The previous project about place made me think of globalisation. Globalisation is a process. So is the artistic process. It took me a while to figure out how to combine both.
I looked into Fiona Bonnar’s work and found her creative process very unusual For instance, instead of drawing a life model, she transcribed her observations into words, stating she can ‘make a more honest picture this way.’ It strikes me that first of all, men painted nudes and not women and secondly that words inform us on the making as simply on the end artwork. It is also probably more time consuming and reflect the duration of the process. It is pure coincidence that we had a life drawing workshop afterwards. I didn’t transcribe mine into words on paper but I certainly thought harder about what I was looking at and how to put my marks on the paper. Even more so since we had to use a pen and not the traditional charcoal.
I also researched William Kentbridge, who uses charcoal for each drawing, which have an immediacy and a tactile quality. He records every mark he makes or erases in a video. Addition and subtraction are equally recorded. It is an ongoing process of revision not dissimilar to Picasso abstraction of a bull. With both making becomes a conscious process.
I had my own at abstraction:
It is so much harder than it looks. Picasso said it took him a lifetime to learn how to draw like a child. What he meant is how long it took him to understand the essence of living creatures and objects.
One is going to wonder where globalisation is coming into all this. Patience….
I then looked at other contemporary artists such as the Chapman brothers. I didn’t see the exhibition myself but it seemed appropriate to look at their take on McDonald. I thought the wood sculptures that associated a global and modern emblem such as the multinational and the primitive look of wood sculpture very appealing and spoke volume. Whereas the installation of toys Ronald being crucified and there were so many of them probably wanted to shock but sometimes less is more.
Of course McDonalds is an easy target of anti capitalist art as it is the emblem of multinationals and unfortunately the food they sell serves their profit as opposed to our health. But personally I think people can make up their own mind about what they do. My logic stems from the fact that the chains that mushroom all around the world make us lose our identity. In some streets, when you are surrounded by the same clothes shops, coffee shops and fast food chains, it is sometimes impossible to tell where you are.
I therefore gave it my own take using art and text such as Barbara Kruger who never shied away of strong opinions.
However I kept the typeface childlike and playful I did not want the final outcome to be didactic. It took me a long time to think it through. Longer than the making process actually. I then collated all the pictures into a snapshot slideshow like a memory of a holiday. But soon, if it carries on, there may be no point going abroad. Let’s hope not.
Artists have always drawn inspiration from the physical world around them. Since we do not live in a vacuum, we do not create in a vacuum. I have moved to London many many moons ago and it has changed me and defined the person I have become to some extent. It took me a while to find a sense of belonging but as a Parisian I can honestly say I feel fully integrated.
I therefore chose to create an artwork about London. But instead of going through memory lane, I created a narrative that grew organically after sketches of buildings, streets and markets. I couldn’t leave at that and manipulated my drawings: photoshop to pixellate and darken some areas, downsizing and enlarging on the photocopier. The outcome was a bit too clinical still. I wanted it to look more lived in so added texture to evoke the rain and the passage of time.
I love the association of text and image especially when they add to each other, provide clues. One without the other and the work loses something crucial. Overall I am happy with the outcome. I hope it is a box that cries to be opened.
Front of storybox
Back of story box
As for the outside of the box, it is made of used papers such as maps and train tickets. Even the cardboard box itself has had a purpose before and was used to send books. So we are going full circle. The box has acquired a new narrative. But the viewer still needs to work for it. Depending on people’s experiences, the narrative is by no means a closed text and does not offer a linear interpretation.
The typography used helps to enhance its the atmosphere and the chaotic day of the characters. But is not all that easy to read…