Lockdown has caused me and many of my peers at art university to change our way of making. In this strange time we can’t access studio spaces or specialist workshops and in my case most of my materials, which were locked in at uni.
So we have had to adapt, making use of what we might have in the house, or can still get our hands on!
This for me has meant going miniature. My materials and space have decreased so naturally my work has too. I have been testing tiny diorama -esque displays of the area that I live in which is consumed by waste. The result is a quaint representation of urban Leeds, ironic being that the subject matter is throw-away society. I like how the toy-like appearance gets you to look closer, revealing the dirt, bins and litter.
I made my diorama out of a few bits I had managed to print at uni before the lockdown (they were only intended for sketchbook documentation) and parts of pictures from old magazines. Having to adapt to a new situation has been stressful and I often feel as if I am having to compromise on the quality of my work. But I have definitely become more resourceful in my practice and I am beginning to see the different work I am producing as a new approach rather then a compromise.
Some miniature inspiration:
Elgin Park is Michael Paul Smith’s dream-like reconstruction of a real place.
Chinese artist Zhang Xiangxi uses old television sets to create intricately sculpted rooms.
I recently came across @monstermailman on Instagram. The best inspiration for hyper realistic miniatures, often of everyday objects.
Christine McConnell is a master at crafts. Many of which are beautiful miniature creations, she has a YouTube channel and even her own Netflix show. I highly recommend looking her up to get you in the mood to make!
Another week gone by and the coronavirus situation hasn’t gotten better although I think I’m dealing with it a little better. I’d say this is largely due to a big oil pastel drawing I have been doing in times of stress. It’s literally just the words “Covid-19 Anxiety” but I think since it’s so colourful and fun to draw it takes some of my fear away and gets what is on my mind (and everyone else) out and onto paper.
I will continue to post it’s progress since it’s looking like I’ll have time to fill in the whole thing with crazy oil pastel colours!
Degree Show Cancellation 😦
Like most other art degree end of year exhibitions, ours too (the Leeds Arts University Degree Show 2020) has unfortunately been cancelled due to the damn coronavirus. I am devastated.
With an awareness that there are many much worse things happening because of this pandemic I am trying not to dwell on it too much. It is what it is. But I feel it necessary (and cathartic) to discuss. For us art students this is a culmination of 3 years hard work and learning. It is the event that sets off many graduates careers, where they have the opportunity to showcase their work to important audiences with offers of funding and residencies etc. It is also a celebration of graduating, of finishing an art degree, which in my opinion is a task not to be underestimated, it’s hard!
There will be no physical degree show. BUT there is opportunity for some kind of online degree show. With our creativity and ingenuity we will make something that showcases our practices, it will be strange not to exhibit a physical piece to an audience. But I am excited to see what we come up with!
Some collages I have been making from cut up pieces of old work…
Environmental poster collages:
I like collage because it allows me to keep making imagery without need of any new materials. I can reuse the paper etc that I have over and over again, making different things each time. Endlessly reproducing work out of the same stuff.