Field; Painting Performance, in Review

My final video from Painting Performance, a montage of all the work created throughout the project

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One of the blood shrouds, directly inspired by the expressive nature of painting performance.

I took painting performance as a means of understanding an artistic medium that I often disliked, but had begun to garner interest for. Inspired by the works of Hermann Nitsch, I delved into the project. As it went along, I did not find much interest within the performance aspect of the project, mainly because of a large argument I had with one of my fellow group members on a definitive point within performance, and began to sway away. However, the way that the paint fell upon the surface of the paper, and how it would build up to craft layers of colour and depth, was very interesting to me, and inspired a series of expressive experiments in red, inspired by my subject research into religion. There is also another connection that can be found in my later ‘cancer’ works, with some of the tumours having a rather dreamlike, ethereal blend of colours, not unlike some of the blends accidentally created when the paint bled into itself through our performances. There was also a very interesting aspect of the ‘witness’ within the work, that ended up having a very interesting, and unexpected part in later works. During ‘Substance’, my show with the Abacus in December, I found that my work has begun to influence people to partake in the works, almost granting them the joy of being the artist themselves. A complete stranger began to perform within the work, developing the artwork further, and breaking down the barriers between the artist and his audience.  Again, this has happened in other works I have created and put into shows over the past few years, including the recent piece; ‘Innocence Lost’, becoming a safe haven for the audience to take their own fears and worries out on, almost exorcising them, into the artwork.  This idea of witness, and the performative aspect being taken on by the audience members, is very interesting, and holds a certain importance to my work.

A performance piece from last year’s alchemy experiments

I also dabbled with Video art and performance last year, in relation to my alchemy projects and the experiments I undertook as a means of understanding death and immortality. I did not enjoy these areas of working last year, but feel like my video editing skills (in relation to the work above) has improved a great deal because of this module. You can also see the difference between my performance last year, in which I am slightly anxious, and my performance this year, in which I have a greater confidence within my actions, and my communication of the concept. Performance is an area of art that is hard to understand, and at times, hard to take seriously; yet, throughout this module, I feel I have gained a new appreciation for it.

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