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Liverpool/Sheffield, United Kingdom

Friday, 29 April 2011

INTROSPECTIVE-Photos from the opening night

Final Assesment verdict

The day after the final night of the exhibition came my final assessment. As the exhibition and the assessment occurred so close together I had very little time to prepare or to panic. As suggested in the preparation brief I prepared an overview of each module and collected my years worth of research and film footage on DVD. The lack of time I had to prepare and panic proved to be a positive thing as the assessment itself turned out to involve nothing more than a relaxed conversation.          

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Overview of LSAFA2003 for assesment

This module has been a very challenging but rewarding one. We started after Christmas as a group of friends who’s work was vaguely related in some way. We set up a facebook group to allow us to communicate freely; we came up with the theme of self reflection and compiled a proposal containing ideas for what we would like to exhibit. After weeks of coming up against a brick wall with Wolstenholme, we opted to hold our exhibition in the student union and unfortunately in the process lost a few members of our team.

Our group held regular weekly meetings to keep ourselves on track where we argued about the style of our poster, the name of the exhibition and who was going to exhibit in what space. We eventually came up with a plan of action regarding advertising and got numerous posters printed, created an event on face book and had our poster put up on the TV’s around the Art and design academy.

We visited Jess Green in the student union to find that our idea of holding and art exhibition was totally different to hers and that we had unintentionally given ourselves the challenge of turning a very anti art establishment in to a very arty one. We took over a whole floor of the union, disrupting foreign exchange programs and dismantling makeshift learning centers in the process. The relationship between the LSU and ourselves didn’t develop in to a loving one like we had hoped but instead a relationship of pure resentment. We resented the union for allowing us to use the space but under such strict time constraints and I imagine the union resented us for invading their conservative environment with art.

The exhibition itself exceeded expectations. My two video pieces worked together perfectly and received the exact response that I’d hoped. The majority of people who saw my installation came out looking bemused and exhausted saying things such as ‘Bloodey hell’ and ‘wow that made me feel really dizzy’. I had various conversations with members of my audience about my work and found it very rewarding and interesting to get different insights.

The opening night was a success with a slow start but busy end and the feed back we received was nothing but positive. The only near set back occurred when the building manager came upstairs telling us we had to be out the building by 9 o’clock. After negotiation and explanation that we had booked the building until 11. She explained that Jess had not even told her there was an exhibition-taking place. Which Pretty much sums up the whole experience.

Overview of LSAFA2000 for assesment

The idea of basing a project on Anxiety stemmed from the need to create work that was integral to my day-to-day life in order to keep it constantly relevant so I would not lose interest. My aim was to try to explain through art how intense and terrifying it is to experience a panic attack and also to try and understand why anxiety is such a prominent part of my life.

My initial research was based around artists who interested me due to their style of filmmaking and their relevant content. Artists included Nam June Paik, for his use of repetition and overloading of imagery. Bill Viola for his underwater pieces, Pipalotti Rist for her style of display and her interest in feminist issues, Guvnar Nelson for the film ‘my name is Oonar’ and Bruce Nauman for his corridor pieces that physically generate claustrophobia and discomfort.

The film footage I began to collect was mainly from situations I found myself in that caused anxiety e.g. waiting for a train, being underwater, being in busy overwhelming environments. After conducting a questionnaire on Facebook I began to collect film footage based what made other people anxious. I then began to use the footage to create abstract films that explored the effects that anxiety has on the body and the mind.

My various film editing experiments and ideas lead to the creation of the films ‘irrational thought process’ and ‘controlling the uncontrollable.’ These were the first films I had created with any sort of narrative. The first explores the feeling of complete loss of control and the second in contrast explores control. ‘Irrational thought process’ along with my other more experimental pieces went on to provide the basis of my installation.

After starting the second module, the staging and reception of my piece became equally as important as its content. I decided that it was as important to keep the narrative within the installation as well as generating an all encompassing viewing experience. I split my piece in to three layers in order to have 3
projections and each layer was created to represent a different part of anxiety 1. Reality 2. The physical effects of anxiety 3. The effect anxiety has on the mind. I edited each film separately so that all three would play in sync. The installation builds gradually and reaches a climax at 2 minutes, at which point all three films reach their peak. The experience then slowly eases and returns to normality.

Anxiety stems from a feeling of lack of control. If we feel we have total control over a situation there is no need for anxiety. In ‘Controlling the uncontrollable’ I added a voice over to a piece of footage to make a normally uncontrollable situation appear controllable. The two film pieces were played in the same exhibition with the intention that they where viewed one after another in order to experience a huge contrast.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Climbing holiday-Murcia Spain

A few days ago I got back from Spain where I spent Twelve days sport climbing in the Costa Blanca region with a group of friends from the LJMU climbing club. The fortnight was absolutely incredible, and in terms of relevance to my current project.....There is nothing more anxiety inducing than hanging off a cliff with the tip of your fingers One thousand five hundred meters above sea level attached to a rope and a tiny metal bolt knowing that if you get the next move slightly wrong you could quite easily fall and crack your head open on a rock. However terrifying the prospect, the feeling of adrenaline and achievement you get when clipping in to the top of a challenging route will always outweigh the anxiety! although I've been climbing a good two years now, spending an fortnight climbing intensely made me realise that that feeling is actually one of the things I live for. I have also realised how important it is to have enthusiasm and passion for everything you do. And that in fact that anxiety can actually be a very positive thing in healthy doses, without it life would be pretty boring!