• Chrissie Calvert

April Seminar; Where to from here?

Concepts and Constructs was the theme of the week. Our week was packed with artist talks, gallery visits and the the all important crits.

Dan Arps was one of the artists who came along to talk us through his art and thought process. I found a lot of parallels between his interests and my own. For example his works' also speak to hyperobjects, and he also paints the gallery walls as an attempt to de-sterilise it and make the space more personal. Hearing him talk really made me want to investigate his work further, and possibly consider him as an artist model of mine.

Another artist who I have an interest in exploring is Ed Atkins. He is a very different artist to me, but I found his work quirky and touching, so i'd be interested in learning more about his process. Not in terms of using it as a mode of my own, but more for abstract exploration of how art can be thought of.

A highlight of the week was learning about the new Demo, an artist run space for exhibiting works specifically in relation to Whitecliffe alumni and MFA students.

Critique Feedback:

  • My use of Raw Material was successful

  • The tension between the straight edges and the frayed edges added to the read

  • The gradual movement of the hessian due to temperature change was interesting

  • The motif of the tree has contrast between line and form

  • The works had an "After the fire", or Dystopian feel to them

  • The layers of signifiers, i.e., the raw material used to paint raw forms could be made more interesting by adding some spots of unnatural colour

  • The darkness of the paintings create an interesting narrative of darkness versus nature

  • The colour pallet feels burnt

  • The titles have a strong relationship with the works

  • The works read to have a poetic tempo, which is reminiscent of a eulogy

  • The works bring thought tp the romantic traditions of the 19th centurary

  • The larger scales works were unaminiously more successful

  • The smaller works acted like portraits of the trees

  • The small works also felt more like objects

  • The works play with painting conventions in an interesting way

  • The works bring to mind existential issues of land and humanity in general

  • Moving forward it was suggested that I present them further from the wall and consinder the physical form of the hessian more.

Out of the Woods

I am drawn to the imperfection in objects. The scratches in an old coffee tabIe, the worn crevices of stone steps, the scuff marks on shoes or maybe an ornament which has been broken and glued back together. This led me to experiment with garden hessian which is cheaply made, loosely woven and filled with imperfection. I want the material to be a part of the painting, not just something painted on.

All the materials I've used are common DIY materials, and they are all relatively cheap and easy to access. Materials such as PVA glue, wood stain, plywood and nails. Working at Resene had me thinking about what a product is designed for versus what it could be used for. This line of thinking led me to use PVA as a clear primer, and wood stain as a paint. I have experimented with layering the hessian with glue and newsprint to make a stiffer surface, and also staining both sides of the material to investigate the limits of the material.

List of Works:

Out of the Woods. Hessian, PVA, Colourwood stain and Lumbersider.

860x500. 2022

Rough Around the Edges. Hessian, PVA, Masking Paper and Colourwood stain

1100x430. 2022

A Tall Piece of Ply. Hessian, PVA, Ply, Lumbersider and Colourwood stain.

1210x250. 2022

Off Cut. Hessian, PVA, Ply, Woodsman stain and Colourwood stain.

460x120. 2022

Scraps. Hessian, PVA, Ply, Woodsman stain and Colourwood stain.

480x100. 2022

Lightly Frayed. Hessian, PVA, Lumbersider, Colourwood stain and Woodsman stain.

610x410mm. 2022

Darkly Frayed. Hessian, PVA, Lumbersider, Colourwood and Woodsman stain.

590x440. 2022


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