I’ve been procrastinating on this for a while now, running round at the Newtown Festival, cooking udon, moving things to the studio. Pretty much everything except this. So I’m piecing together a draft tonight, before falling asleep.
- Intent: In one or two sentences (50-100 words) describe what your project is about.
- Background: Briefly describe the work you resolved last year. Don’t assume we know: indicate how you responded to the assignment(s), what you made and how you presented it. What worked, what didn’t, and what you plan to carry over into this semester’s work. 200-300 words.
- Method: What do you intend to make (i.e., painting, sculpture, video, etc., etc), and how (materials and processes). What knowledge and skills do you need to gain, investigations you plan to undertake, and at what point will you critically reflect on your progress.
Intent: Develop a body of paintings, especially portraits, that improve on my painterly techniques, and that subvert or challenge postmodernist dogma about the alleged power of language to “construct realities“. Continue painting outside of Massey frequently.
Background: Last year I used painting (and to the most minimal degree, music) to explore two political issues. The first was Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s turn towards Stalinism later in their lives, after being important contributors to the anti-Stalinist Left Opposition. I painted a triptych of Kahlo, Rivera, and Trotsky that could be rearranged to give different readings, and that was accompanied by a short playlist of songs. In the second semester I hoped to build on my interest in Rivera’s work by painting, or at least planning, a mural, but difficulties in finances and my inability to execute such a large project ended rather disastrously, with an abysmal composition, and no workbook to explain it and its failure. Following that, I completed a retrieval task, where I took the concepts for the mural, and applied them instead to a traditional Polynesia wall-hanging, ie, a tapa cloth. Amidst all this, I painted outside, often very early in the morning in the second half of the year, and tried to interact with the people passing by.
Method: If I want to continue painting outside I need to find a better way to negotiate winter. It forced me inside for months. Part of the problem is lack of an appropriate warm wardrobe. A major issue is Wellington’s constant wind, which makes materials very prone to blowing away. Aside from those challenges, I need to learn to stretch a canvas (book a time with Simon Morris), I need to learn to mount my work nicely (Engine Room internship will help here), and I would like to build up my skills with oil paints rather than acrylics. I plan to attend student-organised life-drawing classes to help improve my anatomical awareness, to help paint portraits faster and with more expression in terms of colour and brushstroke. I need to learn to balance my concerns about the terrible theory dominating the art world with my practical art-making responsibilities and interests. I must not allow conflict over hollow theory to dominate my mind. Participate in the artistic community more, don’t shun it in frustration.