Assignment Three/Six research: Artists and Instagram

I felt the need to widen my research before I begin to redraft my research essay.  My tutor questioned in his feedback for Assignment three, that I had mentioned the social media site Instagram.  He questioned whether the site or use of it, could be considered an art form?

Thus I wanted to look at a few artists to see how they had used the tool.  I have used artists Alice Kettle and Louise Gardiner within my essay, however I do plan to edit my essay before my final draft; adding maybe at least one other artist; so that my findings are more balanced.  For the point of this research, I will look at the two mentioned.  (You will find a separate post on designer Karen Nicoll discussing this topic,  as I feel that she would be a good example to weave into my essay too.)

First Louise Gardiner:


The above shows a screen shot of her page.  The first question I ask when scrolling through, is it purely a professional space, or does she add in personal posts too?

The answer is clearly seen.  She uses her Instagram posts for both uses, which could be seen as confusing, as she mixes the professional with family and friends etc.  Yet in another way, it makes her human; yes an artist but also someone we can be drawn to.  She is no longer a cold figure who makes art, but someone who has a life, which is important.


Images like those posted above, could be taken two ways; either as a “mood board”, a visual illustration of all that goes on behind her work, all the particles which inspire and drive her.  Or it could be simply seen as a personal showcase.  I would take it as the first, as knowing what inspires me as an artist, we are drawn to many resources and in this way, Instagram is an art form, an accumulation of what makes us who we are.

Looking at a few of her posts in isolation, we find that she uses this tool as a way to convey what is happening in her art world.  To the public that is.  In the one below, we see work in progress labels, which she will scan and use as a part of her website logos.


Without Instagram, we may never get close up views of her work, if we are not able to see it in reality.  Thus again, this tool allows us to go “behind the scenes” as it were.


Finally, we see well presented photographs of whole pieces.  I know from previous interviews, that she has invested in professional photography, so that she can capture her work and have it on file for the future.  This is one example:


Does she use Instagram as another art form?

In my opinion I feel that she does.  She brings together what inspires her, close ups of her work, along with what could be seen as “advertising” images, to present a culmination.  We see here a reflection of an artists life; however filtered it is, we will never know.

Second Alice Kettle:

Her work can be discussed from an Instagram point of view, a lot faster than Gardiner…


Four posts, which tells us her views or at least lack of time to put into an Instagram page.  The four posts are simply more “quick shots” of her work in exhibitions.  Thus she at this present time, does not use Instagram to showcase her work.  Has this harmed her?  From an artists point of view, she is producing work and keeping her status through exhibitions, proving that even in this modern world of computer based information, we don’t need it, to raise a profile.

Having looked at the two artists above, I can now use this evidence within my essay.

I have tried to send both artists interview questions.  However at this date, they have not replied.  Thus for now I will have to rely on visual evidence and past interviews to support my writing.



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