I took an interest in Caroline Ingram’s artist lecture where she demonstrated how the themes of trauma and illness reveal themselves within her practice. Caroline described feelings of confusion during the research process of her work’s development and explained how her approach to research changed over time. Her practice involves the manipulation of materials including bandages, rubbing pigments, canvas, soak stain and silk-screen to express trauma and loss. Through visits to museums to draw bones, reading philosophers, and documenting her experiences at exhibitions, she collected valuable information about several artists including Griselda Pollock and Alina Szapocznikow that changed her perspective on the use of materials to convey ideas. What I found most interesting to listen to was the way Ingram’s exploration and implementation of different research methods pulled her in different directions and encouraged her to experiment. I am also at a point in my practice where I am interested in juxtaposing traditional methods used in oil painting with contemporary experimentation of materiality. Ingram’s lecture has encouraged me to find alternate ways of sourcing research and has made me want to experiment with my materials in a way that is outside of my comfort level.
Rosalind Davis’ lecture was especially informative in terms of practical advice and promotional tools as an artist. Her enthusiasm in seeking out opportunities was inspiring and she provided a lot of suggestions that I would never have considered pursuing prior. Specific things I noted were the importance of building relationships online and offline, thinking about how to ask good questions, applying to open calls and being present and memorable at gallery events. Her perspective on knowing which opportunities are worth it and how to find ones that would be suited to you was particularly insightful. Her emphasis on the importance of having a strong artist statement made me take time to think about what my artist statement was saying versus what my work was actually developing into. I found there were visual relationships between Rosalind’s early paintings and my own work in terms of the use of pattern and how she integrates pattern into architectural spaces. The disruption of recognisable spaces or buildings combined with this overwhelming use of intricate patterns and textiles contributes an added level of history in her painting.
I found Somaya Critchlow’s figurative paintings to be very effective in providing the her female subjects with a sense of agency. The sexualised women in her work challenge the male gaze in a confrontational manner. I share in her inspiration from the Baroque period and find the dark, enigmatic lighting that highlights her subjects creates a sense of danger and mystery. Even though the women are scantily clad, the manner in which they are portrayed is far from passive, as was the custom in most art historical paintings of women. I was intrigued by her references, Her references, specifically Munch’s The Vampire. I took an immediate interest in the painting. She described it as being violent and dark, but when I researched it I found that it was originally titled The Kiss by Munch and it was actually meant to be a woman kissing a man, and it was his curator who named it The Vampire. Later, Munch wished to change it back to The Kiss but it is still known to this day as The Vampire. I found this discrepancy between an artist's intended meaning and the audience’s inevitable reception to be interesting because my work has also elicited responses that I did not intend.