i. I'm over halfway through the summer and I've managed to get quite a lot of work done but, as expected, trying to juggle so many different things (see last post) has meant that its been bitty and sporadic. I spent the last ten days on holiday in Scotland (via Leeds and Manchester) with Becky which was wonderful. It was lovely to get away and just read, walk and draw. I'm off to a festival this weekend and another in a couple of weeks but I'm very aware that I need to get back into my work soon...
ii. We spent our first two days in Scotland at the Edinburgh Fringe and also managed to visit the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to see Emil Nolde: Colour is Life. Nolde was 'one of the most influential German artists of the twentieth century' but the challenging exhibition doesn't shy away from or excuse the artist’s political beliefs and anti-Semitic views. It was an extraordinary show of brash, raw, colourful paintings and prints of dramatic landscapes, bizarre portraits and raucous bar scenes (which I will look closely at in relation to my own work). I loved it.
iii. On our way back from Scotland we stayed in Manchester specifically to visit Chantal Joffe: Personal Feeling is the Main Thing at The Lowry for my research paper and own interest. It was a brilliant, joyful show of of intimate, awkward and relatable paintings of everyday life. I made pages and pages of drawings and notes as part of my essay research. Before we left for Scotland I emailed Leora the abstract for my research paper and, as well as some criticism and advice, she finished with 'I think you're well on the way'. I feel encouraged and informed and ready to get stuck in.
iv. At the beginning of the summer I left Instagram for a month. I think Instagram is an incredible tool but it's very easy to start comparing yourself to others (specifically those I consider my peers) in terms of quality and output and consequently feeling inadequate and disheartened. The break was useful as on returning to it I felt inspired by playful, confident and exciting work by artists such as Ella Squirrell, Holly Froy and Matthew Cotton. On returning to uni in October I want my work to be bigger, braver and more experimental. Last term, my course-mate Sarah made some really exciting laser-etched woodcuts as part of her interim display. I must talk to her about this process next term - I'd love to see what happens transcribing my quick drawings into large scale woodcuts!