Tutorial: Block 1, Week 5 — First one-on-one with Jonathan Kearney

David Somers bio photo By David Somers Comment


This week, something a bit different: instead of the usual cohort going online for a group tutorial its a one-on-one with Jonathan.

My notes takes during the one-on-one

What was discussed

For my project proposal my current thinking is to continue down the line of “hybridity”, the division of the pictorial plane into the figure and ground, and how these interact.

I have been doing some background reading on artists and movements that could be of use and/or interest, in particular:

  • Bridget Riley — lines, curves, color fields
  • Sonia Delaunay — Orphism
  • Władysław Strzemiński — textured spaces — Unism
  • Blinky Palermo — cloth as a medium
Art Since 1900. pp 238-243 Colour Chart: Reinventing Colour, 1950 to Today. Plate 31
Reading up on Władysław Strzemiński and Blinky Palermo

For Symposium 1 I doodled two sketches. I am currently attempting to turn these doodles into generative art.

image image
Doodles to illustrate the concepts of “hybridity” and “mimicry”.

In doing so I am afraid that what might be produced is too clinical and loose the spontaneity of these doodles (which were done at 6am in about 20 seconds each). Clearly there are techniques that can be applied to make the generated art less clean and clinical and more human (random positioning). This takes time. Is it worth it? There is a charm in the primitive hand drawn. How will these look when brought into the digital sphere.

One of my friends commented that my art is “minimal but difficult”. This is something that resonates. It is hard to make something look simple (there is a lot of code or work behind the façade).

Jonathan highlighted aspects of my work:

  • code-based — generative art
  • bézier-curves — provides control
  • physical and hand drawn — mixing output

I want to explore opposites in the figure and ground:

  • colour-fields vs textures
  • using machine-spun synthetic-fibres for one, hand-spun natural for the other
  • mixing media and techniques: using a CNC plotter to paint acrylic as the figure against a ground of hand-spun fiber
  • tactile art: material science: looks smooth but feels rough vs looks rough but feels smooth

Brother have released a new CNC cutting machine. Only in the USA at present. I am trying to see if I can get my hands on one. We discussed how cheap these machines are becoming and that at my local DIY store you can now buy (from stock!) a Dremel 3D Printer. A 3D cutter would allow me to explore the idea of taking my art into a third-dimension: each sheet is cut differently, so when mounted to each other a sculpture is formed and if the spectator moves they will see different things. This links back to the “third space”.

Jonathan introduced me to the work of Yinka Shonibare who uses brightly coloured fabric.

I brought up the subject of just how “digital” the practise in the MA Fine Art Digital has to be. Jonathan explained that in previous years it has ranged the gamut from people working 100% in the digital realm to those who use the digital environment to enhance their practise. One of the things I am aware of is the danger of simply using technology for the sake of technology, so its good to know there is the flexibility.

Thoughts about the next steps

To continue on with the generative art. To have fun. To experiment with materials and methods and to explore hybridity and the apparent paradox in dualistic forms.

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