abstract thought. The fox is no longer an animal that is merely attempting to survive: It is instead a statue.

Can we apply this to landscape? When the components of landscape are removed from their surroundings, and applied to something else, what are we left with?

I propose that by manipulating these components just enough so that they are to become perfectly usable as paints, whilst still enabling them to retain their intrinsic natural elements, then what you will be left with would be a medium with infinite possibilities which can be applied to a surface and at once represent visually whatever subject an artist wishes, whilst also retaining the subject of landscape: Landscape will still exist – incognito, still and subtle – but embedded within whatever subject the paint is said to render.Paint Made From Soil and Bark (Oil on canvas board)

‘Paint Made From Soil and Bark’ (Oil on canvas board)

So basically, I’m doing what I did with food, only with landscape, except here I am regarding the components of landscape in a richer way. This, in turn, has allowed me to ask critical questions of my food-based practice. Why am I choosing the food I am choosing? Are the components of a meal more important than the end product? Does an audience consider the same food relevant as me? These questions would not have emerged if I did not take a slight departure from food to consider landscape: Therefore, my professional development may have stagnated. This confirms my belief that it is important to embrace whatever challenges come your way: If you don’t, you may end up creating things of no value to an audience.

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