(Option 1: Project 3) Assignment Five: Demonstration of skills: Scale: Part One

One aspect my tutor has noted on within my body of work, is scale.  This is something which needs to be pushed.

At this stage with this particular point of my work, it feels natural to play with this.  My designs are adaptable and possible to upsize and downsize and generally explore what is possible.

To inspire my progression at this stage, I began to research artists who work on a large scale.

One which stood out was Virginia Bondman.  Having exhibited locally, I was able to see the scale of her work for myself.  This exhibition was at The Customs House in South Shields in April (2017 this year).

The exhibition leaflet said of her work:

‘Virginia Bodman’s painting-centred practice includes prints, 3d object making and drawing, she is fascinated by the histories and processes of painting and often uses colour and the materiality of paint as critical tools, making aesthetically provocative work to stimulate debate about painting and social issues. The exhibition Studio Stories is in two parts.  The main gallery contains a selection of paintings made since her last Customs House exhibition, Home Ground in 2006. For the artist the studio is a powerful place, a place to imagine and tell stories, a space that can be a landscape, a body, a dance floor, it’s somewhere to reflect on life away from the everyday. In the Upper Fusion Gallery Virginia Bodman offers a first glimpse of recent work from the ongoing series Studio Stories in the form of circular drawings on canvas based on objects that she made from discarded paintings and other studio detritus.’

I wont expand on my artist research of her work at this stage, as I would like to visually illustrate this exhibition as a working example of experimentation in scale:

Here are a few examples of what I saw:

Above:  Vitrine housing her sketchbooks, with small initial sketches and paintings of the large wall hung pieces.  This variance in scale was something which I felt was very useful for me to observe.

The wall mounted pieces were sometimes big enough to cover a wall space; say 8ft long by 5 ft tall.

Another highlight to mention, was her round pieces:

These pieces were “magnification views” of the paintings on the walls.  In effect they isolated one area of the painting and blew it up to showcase that particular area.

Once again lets contrast her sketchbooks to the wall mounted pieces:

Beautiful drawings, paintings in a range of mediums.

This deviation in scale, could be seen as risk taking, pushing her practice in this particular way.

What can I personally learn from this?

  1. Display fluctuation in scale in a clear way; i.e. initial small sketches, set against large wall mounted pieces.
  2. Isolated areas, zoomed in to focus on a particular section.  This could evoke new work or ideas for the artist, as their focus is centred to one area.
  3. Exploration in material choice.  This artist is paint based, yet uses pastels, inks and charcoal to brandish her concept ideas.
  4. Always visit exhibitions if discussing them (where possible) as it is only when seeing work physically that a true contemplation of size and material use can be understood.

Having this artist and others as “templates”, I will now progress with my work.  Obviously my style and material / technique use may differ, yet the contrast in size is one I myself could examine.

I will document my own explorations and outcomes in this regard in my next post.


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