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!
“The Anthropocene is a proposed geological epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on Earth’s geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change.”
– Wikipedia description
The Anthropcoence is an important theme in my practice. I am interested humans have become detached from nature, why we have developed a belief that we are at the centre of everything. The notion that nature is separate from us and is there to serve us is something I have never felt aligned to, because to me humans are part of nature.
Historian Keith Thomas suggests this belief system began long ago in his book ‘Man and The Natural World‘.
He cites the Bible as a contributor to this long-established human-centric view. With the rebellion of Adam and Eve being the start of man’s control over nature and thus the downfall of it.
I wanted to make a drawing inspired by this theme and in particular this text. A historical piece that tells the story from of Adam and Eves peaceful natural Paradise, to its fall and degeneration and finally the world we currently live in as influenced by that.
This digital drawing evolved out of my idea and an initial felt tip drawing. It has a tapestry like composition, split into three sections that show a different time.
The top panel depicts a serene Garden of Eden with the lion and lamb lying together peacefully and features a tree with one single red apple growing. I took inspiration from religious paintings of Paradise and The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch.
The middle is after the fall of Paradise due to human rebellion. A stark contrast from the top section, with the lion now ferocious and the lamb running for its life. The Garden of Eden now resembles Bosch’s depiction of hell more closely. The apple tree has been struck down and the now eaten and decaying apple is on the ground.
The final section at the bottom is like a mash up of the two above it. Picturing a modern day road through an agricultural land. It may appear stable and alright at first glance. However when you notice all of the roadside rubbish and the car exhaust pollution it is clear that this scene is not an idyllic landscape, but more of a realistic telling of the negative impacts we have had on the natural world. Even the deceptively natural looking hills show that the Earth has been intensely meddled with by man for agricultural purposes. Everything curated to prioritise human interests over the interests of the planet as a whole.
I am hoping to digitally print ‘Paradise Falls’ onto fabric as nod to tapestries, with the text excerpt from Man and The Natural World on the back.
Hello. I have made another page on here. A place to store every iteration of each digital drawing. They kind of show the process and I think they’re quite interesting. Click here to check it out if you like!
Also here is a new digital drawing I have been working on. Right up close and personal with the rubbish. Featuring mouldy food, spilled rice, packaging and plastic bags.
This year I had the chance to exhibit in a day festival celebrating and showcasing female creatives. It was a wonderful event and allowed me to show Rubbish in Hyde Park Book Club. A venue right in the middle of Leeds student area, where the subject matter of excessive waste is very common.
The way I work always begins with a snapshot of something/somewhere. I will be creating a page for my snapshots in order to digitally archive them.
Some of my snapshots, like this one, are like pieces themselves. At the moment they are pretty much all linked to rubbish, as I am working around throw-away society. I usually heighten the saturation of them to use the vibrant colours when digitally drawing over the top.