Thursday, April 18, 2013

FMP Week 5-6

7 April
LSO concert – Mozart piano concerto 25and Mahler’s 5th symphony; sold out
During the Mozart, which I wanted to skip, I came up with a slew of ideas for presentation of my photographs: using the old LSO programmes in which I’d drawn.  I had had an idea during the last project to present them all attached in a sort of quilt, but I’ve realised I could put my photographs in the programmes, giving them a musical context for viewing.  Exhibiting the photos on their own would mean the viewers were necessarily making associations along those lines, thus eliminating the main purpose of the pairings.

I will attach the programmes by different methods such as sewing, weaving, weaving with sheet music or tickets, punched holes and string, or other ideas.  I will incorporate the photo pairings into the programmes by finding ads to which they share similarities, etc.

I found an extra programme, which I took home for experimenting.
8 April
I started experimenting with ways of connecting the programmes.  I didn’t know if the paper was sturdy enough to be stitched, but I have enough extras that I tried it out.  First, I used a needle to poke even holes into the paper.  An ‘X’ pattern of stitches varied between sets of 1-6, representing the most standard time signatures in common orchestral repertoire.  Each set of ‘X’es is outlined with a straight line, representing a bar line.  When the seam was finished, I was pleased to know that the paper was indeed hearty enough to not rip when suspended.
11 April
Woke up at 5:30 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep.  But, right when I woke up, I came up with a winning idea for my final project presentation.  I spent the next 6 hours finalising pairs and placing an order for a 21 cm square photo booklet from Jessops.  The booklet is 1cm larger than LSO programmes, so I will present it alongside programmes, or in front of the quilt backdrop I thought up on the 7th.

With expedited shipping, the order should be delivered by the 17th or 18th…in the nick of time for turn in.
12 April
Bought some supplies for putting together the programme ‘quilt’ and began coming up with additional concepts for attaching them in my sketchbook.  One of these was weaving.  I used the two programmes from the concert on the 7th for this method.  Before diving into (and potentially ruining) the actual programmes, I practised in my sketchbook, first cutting the paper to size (20cm square).

It worked, though the strips would need to be trimmed rather than simply cut into strips, as they otherwise bow out rather than forming a perfect square.
17-18 April
Went to uni (Camberwell Wednesday and Chelsea Thursday) to finish printing things and return my library books.  I wish I would have spent more time at Chelsea this year.  I think it would have increased my productivity and encouraged me to look through books.  On my way in on Wednesday, I was held up by Thatcher's funeral procession, so I walked up to Ludgate Circus in case I could see anything.  I heard all the hubbub as her coffin passed on the gun carriage, but couldn't see anything but the feather on the hat of one of the members of the procession.  

I would like to think my final evaluation is a good summary of how I managed myself over the course of the project.  Of course, there are things I wish I could have done better, or would have done more of, but I have developed my practise quite a lot since I started out last autumn.  Here's hoping I take my own advice on future projects (keeping one sketchbook dedicated to each project, actually updated a journal or notating sketchbook, etc...)

Here are some of my favourite final pairs:

More at

FMP Week 4

Week 4..................

23 March
Canterbury Cathedral, Pottery shop.  The Cathedral was not as beautiful as anticipated.  The crypt was nothing compared to St. Paul’s, despite what others may say.  It was very plain.  Perhaps that’s why some people like it so much.  We visited the city the day after the inauguration of the new Archbishop, meaning the cathedral was closed to visitors until the afternoon.  The weather was quite miserable (overcast and rainy), but I managed to get some decent photos of the building and grounds.

25 March
RA's Manet portrait show.  Co-curated with my most local art museum, the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio.  It barely got a mention, sadly.  One room partway through contained a single painting, Music in the Touliers Garden, which I did not find all that exciting, even considering the title.  The entire exhibition, like the Man Ray (Man Ray...Manet...) was overcrowded.  This painting, in fact, was about 4 people deep.
26 March
I started taking notes on Music in Painting for potential use in MA application essays, as well as to help with my FMP.  Not really a fan of Vergo's emphasis on Wagner, especially the bit which claims that Wagner was more influential on future generations than Beethoven.  Majorly disagree.

In Peter Vergo’s The Music of Painting, the author puts emphasises Richard Wagner’s influence on artists of all media in the decades during and well beyond his time, ending around the heyday of John Cage, whose ‘“art-work of the future”…“went out of his way to emphasize the musical significance of silence”’. (6)

‘…the Italian Futurists had already pointed to the link that unites art, music and noise, all of which are part of our experience of the everyday world’ (6)

‘French writer Mme de Staël…described music as an art “superior to all others”,’ and ‘both painting and music “superior to thought; their language is colour, forms or sounds.’  and Schopenhauer ‘in his treatise The World as Will and Idea (1818) again took up the notion of music’s “irrational” character when he compared the composer to a “galvanized sleepwalker, someone who draws conclusions as to things of which, waking, his reason has no notion’. (8)

Vergo describes the Romantics as using music to express ‘concepts [and] images capable of being easily grasped’, allowing audience members to associate personal meaning. (8)  Kandinsky’s On the Spiritual in Art later ascribed definitions on the ‘language of forms and colours’. (9)

Pictures at an Exhibition began as paintings and drawings by Viktor Hartman before being expressed in Mussorgsky’s famous composition, eventually being recreated visually by Kandinsky as set designs in 1928. (9)  At some contemporary performances, a painter joins the orchestra onstage as they play, painting portraits of the players at work.  The pieces do not coincide with the programme, but capture the atmosphere, concentration and movement as the music happens.

‘Why should not I call my words “symphonies’, ‘arrangements’, ‘harmonies’ and ‘noctournes’? ….The picture should have its own merit, and not depend upon dramatic, or legendary, or local interest …Art should be independent of all clap-trap – should stand alone, and appeal to the artistic sense of eye or ear, without confounding this with emotions entirely foreign to it, as devotion, pity, love, patriotism and the like.  All these have no kind of concern with it; and that is why I insist on calling my works ‘arrangements’ and ‘harmonies’. (77)

In theatre, light patterns changed in accordance to music, representing a ‘relatively precise visual equivalent of a purely musical composition.’ (11)

Gesamtkunstwerk wrongly used by the Nazis to describe the state. (12) ‘…gave a name to something artists were doing anyway: not just bringing the various arts closer together or even combining them, but attempting to define affinities or resemblances between them in order to determine more precisely the ways in which the principles and practices of one art form might be applied to another’. (12)

Vergo gives Wagner credit for placing Beethoven at the fore and weightily titles Wagner  as the most influential musician in the art world to follow. (12)
28 March
I went to the Freud Museum today to see the Rebecca Fortnum show.  I was expecting more focus on the exhibition.  Instead, one small gallery room had a few large paired portraits and some letterpress prints.  Anna Freud’s room had some small paired graphite portraits in it.  These were interesting, but I did not enjoy viewing them in this setting.  They were not in very good locations for viewing, as most of the visitors were more interested in the actual museum than the artwork.

Still, I was happy to get to see graphite portraits on display, as it is something I enjoy doing.  As they were paired, though each image was nearly exactly the same, it was relevant to my final project.  I understand why they were at the Freud Museum, as they had to do with dreams, but I would have rather viewed them in a traditional gallery setting.  There was a decent selection of UAL-published books on a table in the exhibition room, so I spent a while looking through them before leaving.  I will return to the museum for Fortnum’s talk on 24 
29 March
Submitted applications to Kingston University for MAs in Music Education, Creative Economy, and Fine Art.  Began application for MA in Music. [Update 16 April: I have been emailed to set up an interview for the Kingston Fine Art MA, and have been accepted for Music Education.]
30 March
LSO Discovery at St. Luke’s held its first “Not(e) Perfect Orchestra” event, bringing together an orchestra of musicians who have not played their instruments for up to 40 years.  Rehearsals and workshops began at 10 AM, culminating in a 30-minute concert at 5:30.  LSO musicians and London music conservatoire students assisted the group.  I played a solo in Bizet’s Carmen.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

FMP Week 3

No one's been pestering me to update...or commenting.  So here is a severely delayed week 3 journal:

12 March
Tutorial with Laurence (tutorial sheet in sketchbook)

Check out the GX Gallery 2-28 March
- land and seascapes by Michael Sole.  I went to the gallery in the afternoon and was impressed by the size, given the location.  From the front, it is a frame shop (note to self), but the gallery goes on for quite a while downstairs, as well as having many smaller paintings crammed onto the walls of the staircase.  Sole's paintings were very atmospheric and textural, which did tie in quite well with my photos.  The compositions are all very similar between the seascapes, though, which made them seem a bit too redundant with so many hung together.  The presentations and colors varied, making them unique, but it appeared a bit too mechanic for my taste.

Presence/absence theory 
- cut away negative space in photos
- mount over sheet music
- add to the photos (drawings, paint, or 3D elements
Hal Foster - Compulsive Beauty   de Chirico
David Bachelor – space/color
Presentation – Hannah Sawtell (manual v. digital, pairs of stock images run through digital programmes with stock audio – put into a video retouched form, prints presented architecturally, pairs mounted horizontally, presented as sculpture, presence/absence through photos mounted away from wall) Aleksandra Domanovic

13 March
I attended the Liechtenstein exhibition at the Tate, as well as the Rauschenberg textile pieces at the Gagosian.  I enjoyed the simple yet involved process (and sheer size) of the Liechtenstein.  The bold colors, carefully selected and not overwhelming, allow composition and form to reign.  In fact, one piece was a painting of a massive composition book.  I'd never actually even heard of him before....

There were no real paired items, but one particular tryptic transformed an obvious stylized portrait of a woman into a Picasso-esque series of lines and geometric shapes. 

It could be argued that Rauschenberg’s 3D textile pieces are focused on line and shape like my photos, but I did not particularly enjoy the exhibition.

There are more notes on my views in my sketchbook.  Not that you can see that here....
 15 March

Duchamp The Bride and the Bachelors  at the Barbican

-       -  compared female anatomy to organic machine-inspired components
-       -  bride: transformation/desire à icon to John Cage and others
-       “ghost” à presence/absence; Parreno’s reflection of artists’ impact
o   ghost of Cage present (and absent) through 2 Disklaviers playing selected compositions with no player at the instrument
-       Rauschenberg’s “Bride’s Folly” made of found objects painted over, reminiscent of Schwitters through blocks of color and mixed textures and text
-       Duchamp Large Glass
o   Figures resemble instruments (drum kit, cymbals)
o   Shadows and revlections on floor imply new shapes/figures, allow viewer to walk through/into work
o   Influenced Johns’s Walkaround Time set pieces
-       Performances of music by Cage, Duchamp, Parreno, Behrman
-       Duchamp’s Musical Erratum
o   New musical alphabet à numbers instead of traditional music notation
o   Numbered balls represent pitches, and are moved through a funnel
-       Cage’s Chess Pieces: Piano score arranged into 8x8 grid, not transcribed until 2002
-       Jasper Johns’ Field Painting: text “Red/Yellow/Blue”, mixed media, found objects
-       Shadows of readymade objects throughout exhibition
-       Rauschenberg’s Travelogue (collaboration)
o   Set design using fabrics found in Gagosian exhibition, like stage curtains
o   Cunningham’s choreography was not announced or described
o   Performers didn’t hear Cage’s soundtrack until the first performance
§  Australian birdcalls, horse race results, telephone recordings
-       Duchamp The Green Box: 93 sketches and pages of notes for Large Glass
-       Presence/Absence room
o   Duchamp’s life-sized print of a door, simultaneously opened/closed
o   Cage’s 4’33” score
o   Rauschenberg’s white paintings
o   Johns’ No: metal word NO suspended above canvas by wire, painted same color.  Blends in, but shadow of NO stands out boldly
-       Rauschenberg traveled around Italy/Africa with Cy Twombly, returned to make musical (noise-making) sculptures, intended to be shaken, thus completed by the audience.  Chance sculptures, as each performance is unique
-       Chance art and music
o   Duchamp’s Erratum Musical, most of Cage’s works; dropped string paintings and ensuing works

17 March

de Chiroco’s “Presence/Absence
o   This painting brings together incongruous and unrelated objects: the head of a Classical Greek statue, an oversized rubber glove, a green ball, and a train shrouded in darkness, silhouetted against a bright blue sky. By subverting the logical presence of objects, de Chirico created what he termed "metaphysical" paintings, representations of what lies "beyond the physical" world. Cloaked in an atmosphere of anxiety and melancholy, de Chirico's humanoid forms, vacuous architecture, shadowy passages, and eerily elongated streets evoke the profound absurdity of a universe torn apart by World War I.
§  Juxtaposition creates hazy atmosphere, causing object to lose solidity and standard purpose or context.  They obviously exist, but are not presented in their normal surroundings, thus eliminating an immediate connection.
o   “The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999
§  "M. Giorgio de Chirico has just bought a red rubber glove"—so wrote the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire in July of 1914, noting the purchase because, he went on to say, he knew the glove's appearance in de Chirico's paintings would add to their uncanny power. Implying human presence, as a mold of the hand, yet also inhuman, a clammily limp fragment distinctly unfleshlike in color, the glove in The Song of Love has an unsettling authority. Why, too, is this surgical garment pinned to a board or canvas, alongside a plaster head copied from a classical statue, relic of a noble vanished age? What is the meaning of the green ball? And what is the whole ensemble doing in the outdoor setting insinuated by the building and the passing train?’
§  ‘Unlikely meetings among dissimilar objects were to become a strong theme in modern art (they soon became an explicit goal of the Surrealists), but de Chirico sought more than surprise: in works like this one, for which Apollinaire used the term "metaphysical," he wanted to evoke an enduring level of reality hidden beyond outward appearances. Perhaps this is why he gives us a geometric form (the spherical ball), a schematic building rather than a specific one, and inert and partial images of the human body rather than a living, mortal being.’
o   ‘the departure from traditional conventions of modeling, color, spatial construction, not to mention iconography, is most emphatic.  It is impossible to imagine that Apollinaire was blind to the absence of such devices in de Chirico’s work – the way in which de Chirico’s construction of an irregular, awkward, but still inhabitable space…’ (p. 6)
o   ‘dead voices of the past juxtaposed with the joys and marvels of the present’ (p. 7) – Apollinaire’s visual poems, autobiographical representations of something he wants to, but can’t, eliminate from himself, but would regret eliminating (p. 6)
o   ‘“Crépuscule,” modernity is, at the very moment it is affirmed in all its distinction from the past, ‘frlée par les ombres des morts,’ grazed by the shadows of the dead…it is neither present nor absent’ (p. 7)
o   ‘uncanny hold [of the past] over the present, a relation that exhibits not an enthusiasm for all that is new and vital, but rather a melancholy for all that is old and dead – all that is lost to history, inaccessible to the present, but which nevertheless refuses to leave.’ (p. 7)
o   surprise/unease of seeing someone you feel you’ve seen before, but can’t remember, or being reminded of somewhere else when in a new place for the first time (p. 7)
o   spatial ‘gap between viewer and viewed,’ (p. 9) such as Böcklin’s Prometheus (p. 8)
§  v. di Chirico’s Promethus, which only partly represents the sea.  Empty buildings signify life, but it’s not visible (absence) (p.8). 
§  depicting classical scenes ‘as if they belonged to the same space we do’ (p. 9)
§  gap represents past v. present or history (factual) v. myth (p. 9)
‘…the distant horizon appears only to the left, large and dark building to hold the statue near to the viewer.’ (p. 14) The full view is absent, but implied

Camberwell CoA Library: Compulsive Beauty Hal Foster 709.4091 FOS
            Provides a “deconstructive reading of surrealism “ (according to

18 March

Hiroko Imada: Dance/nature through printmaking/lithography now-7 April

Went to GX Gallery.  More impressed by the space (former foundry, perhaps?  3 small furnaces in the basement) than the art in it.  Most paintings were by 28-year-old marine artist, Michael Sole.  I did enjoy seeing his textural accomplishments with few colours, but his landscapes, and the majority of the works by other artists, were not all that thrilling.

Notes taken on Derrida (see Notes.docx)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

FMP Week 2

Ok, so the intention has been to post at least every 2 days.  So far, it's a weekly update.  Let's hope that changes this coming week, as I'll be (hopefully) wrapping up MA applications, allowing for more FMP time.

4 March

More editing of photos and postgraduate degree applications.  I had a very long talk with David in the afternoon discussing which CCW/CSM course would be most fitting for me, as well as details of my project proposals for the applications. 

He suggested this show:
Self Contained New work by Rebecca Fortnum    6 March 2013 - 26 May 2013 
Freud Museum London              open: Wednesday - Sunday 12 -5pm

24th April at 7pm: Rebecca Fortnum, Dr Graham Music and Dr Maria Walsh ’in conversation’ and the launch of the Self Contain, published by RGAP and designed by Colin Sackett.

David also provided some information related to my possible MA project:

This is the kinetic end of things...Henry Dagg. Maybe the wilder end of things, but he's the man for sound / object.

article   and he's worked with Bjork....

and an evenings amusement-,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.43148975,d.d2k&fp=57b55b39c0203831&biw=1266&bih=816

5 March
As I spent the late afternoon setting the trail for my running club from Gloucester Road, I discovered by chance a blue plaque pointing out Turner’s studio for over a decade.  I also went past St. Luke’s church, Chelsea, where I will attend an Eric Whitacre Singers concert next Tuesday night.  I hope to get a chance to speak to him, and hopefully give him one of the conductor-in-motion drawings.  I have been looking into where to have prints made, as I have had several requests for them through my website and Facebook page.  It would be nice if I could work out a way to sell them through EW’s site, but I doubt that would happen.
7 March
Slept in, was not at all hungry after a birthday filled with nothing but eating.  Spent the afternoon at Selfridges for the first time, followed by an evening of extreme immersion in postgraduate applications.
8 March
The morning was spent going through CSM and CCW postgraduate applications.  I have not had a chance to work much on the FMP, as applications are my primary concern at this point.

After paying the idiotic £30 VAT, I finally managed to pick up a package sent from home, containing (amongst other things) an etching.  The friend who wanted to buy it met me immediately.  £150 later, it’s now proudly hanging on his wall, I am told!  Second artwork I’ve sold in London.
9 March
Attended a wedding in the MBE chapel of St. Paul’s Cathedral.  I have avoided photographing this building for my project, as it has already been artistically portrayed countless times.  There is one photo I took at night a couple of months ago that I could potentially use in pairs for this project.  I will start experimenting with making new pairs soon.
10 March
Submitted my application for a Music MA at City University this afternoon. 

Someone shared this link on Facebook, which may come in handy for my proposal idea for MA/MFA applications using a trumpet as a means of making paintings: (Oxford Street)
11 March
Duchamp exhibition at the Barbican:  ß music – Cage, Rauschenberg

Rauschenberg at Gagosian
Rosemarie Trockel at Serpentine

Plexitol – photo emulsion

In short, I have been doing a *lot* of work on applications.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

FMP Week 1

25 February
After an early morning wakeup, we trekked halfway across town for an 8 AM train to the Middle-of-Nowhere, Hungary.  Arriving at the small town of Gyöngös at 9:30, the first thing we saw off the train was a Hungarian farmer in his horse drawn cart, accompanied by a bicyclist holding on for a free ride. 

20 minute walk across the town to the zoo, and we found ourselves playing with 3 sleepy lion cubs!  Perhaps not the most beneficial way to spend the first real day of my project, this day marked the final day of my trip, during which my camera took 1600+ photos.

In true Ashley-Adventure style, I was held at the border at Stansted for 45 minutes.  Mind you, this is already after the plane landed 15 minutes late.  The All Other Passports queue was short, but “the system” didn’t recognise my fingerprints, so speedy it was not.  Tony zoomed through the EU line, but was not permitted to wait with me while I was held.  We had no means of communicating (dead phone), and another border agent semi-threatened to have him removed from the airport since he wasn’t waiting for a bag at baggage claim.  In short, I was quite shaken up when I was finally let through.  The passport-less Russians next to me about to be deported didn’t help. 
26 February
My first day back in class, I spent the majority of it editing photos from the trip, as well as finishing up the action plan/timeline for my final project.  Nothing too exciting.  One of my favourite photos taken during the trip was the first one I took in Vienna of a window on an 18th century building.
27 February
I spent the entire day editing photos, and made it about halfway through them.  As I go, I am taking note of the photos that are most appropriate for pairing, though I will not start organising them that way until sometime next week.
28 February

28 February
I anticipated spending the day in the Natural History Museum, but, after breakfast, a maaaassive queue of school children in safety vests axed that idea.  Instead, I did 30 minutes of sketching at the V&A and called it quits.  There happened to be a bust of a pianist-turned Polish PM, so vaguely fitting to my project theme.

So, to fill my now-empty afternoon, I made a pilgrimage to my first of TimeOut’s 10 Best Hot Chocolates in London.  To keep myself occupied, I made sure to continue my photo-editing task while imbibing in a decent cuppa.  I’ll just say that it takes quite a long time to comb through 1600+ photos.

A visit with my junior year of high school English teacher introduced me to a new part of town – a coffee shop and little street of shops around Liverpool Street Station.  I will return to the coffee shop, as it hangs work by local artists!  I have their card, and will look into seeing if they would display some of my work.

I have been trying to get a hold of a pianist friend to set up a time to take some photos of him at the keyboard.  So far, we haven’t been able to work out a time.  I will also be asking some other musician friends if I can do the same with them.  I will take close-up detail shots – almost abstract.
1 March
At 1, I headed to the National Portrait Gallery for the Man Ray exhibition.  It wasn’t a massive show, but I was surprised to discover that so many photos I’d seen before were taken by him (Le Violin d’Ingres, James Joyce, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, Sir Thomas Beecham (see photo – from ), Picasso, etc).  The Beecham photo is actually one of the more boring compositions (very traditional and plain), but I think it’s interesting to find out when two such influential people collaborate.

Negative points about the exhibition would mainly be that there were many tiny photos that were too high to see properly.  Many walls had frames above frames, so the top set had glares that made it nearly impossible to see the tiny images.  There had to be the maximum number of people there at the time I attended, as well.  It was very crowded, which almost made me feel rushed.  It was interesting to overheard other peoples’ discussions and comments on the photos.  The overriding comment seemed to be more of a question as to his “solarisation” and “Ray-o-gram” techniques, neither of which were described, much to my dismay.

I liked the chronological organisation of the photos, which meant there were also divided by the location in which they were taken, and stage of his career.  Paris, New York, Paris, and Hollywood sections provided clear descriptions of Ray’s life and work, making it one of the more interesting exhibitions I’ve recently seen. 

I especially liked the comparison of Ray’s depictions of his muse and lover, Kiki (and other later muses/lovers), and the comparison to how painters recorded or depicted their own muses.  It would be interesting to research various artists and their muses, comparing artists who worked in different styles and media.
3 March 
With July deadlines on the horizon, I began filling out postgraduate programme applications today.  Central St. Martin's alone is 16 pages, plus an additional CV and project proposal.  CCW is still linked, and the application thankfully covers my top 3 programme choices.  For anyone who is wondering, those choices are likely (in order) Chelsea for Fine Art, Camberwell for Fine Art, Wimbledon for Drawing.  Those, in addition to CSM, will hopefully provide me with at least one open door for the coming year.