Lose Yourself In Melbourne

I read the book ‘The Psychogeography of Urban Architecture. The author Prescott-Steed (2013) core research was the above advert called  Lose yourself in Melbourne  where a woman is seen to be pushing a unravelling ball of wool around the city streets of the Australian City. His research is an in-depth analytical account of psycogeography. He advocates that a distinct feature of the woman’s movements in ‘the city is the extent to which she bears the character of the flaneur (the individual who wanders without purpose).’ (p35)

journey 5 from Alison Stewart on Vimeo.

I decided to try producing my own film in line with my ‘Journey Videos

Studio experiments

I have spent a couple of days installing the New York road crossings in a different configurations.

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I used the cherry picker ladder to reach the top which is about 5 metres high. It was very wobbly and one of the lectures commented about vertigo which was interesting as I was watching the Alfred Hitchcock’s film, Vertigo, that evening as part of my reserch. In the film the two main caractors Scotty and Madeline refer to their preferred  state of exploring San Francisco as ‘wondering’. Wondering refers to exploration with no fit destination which could lead to being  lost. This act of wondering fits nicely into psychogeography…….

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IMG_0173There is new freedom in my art which is backed up by research. I have been  reading several books over the last few months on the subject of psychogeography.

I feel my art work is not of the standard I usually produce however it is very experimental opening up all kinds of new possibilities which are exciting me to explore.

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This exploration drove me to once again marked out the black tape which represented my walks in New York. Parts of the previous tape was still present giving a palimpsest layered effect.

While this work was displayed I requested two 1:1 tutorials with lecturers. Through these discussions I realised the risks I was taking showed great potential.

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A tutorial with Alice Kettle (09/10/13)

I have met Alice Kettle on several occasions over the last few years at various events. Last week Kettle came to The University of Chichester and delivered an amazing lecture to the art department followed by several 1:1 tutorials.

Kettle explained in her lecture that “A thread is a line that functions in space.” And “I see the world in thread.” This hit a cord with me. For a while now I have recognised that everything I look at I am trying to process into a map formations and therefor I am viewing the world within a diagrammatic representation.

I was one of the lucky students to have a tutorial. This is the second time Alice has so generous given her time and advise to me.

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Alice said it is good to open up my studio practice to reconfigure and take a risk for this can be very productive. She could see a shift in focus and scale from my previous work she had viewed back in 2010.

The black lines in this work have come directly from my tourist map of New York where my partner had marked out all our walks. Alice suggested mixing the lines of my walked journeys and the photograph installation by using black tape, paper or cloth. I opted for tape. The work had to be removed at the end of the day and the tape could be cut and parts of it could be left on the strips of photographs.

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I love the outcome. There is a confusion of layers of palimpsest developing. The lines of the tape are mixing with the perspective on the photographs.

Alice pointed out that she liked how I had hung my work all together on the wall. She said it was a juxtaposition of the multiples in the other work. She didn’t see them as individual pieces  but reads them as a collective work which she found really interesting; an urban landscape which had a passageway through it. I pointed out I had written something about this on my blog the previous week and how I was wondering why I hung my work in this formation. I explained how I  previously was a display artist for John Lewis. She said that was diffidently part of it.

I decided to add the leftover black tape to this work. I was amazed to see the similarities to Piet Mondrian work that I had recently been studying in New York. After chatting to an other student I got the idea to pair back the pieces of work to see what would happen. This was an exciting experiment which left me satisfyed with the results. What I would like to do now is try mixing the two walls of work together.

2013-10-10 13.29.25 2013-10-10 13.29.44Alice said I was making environments,  building a definitions of place and a pathway. It’s about multiples of works, when presented in such a way, which suggests the building of urban landscapes. She suggested I continue to build on that.

 

 

 

 

Paper, Saatchi Gallery

I was lucky enough to go to a private view for The Times newspaper readers at the Saatchi Gallery to view Paper last month. Wow what a lot of inspiration for my studio practice. The main overriding impression I got from the exhibition was large scale installations and wall mounted work stretching around the walls. Inspired to think big. We were given a talk from Cathy, one of Saatchi’s curators. She said: “A lot of ideas to spark off ideas to make it yourself.” That is why I went!!!

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Hen Feng

IMG_8628Floating City (2008)

For me Floating City stood out  for it’s 3D map like qualities, simplicity, attention to detail and scale. I was fascinated by this piece and found myself standing for a long time mesmerised by it’s floating presence.

 

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I have plans to attempt my own installation at university. Using the long strips with photographs stitched onto paper which I made for Journey Installations 1 & 2:  chopping into individual pieces, curling, stapling together to make a cylinser shape. I am then going to suspend them from the ceiling in a map like formation. I am going to attempt this after marking at uni in December. Plenty time to plan.

 

‘Neither sculpture nor drawing, Han Feng’s Floating City is composed of hundreds of tracing paper buildings grouped in dense clusters and hung from the ceiling with transparent fish-wire. Hovering a couple of inches off the gallery floor, Feng’s work asks us to consider the city as something imagined, an idea as much as a place. This might be what a utopia looks like – a notion expressed in language, impossible to realise in reality.’ (Paper, Exhibition Guide, Saatchi Gallery)

I gave Feng’s idea a go in my studio practice but not to such a grand scale. I produced about 20  and suspended them in a tower shape. What I found was the nylon gut easily got tangled. IMG_0138

Peles Empire (Katharina Stoever & Barbara Wolff)IMG_8617

Formation 1 (2013)

I love the ambition of scale 275cm x 440cm), textiles and pattern in feel and structured architectural presence.

 

 

Dawn Clement

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Movie (2007)

What I am looking at is the scale, map like qualities and how pieces of paper have been patched together to give an irregular edge. Could emulate this in using patches of cloth that I could stitch together to increase the scale, using my own theme.

 

Travel With Myra Hudson (2004)

 

 

 

 

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Untitled (Colour Kitchen) (2005)

 

 

 

 

Ann Toebbe

The Photo Engraver’s Wife (2011)IMG_8616

This flattened plan of domesticity reminds me of arial views or maps. There is a cartoon humour about them.

 

 

IMG_8610The grocer’s Wife (2011)

 

 

 

 

 

The Doctors Wife (2011) IMG_8613

 

 

 

 

Eric Manigaud

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Cologne 3 (2011)

Pencil and graphite on paper.

Intricate drawings of an arial view.

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Chuck Close

IMG_8109Lucas 1 (1986-87)

Wow what an awe inspiring impact being along side this work. I love how Close’s process is clearly visible, the gridded guide lines, and is in fact part of the finished product. I am responding to the build up of layers and the breakdown of individual components of colour into mere blobs on the canvass. I am thinking about how I can translate this into my process to create a whole map. Maybe I could create an installation. However I must think simplicity is the key to success.

 

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Piet Mondrian

IMG_101Composition (1921)

I love this piece of work by Mondrian. I am responding to: line, form, colour contrast, bold, composed, geometric, asymmetric, balance, and not least the grid structure. How can I get all this into my work without over complicating it? Mondrian’s piece works for me because of the simplicity.

 

 

Yvonne Jacquette 

IMG_113Little River Farm (1979)

A view from an aeroplane, develops a map like structure where everything is flattened down with no perspective. This reminds me of my earlier work in my BA where I used textile patterns as fields crops and sea.

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Chichester Harbour (detail) Stewart,A.

Palimpsest on the Streets of New York

IMG_8248I found examples of palimpsest on walls and street furniture in New York.

Palimpsest is the scrapping away of one lot of writing or images to make room for another set of mark making.

There is a build up of layers of typography, graphite and / or fly posters. In each one there is an exciting new  image created with the layers merging together where the previous images are still visible and this is evident on this wall and the over head pedestrian crossing boxes. The boxes  previous imagery have been painted over or ripped off.

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MoMA, New York (Museum of Modern Art)

On my recent visit to New York I went to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). This post shows a few of the exhibitions, individual artworks or quotes from MoMA that have inspired me. Occasionally I have placed images of my own work which I have produced as a direct result of visiting MoMA:

‘A Trip From Here To There’

‘From draftsmen who accompanied explorers, to the romantics who roamed the countryside searching for the perfict spot to paint en plein air, to the urban wanderers who sought to capture the fashion and crush of the crowd, artists have always had occasions and opportunity to work outside the studio. Beginning in the second half of  the twentieth century, as artists increasingly emphasized the process by which a work is made, road trips and other journeys became both medium and subject. Simply putting one foot infront of the other, meandering without destination, or crossing vast expanses of territory all offered a means and method for making new forms of art.

This exhibition presents works of the last sixty years whose making depends on walking, wandering and travel. For the artist here, mediums that are easily portable and mobile are essential, providing perfect complements to their nomadic activities. The analogy between wandering and art-making goes both ways: to walk is to draw a line on the landscape, natural and man-made scoring on the earth-roads, rivers, borders-are like marks made on paper or canvas; uncharted territory is a blank sheet ready to be inscribed; and creativity itself may be circular, directed of durational.’ (Storyboard, MoMA 2013)

Robert Morris

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Footprints from Traveling. Limit of Reach (1976)

Such a simple but striking process. This was displayed vertically about a foot off of the ground so the viewer had to stand over it to view.

Stanley Brouwm

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Steps (9.11.1970) (1979)

I could experiment with this concept using my 1960’s Ordinance Survey maps however I would be back to worrying about copy rights in my work.

 

 

Vito Acconci

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 Following Piece (1969)

This reminds me of my hand stitched  mindmaps mixed with my screen printing of maps. I could experiment with my photographic imagery of my walks around New York.

 

Richard Long

Walking A Straight 10-Line, Dartmoor, England (1970)

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Walking a Straight 10-Mile Line, Dartmoor, England (1970) (detail)

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A Walk of Four Hours and Four Circles (1972)

I was intrigued to see how simplistic Long documented his journeys.This is feeding into my own practice and opening me up to new posibilities. I have been reflecting on when I used to be a Munro Bagger (Scottish hill walker). My partner, who was my navigator, drew out our route onto the ordinance survay map after our walks.

IMG_984While in New York my partner took on the roll of pathfinder. Once more he drew our walked routes each day however this time onto a tourist map. On some of these excursions I photographed the view from the middle of each of the roads while we were crossing. I am starting to utilise these images in my studio practice. Here is an example of the photographs, of which I have about 200.

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IMG_0031Journey Snap Shot 1

This piece of work came about because I ordered two sets of photographs from different companies. They were both meant to be 6″ x 4″ however I had to chop one set up as they were to large. Rather than bin the scraps I created Journey Snapshot 1. I stitching the scraps onto curtain header tape then drew the cords together. (My fellow student Anne White suggested I stitch whole photographs onto the tape).Very excited about this work and plan to experiment further.

Journey Snapshot 1. (Detail)

Paul Klee

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Equals Infinity (1932)

Klee has used pointerlisum and mathematics here to express music. What I am fascinated by is the built up layers of transparent work creating a map like,  which has a palimpsest quality to it’s structure. In an MA tutorial I was asked to consider how music effects my making. It is interesting how Klee has translated music into art.

Marcel Duchamp

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Network of Stoppages (1914)

What interested me was Duchamp had turned a previous painting into a palimpsest by layering over a previous work  to produce a map like structure however the original work was still visible. I want to emulate this in my experimentations.

Piet Mondrian

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Composition in White, Black, and Red (1936)

‘These atomized bands of stuttering chromatic pulses, interrupted by gray, create paths across the canvas suggesting the city’s grid, the movement of traffic, and blinking electric lights, as well as the rhythms of jazz.’ (story board, MOMA)

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Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-43)

This work by Mondrian is partly about the gridded system of New York City and the traffic.

 

 

 

 

 

Composition in Red, Blue,and Yellow (1937-42)

I am producing a grid like structure of my road crossing which have been stitched onto thin strips of paper. This is in direct response of viewing Mondrian’s work mixed with my reading of Psychogeography by Will Self. Self set out from his home in Stockwell, London and walked to Heathrow airport, boarded an aeroplane to JFK airport then proceeded to walk to New York City.

On my travels I walked around the streets of New York with little understanding of the navigation, leaving it to my partner to navagate.

My experiments:

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Journey Installation 2 (ArtOne, The University of Chichester)

If you look closely, at the detailed photograph, you will see how the threads are left attached and they are all the same lenght. In all my previous work the threads are imbued with the meaning of text. Here this was’t happening but they were linking from one strip to another by trailing down onto the next row, creating a link. A fellow student, Gemma Green came to may aid and said ” I love the specific lengths, how they are conecting the photographs together. It also reminded me of the Hansel and Gretel story of leaving a trail” (Green, H. 2013)

 Journey Installation 1
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Journey Installation 1 (detail)

 Rauschenberg

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Rebus (1955)

I am intrigued with the transparent layers creating a palimpsest in the artwork. Also the grid which has been subtly achieved. I see these connections with my work especially when I hang it, on mass, for tutorials. I alway display it with some form of gridding:

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Stewart, A. (2013) Installations, The University of Chichester (2013)

This brings me onto a section in MoMa titled The Urban Palimpsest. There is a definite similarity of the grouping of the work in this section of MoMA and the way I instinctively hang my work when not conforming to a gallery setting. I have to question myself; am I arranging my work using my inherent nature or is it a previously learned conformity from previous life experiences. (I used to be a display artist for the department store John Lewis) This is something I will have to ponder on.

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The Urban Palimpsest (Detail from works of various artists)

 

 

 

 

THE URBAN PALIMPSEST’

‘Architecture theorists Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter coined the term “collage city” in December 1973. In their 1978 book of that name (a text that is central to the postmodern critique of modernism’s urban proposals), eighteenth- and nineteenth-century ideas like “the city of collisions” and ” the city of museum” reemerged as forms of reconciliation between apparently opposing poles: the historical city and the modern city; tradition and utopia.

In this section of the exhibition, works in MoMA’s collection by artists, filmmakers, and graphic designers as well as architects demonstrate how, throughout the past century, photomontage and assemblage have been central in portraying the fragmented nature of the “collage city” in which we are immersed. The urban condition as seen here is both a palimpsest and an accumulation of signs. It is the expression of a culture context in which collage is both a process of observation and a state of mind-an instrument that, as Rowe and Koetter have suggested, demands serious reappraisal in the fields of architecture and urban thinking.’ (Storyboard, MoMA 2013)

Jacques de la Villegle

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122 rue du temple (1968) Detail from: The Urban Palimpsest 

 

 

 

 

Michael Wesely

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4 April 1997- 4 June 1999, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin (1999) Detail from:The Urban Palimpsest 

 

Orly Genger: Red, Yellow And Blue

IMG_7925In New York I came upon this exhibition by New York based artist Orly Genger when visiting Madison Square Park. Red, Yellow And Blue was installed on the grounds of the square and was breathtaking. It was made from 1,400,000 feet of nautical rope and was painted with 3,500 gallons of paint. The rope was woven, knitted and painted by hand.

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Red, Yellow And Blue redefines and enlivens the park’s lush landscape, encouraging visitors to navigate through the familiar space in new and unexpected ways.’ (Storyboard, MAD.SQ.ART)