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Posts tagged “artists

Speculative Studio #2 – Sharon Hall Shipp

A fabricated version of the creative processes that propel the artist Sharon Hall Shipp

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‘Hall Shipp combines the virtues of chance with the aesthetics of geometry to document our desire for establishing patterns – whether that be imagined, sub-conscious or directly. Hall Shipp’s process reveals how pattern making allows us to establish a connection with our environments’

Speculative Studios was an exhibition at BasementArtsProject that assumed the studio spaces of two artists, based on their exhibition pieces from COLONIZE, New York, in 2014.


Speculative Studio #1 – David Cotton

A fabricated version of the creative processes that propel the artist David Cotton

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‘An interest in cartography informed with a desire for travel, Cotton’s work attaches the historical presumptions of mythology to the scientific advances of modern map making techniques. This reveals both the inaccuracies that exist within modern map design and cartography’s capacity for narrative, aesthetic and metaphor.’

Speculative Studios was an exhibition at BasementArtsProject that assumed the studio spaces of two artists, based on their exhibition pieces from COLONIZE, New York, in 2014.


Identity as Performance – Reflecting on Speculative Studios

After a period of inactivity – due in no small part to a bloody annoying leak in my living room – it is time to reflect on my most recent exhibition.

‘Speculative Studios’ occupied BasementArtsProject from the 10th – 20th June. It was the latest incarnation of my project ‘Speculative Studio Spaces‘, which takes an exhibition piece produced by another artist and attempts to re-imagine the process of arriving at the finished piece by fabricating the artists’ entire studio space. On this occasion I actually fabricated two speculative studio spaces based on two artists I came in contact with during COLONIZE in 2014.

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The project uses the studio as a tool that can be exploited and manipulated in order to reveal something about the intent, desires and creative processes of an artist which, in turn, gifts the audience a sense of perception. It assigns the studio to the role of a portrait, revealing a facet of an artist’s identity that is usually veiled behind a space that is often regarded as private.

Yet, in its purely static and aesthetic state, ‘Speculative Studios’ also nurtured ideas leaning toward set design, and a set design often acts merely as an appendage to the action of a narrative. Put simply, my presence within the space is often a key entry point for an audience, as it clarifies the intent and focus of a project that could otherwise be marred by complexities. Therefore a degree of performance was added to this incarnation – the mere act of being present  allowed an audience to connect directly with my intentions.

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Of course, it’s all very well me spouting off about some of the high end concepts Speculative Studio Spaces contains, but what it – and indeed all art – needs more than anything else is an audience. Speculative Studios at BasementArtsProject was modestly attended, and those who did attend were well immersed. Almost all attendees spent at least half an hour within the space attempting to uncover its layers and concepts. As I made the decision to include two artists, I was also cautious not to overload each studio space as I wanted a studio space and exhibition hybrid to exist. It was assumed that this would allow a more contemplative show for an audience as they look for clues towards creative processes as opposed to simply having creative processes thrust upon them. I wanted an audience to navigate their own way through the space, making their own connections derived from their own experiences, with my presence constantly driving home the notion of fiction in order to inform their contemplative actions.

I think other artists can readily identify with Speculative Studio Spaces, and that it’s certainly not as accessible as the other strand of my creative endeavours – Perfume as Practice. But it certainly creates complex and relevant conversations about what it means to be an artist, how your identity as an artist can be exploited and the fabrication of creative processes, assembled to resemble a studio can say something about how artists are perceived.

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The next incarnation of Speculative Studio Spaces will in some part take the form of a stage play. Don’t know where, don’t know when.


The Return of Speculative Studio Spaces

In May I’ll be involved in no less than 4 exhibitions and events. A busy time indeed, but one I am very much looking forward to getting stuck into!

May also marks the return of one strand of my creative endeavours – Speculative Studio Spaces – which sees me construct a fabricated studio space based on the exhibition piece of another artist. When a highly personal space such as an artists studio is opened to investigation and interpretation, what does that say about the artist, the outward perception of the artist and how we regard creative processes?

I will be staging a Speculative Studio Space as part of a group exhibition in Huddersfield Media Centre. The studio I will be fabricating is that of the artist Jim Geddes (1932-2009) who I’m told was a rather prolific artist in his time. The process of creating this space is a slight departure from previous Speculative Studio Spaces, as this time I haven’t personally chosen the artist. It will be interesting to see how relinquishing control of part of the process effects the overall space.


Fiery Fella

Behold, my first attempt at a scented candle!

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Not bad eh?

But why?! I hear you ask. Well, as well as it being a notable use for fragrance oils – which I have in abundance due to my perfumery pursuits –  I am seeking to initiate and develop a new strand of work, which will re-purpose church spaces in an attempt to re-align art to religion.

My work tends to offer many layers of engagement whist also seeming relativity subtle- a studio space that isn’t actually a studio space; a perfume shop that isn’t actually a perfume shop; and now a shrine that isn’t actually a shrine. These shrines will speculate upon an existence for artists that draws parallels to a religion. The aim is to explore, speculate and create alternative functions for both creative and religious practice in order to attain a furthered and relevant understanding of them both within the present. Are art galleries the Cathedrals of the present day? Or can the very working of religion inform how art and artists function within society? Or both? Or neither?! And what would all of this look like?!?! Lets find out…

 


Perfume as Practice Call-Out to Artists

5 Perfumes made, 45 to go! I have had some great responses to the question ‘why do you make art’. What has struck me is the varied and individual range of responses – reflective of my desire to create bespoke products that capture the essence of artists’ personas. No two have been the same and confirm that there are as many reasons to practice creative endeavors as there are people.

2 Perfume Portraits

If you are an artist or maker, I would love to hear a response to the question ‘why do you make art?‘ as it will enable me to create a perfume portrait that captures the essence of your creative persona. These perfumes will be on display at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, early next year, with a view to tour the UK.

Get in touch with me either by commenting on this blog, or emailing borkowskyart@gmail.com …Thank you! 🙂 

 


Perfume Portrait #4 – Edie OP

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Description

Experience the innate joy in an expanding and infinite landscape! This fragrance reminds you that anything is possible and that allowing an organic love for life to breathe and develop will in turn breed creativity.

Features

Joyfully happy, this fragrance attempts an intense positive hit, but at the same time is steeped in reality. The sweet scent of Orange, Lemon and Cinnamon bark attempts this instant positive hit, while May Chang ensures such positive energy lingers rather than evaporates.

 

This fragrance was created by interpreting and investigating a response to the question ‘Why do you make art?’ If you are an artist (in the broadest sense of the word) I would love to her your response to the question too, as it will enable me to create a perfume portrait that captures the essence of your creative persona. These perfumes will be on display at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, early next year. 

 


5 Tips for a Successful Open Studio

And so, after around 150 visitors through my door, 2 pieces of work sold, 6 cups of tea and a slice of carrot cake I believe it fit to deem this years’ Yorkshire Artspace Open Studios a success.

Last year my work felt a little impenetrable to the public gaze: Attempting to explain why I make paint out of food, and how I consider that paint to be a complete and potent work of art was tricky at the best of times. This year, equipped with a spiel about perfume and with an abundance of oils, scents and fragrances on display ready to be sniffed, there was a palpable sense of the audience directly and instantly engaging with my work, processes and thoughts.

Measuring audience engagement is a useful tool for discerning the success of a body of work. After all, you could be occupied by the most conceptually rich and innovative project imaginable, but if an audience can’t access it, you might as well deem it a vanity project. This last year has seen me take care in creating work at offers a trade off between innovation and accessibility, and how my work was received at Open Studios this year in comparison to last is a reflection of that.

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This table displayed all my perfume-making activities at Yorkshire Artspace’s Open Studios.

Open Studios tends to be a bit of an unknown quantity, usually dependant on external factors such as time of year, weather, how it is promoted and what other events are happening nearby. But as I have now participated in 4 different Open Studios I feel I have learnt a thing or two along the way. Here’s 5 tips, based on my experiences:

1. Know your audience

In my experience, you can divide an Open Studios audience up into two distinct categories; members of the public looking for something to buy and other artists have a snoop around other people’s studios. An awareness of this this year enabled me to tailor how I talk about my work, allowing it to become accessible, intriguing and fun for an audience. If they wished to scratch away at the surface, they would uncover more about how I use perfume as a platform for portraiture and how I am attempting to find alternative uses for per-established concepts. But there’s nothing wrong with someone just wanting to have a sniff at a Christmas fragrance before trundling off.

2. Attempt a trade-off between working space and exhibition space. 

Catering for all needs whilst remaining true to the functionality of a working studio is key. For one, a wider audience will remember you if you offer both finished pieces of work and the opportunity to see the materials and equipment you have, and being remembered is essential to securing opportunities and developing connections. I’m more than happy to be remembered by some as ‘that guy that makes perfumes’ and by others as ‘that guy with loads and loads of little bottles in his studio’.

3. Be aware that people might want to buy something

If, like me, your current practice is difficult – or even impossible – to sell, you may find that you have some more commercially viable work deep within the darkest corner of your studio somewhere. If you do, then I don’t think there’s any harm in displaying them and offering them for sale. I tend to keep an audience’s focus on my current project, but I do also refer them to a wall I isolate as a shop space, packed full of old paintings offered at a reasonable price. It’s always nice to get a bit of cash in the back pocket, after all. And it’s always rewarding to see someone loving your work – no matter how old it is.

4. Visitors will always find a point of interest

This follows on somewhat from my previous point. You can set up your studio any which way you like, but chances are someone will pop in and attempt to look at something you didn’t even consider close to worthy of display. This is fine, just go with it. Don’t forget that the more open and accessible you are, the easier it will be for an audience to be captivated by at least one facet of your creative endeavours.

5. Relax and Enjoy!

On the whole, people tend to be very pleasant and positive towards your work. You’ll probably get the odd quip or awkward comment but nothing that you should take to heart. Indeed such comments might even be useful and constructive. Not everyone is going to fully understand, or appreciate, or really connect with what you do, and that’s fine, because there will certainly be those that do.

…So there you have it. Hope this was informative in some way! And don’t forget, this is based my my personal experience. What are your experiences of Open Studio events?

 


Perfume Portrait #3 – Joanne McClellan

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Joanne McClellan EDT 50ml

Description

Hold on to your hats, it’s Pandora’s Box! Although, sensitive to the idea of tradition and our ancestors, this rendition of Pandora’s box is true to the historical virtues of an undecorated and weathered urn. With a palpably crafted feel that considers the nature of human existence, this fragrance gifts us the opportunity to question the morals and implications of mythology in relation to ourselves.

Features

This fragrance considers creative processes themselves; placing several concepts within a vessel, filtering them via the act of spraying then communicating them through scent. Frankincense and Lavender are prone to pre-conception and are steeped in history, Cherry and Red Thyme bristle with colour and offer conceptual leverage.

 

This fragrance was created by interpreting and investigating a response to the question ‘Why do you make art?’ If you are an artist (in the broadest sense of the word) I would love to her your response to the question too, as it will enable me to create a perfume portrait that captures the essence of your creative persona. These perfumes will be on display at Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, early next year. 


Transition – From Speculating Studios to Perfecting Perfumery

Last week marked the end of Speculative Studio Spaces – by exhibition at Access Space, Sheffield. The experience was punctuated by two events; the Opening Evening and an Artists Talk and Guide. Both gave me valuable insight into how the project is perceived, what works and what can be tweaked for upcoming exhibitions due next year.

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Two things in particular caught my attention – the need for my presence and how Speculative Studio Spaces demands certain a level of engagement. Speculative Studio Spaces is not a piece that can be glanced at passively. It requires physical and mental input and a sense of resonance within the space. It will reveal itself to you if you give it time. It can be easily dismissed as nothing but a studio space but it’s true existence – that of a fabricated studio space based on someone’s exhibition piece – isn’t all that hidden if you take the time to find it.

But of course, how would an audience even be expected to know this? Well, that’s where I come in. Essentially I need to be there. Transforming the space from an instillation to a performance piece – I act as the key to unlocking the space as I reveal myself not as an artist in his studio space, but as an artist responsible for fabricating a speculative studio space. With myself present, the audience have an access point – a way of penetrating the space and identifying with it. Essentially I would position myself as the ultimate interactive prop!

The talk and Guide event offered me the opportunity to externalise my thought process and hence come to the above conclusions. It was a valuable means of evaluating the work and receiving feedback. Though more than this, it offered an audience insight into the process and reasons for making.

And yet, Speculative Studio Spaces will become a support act within my overall creative output for the next six months as attentions return to the world of perfumery. The transition began in earnest last weekend, with a trip to the Derby Makers Faire. This gave me an opportunity to display my perfume making abilities whilst describing to an audience my approach to perfumery.

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My practice was very well met, with an interactive element that went down especially well with under-10’s. Indeed, I hadn’t thought of delivering this activity before but the opportunity is certainly there.

It also struck me how much I actually know about perfumes. That might sound like an odd statement, but that’s probably because I don’t consider myself a perfumer – more an artist currently using perfume as a platform to instigate creative processes and provide alternatives to pre-conceived notions. Still, I am able to hold conversations with those with similar practices, and offer advice and guidance on the processes involved. I certainly seem more adept in the language of perfumery than I’d perhaps considered. And as such, more adept in the world of scent in general.

 

So, In preparation for my exhibition at Bank Street Arts early next year, I am posing the question to other artists and makers  ‘why do you make art?’ and I will use the response provided to create a perfume that acts as a portrait. So if you’re an artist or maker, I’d love to hear your response! 🙂