Tag Archives: Everyday

Everyday Life at Central St Martins 2015

11 Jun

Reflecting on works from 2015’s degree show at Central St Martins (MA and BA) it seems many of the artists have reflected upon the everyday in their practice. Stephen Johnstone (The Everyday 2008: 12) writes “the rise of the everyday in contemporary art is usually understood in terms of a desire to bring […] uneventful and overlooked aspects of lived experience into visibility.” Hence we will assess the ways in which these graduates look at areas of everyday life that do not normally gain attention.

The Semi-Optics of the Holy Braille according to the Almighty Department for Transportation - The Feather, The Sun and The Holy Grail (2015) by Jean-Paul Moreira

The Semi-Optics of the Holy Braille according to the Almighty Department for Transportation – The Feather, The Sun and The Holy Grail (2015) by Jean-Paul Moreira

Jean-Paul Moreira has painted a selection of road signs, commonly seen in everyday travel. This ‘holy’ triptych consists a national speed limit sign, a roundabout sign and no through road sign. These might suggest the way his practice is going at different times, full steam ahead making, going round in circles or stuck for ideas in a dead end. Hence it reflects the everyday life of the artist, much as Maurice Blanchot (Everyday Speech 1962 in Johnstone 2008: 34) said “… the everyday is what we are first of all, and most often: at work, at leisure, awake, asleep, in the street, in private existence.” Moreira’s work also signals an interest in travel as in the psychogeographic experiments of the Situationist International, and the dérive (which translates as to drift). By extracting the road signs from the street and using their image in the gallery space we are asked to view them as aesthetic works over being communicative symbols.

Juncture (2015) by Magda Skupinska

Magda Skupinska has used everyday foodstuffs as materials for painting and sculpture, referencing still life with a contemporary twist. Juncture incorporates fruit into sculpture much like Jeehee Park did in 2014’s Slade MA show.   Meanwhile her abstract paintings that seem to somewhat reference Color Field Painting in their textural contrast between unprepared rough canvas and impasto painted chilli, turmeric and chocolate, which could possibly indicate the contrast of Skupinska’s experience of life as an artist with that of cooking and eating.

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The World in Miniature

5 Jul

Unit (2011) by Poppy Bisdee

Poppy Bisdee‘s Unit (2011) was one of the highlights of the Wimbledon College of Art BA show.  In this work she photographed the exhibition space on all sides including the floor, without a trace of the photographic means.  This includes the building supplies that are left on show in the exhibition spaces here, with the power sockets becoming a particular focal point in this piece, like Bradley Hayman‘s work Tunnel Vision at the Sassoon Gallery in 2009 featured the furniture and fire extinguisher as in the space when originally viewed.

Tunnel Vision (still) (2009) by Bradley Hayman

Bisdee has then printed her photographs on acetate and reconstructed a miniature version of the room except for the wall farthest from where it is projected back onto using an overhead projector, creating a three-dimensional effect of being inside the room, whilst being drawn to consider the relationship between the projected sockets and the real one which is projected onto.  Bisdee has turned simplicity into beauty.  From a simple and minimal photographic act, she has created an interesting three-dimensional piece both within the acetate form and within the spatial installation.

Summer Holiday Dreams (2011) by Haruka Ono

 Meanwhile at the Slade MFA show Haruka Ono created a miniature world from an entirely different medium, frozen food.  Summer Holiday Dreams is a three-dimensional tropical landscape made up of battered fish and chicken nuggets whilst green beans form greenery protruding from the ground or hanging as palm leaves from trees.  This is a curious dialectic work, depicting a tropical place in frozen food, which is contained in a modified commercial chest freezer with a glass top.  Miniature toad in the holes form small boats floating on a sea of blue ice cream (pistachio perhaps) as a wave breaks towards them in cream or vanilla ice cream.  It seems this work critiques the food it uses as a medium perhaps for its healthiness but more so for its environmental impact, using electricity likely generated by burning fossil fuels to preserve it, and its absent packaging clogging landfill, whilst the freezer, likely reclaimed from scrap, contains CFC gases.  This work also shows the childlike playfulness of Fischli and Weiss’ The Sausage Photographs (1979), reflecting art and creativity as skills we are born with, but which most repress as they grow older.

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