Painting Performance; Week 1

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The piece hung against the wall, highlighting the passage of time throughout the performance

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Panoramic shots of the piece

Painting performance got off to a flying start, with an exercise utilising the ‘Klein blue’ made famous by Yves Klein, the influential 20th century artist. As far as interactions to forms of art go, this was one of the more interesting ones that I have experienced. We were tasked, in our groups, to utilise the blue paint and our own bodies to craft marks down the paper. I was the last one to go in the entirety of the class, and threw the bucket, then slid down it; which caused me to stumble and fall over. As hilarious as it was, it was actually quite informative to me, and was also a bit of fun. The performance aspect of the piece was interesting, but I found myself finding the dried paint in fact more interesting; the ways that the differing shades of the blue came through upon the paper, and the marks made by each of us on the paper, coming together to craft one singular piece, was very interesting in itself. This was simple in execution, but it was the most interesting aspect of the day.

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On the following Thursday of the week, we were tasked with an exercise involving graphite sticks and a single piece of paper between the group. At first we were taken through a series of stretching and breathing exercises in order to loosen our bodies and our minds, which prompted us to focus on how our body moves; it’s restrictions, as well as it’s capabilities. We were then taken through a series of ‘Actions’ stated by Andre Stitt, which prompted us to draw lines, circles and other differing shapes and drawings, aiming to open up our minds to how our bodies move and flow freely whilst drawing.

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Our first performance piece as a group

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Detail of our piece

As the afternoon came, we were tasked with creating a piece by utilising a raised platform and paint to create a variety of fascinating marks upon the paper on the floor below. we decided to go with colours that fit into a gory theme; drawing up comparisons to the blood that courses through our veins and bodies, the same substance that we utilise to move our bodies, which intrinsically is the fuel for the gestural marks and splashes we utilise in performance painting. We mainly poured, threw and splashed the paint in a rather violent manner, which then drew up comparisons to the splashes of blood that symbolise violence and anger, which we seem to be incorporating into our work more and more. Interestingly, I am starting to enjoy this module in field more than I originally anticipated; which is a pleasant surprise.

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I also began to notice the way that the paint blended on the floor, which created beautifully marbled, multicoloured shapes and patterns upon the floor of the space. It’s interesting to think that these marks on the floor were not created by a singular person, but actually were created through an unknown collaboration; these pieces of paint, they are creations of circumstance, paintings that depict a connection between all of the artists involved in this module, and the invisible empathy we all feel amongst ourselves. As artists, we all feel a certain connection for other artists, and these paintings of collision symbolise this.

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