Artist Blogs

Researching for Inspiration: Pippa Eason and William Cobbing

Although I found the sculptures I have done interesting, I’m not really sure of where to go from here. I also feel that the colour element of my work (although justified), doesn’t quite fit with what I am doing. The colour doesn’t have enough relevance or meaning at the moment. Therefore, I have decided to research around what I’m doing in order to ground my ideas in my head so I can then develop this work further.

First of all, I revisited the work of Pippa Eason, as up until now, I have only commented on the visual aesthetic of her work rather than the meaning behind it. On her website, I found this statement:

The use of symbols for example: dollar signs, cacti, chains, written word, and so on articulate the separation of art in life, against art on screen.”

I found this really interesting, especially the word “articulate”. This made me think about the first strand in my practice: ‘Body Mapping and self-discovery’. As I am not doing this as a performance, rather, trying to get substance and internal feelings out, I have realised that I can take my time more and think about how I ‘articulate’ myself more. Rather than have the pressure and often distraction of an audience, I can think more about what I am trying to show and get more substance across in my work, rather than the performances which are far more spontaneous. Both strands of my practice are important and often overlap, though that is a distinct difference between the two which I want to experiment with, as both approaches are interesting as useful to me at this point.

William Cobbing The Kiss (2004)

revolver-3-01-william-cobbing-kiss-lg

I came across this and found it interesting, as you can’t see the couple’s heads as they manipulate the clay, yet the piece still comes across initially as loving and sensual. However, the more I watched the film, the more I found myself becoming worried, as I wondered how the couple could breathe, wondered whether this was suggesting literally the blindness of love. Either way, the piece conjured up feelings within me which I feel would be much stronger if the piece was live. This made me think about my own movements when making my work, as so far I have manipulated material in a very slow, tactile way. This piece makes me wonder: what if the material was built up onto me? What if the material weighed heavier and heavier on me? What if the weight became too much as left me struggling to get it off?

Another aspect of my work Cobbing’s piece made me think more about was the subject matter of my work. Up until this point, I have been describing the aim of my practice to be ‘making my feelings and physical and visual entity’. However, I now feel that all of the ‘feelings’ that I have been trying to make visual are not happy, contented, comfortable feelings. Rather, they are anxieties, worries, an exertion of mental pain. It now seems almost misleading to say ‘feelings’ as this suggests the whole spectrum of feelings. Though I find no use in making contented, comfortable feelings a visual entity, as my work seeks to achieve self-understanding and self-healing, which is then transferred to the audience. I don’t feel my contented feelings need to be ‘healed’ as it were. Therefore, I will know refer to the aim of my practice as ‘making my internal state a visual entity’. This does allude to self-narcissism or self-pity, but it also doesn’t suggest that I am trying to demonstrate the whole spectrum of feelings.

 

 

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